Winter Time at Bryant Park: Outdoor Cafes

“I’d much rather hang out in a cafe. That’s where things are really happening.” ~ Joe Sacco

It is no secret how much I love Bryant Park. Now with their Winter Village in full swing, I not only love to go here and ice skate, but I also love to sit outside at the Southwest Porch amidst the hustle and bustle of the park observing and taking in all the people and festivities.


Now you might think what!? It is cold out! And I would have agreed with you until a few years ago.

Europe, especially France, is known for their outdoor cafes rain or shine. Winter or summer. Polar vortex or sweltering heat. When my aunt told me that, I thought she was crazy. I had heard about it, but I thought it was an urban legend, something that Hemingway did, not in todays day and age.


And yet, after a late night yoga class, when the October air was brisk breaching on chilly, we channeled our inner Parisians and ate outside. Despite the later hour, it was packed with patrons, many of whom requested to eat outside.


I admit I was prepared to freeze, but with the heaters strategically placed and turned on at the patrons request I was toasty. It was a whole new experience and one I have come to love ever since.

One of my favorite restaurants in the city, Cascabel Taqueria, has outdoor seating and will even provide blankets. People will sit there long into winter, warming up on the spirits, atmosphere and company.

That is why I love the Southwest Porch. It is nestled right in the heart of Manhattan offering an exquisite view of skyscrapers and nature. It also combines the new and old. With heated lamps to keep you toasty warm, and delicious (but be warned STRONG!) drinks, many of them hot, you can not go wrong with this cafe.


It is the perfect place to people watch, as you see the tourists and locals alike, walking amongst the shops that have a wide variety of goods many of them fair trade. You will see people strapping on their skates, and maybe even attempting a jump or two. Over all it is a place where people come together to enjoy the joie de vivre that is New York this time of year.

So if you are in the city, take a trip down to Bryant Park and embrace the cheer.

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