When the Covid-19 pandemic hit New York in March 2020, the thousands of restaurants that were part of the soul and personality of our city were the first to feel the economic hit.  Restaurant shut downs left us with nowhere to experience the cuisine and ambience that has made New York a Mecca for foodies all over the world.

When New York allowed outdoor dining as an option in the summer, we were all just happy to finally have access to our favorite meals and to be giving our neighborhood restaurants the business they needed to stay afloat.  But in true New Yorker fashion, there was something so much cooler waiting right around the corner.

Outdoor dining isn’t just for the summer and NYC restaurants were not about to let a little snow and freezing temperatures keep them down. All over the city, restaurants are creating a unique and fun way to turn the typical outdoor dining experience on its head. From local eateries to Five-Star establishments, diners are finding yurts, tents and even miniature glass houses that allow customers to sit in a private, heated space where their party can be socially distanced from other parties.

One example is the way that AmEx and Resy have come together to create The Outdoor Villages, with special access for AmEx cardholders.  Restaurants who have created indoor spaces in an outdoor setting and are participating in the this program include:

  •       Adda
  •       Altro Paradiso
  •       Anton’s
  •       ATLA
  •       Atoboy
  •       Balthazar 
  •       Charlie Bird
  •       Cote
  •       Da Toscano
  •       Dante
  •       Diner
  •       Don Angie
  •       The Dutch
  •       Franks Wine Bar
  •       Jing Fong*
  •       JoJo
  •       King
  •       Llama Inn
  •       Loring Place
  •       Lure Fishbar
  •       Nom Wah Tea Parlor
  •       Olmsted
  •       Porchlight 
  •       Raoul’s 
  •       Red Hook Tavern
  •       Shuka
  •       The Smile
  •       Sona 
  •       Sylvia’s 
  •       Via Carota
  •       Vinateria

Being an American Express cardholder is not the only way to enjoy this outdoor dining experience on the streets of New York City experience. Individual restaurants are proving these services on their own as well and can be found in all five boroughs. Other restaurants who are going the way of the yurt include:

  • Stone Street FiDi
  • Winter Garden and The Standard
  • City Vineyard at Pier 26
  • City Winery
  • Watermark Bar

This is such a different kind experience that may, possibly, be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  There’s no telling outdoor restaurant villages are here to stay or if they will become a distant memory as the pandemic hits our rearview mirrors. Checking some of these restaurants out will be memory-making and will also help local businesses. it’s a win-win for everybody!

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