The 10 Best Restaurants For Winter In New York

Central Park New York | © Mack Male/Flickr
Central Park New York | © Mack Male/Flickr
Photo of Bridget Kiley
9 February 2017

One of the surefire ways to know you’ve made it here in New York is if you’ve successfully managed to withstand our rather harsh winters. Luckily, the city is chock-full of cozy restaurants in which to take shelter. Here is our roundup of 10 restaurants where you can indulge in some heavy fare and shake off New York’s frosty temperatures.

© Buttermilk Channel

Buttermilk Channel

Restaurant, Cafe, North American, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$

A Brooklyn brunch staple, Buttermilk Channel offers a delectable menu that fuses traditional breakfast food with home-style cooking. This restaurant is known for marrying unexpected flavors like pecan pie with French toast and cheddar cheese with waffles. Come on an empty stomach to try other must-have menu items such as the duck meatloaf.

Café Katja

Cafe, Gastropub, Charcuterie, Restaurant, Austrian, European, German, Pub Grub, $$$
Café Katja has been coined as the place to stop in for ‘real’ German and Austrian fare. A small yet charming establishment, their menu is diverse and extensive. A few items that stand out are the beef goulash and wiener schnitzel. Some notable snacks and sides include the pretzel with jam and various spreads and the German-style potato salad. Branch out from your usual order of a burger and fries and feast on quark dumplings while sipping one of Café Katja’s selection of German drafts.

Heidi's House

Restaurant, Gastropub, Bar, American, Vegetarian, $$$
Heidi's House, New York
Heidi's House, New York | © Northern Spy Food and Co. Restaurant
The name says it all at Heidi’s House, where you feel as though you are walking into Heidi’s kitchen in this tiny Upper East Side restaurant. The menu is small and features rich, home-style cuisine in an intimate setting, akin to dining at a friend’s house. Try the creamy gnocchi, or if you are in the mood for something with a little more heat, the paella is phenomenal. The mac and cheese comes several different ways – original, bacon, chorizo, or lobster. Heidi’s place makes sure to use fresh and organic ingredients, additionally accommodating coeliacs.

Northern Spy Food Co.

Restaurant, American, $$$
Northern Spy Food Co., New York
Northern Spy Food Co., New York
If you’re wandering around vintage shops and thrift stores on the Lower East Side, be sure to pop in for lunch at Northern Spy Food Co. This quaint little spot serves up a hearty menu if you are in need of warmth and replenishing. Some go-to entrée choices are the corn beef and hash and the lamb burger with their famous duck fat fries – thickly cut pieces of potato, perfectly deep-fried and served with a spicy yogurt dipping sauce. Other popular sides include the buttermilk biscuits and sticky buns. Pair your meal with a signature Northern Spy cocktail such as the Northern Pommeau, Vermouth di Torino, ginger, lemon and cider.

Root & Bone

Restaurant, American, $$$

New York knows how to pack a lot of punch into small places. The same is true for Root & Bone, yet another Lower East Side gem. No one can resist their signature biscuits, especially not when they’re called ‘Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits’. Pair that with some drunken deviled eggs and you’ve got yourself the perfect snack on a blustery winter day. For dinner, indulge in the delicious eight-ounce steak with wild mushrooms and risotto. For brunch – and anyone who enjoys a little extra kick to their waffles – try Root & Bone’s waffles drizzled with whisky maple syrup. Then, get your dessert compartment primed and ready for Root & Bone’s selection of classic items, such as banana cream pie and toffee pudding.

Sugar Freak

Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, American, $$$
Have a hankering for soul food? Sugar Freak brings the best of cajun cooking to Queens. The menu is extensive and includes items rare to the Northeast such as oxtail, jambalaya and chicken-fried alligator, to name a few options on offer. To narrow things down, we recommend the blackened catfish, fried okra and the beer can chicken, washed down with one of the unique Louisiana beers on offer. Sugar Freak is more impressive than your average joint; the interior is fun and kitschy, complete with chandeliers and 1950s-era booths. With its eclectic decor and exceptional southern-style cooking, Sugar Freak is well worth a visit.

The Little Owl

Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
The Little Owl is a delightful one-stop shop for a hearty winter meal. This is partly due to Chef Rosie Bova’s invention of The Little Owl’s most famous menu item – gravy meatball sliders. They arrive drenched in The Little Owl’s special sauce, topped with melted Parmesan bread. Other indulgent options include the lobster corn soup and a local cheese plate. Or, go in for the crispy half chicken with brussels sprouts and home fries, which is an instant crowd pleaser. If you stop in for brunch, do yourself a favor and order the beignets with Nutella and jam.

The Place

Restaurant, American
With that quintessential West Village charm, The Place is situated on a quaint street in Lower Manhattan. A couple of unique entrees worth mentioning include the seafood chowder, sweet potato ravioli and the char-grilled vegetable filo pie. However, if you really want to get warmed up, it’s no secret that a stiff drink is the best cure. Try The Place’s dark chocolate martini and see if those frozen limbs reclaim a little life. Dessert is not to be overlooked here either – The Place serves up some very intriguing items to indulge in, from the triple chocolate filo pie to the spiced pumpkin bread pudding. With its cozy atmosphere, The Place is ideal for a romantic meal out.

The Writing Room

Restaurant, American, $$$
Situated along the East River, the neighborhood of Yorkville is home to many young families and professionals. Several notable bars and restaurants have popped up in the area over the last five years and The Writing Room is one of them. Best known for serving brunch and dinner, The Writing Room delivers incredible, home-style fare. Popular menu items are the fried chicken and waffles, rotisserie chicken and slow-roasted meatloaf, with endless complimentary dinner rolls serving as an added plus. Rest those freezing feet, peruse The Writing Room’s collection of books and dine on a truly enjoyable meal.

Totto Ramen

One of the best culinary defenses against brutal New York City Winters, Totto Ramen’s 52nd street and 9th avenue location is always bustling yet intimate. However, you may incur a shorter waiting time at the restaurant’s new spot on 51st street and 10th avenue. Totto Ramen serves up authentic Japanese noodle soup, made with the freshest ingredients and spices that are consistently balanced to perfection. The menu is small, but anything you choose will be utterly delicious. The miso ramen is a good place to start if you enjoy pork, or go for the paitan ramen if you are more of a chicken fan. Order the mega ramen if you are particularly hungry.

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