About a month ago, we highlighted a handful of restaurants embracing igloos for outdoor dining during winter months. It was such a popular topic that we decided to cover inventive (and warm) outdoor dining setups around the state for the rest of the season, just as we did with takeout options at the start of the pandemic.
Whether you’re a chef or restaurateur, or simply want to make sure your local favorite gets some love, we want to hear from you. Please send your tips about fun, warm and safe outdoor dining options to contributor Maggie Leenas ([email protected]) and Table Hopping editor Shelby Vittek ([email protected]).
We’ll be updating this alphaetical list, weekly, for the foreseeable future.
AC Hotel, Bridgewater
This European-inspired hotel has transformed its patio into a space for guests to enjoy drinks and delicious plates outside. Two igloos are available until March 2021 with a warm ambience and faux fur blankets to make it feel like a real ski lodge. Up to seven guests of the same party can enjoy the cozy escape and reservations are available between 4–10 pm. Email [email protected] to reserve your igloo.
AC Hotel, 600 Somerset Boulevard, Bridgewater; 908-595-9100
Ani Ramen, Several Locations
Hopping on the outdoor greenhouses trend is Ani Ramen in Maplewood, who are transforming their outdoor space into a beautiful patio of personalized boxes. Each greenhouse has their own heater with private tables that are perfect for a night out. Ani’s creative ramen bowls are sure to keep you warm during the cold winter months. The outdoor seating is also available at their Summit, Jersey City and Cranford locations. Ani Ramen
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
B2 Bistro + Bar, Point Pleasant Beach
This rustic bistro has recently added igloo dining to their outdoor seating. Available Tuesday and Friday nights, and all day Saturdays and Sundays, the dining bubbles seat four and are sanitized between each party. Enjoy a heated personal space and choose from selections of soup, fresh seafood, wood-fired pizza, and classic meat dishes (grilled ribeye, truffle chicken and filet mignon). Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday, with a brunch cocktail menu including three different kinds of Mimosas: peach and orange blossom, grapefruit and rose, and classic orange juice. Call to make a reservation.
B2 Bistro + Bar, 709 Arnold Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach; 732-295-0709
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
Another creative outdoor set-up can be found at this Mediterranean grill. Individualized seating is arranged underneath large igloo bubbles with tables and chairs sitting atop wooden platforms, creating a dining experience like no other. Choose from an array of dishes, including pastas, pizza, burgers and salads. Heaters are set up inside so you can eat rain or shine with friends and family.
Calandra’s, 118 U.S. Highway 46 East, Fairfield; 973-575-6500
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
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
Focacceria Ristorante, Basking Ridge
Focacceria Ristorante has morphed their outdoor patio into a beautiful winter seating arrangement. The tent that covers the entire patio is full of heaters and fire pits so you can enjoy a warm night out this winter. Homemade focaccia bread is made every morning as well as fresh pastas and desserts, with a catalog of classic Italian dishes. Reserve your outdoor seating arrangements online.
Focacceria Ristorante, 26 Church Street, Basking Ridge; 908-604-2440
GameTime Bar & Grill, Freehold
You’ll be able to enjoy iPlayAmerica’s bar and grill with their addition of outdoor dining igloos! Two hour reservations can be made for four to eight guests on Thursday and Friday. For a special New Year’s Eve event, you can rent your igloo from 6 pm–close and ring in the New Year at GameTime. Their Christmas-themed Miracle pop-up bar will run through January 31, with cocktails like the Fruitcake Flip (brandy and Jamaican rum) and a Snowball old-fashioned (made with rye whiskey and gingerbread). Call to book your igloo with a rental fee ranging from $25-$50.
GameTime Bar & Grill, 110 Schanck Road, Freehold; 732-577-5545
The Hamilton Inn, Jersey City
With a more creative approach to outdoor dining, the Hamilton Inn has turned their outdoor area into CAMP Hamilton. Complete with individual cabins and outdoor heating lamps, each space has its own table and curtains for privacy. You can order on the patio from the RV that is stationed on the patio to add to the camping atmosphere. Sip on hot cocktails like Irish Coffee and the Bonita Apple Bum (with bourbon, apple cider and cinnamon-sugar rum) while keeping warm in your own personal cabin.
The Hamilton Inn, 708 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City; 201-354-1182
Il Tavolo di’ Palmisano, Hoboken
Just like many other places in New Jersey, this authentic Italian restaurant has added igloos to their outdoor dining patio. You’ll be able to stay warm throughout your meal with the addition of heaters, and each igloo is disinfected with an industrial fogger to ensure the safety of guests. Their weekly specials menu rotates between an assortment of delicious dishes, including stuffed rigatoni in vodka sauce with veal and chicken, and shrimp scampi over risotto.
Il Tavolo di’ Palmisano, 700 Clinton Street, Hoboken; 201-345-5980
Ironbound Farm, Asbury
This central Jersey farm is embracing the outdoors this winter with a revision of their Cider Garden. Outdoor Table Zones include the fire pit area (complete with chairs and small tables), the woodshed (a covered shed near their open-fire grills), and the lawn (tables with a view of the whole farm). Some spaces are heated and some aren’t, so make sure to dress in layers when enjoying a delicious hard cider at Ironbound. Open Saturdays and Sundays from noon–5 pm, weather permitting.
Ironbound Farm, 360 County Road 579, Asbury; 908-940-4115
It’s Greek to Me, Ridgewood
Straying away from the outdoor bubble trend, this North Jersey restaurant has created a new solution to the cold weather. It’s Greek to Me has launched their greenhouse dining option, with eight greenhouses on the sidewalks of Ridgewood. The heated outdoor boxes allow guests to enjoy authentic Greek dishes (including stuffed grape leaves and spanakopita) with a bit more space than an outdoor igloo, and they are disinfected after every use.
It’s Greek to Me, 21 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood; 201-612-2600
Kitchen Step, Jersey City
This modern-American bistro is making outdoor dining a memorable experience with their new greenhouses. Lined down Jersey Avenue, each greenhouse seats small parties and is decorated with beautiful hanging lights and lit candles for a memorable dining experience. Finish the night off with one of their new winter cocktails, including the Polar Plunge (vodka, lime and brut sparkling wine) and the Cold Toddy (tequila, toasted honey, lemon, ancho ice and nutmeg). Reserve your greenhouse online or over the phone.
Kitchen Step, 500 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City; 201-721-6115
Latham House, Jersey City
This Jersey City spot is embracing the “hunting lodge” look, with wooden tables, metal chairs, and a beautiful wooden overhead piece to make the outdoor patio have an indoor feel. Heat lamps are placed next to tables on the patio to ensure warmth to every guest, as well as rustic plants to create a cozy atmosphere. Their weekly menus rotate to ensure a delicious new surprise every week.
Latham House, 299 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City; 201-479-8432
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
Northern Soul Kitchen & Bar, Hoboken
Northern Soul has created their own version of small enclosures, naming them “Soul Shacks.” Each one has its own infrared heating, LED lights and bluetooth speakers to make the night more fun. This neighborhood staple is determined to make this winter the best yet and is looking forward to some snow this year. Enjoy a night out with friends and sip on some of their delicious drinks, including a warm hibiscus cocktail. (Check out other restaurants with warm cocktails here.)
Northern Soul Kitchen & Bar, 700 1st Street, Hoboken; 201-217-8784
The Stirling Hotel, Stirling
Garden igloos are now available at the Stirling Hotel. With a maximum of eight guests, you can indulge into an evening full of good food, friends, and delicious drinks. Stay warm with the hotel’s hot cocktails, including a hot buttered rum, as well as creative classics like the spiced ginger cranberry margarita and pomegranate sangria. Reservations can be made Tuesday-Sunday from noon–9 pm (last reservation at 8 pm).
The Stirling Hotel, 227 Main Avenue, Stirling; 908-647-6919
Town Bar + Kitchen, Morristown
The New Year has brought a new dining experience to Town Bar in Morristown. What they are calling “The Pods” are individual igloo tents for guests to stay warm during the winter months of dining outside. Each pod has a maximum of six guests with individual heaters, and time limit of 90 minutes. Pods are completely sanitized between each seating and aired out for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy a meal out with a weekly specials menu and delicious plates and cocktails. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling Town.
Town Bar + Kitchen, 80 Elm Street, Morristown; 973-889-8696
Unionville Vineyard, Ringoes
It’s always a good day for wine. Enjoy the outdoor space at Unionville Vineyard, offering beautiful fireplaces for up to six people. In exchange for the use of a fire pit, a case of wine is required to be purchased—that’s 12 bottles for you and your group to split. The staff will wait on you all day, opening bottles and tending to the fire. Wine tastings are also available throughout the week in Unionville’s tasting room for up to four guests. You can book a tasting (Friday–Mondays) or a fireplace online, or call Manager Tiffany Baldino for more information.
Unionville Vineyard, 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes; 908-788-0400
Washington House, Basking Ridge
Al fresco dining is something Washington House is embracing, as they are only doing outdoor dining for the foreseeable future. Their outdoor tent features long wooden tables and twinkling string lights, with plenty of space for social distancing. Live entertainment under the tent is performed nightly with menu specials changing every week—ranging from dishes like cauliflower bisque to shrimp with cavatelli. Call to reserve your spot as reservations are highly recommended for lunch and dinner.
Washington House, 55 S. Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge; 908-766-7610