The Best Blankets for Outdoor Dining and Eating Outside at Restaurants

On September 30, New York City gave restaurants the go-ahead to serve customers indoors, joining a growing list of U.S. cities making such allowances as winter looms. But, despite the legality of indoor service, not every restaurant or diner will feel comfortable making the leap from restaurant patios and backyards to enclosed dining rooms — whether for ethical reasons or the stark realities of the coming cold.

It stands to reason that many of us will feel safer eating outside for as long as possible. As it gets colder, we will naturally need to prepare for dropping temperatures. Sure, we’ll all bring out winter coats as it becomes necessary, but eating dinner in a parka detracts from the air of convivial comfort we usually seek when going out to a restaurant. Enter: throw blankets.

It’s easy to imagine a world in which the priciest outdoor dining experiences include wool throws in the same way that restaurants used to offer matchbooks. But for everyday eating at most restaurants, it’s forward thinking to invest in a going-out throw of your own. I’m predicting it now: This fall and winter, a blanket draped casually over one’s shoulders or tucked underneath a restaurant napkin will become the most eye-catching aspects of our looks as we quickly eat skillfully prepared restaurant meals before wind chill renders them inedible. What I’m saying is, like it or not, the going-out throw is the G.O.T. of 2020.

Here are some options to get you on board.

Nazar Eye Blanket Wrap

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Superstitchous makes some beautiful blankets with food motifs, but for a restaurant outing, that might be overkill. Instead, opt for this striking blanket wrap, which has the added benefit of a smaller size that’s actually designed to be worn out and about.

Nordic Knots El Rey Wool Blanket

Prices taken at time of publishing.

As depicted in the product images on Brooklyn home design store Beam, this blanket looks best draped over one’s shoulders. I’d recommend wearing the red side down, at least for those of us who are prone to dropping food as it makes its way to our mouths.

Ezcaray Matisse Throw

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This mohair throw, from Spanish textile house Ezcaray, will require its own tote to bring to dinner, but there’s no way you’ll be too cold to sit outside. If this seems like too much blanket, you may want to consider Ezcaray’s more portable scarves.

West Elm Crinkle Throw

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This acrylic option from West Elm won’t look any worse for wear after being stuffed in a bag and carted to brunch. It’s on sale now, along with several other blankets that would also make for good outdoor dining accessories.

Oceas Outdoor Waterproof Blanket

Prices taken at time of publishing.

If weather — rain, wind, or morning dew — is a concern, it might be smart to have a waterproof stadium blanket like this one in your blanket rotation.

Vanessa knit throw blanket

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This one doesn’t ship out until January, but who’s to say we won’t still be bundled up on restaurant patios then?

Leave a Reply