There’s nothing quite like the holidays in New York City! Whether you’re a NYC native or coming for a visit to take in all the wonder that is this beautiful city during the holiday season, there’s no better way to keep things merry and bright than stopping into one of many holiday themed bars for a festive cocktail or two.
Last year, SDP and I celebrated the holiday season (and another year of friendship) with an all-day holiday besties bar crawl. Circumstances are slightly different this year with baby arriving any minute, but that hasn’t stopped me from taking note of a few newcomers to try out this holiday season and perhaps for my first festive foray out after baby’s arrival.
So here’s an updated list of holiday bars for 2019!
Any legitimate list must begin or end with Rolf’s. This mecca of holidayness is known for it’s completely over-the-top decor. I mean…every square inch of this place is literally covered in decorations and yes, it totally lives up to the hype. If you aren’t lucky enough to snag a reservation or just want to stop in for a drink, be prepared to wait (at all times of the day) and to get cozy with other patrons (we were literally standing shoulder to shoulder). Once you elbow your way to the bar, try the Warm Spiced Mulled Wine (Gluhwein) or a Spiked Warm Apple Cider. Open 12:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week | 281 Third Avenue, New York, New York.
2. Serra by Birreria at Eataly
For the season, Eataly has brought back Serra by Birreria on the 14th Floor of Eataly, which transforms the rooftop into an Alps-inspired getaway. Highlights include raclette and Amaro cocktails, as well as white and red mulled wines, but the real reason to go is the dreamy ambiance. Open daily, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. | 200 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York.
3. The Lodge at Bryant Park
Experiencing NYC during the holidays would be incomplete without a visit to Bryant Park for the rink, market and now The Lodge, which houses multiple eateries and bars, including a Bollinger Champagne bar. Last year, we started the day with two glasses of prestige cuvée Bollinger R.D. 2004 mainly because it opened earliest for us to begin our libations! Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. | Bryant Park, New York, New York.
4. Sippin’ Santa at Boilermaker
This Tiki Christmas Pop-Up Bar is what holiday dreams are made of – themed, festive and serving up super fun tropical, holiday drinks. Be prepared to wait on a relatively short line. Once you’re in, try the Kris Kringle Colada or the Sippin Santa. I heard their wings are delish too. Opens at 5:00 p.m. during the week and at noon on weekends | 13 First Avenue, New York, New York.
5. Miracle on 9th by Mace
Worldwide Christmas-themed pop-up bar (it has over 100 international locations!), Miracle, has five New York locations this year (up from four), but the original and best is still at Mace. Completely decked out in Christmas decor, this little place is serving up Christmas cocktail dreams. The location at Mace is small, so get there early or be prepared to wait (and wait some more) and try the Muletide or Run Run Rudolph. Opens daily at 4:00 p.m. | 649 E. Ninth Street, New York, New York.
7. Tacky Winter Takeover by The Late Late
Who doesn’t love a throwback to ’80’s Christmas tack with metallic garland, tinsel and tchotchkes served with a serious seasonal cocktails menu. Try the Red Ryder or the Oh, F…udge! Opens at 4:00 p.m. during the week and on Sunday, and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays | 159 E. Houston Street, New York, New York.
If you’re looking for the perfect pink instagram wonderland for your holiday themed feed, head over to the second floor of the hotel to Moxy’s Pink Holiday Pop-Up, which will be around to the new year. Open 9:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m. daily | 485 7th Avenue, New York, New York.
8. Cliquot Chalet at Mr. Purple (NEW)
Perhaps the newcomer I’m most excited about is the Cliquot Chalet at Mr. Purple. Imagine, sipping Veuve Clicquot in an exclusive ski lodge for an après ski/NYC skyline themed experience. Yes, let all of your luxe ski vacation dreams come true. Opens November 20, 2019, weekdays after 4:00 p.m. and weekends after 11:00 a.m. | 180 Orchard Street.
The midtown location has already transformed into a whimsical winter wonderland. Sparkling lights and a festive cocktail menu are not to be missed in this gorgeous space. Open daily after 5:00 p.m. | 210 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019.
10. Nomad Holiday Spectacular (NEW)
Every Sunday, from November 24th (today) until December 22nd, The NoMad Bar will be hosting their Holiday Spectacular cocktail pop-up with a custom menu of holiday-inspired drinks. It’s the sexy, mature way to do holiday drinks. Every Sunday from from 5PM-12AM, November 24-December 22nd, 2019 | 10 W 28th Street.