A new year in Connecticut brings higher hopes—and lower temperatures. The spring, summer, and fall weather created more COVID-safe outdoor dining opportunities. However, with winter’s chilly weather, now, more than ever, we need to help our local restaurants stay afloat.

New dining experiences like GastroPark in West Hartford and Hartford’s Parkville Market offer safe, convenient ways to support local restaurants with takeout and (weather-dependent) outdoor dining.

Meanwhile, organizations including Eat in CT (an initiative of INGroup Creative), the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Lumi Agency, and weHartford are hard at work promoting restaurants and persuading diners to get takeout. Campaigns have included gift card incentives and experiential dining events like BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket), and Dinner & A Show.

We encourage you to think about the small businesses around you, reach out and share your small business story if you’re a local restaurant owner—and eat well.

Need suggestions? Here are a handful of local restaurants we’ve featured over the years:

BeanZ & Co., Avon

Berkins Blend and & Berkins on Oak, Glastonbury and Hartford

Craftbird, Hartford Region

Hartford Baking Company, Glastonbury and West Hartford

INI Sips, New Britain

Krust Pizza Bar, Middletown

Let’s Start from Scratch, Hartford Region

MonfunGo, Hartford

Nala’s Kitchen, West Hartford

New England Pasta Co., Avon

The Place 2 Be, Hartford

Peppercorn’s Grill, Hartford

Pokeworks, West Hartford

Rebel Dog Coffee, Farmington and Plainville

Rocking Horse Saloon, Hartford

Rush Bowls, Hartford

The Russian Lady, Hartford

Silk City Coffee, Manchester

Stella’s African Eatery, (formerly Stella’s and Mazie’s) Hartford

Story and Soil, Hartford

Sweet Equations, Farmington

The Tavern Downtown, Hartford

Photo: IDH Website Curator Nan Price gets a latte and scone to go from BeanZ & Co.