NYC Restaurants With Living Walls & Greenery

When the world is a hazy shade of winter, the instant cure is found in "living walls"

After the last strand of holiday lights gets put away for the year, there comes the realization that winter will be here for a very, very long time. In New York, that means constant slush, gray skies and mighty winds that greet you every morning with an icy slap to the face. When fleeing to the tropics isn't in the cards, the next best thing is finding somewhere that makes you forget about the situation outside. 

Those places? Restaurants with plenty of plants and living walls of greenery—basically, any reminder there's life beyond the barren wasteland of winter. From coffee shops to bars, these destinations offer a mini escape whenever you need one.

House of Small Wonder A post shared by House of Small Wonder (@houseofsmallwonder) on Dec 31, 2016 at 7:26am PST

If you've ever tried unsuccessfully to keep a houseplant alive, this Williamsburg restaurant lets you live out your green thumb aspirations without the commitment and subsequent disappointment. It's filled with potted (and hanging) plants, reminiscent of a greenhouse.

Sweet Polly 

The best seat in this cozy Park Slope cocktail bar is next to the 53-square-foot vertical garden. But if you can't snag one of the three spots closest to this feature, a nearby table will still give you a view.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Hotel lobby bars are always a fun hang, letting you feel as if you're on vacation. Here, you can lounge on a sofa with a great view of the wall-size vertical garden. 

Devocion A post shared by هان (@limit_hye) on Dec 25, 2017 at 1:47pm PST

The Williamsburg location of the Colombian coffee roastery has a vintage-industrial feel made more inviting by a vertical garden, featuring leafy plants in differing shades of green.

Colonie A post shared by Colonie (@colonienyc) on May 29, 2017 at 8:12am PDT

You'll find a small vertical garden wall, which contrasts the cozy wood tones within the interior, at the transition between the bar area and dining room of this Brooklyn Heights restaurant.

Toro NYC  A post shared by TORO (@toro_nyc) on Nov 13, 2017 at 12:47pm PST

Though the 18-foot windows at this West Chelsea tapas spot will give you views of wintry NYC, the ivy wall by the plancha bar is a far better focal point this time of year. The best view is found in Toro's private event room, where you can dine under a large wisteria tree. If you can find a reason to celebrate, go here.

Cafe Hugo at Hotel Hugo Soho A post shared by Hotel Hugo SoHo (@hotelhugosoho) on Oct 28, 2016 at 3:21pm PDT

In the summer, the rooftop at this hotel is the place to be. But in the winter, go to Cafe Hugo, where you can view the dramatic garden wall of the private dining room through huge glass windows.


The Greenwich Village vegetarian restaurant may not have the most dramatic plant feature, but the small selection of potted greenery (along with the fresh plant-based food) is enough to boost your spirits. 


A petite succulent wall is an unexpected find among the sleek, dark decor within the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Tribeca—not to mention the indoor farm that lies in the basement. 

The Pool 

The drink menu isn't the only reason to visit The Pool. On your way into the restaurant, you'll pass an impressive vertical garden by artist Paula Hayes. 

The Garden A post shared by Four Seasons Hotel New York (@fsnewyork) on Apr 22, 2017 at 10:22am PDT

Or walk a few blocks north to the current Four Seasons and go straight to The Garden, where you can dine under a canopy of trees indoors.

Brie Dyas is a contributing writer for Tasting Table and an avid collector of your grandmother's fine china. You can find her occasionally sharing photos on Instagram at @briedyas.