34 NYC Date Spots With Outdoor Heat Lamps
Even if your heart is a bespoke ice cube, these heat lamps will keep your date warm.
Romance is thriving in NYC. Well, maybe not thriving—but it still exists in certain circles. If you want to put yourself out there in search of someone to share your Con Edison bill with, you don’t have to let winter discourage your efforts. Check out this guide that has 34 places with heated outdoor patios that you can use for first, second, and 100th dates.
On paper, Winona’s might sound like another sceney wine bar where you’d spot your amateur DJ friend sipping a chilled red with your ex. But it doubles as an all-day restaurant with rotating chef residencies and an easygoing atmosphere. From large groups who cheer for every bottle that arrives at the table to couples in matching linen pants, the crowd here mostly feels like people who come often.
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
Contento is a phenomenal date night spot that has what we call The Feel Good Factor™. This East Harlem restaurant’s Peruvian-leaning menu is full of standouts like a tart ceviche and a hefty burger cradling raclette, and you can eat both of these things on the heated patio out front.
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One White Street
One White Street is very, very good-looking. But this two-story restaurant located in a Tribeca townhouse is more than good looks. Run by a chef who used to work at Frenchie in Paris, this place offers some very impressive food. You can order things like scallop skewers and focaccia with onion jam à la carte at the walk-in area outdoors—but you’ll need a reservation if you want to try the tasting menu inside.
At this Greenwich Village wine bar, you can sit directly under a heat lamp and shed layers like a Midwesterner getting off a flight in Miami. Make a reservation if you plan to have dinner, or walk-in if you’re just looking for snacks and French wine.
Frankies (457) Spuntino
The cavatelli with hot sausage at this Carroll Gardens institution is one of our favorite plates of pasta in NYC. Eat it at a table in the back garden, and you’re guaranteed an enjoyable night out.
Anfora is a great West Village wine bar that serves a few light snacks, like charcuterie and ricotta crostini, that come out about as quickly as the wine. So use this place for a casual first date when you mostly want wine but also need to get some food in your stomach.
Four Horsemen offers more than 500 natural wines—but their food (mussel skewers, housemade bread, etc.) is just as impressive as the beverage situation. Schedule a date on their outdoor patio, open daily for dinner, with lunch Friday through Sunday.
A romantic getaway to some alpine destination where you can say “chalet” unironically probably isn’t in the cards right now, but The Greens is a pretty strong substitute. Reserve a private cabin on this rooftop of Pier 17 at the Seaport, and share some fondue while enjoying views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Also on Pier 17, The Fulton has the same fantastic views as The Greens—but instead of charcuterie and truffle grilled cheese, this spot from Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves some of the best seafood in NYC.
Order the biryani at Adda in Long Island City, and watch the look on your date’s face as they breathe in the saffron-scented steam that rises from the dish after you cut into the dome of dough on top.
Bolero serves some of the best Vietnamese food in NYC, but beyond that, the ball’s in your court. You could opt for tea while sitting between bamboo trees in the backyard, or your dinner could involve a shot and beer combo that comes with a boiled fertilized duck egg at a sidewalk table on Bedford Ave.
Reserve a glass-enclosed cabin on Lafayette’s outdoor patio, and you’ll have a prime seat for Noho people watching. Just be aware that your only option will be a $125 prix-fixe, with dishes like short ribs and fondue.
Does your dog really need a space heater? If so, have your next human-canine date night at the Barking Dog on the UES. Sunnie and Rio can grab a drink at the in-ground watering hole while you and your date drink something a bit stronger at the table.
Corto has a BYOB policy, great housemade pastas, and roast chicken that’ll make you reconsider roast chicken. It also has a tent-enclosed backyard with string lights. Put those things together, and you have your go-to date spot in Jersey City.
Bar Boulud is more casual than its UES sibling, Daniel—but it’s still plenty fancy. The burger here is topped with confit pork belly, the steak frites is made with your choice of NY strip or prime flat iron, and about half the dishes on the menu involve black truffle. Choose an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert as part of the $66 prix-fixe on this UWS spot’s heated patio.
Bond over your mutual affinity for the silver screen at Syndicated. This Bushwick bar and restaurant, which usually shows movies in a theater in the back, is currently offering free showings on their sidewalk every day.
Do you think Rihanna’s reggae album will finally drop this year? Sit in the big, covered outdoor garden at this Gowanus music venue and discuss such things while snacking on shareable plates from the vegan food menu.
It starts with “Let’s meet for drinks.” Then comes “Should we get a little food?” Finally, someone will say, “Let’s just order some dinner.” Ernesto’s, a Basque spot in Two Bridges, is an ideal place for any or all of those phases. Start with a couple glasses of Spanish pinot noir, then share some small plates like bacalao fritters.
With its trees wrapped in string lights and two fully covered outdoor patio areas, Extra Virgin has one of the nicest outdoor dining setups in the West Village. Make use of it while enjoying fusilli in black truffle parmesan broth and mushroom-crusted chicken over sweet pea risotto.
Zero Otto Nove
Go on a date at Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue, and, if it doesn’t go well, you’ll at least be eating the best pizza in The Bronx. If you do hit it off, the wood-fired Neapolitan pies here will only make things better.
Outdoor seats at Hotel Delmano are typically as valuable a Williamsburg commodity as roof access and a spot at the front of the line for the L. But now that they’ve set up big, covered seating areas on Berry and on N 9th, you can enjoy the same people watching and phenomenal cocktails without the waits.
If you’re not comfortable with the sort of outdoor dining spaces that are pretty much fully enclosed cabins, you’ll appreciate how Clay leaves one wall on their setup completely open. Head to this Harlem spot for perfectly al dente garganelli and confit duck that you’ll want to pick up like a turkey leg.
June Wine Bar
The semi-secret, string-light-covered backyard at this Cobble Hill natural wine bar is a great place to share steak tartare and panna cotta with a date. It’s an especially good option if you’re with someone who wants to try a bottle of wine from Croatia or Slovenia.
Not counting that time we ate a bagel next to Tony Danza on a bench in the park, the back garden at Uva is our favorite outdoor dining situation on the Upper East Side. Sit in what looks like a Tuscan courtyard, and eat delicious housemade ricotta gnocchi doused in creamy black truffle sauce.
The Ten Bells
A long natural wine list and a daily $1 oyster Happy Hour make The Ten Bells one of the best casual date spots in Manhattan. As an added bonus, this place has a relatively secret string-lit backyard.
Whether you enjoy trying drinks made with ingredients like jasmine, absinthe foam, and bergamot bitters, or you just want an expertly-made martini, head to Sugar Monk. This Harlem cocktail bar has a first come, first served tent-covered outdoor patio.
In the hierarchy of reasons to visit Meatpacking, new dating profile pictures on The High Line are only topped by Pastis. From complimentary bread to trout amandine, this French spot serves the best food in the neighborhood.
Whether your night at Terre includes a bunch of housemade pastas or a couple of choices from the long list of cheeses and cured meats, be sure too sit in the greenery-filled back garden. Also, ask the friendly servers for recommendations from the 100+ natural wines available by the glass.
The plant-filled back patio at this Middle Eastern spot in Fort Greene is surrounded by brick walls and murals of people drinking wine. If there are no reservations available in the back, the sweet whipped ricotta and creamy hummus with lamb shawarma taste great on the covered patio out front as well.
Chez Nick is an American bistro in Yorkville where you can get a glass of wine and ricotta toast with someone who thinks your two truths and a lie are clever. You can also grab some cucumber martinis and lemongrass pork steak with the only person who knows your social security number.
Dante works for everything from weekday lunch to cocktails and dessert after losing track of time listening to a pianist in Washington Square Park. This Italian cafe in Greenwich Village is tailor-made for casual dates that involve a few small plates and the best negronis in NYC.
Aurora’s covered patio is decorated with hanging ivy and more lights than a Christmas tree, with high walls and a roof that make it feel far removed from the corner of Wythe and Grand. Make a reservation, and share housemade pastas and Italian wine any day of the week.
Thursday through Sunday in the heated and fully covered garden patio at this Staten Island American spot, you can cover your table with things like fried burrata crostini, double cheeseburgers with brandy aioli, and spicy ginger margaritas.
There’s certainly no shortage of outdoor dining setups in the West Village right now, and a bunch of them have heaters. However, very few feel as intimate as the private, ivy-covered backyard at Hudson Clearwater.