Creative Winter Dining Last Updated: December 2021

Connecticut’s always been a top spot for great al fresco dining during the spring, summer and fall. Since the pandemic, restaurants have been innovating new ways to keep diners safe and warm for the colder months– and it's making for even cooler dining experiences.

Don’t miss this winter’s new, unique, and safe dining experiences — and the chance to support local businesses going the extra mile.  With all locations, be sure to call ahead as this special seating is limited.

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Covered & Heated Patios

To keep you safe and warm, many restaurants are adding heaters and even roofs to their outdoor setups. Enjoy handcrafted cuisine under the covered patio at Oak & Almond in Norwalk or at J Restaurant in Hartford, ring in the holiday season in one of the heated, roofless tents. Or, grab your blanket and sit out by one of our Christmas trees, street lamps, and fire pits.

Enjoy a warm and toasty covered patio at Rebel Dog Tavern in Plainville. After learning their customers' preferred outdoor dining during the pandemic, the restaurant began constructing a steel-supported roof frame which will include eight radiant patio heaters and even drop-down vinyl walls, which is now open year-round.

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Heated Tents

Right in the heart of historic downtown Mystic, relish sea-to-table dishes while staying safe and toasty in an outdoor heated tent at Oyster Club. In Old Greenwich, OG Social Club offers a tent, patio, and heaters to compliment American fare in a historically meaningful location. At Luce Middletown, treat your taste buds to traditional Italian cuisine under a heated tent and ambiance-setting string lights.

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In Stamford, the Sign of the Whale Restaurant offers rooftop igloos with couches and chairs for your comfort. Treat yourself and your friends or family to special menus. Dockside Brewery in Milford has a winter experience like no other. Explore ten individual custom igloo experiences at Dockside's very own igloo park. Located in the waterfront outdoor Biergarten. Each igloo even has its own fun theme!

During Foxwoods Resort Casino's Ice Rink and Winter Patio, you can take your group inside and rent an igloo accompanied by special menus.

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Heated Rooftop

Cava Restaurant in Southington, sip cocktails and eat delicious meals atop a heated rooftop. As Cava is known for its lavish decorations, your view will be as outstanding as your experience.

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Fire Pits, Fireplaces & Wine

Overlook a stunning 40 acre estate at Aquila’s Nest Vineyards in Newtown, you'll find a few ways to dine differently this winter. Heat up by a fire pit — and delicious warm mulled wine and a tasty selection of charcuterie, cheese, and cruditee boxes. Or reserve the "Forbidden Fireplace" themed after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, book the pergola seating with fire pits, or even sit in igloos!

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Takeout, Delivery & Curbside Pickup

This year, restaurants across the state have become innovative with their take-home offerings — many even offering DIY meal kits. Support local businesses by ordering from the many spots offering takeout, delivery, or curbside pickup.

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Gift Cards

Now more than ever, it's important to #SupportCTbusinesses. One way is to purchase a gift card now to redeem later — or even as a gift for a loved one. Check out gift cards from Connecticut's wonderful restaurants and help keep your favorites in business. Most spots allow for easy online purchases and some offer e-gift cards you can send directly to a gift recipient!