Restaurants That Are Extremely Close To Subway Stops For When It’s Too Cold To Walk Outside

How to keep from freezing this winter.
Restaurants That Are Extremely Close To Subway Stops For When It’s Too Cold To Walk Outside image

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Much like a meeting with your accountant or a PSA featuring Sarah McLachlan, an NYC winter is a very serious thing. This city gets so cold, in fact, that sometimes the best restaurant is the one that’s the easiest to get to. With that in mind, here are places we like that are extremely close to subways. (As in a couple blocks or less from a subway stop.) We’ll even tell you which train’s closest.

The Spots

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Jefferson St. L

Unless you have an extra invite to Chloe Sevigny’s fashion week party or something, you could go weeks without seeing your friends in the winter. Entice them with a night out at Nowon, steps from the L in Bushwick. This Korean restaurant serves variations on carbs, meat, and cheese that are much more exciting than another delivery pizza. There’s pizzas with gochujang red sauce and KBBQ mushrooms, chopped cheese rice cakes, a burger with kimchi special sauce, and more. After drinking a few cocktails under Nowon’s neon red lights, surrounded by Ashanti videos on the warehouse walls, you’ll remember why it’s still worth it to break out the big puffer once in a while.

East Broadway F

Even though Dimes is literally responsible for the cultural phenomenon that is (gestures wildly) Dimes Square, we really love the vegetable-forward New American food at this scene-y spot. Sure, all the fixtures look like they were purchased at the MoMA design store, and you’ll be surrounded by the kind of people who inspire Nolita Dirtbag memes, but think of it as an exercise in urban anthropology. This restaurant is also less than two minutes away from the East Broadway F stop, and works as the perfect launch pad for the kind of day when it’s entirely too cold to be out, but also you wanted to leave your apartment.

4th Ave-9th St F/G/R

This restaurant from the people who brought you Dhamaka and Semma is one of Park Slope’s buzziest spots, and it also happens to be an eight-minute walk to the 4th Avenue-9th Street subway station, which is otherwise in its own special circle of “there’s nothing over here” hell. They specialize in modern takes on food from Kolkata and the surrounding region of West Bengal, and eating here feels like you’ve been invited to a family function where you’ll sit under a wedding party’s worth of gajras, next to a mural featuring the man who inspired much of the food on the menu (the owner's father). Brave the elements and try to snag a walk-in table while the locals are cozied up in their brownstones.

Franklin Ave 1

One of our favorite French restaurants in Manhattan, Frenchette also happens to be pretty much across the street from the Franklin Avenue stop in TriBeCa. The tiny amount of time you’ll have to spend outdoors to get here will feel like the blink of an eye once you have a warm baguette, a pile of perfectly-tempered butter, and an excellent cocktail in front of you. Order a few rounds of food so you can linger in the warm, intimate space for as long as possible.

Nassau Ave G

If sitting in a soothing room filled with lots of blonde wood while listening to selections from a killer vinyl collection sounds like your idea of the right way to pass a winter’s evening, you’ll be glad to know that Eavesdrop is as close to the Nassau Avenue G stop as you can get without actually being inside of the station. The cocktails—such as the vesper-esque martini with both vodka and gin—are great, and there are a few small plates for snacking. Bar seats are reserved for walk-ins, so if it’s especially brutal outside, know that you have a fighting chance of getting a spot. 

Flushing Main Street 7

White Bear's iconic wontons with hot sauce (no. 6 on the menu) will make being outdoors worthwhile, even if it's 25 degrees outside. You'll get 12 dumplings filled with pork and veggies and spend less than you would on a box of Cheez-Its. It'll take you about three minutes to walk to this tiny spot from the Flushing Main Street 7, and you should probably grab a bag of frozen dumplings for when even getting on a train seems like too much effort.

66th Street/Lincoln Center 1

What used to be Old John's Luncheonette is now the remodeled Old John's Diner, but one thing that hasn't changed is the location, which is still very close to the Lincoln Center 1 stop. From the chicken pot pie to the warm brownie served in a cast iron skillet, this place has plenty of menu items that will give you that comforting feeling you want in the middle of February. If you need a tiny bit more warmth, order up a martini.

Franklin Ave/Medgar Evers College 2/3/4/5

The thought of going out in the cold somehow seems worse right after you wake up, but you'll be glad you did once you try the breakfast sandwich from this daytime cafe in Crown Heights. It comes on a biscuit, with dill, cheddar, mayo, and a fried egg. After a brief break from 3-5:30pm, they also serve dinner. On an icy day, nokedli soup is your new best friend.

86th Street R

Head a few minutes west from the 86th Street R in Bay Ridge and you'll be at this spot before you know it. This Palestinian restaurant has hummus, baba ghanoush, and shawarma as well as signature dishes like maklouba and mansaf. The portions are huge, so be sure to drag some of your cold weather-averse friends with you.

90th Street/Elmhurst Ave 7

Other than a highly relatable sign that reads “’el amor puede esperar el hambre no,” the space here has the look of a fluorescent, nondescript lunch counter. But Mariscos El Submarino could serve their Mexican seafood dishes in the middle of traffic on the George Washington Bridge and we’d still implore you to seek them out — yes, even in the middle of winter, we’re telling you to hop on the 7 and eat some cold fish. Trust.

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Grand Central 4/5/6/7/S

You can always skip the whole going outside thing altogether. This restaurant is a classic NYC establishment that dates back to 1913, and it's right inside Grand Central Station. You'll obviously find a lot of oysters here (prepared in several different ways), but you can also grab a sandwich, a seafood platter, or a pan roast.

23rd Street 6

Cooking steaks in your place is usually not great. There's a lot of smoke involved, which leads to incessant beeping from a fire alarm (which is also weirdly reassuring because at least you know the thing is still working). Sure, you can open a window, but then your place is suddenly 15 degrees colder. Hawksmoor NYC is a London transplant that's a block away from the 23rd Street 6, and they make much better steak than you.

Lafayette Ave C

Not only do you not want to be outside for very long, but you're not really in the mood to make any decisions either. Fradei in Fort Greene is the perfect spot for you. They won't tell you what's going to be on the menu on any given night, but you can expect a vegetable-forward five-course tasting and French and Italian wines. In case you haven't guessed, this isn't the type of place you can just walk into—so make a reservation.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

Franklin Ave C

Hart's has only been open since 2016, but it's pretty much already an NYC classic. The food here is vaguely Mediterranean in a olive-ricotta and beef-tongue-with-polenta sort of way, and the clam toast is a necessary order. Plan a dinner with a friend in the tiny Bed-Stuy space, and take the C train over. Once you’re at the Franklin stop, Hart’s is just across the street.

116th Street 2/3

Fried chicken is technically always good, but it's even more satisfying in the winter. Go to Amy Ruth’s, and eat some. This is a big soul food restaurant about half a block from the 116th Street stop of the 2/3, and our go-to order here is a dish called The President Barack Obama, which consists of chicken however you want it, plus two sides.

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