Whether you’re visiting New York for the holidays or you’re a NYC-dweller, there’s nothing like getting a little extra merry this holiday season. So here’s my ultimate list of the most festive holiday themed bars and pop-ups in New York City.
This past Friday, over the course of approximately 12 hours (yes, you read that correctly), I dragged my bestie all around Manhattan in matching Christmas sweaters to create the ultimate list of NYC holiday bars. From super festive to simply winter chic, from divey to luxe, here’s a list that covers all the best places to imbibe some holiday spirits.
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.
Serra Alpina by Birreria at Eataly
For the season, Birreria on the 14th Floor of Eataly has transformed into an Alps-inspired getaway, Serra Alpina. 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
Winter Room at The Viceroy Hotel
At the top of the Viceroy Hotel with views of Central Park, this luxe winter lounge serves up fondue, spiked hot chocolate and warm blankets.
Open daily 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. | 124 W. 57th St., 29th fl., New York, New York
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. We started the day with two glasses of prestige cuvée Bollinger R.D. 2004.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. | Bryant Park, New York, New York
Antarctica Expedition at Arlo NoMad Hotel
Did someone say heated ice huts serving drinks with NYC views? Arlo NoMad has transformed their gorgeous The Heights rooftop into a winter wonderland and its serving up some whiskey cocktails to keep you warm, like the Royd’s Toddy. It’s one of those only in New York types of experiences.
Open daily, 5:00 p.m. to midnight | 11 E. 31st Street, New York, New York
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
No list is complete without something a little ironic – like the most unholiday bar named the Holiday Cocktail Lounge. When you need a break from Santa and reindeer overload, swing by this East Village watering hole. Sure this place has some lights strung for the season, but it’s not trying to be festive. They do, however, serve up some delicious specialty cocktails.
Opens daily at 4:00 p.m. | 75 St. Mark’s Place, New York, New York
Miracle on 9th by Mace
Worldwide Christmas-themed pop-up bar (it has 80 locations!), Miracle, has four locations in New York City, but the original and best is still at Mace. Completely decked out in Christmas decor, this place is serving up Christmas cocktail dreams. The location at Mace is small, so get there early or be prepared to wait and try the Muletide or Run Run Rudolph.
Opens daily at 4:00 p.m. | 649 E. Ninth Street, New York, New York
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
Winter Chalet at Industry Kitchen
If you happen to be around the South Street Seaport, then you’ll have to check out this cozy holiday chalet. The food and drink menu have also been updated to match with their signature drinks being the Frozen Peppermint Slide, a giant shareable cocktail with Baileys, candy canes, peppermint bark and pretzel rods and a spiked hot chocolate with Nutella.
Open daily, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. | 70 South Street, New York, New York