Attention all New Yorkers: heat lamps are hot. Not only in temperature, but also as a formative object of the 2021 NYC experience.
Now that outdoor dining primarily happens in sub-freezing temperatures under a red glow, we consider ourselves experts in the genre of sweat-producing technology. That’s why we’ve put together this scientifically-researched, totally legitimate ranking. Make no mistake, the heat lamps featured here aren’t like the space heater your great aunt used to keep by her toesies in the winter time. These are sidewalk saunas. These are the heat lamps that are so hot they will confuse your body clock about the time of year. These are the Hottest Heat Lamps in NYC. (And where to find them.)
The Lamp Post
Ah, the lamp post model. Classic, time-tested, utilitarian. It’s no wonder why New York’s restaurants have opted for the Nike Air Force 1 of the heat lamp world. Take solace in knowing that many of America’s wealthy suburban uncles have spent their nights reading online comments about the effectiveness of these babies, and have happily purchased them for their own patios. That’s how you know they’ll keep your body temperature a breezy 100 Fahrenheit while eating meatballs outside.
The One With Flames
We particularly like this style because it reminds us of the fancy old buildings on Central Park West with lanterns hanging next to their awnings - paired with the aesthetic of a UFC cage fight. The lamp’s engineering follows a simple formula: contained fire = luxury. And it works. Much like the lamp post variety, this style stands exactly one inch shorter than Shaq. The difference is that real live fire signifies that they are indeed hot. Shaq seems like a real sweetie, doesn’t he?
The Rectangles That Cook You
As you sit beneath these heat lamps, you’ll be forced to consider that you may be in the process of being broiled for dinner. If you’ve never wondered how naturally well-seasoned you are, sit under these heat lamps and that will change. “What’s that smell?” you’ll wonder. It’s literally your scalp burning off.
The Hanging UFOs
Every time we find ourselves underneath one of these UFO heat lamps, we imagine how disappointed an alien would be to arrive on Earth right now. How would we even explain our human condition? “Sorry, we’re not usually like this. Stop looking at us while we cry.” To get the full heated effect, stare at this extraterrestrial lamp during dinner and apologize for the human race.
When your butt is aflame, the world has a way of getting quiet. That’s why anyone who owns a car with seat warmers tells every passenger about them. The same is true at restaurants.
One of the best outdoor dining experiences you can have right now is at a kotatsu table. The heated table blanket keeps your bottom half perfectly warm. This is helpful because, unlike coats, you can only layer your pants to a certain point before you must rename yourself the Michelin Man.
Table Lights Used In Reptile Cages
These clamp-on lights will keep your right elbow so warm that you’ll need to make a tactical decision about whether to disrobe or not. We’ve found success by taking off a single sleeve of our jacket. It’s not chic, but neither is the year 2021.
Remember the villain in the second Spiderman movie? Well, he’s keeping people dining at our city’s restaurants warm now.
The Ones That Sit At Your Feet
These modest warmers are the ideal height for the dogs who now patronize New York City restaurants. Even if it seems like a good idea at the time, please refrain from taking your shoes off to “toast your toesies.” This isn’t summer camp, it’s a public sidewalk on 72st Street.
Old faithful. The heat lamp that has seen you in all of your unspeakable states. This thing has turned on unannounced more times than a pre-teen boy during in an R-rated movie. It scowls at you, threatens your cat regularly, and you have no control over its behavior. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great companion for a takeout meal at home.
Hell hath arrived. We’re pretty sure this is illegal.