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 alphabetical list, weekly, for the foreseeable future.
5 West Pub, Cape May
This popular South Jersey pub is offering dining options on their outdoor patio area. With tables spread six feet apart, large heaters are placed around the patio to ensure warmth during your delicious meal. Live music is performed every week on the patio, so you can enjoy dishes like crab nachos and brick oven pizza with a show. Don’t miss out on 5 West’s Happy Hour specials, including deals like half-priced appetizers, $4 mimosas, and a pizza and pitcher of beer for just $15.
5 West Pub, 3729 Bayshore Road, North Cape May; 609-889-7000
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.
It’s BYO at this small Italian restaurant, and you can enjoy the drink of your choice under their heated dining tent. Set up in the back of the restaurant, the tented patio has more than enough heaters to keep you warm during your meal. The menu includes classic Italian cuisine, such as calamari fritti (served with spicy tomato sauce), cacio e pepe, and wood-fired pizza. Top off your night with a warm espresso drink and delicious sweet from their dessert menu. Open Tuesday–Sunday at 1 pm; closed Mondays. Reservations can be made online.
Apulia, 1319 Washington Street, Hoboken; 201-683-3923
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, North Brunswick
New igloos and outdoor fire tables are available at this bistro. Sit outside with up to five guests surrounding a warm fire, with heaters scattered on the outdoor patio as well. The igloo bubbles sit underneath twinkling lights and are available for when you walk-in or by reservation. With a menu ranging from sushi (sashimi and favorite rolls), wood-fired pizza (like Margherita and Buffalo chicken), and the raw bar (clams, oysters, lobsterand more), B2 Bistro + Bar has something for everyone’s tastes.
B2 Bistro + Bar, 230 Washington Place, North Brunswick; 732-297-3803
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
Bloomfield Steakhouse, Bloomfield
This steakhouse is embracing outdoor dining by adding 15 heated igloos to their patio space, each one seating two-to-three people. For bigger parties, there are also four heated tents that seat up to eight people. Four large fire pits also surround the patio with plenty of seating to enjoy the warmth. All set under twinkling lights, Bloomfield Steakhouse’s outdoor dining will be a wonderful (and warm!) dining experience for all guests.
Bloomfield Steakhouse, 409 Franklin Street, Bloomfield; 973-680-4500
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
Carlucci’s Waterfront Grill, Mount Laurel
Classic Italian food is just what you’ll get at Carlucci’s, and you’ll be able to stay warm on their outdoor patio during your meal. Just like many other restaurants last year, the team at Carlucci’s had to adjust their dining to make sure it was safe for all guests, leading them to placing a large tent over their patio and adding in heat lamps and beautiful twinkling lights. With transparent sides in the tent, guests are still able to enjoy the beautiful view of the Rancocas Creek that Carlucci’s has to offer. Reservations for the tent can be made online.
Carlucci’s Waterfront Grill, 876 Centerton Road, Mount Laurel; 856-235-5737
Culinary Creations Eatery, Hillsborough
This cafe hopped on the outdoor igloo trend by adding four of them to their outdoor patio. Each igloo is set upon a carpeted riser, with heaters to keep you warm throughout your meal. Six people can fit into each one, with smaller two-to-four person igloos coming in the next few weeks. Chef tastings will be brought to the Culinary Creations menu in the future, and the igloos are available for reservation. Check out their rotating specials menu that includes dishes like lemon ricotta berry cheesecake French toast, breakfast tacos (with shrimp, sliced steak and scrambled eggs), and smoked turkey and bacon hash.
Culinary Creations Eatery, 434 US Highway 206, Hillsborough; 908-281-3894
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
Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone
Though Gladstone Tavern is known for its beautiful indoor fireplace, their heated terrace will keep you just as warm. The tavern’s inviting presence and beautiful structure includes a delicious menu as well, with items like maple braised pork shank (served with Brussels sprouts and bacon whipped potatoes) and a grilled shrimp and grapefruit salad (paired with a chili vinaigrette). Enjoy live music and house made cocktails during their newly adjusted hours: Tuesday-Sunday 5–8 pm (dinner); and Friday and Saturday noon–3 pm (lunch).
Gladstone Tavern, 273 Main Street, Gladstone; 908-234-9055
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
Origin Thai & French Restaurant, Somerville
This family-owned restaurant added large tents to their outdoor dining space to keep its guests warm from fall into winter. With more than five heat lamps set up inside the tent, you’ll be sure to stay warm while enjoying authentic Thai and French cuisine. Menu items include specials like Pad Thai (made with bean curd and peanut) and golden curry puffs (filled with ground chicken curry and herb and cucumber relish). Open daily.
Origin Thai & French, 25 Division Street, Somerville; 908-685-1344
Ott’s Tavern, Sewell
An extra large heated tent has been added to the parking lot at Ott’s, creating a friendly outdoor environment for guests to enjoy. The large tent is heated with plenty of tables spaced six feet apart. Choose from bar food like the loaded Ott’s Tots (topped with bacon and cheddar jack cheese), sandwiches including the sliced pork Italia (with roasted red peppers and provolone), and plenty of beer and cocktail deals. Open daily from 11 am-11 pm.
Ott’s Tavern, 340 Greentree Road, Sewell; 856-589-1776
The Pour House, Westmont
This casual pub is featuring multiple fire pits and a heated tent for guests to enjoy in the winter months. Known for its extensive beer list, available items range from ciders like the sparkling pomegranate and açaí from Willie’s Superbrew, IPAs like Powder Daze from Tonewood Brewery, and pilsners like the Mothers Helper from 7 Mile Brewery. The Pour House’s classic pub food will pair nicely with a cold, draft beer, even in the cold weather.
The Pour House, 124 Haddon Avenue, Westmont; 856-869-4600
Proving Ground, Highlands
Named after Sandy Hook’s historical proving grounds, this waterfront restaurant has continued to embrace outdoor dining at the Jersey Shore. Proving Ground has added outdoor fire pit tables to their patio, keeping a consistent warmth for everyone seated outside. Their menu is packed with shareable plates (like cheesesteak spring rolls), handhelds (including the Cajun mahi sandwich), and brunch favorites (like stuffed French toast). With lights overhead and a beautiful view of the water, sitting outside will have you longing for those warm summer days.
Proving Ground, 56 Shrewsbury Avenue, Highlands; 732-872-2266
Publick House, Mountainside
With a menu changing daily, this modern gastropub is constantly showcasing new and fresh dishes, and they now offer a beautiful outdoor dining set-up. Publick House has transformed its parking lot into a warm and inviting environment by setting up a large tent, filled with plenty of heaters and charming lights. With 14 craft beers on tap, an extensive wine list, and seasonal cocktails, a night out at Publick House will feel like a normal experience in an unusual time.
Publick House, 899 Mountain Avenue, Mountainside; 908-233-2355
Saddle River Inn, Saddle River
Enjoy fine dining at this beautiful barn that dates to 1981. Aside from indoor dining, the Saddle River Inn has added a heated outdoor tent for guests to dine in through the cold winter months. Their patio is complete with fire pits and a beautiful view of the Saddle River, so you can indulge in chef Jamie Knott’s stellar dishes. Enjoy menu items like Long Island duck (served with lo mein, bok choy and crispy rice), the Maribar (filet mignon with roast shallot mash), and housemade cavatelli bolognese.
Saddle River Inn, 2 Barnstable Court, Saddle River; 201-825-4016
Sapori Trattoria, Collingswood
This Italian restaurant is continuing to serve their traditional dishes through the winter season. Their heated outdoor patio is covered by a wooden overhead piece with plenty of space for social distancing. Chef Franco Lombardo’s classic Italian dishes include tortellini alla boscaiola, fettuccine al porcini, and fresh cannolis and tartufi. Sapori is BYO and encourages its guests to also bring their own blanket to keep warm during their meal.
Sapori Trattoria, 601 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood; 856-858-2288
Sorriso Kitchen, Chatham
Guests at Sorriso can practice social distancing safely while enjoying a delicious meal. Outdoor patio seating includes heaters near each table to keep you warm during your lunches and brunches. Creative breakfast items on the menu include cinnamon roll pancakes, Sorriso breakfast sandwich (crispy prosciutto, arugula, eggs, and red pepper aioli on sourdough), and breakfast cookies (made with whole wheat flours, rolled oats, walnuts and chocolate chips). Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9 am-3 pm.
Sorriso Kitchen, 252 Main Street, Chatham; 973-229-9443
Stern and Bow, Closter
Open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday, Stern and Bow has added a heated tent and multiple fire pits to their outdoor dining section. This casual American eatery doesn’t just have delicious dinners options like seafood, pizza and pasta, they also serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Stern and Bow serves breakfast favorites like fried chicken and waffles (served with hot jalapeño-maple syrup), steak and eggs, and pancakes topped with a maple-caramel syrup. Reservations can be made online.
Stern and Bow, 171 Schraalenburgh Road, Closter; 201-750-3350
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
Verna’s Flight Line Restaurant, Millville
Family-owned and located at the Millville Airport, this restaurant has embraced outdoor dining with their heated pavilion. Decorated with twinkling lights and a view of planes taking off and landing, outdoor dining at Verna’s is more than memorable. Specials are rotated daily, and some of them have included dishes like bacon wrapped shrimp in sweet pineapple chili sauce, soup filled bread bowls, and chipped beef gravy.
Verna’s Flight Line Restaurant, 302 Beacon Street; 856-825-3200
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