Normally around this time of the year, I’ll be traveling to New York City for New York Fashion Week, and visiting all of my favorite healthy NYC restaurants. The pandemic canceled my travel plans, but it doesn’t stop me from craving NYC food. I asked my friends Eva Chen, Elsa Hosk and Giza Lagarce who live in New York for the best places to order take-out and to dine in during Covid. Scroll down to check out top 8 outdoor dining restaurants in New York. For our L.A. friends, see our Los Angeles outdoor dining guide here.
1. Shabu Tatsu
A home-y Japanese style shabu-shabu and sukiyaki place in the East Village. Here you’ll have the most authentic sukiyaki and an out-of-the-world experience with your taste buds. Their sukiyaki wagyu beef is so tender that it melts in your mouth. Shiyaki (hot stone grill) is a must-try. The best part is the meal comes with free ice cream. Who can say no to that?
2. Dr. Clark
Located in Chinatown, this one-of-a-kind restaurant opened at the beginning of the pandemic with take-out and dine-in options (reservations required). This is a perfect spot if you are into live music, cozy ambiance and sleek, minimal interior designs. They are a restaurant with its own niche and specialize in Jingisukan which is marinated lamb vegetables prepared with skillet iron. Enjoy a laid back evening at their full bar or fun late night Karaoke session over stomach-warming food with friends and families.
Treat yourself to some beautifully prepared Italian cuisine at a romantic Mediterranean-inspired outdoor garden. The tables are distant by plants which makes it an intimate and safe dine-in experience during Covid. Everything on their menu from classic pasta to fresh seafood is exceptional and worth the hype. This is the place to go if you need another reason to dress up and get cute Instagram pictures.
This hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant Odo now takes reservation for outdoor dining with a curated menu prepared by Michelin starred chef. If that doesn’t say enough about the quality of the food, Yelp reviews will convince you that everything from the freshness of the sushi course to hospitality makes this restaurant a must-try. Here you’ll have a authentic, unique experience as the chefs will be there to explain every dish. It is a place to splurge or for taking your loved ones for a special occasion.
5. The Odeon
This classic New York diner is only offering delivery for their bar-and-grill style American food. A flavorful sandwich with steak fries make a perfect movie night at home. They also have amazing entrée options from their expansive menu like steak tartares and pan roasted salmon.
A family style Italian restaurant with a stunning courtyard where you can dine in safely. The Cacio e Pepe raviolis is superb but their garlic bread is what people are raging about. They also have gluten-free pasta, too. This is a perfect spot to bring friends, dates and families to have a great time. They get booked pretty up quickly so make sure you snag a spot in advance!
Their Mario’s meatballs will hit the right spot for your homemade Italian cravings and the spicy rigatoni vodka is outstanding with the rich and flavorful taste. They are on the pricer side but their top-rated pasta is worth every penny and they serve some amazing complimentary appetizers and rainbow cookies.
If you love trying out Michelin star restaurants, Aquvait is the right place for you. The ambiance is serene and relaxed. Their Scandinavian menu has some really exciting courses prepared in the most artful presentation. During the week, they also offer a $16 lunch of the day that you can take to picnic or simply enjoy a two-Michelin-star lunch box during break.