Outdoor dining provides safe, healthy way to eat out during COVID-19 pandemic

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Gordo's Restaurante Mexicano boasts a rooftop patio — the only one in Aggieville. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will be looking for outdoor dining. (Archive photo by Sarah Millard | Collegian Media Group)

Spring is rounding the corner with its warmer weather and folks are beginning to venture back outside after a year of being locked away because of the pandemic.

While vaccinations are underway and COVID-19 cases are dying down, it is still important to take precautions to avoid spreading the virus. Dining out might pose some risks, but there are ways to mitigate them — such as taking your meal outside.

Manhattan boasts quite a few restaurants and bars with outdoor options that come with great food and fun atmospheres. I’ve compiled a quick list of my favorite places to dine at where I feel safe, happy and well-fed.

Tallgrass Tap House

Enjoy creative drinks and tasty food on the rooftop of Tallgrass Tap House while staring at a beautiful view of Manhattan. Tap House is one of my favorite destinations for a nice night out because of its cozy rooftop patio that allows for social distancing in a nicely vented area.

In addition to being outside, you can also enjoy its craft brews and great food. This restaurant makes for a great date night with a fun, fluid and relaxed atmosphere. Tap House is also set perfectly in downtown Manhattan where you can enjoy walking around and window shopping afterward for a safe, socially distanced activity.

Gordo’s

If you’re looking for a bit more spice, some loud music and an exciting atmosphere, check out Gordo’s in Aggieville. This is the perfect place if you’re looking to let loose after a stressful week. Kick back and enjoy some cheesy enchiladas and a fruity margarita on the spacious rooftop patio. The patio overlooks the ‘Ville, so you can enjoy the streets without actually having to be in them.

Nico’s Little Italy

This new spot has a cute little sidewalk patio that boasts views of Aggieville and a menu full of delicious Italian food. Snack on bread and enjoy some wine while basking in the sunlight — or nightlife — at Nico’s Little Italy. Its robust menu includes all kinds of noodles and sauces, along with a fine selection of wine. The classic, laid-back ambiance is perfect for a date night, a girl’s night or just to get away from the noise of life.

Bluestem Bistro

Sitting in the heart of Aggieville is Bluestem Bistro, which has a patio section perfect for studying or mingling with friends. Enjoy some warm, fresh coffee and pastries, or order something a little more substantial off the menu to curb your cravings. Bluestem is the ideal place for afternoon meet-ups, study dates or a quick morning brunch. Its outdoor seating lets you get away without putting yourself at high risk for catching COVID-19.

Bluestem Bistro has a wonderful outdoor dining area with tables as well as a couch with colorful coushins. As the weather gets warmer more and more people will be looking for outdoor dining areas. (Sarah Millard)
Bluestem Bistro has a wonderful outdoor dining area with tables as well as a couch with colorful cushions. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will be looking for outdoor dining areas. (Archive photo by Sarah Millard | Collegian Media Group)
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Julie Freijat
Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.