Although dining restrictions have tightened again in recent weeks, forcing restaurants to close at 10 pm, Governor Murphy has approved a unique form of dining—the outdoor igloo. As the temperatures drop, you can still enjoy a meal outside in the privacy of your own dome or bubble.
Although igloo dining has been around for a few years, as demonstrated by some of the spots on this list, it has become much more popular and appropriate based on the challenges that 2020 has presented restaurants. Below, a handful of New Jersey restaurants that are embracing igloo dining this winter.
[Related: NJ Restaurants Offering Warm Outdoor Dining]
Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten, Asbury Park
This popular Asbury spot has been setting up igloo seating since 2017, but this year it’s taking on a whole new meaning as a perfect spot for social distancing. These small seating bubbles are set up on the Biergarten’s rooftop overlooking Asbury Park, and will continue to be an option in late fall and into winter. Full dining is available, including German classics like hot pretzels with cheese and mustard, bratwurst with sauerkraut, cheese curds served with cherry pepper aioli, as well as an extensive beer menu. Open Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. Call ahead to reserve your igloo.
Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten, 527 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park; 732-997-8767
Fig and Lily Garden, Morristown
This Mediterranean restaurant had also introduced igloo dining pre-Covid, and they continue to keep their igloos standing throughout all kinds of weather. With independent floors inside each dome (and heaters!), Fig and Lily Garden is able to keep these spaces standing through snow, rain, and more, to create a unique dining experience for all of its guests. The menu includes Mediterranean dishes like handmade grape leaves, falafel, and kofte rolls with ground beef and lamb, and it’s BYO.
Fig and Lily Garden, 2 Cattano Avenue, Morristown; 973-539-3999
ManaFirkin Brewing Company, Manahawkin
Starting December 2, you’ll be able to enjoy ManaFirkin’s catalogue of beers underneath your own personal igloo. Their drink menu includes fun and creative names for their brews, like Cobra Kai (pale ale), Going Kiltless (a Scottish malt smoked over cherry wood), Trippin Monkey (with a banana aroma) and many more. Message ManaFirkin on Instagram or call to make your igloo reservation. Reservation times last for 90 minutes with a $50 rental fee.
ManaFirkin Brewing Company, 450 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin; 609-756-4798
The Blossom, Palisades Park
With a menu of delicious drinks, including red bean, cream brûlée, and black sugar lattes, the Blossom has been providing igloo domes before the onset of Covid. Providing privacy and an intimate dining setting, Blossom’s igloos are set up on their outdoor patio garden. Enjoy Korean dishes like udon, shrimp tempura and chicken katsu. For dessert, choose from eight different flavors of shaved iced (including sweet pumpkin, cheesecake and matcha).
The Blossom, Palisades Park, 320 Broad Avenue; 201-947-4588
El Tango Argentina Grill, Moonachie
Starting in early November, El Tango introduced igloo dining to its guests to provide a more comfortable and safe dining space. The igloos are set up on El Tango’s patio and will stay throughout the winter months. The menu ranges from seafood dishes (like paella, mango salmon and fried red snapper), pastas (including gnocchi and fettuccine with shrimp), and signature parrilladas (served with skirt steak and seafood). Finish your meal off with something sweet, like creamy flan, Argentine dulce de leche crepes, tiramisu and more.
El Tango Argentina Grill, 35 Moonachie Road, Moonachie; 201-440-0555