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The Chumley’s bar with Christmas decorations Nick Solares/Chumley’s [Official Photo]

23 NYC Restaurants and Pop-Up Bars Decked Out for the Holidays

Where to go in NYC for some extra-festive food and drink

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The holiday season in New York City brings seriously festive ambiance in restaurants and bars that go delightfully all-out with the holiday decor. From elegant, impeccably dressed trees and wreaths to intentionally kitschy, tinsel explosions of holiday spirit, here’s a range of bars and restaurants that have top-notch seasonal decorations around NYC.

Some of these establishments serve worthwhile food, but all of them are at least solid places to enjoy a celebratory cocktail or two. Ahead, 23 stops for some extra-festive food or drink this season.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2013.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

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Astoria’s German-leaning Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden isn’t just a solid bet for summertime drinks in a spacious setting. In wintertime, there are decked-out Christmas trees, with a lighting ceremony on December 6 for the 25-foot-tall one in the garden. There’s also a 10-foot Santa sled and festive lighting.

Tavern On the Green

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This classic tourist stop in Central Park is an excellent place to stop for a drink. For the holiday season, the bar room is full of greenery, a Christmas tree, lights, and frequent live jazz. Try a spiced cider or other festive cocktail to warm up after exploring the park, and be sure to head to the courtyard for a photo opp with the towering tree.

PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown

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For those looking to get into the seasonal spirit but with secular decorations, head to the PHD Terrace rooftop, where decorations are more winter-themed. There’s a ceiling full of twinkle lights, white and gold flowers everywhere, and tons of greenery. Seasonal drinks include a peppermint mojito and a Goldtini with almond milk, coconut Ciroc, creme de cacao, amaretto, and a gold glitter rim.

A window-wrapped bar decorated with twinkle lights on the ceiling Michael Kleinberg/PHD Terrace [Official Photo]

City Winery Pop-up at Rockefeller Center

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City Winery is popping up on Rockefeller Plaza while it builds its new Pier 57 location, and it’s added clear heated igloos for the holidays. They have views of the big tree, skating rink, and Radio City Music Hall, and it can be booked in advance at rockcenter@citywinery.com. Mulled wine, spiked cider, charcuterie and cheese, and more are available.

Igloo-enclosed bars on Rockefeller Plaza City Winery [Official Photo]

Ophelia Lounge NYC

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This swanky Beekman Place cocktail lounge is perched on the 26th floor in Midtown East, making for sweeping views of the East River and beyond. During the holiday season, the distinctive space is done up with a “snow globe in the sky” themed decor. That translates to glimmering garlands featuring thousands of crystals, sparkly snowflakes hung from the tall ceilings, and gilded candelabras, with white sheepskin throws draped over the furniture.

Moxy NYC Times Square

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Some of the Moxy hotels in NYC — Times Square, East Village, Chelsea — have transformed into a pink fantasy of the holidays, down to pink hot chocolate. Locations feature hot pink twinkle lights, overwhelming pink lighting, pink flowers, pink furniture, and pink Christmas decorations. That aforementioned hot chocolate is made with white chocolate, vanilla vodka, and edible pink glitter.

Hot white chocolate that’s been dyed pink Moxy [Official Photo]

Keens Steakhouse

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Holiday wreaths and ribbons, plus a tree, only add to the charm of this Midtown steakhouse relic, which all-year-round has warm, dark-wooded environs. Head here for a serious steak, or a stiff drink with a friend.

The NoMad

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The Library at the trendy Nomad hotel has a top-notch Christmas tree during the holidays: It’s quite tall, generously bedecked in lights, and trimmed with red and metallic ornaments. Garland-wrapped mezzanine railings complete the festive picture in the space for drinks and snacks. Plus, on Sundays through December 22, the NoMad Bar transforms into a “Holiday Spectacular” with holiday-inspired drinks like a boozy hot chocolate, milk punch with spices, and the Santa’s Little Helpers with vodka, sherry, passionfruit, vanilla, and lime.

Serra Alpina at Eataly

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Eataly’s rooftop restaurant Serra always changes with the seasons, and its winter version is decked out with trees, fake snow, and a cabin feel. It’s especially nice to go on a snowy day, as the rooftop is glass. The menu includes hearty dishes such as osso buco; saffron risotto; and fondue with fingerling potatoes, bread, and root vegetables. There are also warm and cold coffee cocktails, including the Truffletini with white truffle-infused vodka.

Rolf's German Restaurant

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If seeking truly extreme Christmas decorations, head to this kitschy, over-the-top Third Avenue German restaurant. Rolf’s is a sight to behold during the month of December, though the decorations are up year-round. A word of warning: If going after 8 p.m., this place might feel like a sorority mixer.

Old Town Bar

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Old Town doesn't go overboard with the Christmas decorations, but the holiday spirit is definitely alive at the bar. This is one of New York's great, old taverns, dating back to 1892, and a very reliable Union Square go-to for low-key drinks, a simple burger, and a handsome mahogany bar. It's big, too, so there shouldn't be too much trouble finding a seat.

Rosemary’s Enoteca & Trattoria

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You can see the massive Christmas tree that sits atop Rosemary's from three blocks away. The dining room at the charming West Village Italian spot also has some tasteful holiday lighting; another, smaller tree packed with gold ornaments, lights, and red bows; garlands on the ceiling; and wreaths adorning the brick walls and the garland-strung staircase to the second floor. Rosemary's is also still one of the top date-night restaurants in Manhattan.

The Springs

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Greenpoint cocktail bar the Springs becomes the Ho Ho Holiday Lounge in December with tons of festive lights, a tree, a fireplace, Fornino pizza, and themed cocktails. Plus, there’s a literal Christmas tree shop in the backyard that has a sled for photo opps. There’s a full calendar of events here, too.

A Christmas tree stands next to a bar The Springs [Official Photo]

Chumley's

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Historic speakeasy Chumley’s has been open the last few years as a throwback American restaurant with dishes like whole stuffed squab and lamb Wellington, and come the holidays, the dark-wood dining room is bedecked. Ornaments hang from the ceiling, garlands line the walls, and there lit wreaths hang all around.

The Chumley’s dining room with Christmas decorations Nick Solares/Chumley’s [Official Photo]

East Village bar Mace has transformed into an annual holiday pop-up since 2014 — dubbed Miracle — going all-out each year on Christmas-themed decor. Beyond decorations, cocktails include a Christmapolitan (vodka with cranberry sauce), a Run Run Rudolph (tequila and cold hot chocolate), and a new one called SanTaRex, which comes in a Tyrannosaurus Rex mug. Mace isn’t the only spot in NYC to get the Miracle pop-up treatment: There’s also Miracle locations at the Cabinet nearby, plus Livingston Manor in Downtown Brooklyn. “Sippin’ Santa” has also taken over at Boilermaker, another East Village bar.

Mace’s bar room decked out with Christmas decorations Michael Marquand/Miracle [Official Photo]

The Standard, East Village

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The Standard hotel’s garden area is packed with reservable yurts, twinkle lights, cheese fondue, and seasonal drinks like spiked hot chocolate and hot cider. Various events like holiday markets, wreath workshops, and pop-up shops happen all month long.

The Late Late

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For those who prefer a “more is more” approach to holiday decorating, look no further than kitschy Lower East Side joint the Late Late. The ’60s-themed bar undergoes a “tacky winter takeover,” with excessive amounts of tinsel, ornaments, lights, and tchotchkes of all sorts. The intended effect is the vibes of a wacky grandmother’s living room. There are specialty holiday cocktails on the menu, too, and the bar is accepting Toys for Tots until December 19, when it’s throwing a holiday party with musicians, poets, and Christmas sweaters.

Lucky Strike

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Lucky Strike — the Keith McNally restaurant that everyone forgets about — is best enjoyed during the month of December, when the glowing dining room is wrapped in garlands and twinkling lights. It's an especially jolly place to visit during happy hour daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., when manhattans and martinis are just $8, and the snacks are even cheaper, like moules marinières for $6.

Mr. Purple

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Luxury Champange brand Veuve Clicquot has set up shop at Lower East side rooftop bar Mr. Purple. The theme is “funky après-ski lodge in the sky,” filled out with purple deer heads, digital fireplaces, and white fur throws. There’s even a life-size snow globe, seasonal cocktails, and cheese and chocolate fondue.

White couches and chairs with white fur throws and the city skyline behind Mr. Purple [Official Photo]

The Skinny Bar and Lounge

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Lower East Side cocktail bar the Skinny is purposefully going with “gaudy” Christmas decor, including tons of ornaments from the ceiling, a twinkle light reindeer, wrapping paper on the walls and tables, and snarky Christmas sayings on throw pillows. The idea is to create a naughty Christmas, complete with burlesque entertainment, an ugly sweater party, and a holiday claw machine with “awful” prizes.

Sunday In Brooklyn

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Brooklyn American restaurant Sunday in Brooklyn transforms into Snowday in Brooklyn this December, complete with ornaments hanging from the ceiling, wreaths in the windows, Santa figurines, garlands, and white fur throws. Cocktails include the Partridge In A Pear Tree (tequila, pear brandy, amontillado sherry, grapefruit, lime, celery root, cinnamon) and the Polar Bear Club (cachaca, aquavit, banana, pineapple, coconut, lime), and there’s also a raclette beer cheese fondue.

A bar with Christmas decorations include wreaths in the window Sunday In Brooklyn [Official Photo]

Industry Kitchen

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Get holiday chalet vibes through this South Street seaport restaurant’s extensive decorations. Expect sparkling lights, Christmas greenery, life-size reindeer families on the terrace, snow-flocked Christmas trees, two giant nutcrackers lining the entryway, and decorated wreaths. The crowd leans FiDi worker type, and the food should generally be avoided — but it’s still worthy for drinks in the area. 

Leyenda

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The Boerum Hill Latin cocktail bar and restaurant has renamed itself “Sleyenda” for its third annual holiday pop-up. There’s wrapping paper wallpaper, tinsel galore, holiday tree lights, and more. The fireplace, with its garland-draped and stocking-strung mantle, is an especially cozy bonus. Cocktails include the Nutcracker Old Fashioned (hazelnut-infused bourbon, pecan-infused rum, macadamia nut orgeat, maple syrup, and bitters served in a nutcracker glass) and Santa’s Little Cider (Basque cider, mulled cider, dry sherry, and rum served hot in Santa’s Boot).

 

A cocktail in a cup shaped like Santa’s boot Shannon Sturgis/Leyenda [Official Photos]

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Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

Astoria’s German-leaning Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden isn’t just a solid bet for summertime drinks in a spacious setting. In wintertime, there are decked-out Christmas trees, with a lighting ceremony on December 6 for the 25-foot-tall one in the garden. There’s also a 10-foot Santa sled and festive lighting.

Tavern On the Green

This classic tourist stop in Central Park is an excellent place to stop for a drink. For the holiday season, the bar room is full of greenery, a Christmas tree, lights, and frequent live jazz. Try a spiced cider or other festive cocktail to warm up after exploring the park, and be sure to head to the courtyard for a photo opp with the towering tree.

PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown

A window-wrapped bar decorated with twinkle lights on the ceiling Michael Kleinberg/PHD Terrace [Official Photo]

For those looking to get into the seasonal spirit but with secular decorations, head to the PHD Terrace rooftop, where decorations are more winter-themed. There’s a ceiling full of twinkle lights, white and gold flowers everywhere, and tons of greenery. Seasonal drinks include a peppermint mojito and a Goldtini with almond milk, coconut Ciroc, creme de cacao, amaretto, and a gold glitter rim.

A window-wrapped bar decorated with twinkle lights on the ceiling Michael Kleinberg/PHD Terrace [Official Photo]

City Winery Pop-up at Rockefeller Center

Igloo-enclosed bars on Rockefeller Plaza City Winery [Official Photo]

City Winery is popping up on Rockefeller Plaza while it builds its new Pier 57 location, and it’s added clear heated igloos for the holidays. They have views of the big tree, skating rink, and Radio City Music Hall, and it can be booked in advance at rockcenter@citywinery.com. Mulled wine, spiked cider, charcuterie and cheese, and more are available.

Igloo-enclosed bars on Rockefeller Plaza City Winery [Official Photo]

Ophelia Lounge NYC

This swanky Beekman Place cocktail lounge is perched on the 26th floor in Midtown East, making for sweeping views of the East River and beyond. During the holiday season, the distinctive space is done up with a “snow globe in the sky” themed decor. That translates to glimmering garlands featuring thousands of crystals, sparkly snowflakes hung from the tall ceilings, and gilded candelabras, with white sheepskin throws draped over the furniture.

Moxy NYC Times Square

Hot white chocolate that’s been dyed pink Moxy [Official Photo]

Some of the Moxy hotels in NYC — Times Square, East Village, Chelsea — have transformed into a pink fantasy of the holidays, down to pink hot chocolate. Locations feature hot pink twinkle lights, overwhelming pink lighting, pink flowers, pink furniture, and pink Christmas decorations. That aforementioned hot chocolate is made with white chocolate, vanilla vodka, and edible pink glitter.

Hot white chocolate that’s been dyed pink Moxy [Official Photo]

Keens Steakhouse

Holiday wreaths and ribbons, plus a tree, only add to the charm of this Midtown steakhouse relic, which all-year-round has warm, dark-wooded environs. Head here for a serious steak, or a stiff drink with a friend.

The NoMad

The Library at the trendy Nomad hotel has a top-notch Christmas tree during the holidays: It’s quite tall, generously bedecked in lights, and trimmed with red and metallic ornaments. Garland-wrapped mezzanine railings complete the festive picture in the space for drinks and snacks. Plus, on Sundays through December 22, the NoMad Bar transforms into a “Holiday Spectacular” with holiday-inspired drinks like a boozy hot chocolate, milk punch with spices, and the Santa’s Little Helpers with vodka, sherry, passionfruit, vanilla, and lime.

Serra Alpina at Eataly

Eataly’s rooftop restaurant Serra always changes with the seasons, and its winter version is decked out with trees, fake snow, and a cabin feel. It’s especially nice to go on a snowy day, as the rooftop is glass. The menu includes hearty dishes such as osso buco; saffron risotto; and fondue with fingerling potatoes, bread, and root vegetables. There are also warm and cold coffee cocktails, including the Truffletini with white truffle-infused vodka.

Rolf's German Restaurant

If seeking truly extreme Christmas decorations, head to this kitschy, over-the-top Third Avenue German restaurant. Rolf’s is a sight to behold during the month of December, though the decorations are up year-round. A word of warning: If going after 8 p.m., this place might feel like a sorority mixer.

Old Town Bar

Old Town doesn't go overboard with the Christmas decorations, but the holiday spirit is definitely alive at the bar. This is one of New York's great, old taverns, dating back to 1892, and a very reliable Union Square go-to for low-key drinks, a simple burger, and a handsome mahogany bar. It's big, too, so there shouldn't be too much trouble finding a seat.

Rosemary’s Enoteca & Trattoria

You can see the massive Christmas tree that sits atop Rosemary's from three blocks away. The dining room at the charming West Village Italian spot also has some tasteful holiday lighting; another, smaller tree packed with gold ornaments, lights, and red bows; garlands on the ceiling; and wreaths adorning the brick walls and the garland-strung staircase to the second floor. Rosemary's is also still one of the top date-night restaurants in Manhattan.

The Springs

A Christmas tree stands next to a bar The Springs [Official Photo]

Greenpoint cocktail bar the Springs becomes the Ho Ho Holiday Lounge in December with tons of festive lights, a tree, a fireplace, Fornino pizza, and themed cocktails. Plus, there’s a literal Christmas tree shop in the backyard that has a sled for photo opps. There’s a full calendar of events here, too.

A Christmas tree stands next to a bar The Springs [Official Photo]

Chumley's

The Chumley’s dining room with Christmas decorations Nick Solares/Chumley’s [Official Photo]

Historic speakeasy Chumley’s has been open the last few years as a throwback American restaurant with dishes like whole stuffed squab and lamb Wellington, and come the holidays, the dark-wood dining room is bedecked. Ornaments hang from the ceiling, garlands line the walls, and there lit wreaths hang all around.

The Chumley’s dining room with Christmas decorations Nick Solares/Chumley’s [Official Photo]

Mace

Mace’s bar room decked out with Christmas decorations Michael Marquand/Miracle [Official Photo]

East Village bar Mace has transformed into an annual holiday pop-up since 2014 — dubbed Miracle — going all-out each year on Christmas-themed decor. Beyond decorations, cocktails include a Christmapolitan (vodka with cranberry sauce), a Run Run Rudolph (tequila and cold hot chocolate), and a new one called SanTaRex, which comes in a Tyrannosaurus Rex mug. Mace isn’t the only spot in NYC to get the Miracle pop-up treatment: There’s also Miracle locations at the Cabinet nearby, plus Livingston Manor in Downtown Brooklyn. “Sippin’ Santa” has also taken over at Boilermaker, another East Village bar.

Mace’s bar room decked out with Christmas decorations Michael Marquand/Miracle [Official Photo]

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The Standard, East Village

The Standard hotel’s garden area is packed with reservable yurts, twinkle lights, cheese fondue, and seasonal drinks like spiked hot chocolate and hot cider. Various events like holiday markets, wreath workshops, and pop-up shops happen all month long.

The Late Late

For those who prefer a “more is more” approach to holiday decorating, look no further than kitschy Lower East Side joint the Late Late. The ’60s-themed bar undergoes a “tacky winter takeover,” with excessive amounts of tinsel, ornaments, lights, and tchotchkes of all sorts. The intended effect is the vibes of a wacky grandmother’s living room. There are specialty holiday cocktails on the menu, too, and the bar is accepting Toys for Tots until December 19, when it’s throwing a holiday party with musicians, poets, and Christmas sweaters.

Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike — the Keith McNally restaurant that everyone forgets about — is best enjoyed during the month of December, when the glowing dining room is wrapped in garlands and twinkling lights. It's an especially jolly place to visit during happy hour daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., when manhattans and martinis are just $8, and the snacks are even cheaper, like moules marinières for $6.

Mr. Purple

White couches and chairs with white fur throws and the city skyline behind Mr. Purple [Official Photo]

Luxury Champange brand Veuve Clicquot has set up shop at Lower East side rooftop bar Mr. Purple. The theme is “funky après-ski lodge in the sky,” filled out with purple deer heads, digital fireplaces, and white fur throws. There’s even a life-size snow globe, seasonal cocktails, and cheese and chocolate fondue.

White couches and chairs with white fur throws and the city skyline behind Mr. Purple [Official Photo]

The Skinny Bar and Lounge

Lower East Side cocktail bar the Skinny is purposefully going with “gaudy” Christmas decor, including tons of ornaments from the ceiling, a twinkle light reindeer, wrapping paper on the walls and tables, and snarky Christmas sayings on throw pillows. The idea is to create a naughty Christmas, complete with burlesque entertainment, an ugly sweater party, and a holiday claw machine with “awful” prizes.

Sunday In Brooklyn