BOTTOMS UP: EMBRACE THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT AT THESE NYC BARS
Baby, it’s cold outside, which means the time is now to tuck into a cozy bar and get into the holiday spirit. We’ve rounded up six exquisite purveyors of cocktails and good times that take the holiday season to the next level. Whether you’re into sipping on traditional schnapps in an Alsatian wonderland, turned on by Tiki and tinsel, or prefer to get cozy with a date in a cabin in the woods, we’ve got you covered for over-indulgent holiday drinking without having to leave the island of Manhattan.
Rolf’s offers the quintessential holiday experience in New York, although their decorating starts around October and lasts until around May of the following year. Inside the Alsatian German restaurant and bar, Christmas décor is quite literally packed to the rafters. Thousands of twinkling lights, green garlands, glimmering ornaments and a disturbing display of creepy porcelain dolls hang from every surface of the ceiling, columns and walls. The excessive décor is paired with Rolf’s famous schnapps and German beer menu, as well as specialty holiday cocktails like mulled wine, spiked cider and a fantastic boozy egg nog. Be prepared to wait in a hefty line, or hold out until January when the crowd has died down.
281 Third Avenue, New York, NY, 10010; T. 212.477.4750
There’s nothing like visiting the historic Plaza Hotel after a wintry walk through Central Park. The Plaza’s legendary Champagne Bar has served up the finest champagne, caviar and wine since 1907, and is an elegant way to treat yourself to a glass of bubbly. The newly renovated bar is just across from the Fifth Avenue lobby entrance.
768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019; T. 212.759.3000
Mario Batali’s celebration of food turns its 14th floor rooftop into a sumptuous Italian Alps pop-up complete with pine trees, colorful garlands, twinkling lights and Northern Italy décor. Wooden walls and benches are kept warm with heat lamps and furry throws, and the menu turns seasonal with stick-to-your-ribs homemade pastas, classic servings of raclette, and a polenta bar. You can even rent your own rooftop lodge to entertain a large party, all in view of the Flatiron Building through Baita’s clear glass roof.
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010; T. 212.937.8910
A sprawling West Village fixture since 1984, Gotham has an extensive wine list as well as champagne and sparkling wine available by the glass, half bottle, bottle and even magnum, for those last minute celebrations on the larger size.
12 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003; T. 212.620.4020
A rustic cabin like no other, The Lodge at Gallow Green can be found on top of the McKittrick Hotel, the five-story pseudo hotel in Chelsea and home of Sleep No More. Opening in early December, The Lodge feels like stepping into an eerie ski chalet circa 1930. Dark and looming, the dramatic cocktail lounge is as cinematic as the immersive production for which it is known with the addition of craft cocktails best enjoyed amidst the cozy rooms of the cabin. Grab a date and sit on the bunk beds in the bedroom, or bring a group to the living room and settle into the couches around the fire.
542 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001; T. 212.564.1662
Known for its impeccable service and classic menu, this West Village fixture gets into the swing of things over the holiday period with chic Christmas decorations that perfectly compliment the space’s trademark romantic setting. Perch on a stool at the bar or settle into the leather arm chairs by the fire whilst you sip on a glass of champagne.
17 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014; T. 212.255.8649
Words by Lori Zimmer