These NYC Holiday-Themed Bars Are The Only Ones Worth Hitting

a group of people sitting at a table with food and lights
The 13 Best Christmas Bars In New York CityFrosty's; Rockefeller Center

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There are plenty of places in New York to get in the holiday spirit that don't involve getting shoved by tourists or braving freezing cold temperatures. Our favorite interpretation of the phrase is quite literal—actually downing our favorite spirits at festive bars across the city. The Big Apple takes the holidays very seriously. Beyond the iconic tourist destinations like the Rockefeller Center tree or the light show at Saks, restaurants and bars in every borough transform into winter wonderlands. From festive decorations to seasonal cocktails to even appearances from Santa, there's truly something for everyone.

Whether you're staying smack-dab in the middle of Times Square or planning a more low-key trip in Brooklyn, we've rounded up some of our favorite Christmas bars and pop-ups in New York City. This list features exciting new experiences along with time-honored holiday haunts that even a Scrooge will love. So if you're planning on visiting the city this holiday season, grab your friends (and your Santa hat) and check out these Christmas destinations.

Oscar Wilde NYC (Flatiron)

Oscar Wilde has some of the best Christmas decorations in the city. The Victorian-style spot gets extra festive with lights, ornaments, garlands, and life-sized stuffed polar bears. If you want to get cozy by a fire, some of their cocktails are set aflame.

PLAN A TRIP 45 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001

a christmas tree with decorations
@oscarwildenyc on Instagram

Loreley Beer Garden (Lower East Side)

One of the most popular spots to grab a drink in downtown Manhattan is getting a festive facelift this holiday season. Loreley Beer Garden is offering a lineup of holiday cocktails like bourbon hot chocolate and mulled wine alongside plenty of seasonal craft beers. And if you still want the beer garden experience, their outdoor patio is heated.

PLAN A TRIP 7 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

a room with tables and chairs and trees with lights
Loreley Beer Garden

Santa's Winter Wonderland At Watermark (Seaport)

Located right on Pier 15 at the bottom of Manhattan is Watermark, an outdoor bar and restaurant that spans a whopping 10,000 feet. But before you worry about sitting out in the cold, Watermark is transforming the space into Santa's Winter Wonderland. This pop-up features heated glass houses right on the East River, plenty of festive snacks and drinks, and the chance to snap a photo with Santa himself.

PLAN A TRIP 78 South St Pier 15, New York, NY 10038

a group of people in a room with a stage and trees

Tinseltown (Upper West Side)

Upper West Side restaurant Pekarna is getting into the holiday spirit with its Tinseltown pop-up! This dedicated Christmas bar plays your favorite festive tunes, serves jolly cocktails and mocktails, and features plenty of tinsel, naturally.

PLAN A TRIP 594 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

a room with a stage and chairs

Pete's Tavern (Union Square)

Pete's Tavern has been around since 1864, so it's the place to be if you want some time-honored holiday cheer. The bar is known for surviving Prohibition by disguising as a flower shop and for it's stunning Christmas decorations every year.

PLAN A TRIP 129 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

a bar with stools and tables
Pete's Tavern

Miracle on 9th Street at The Cabinet (East Village)

Starting November 18, sleek cocktail bar The Cabinet transforms into a festively decorated spot sure to put any Scrooge in the holiday spirit. The vintage Santa mugs and decorations make us think Clark Griswold had a hand in decorating this famous New York pop-up, and we are totally here for it. Although cousin Eddie and the fam aren’t expected, you can expect inventive craft cocktails with a seasonal twist and a jolly good time.

PLAN A TRIP 649 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

a group of people holding cups with christmas decorations
Blake Jones

Sleyenda at Leyenda (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)

One of the best holiday-themed bars in Brooklyn is Leyenda's annual celebration, Sleyenda. On top of some of their classic Christmas cocktails like Coquito Ho Ho Ho, they've added some new showstoppers like the frozen Candy Striper.

PLAN A TRIP 221 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Shannon Sturgis

A Foxtail Winter Wonderland (SoHo)

If your idea of a happy holiday is on the swankier side, then you need to visit Foxtail's holiday pop-up located on the ground floor of Arlo SoHo. This speakeasy-style cocktail bar is offering plenty of Christmas-themed cocktails like the Foxy Toddy, Honey Baked Apple, and Peppermint Cane.

PLAN A TRIP 231 Hudson St Lobby Level, 231 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

a bar with a bar and stools

The Lodge at Bryant Park (Midtown)

Just off the park’s rink, the Lodge is filled with eating and drinking options to satisfy your appetite and quench the thirst you worked up from the triple axels you were throwing on the ice. The enclosed space is filled with a variety of eateries that flank a fully stocked cocktail bar ready to pour you something strong enough to help you forget you didn’t actually stick all those landings. When you’re finally full, and maybe a little tipsy, take a stroll through the holiday market and tackle all of your Christmas shopping.

PLAN A TRIP Bryant Park

Crowd, Event, City, Night, Fun, Building, Tree, Market, Winter, Bazaar,
Bryant Park

King Cole Bar at The St. Regis (Midtown)

For a true “treat yourself” experience this holiday season, pay a visit to King Cole Bar at the St. Regis, where you can sample high-end bubbles in an iconic New York destination. They offer an extensive hot chocolate menu where you can choose from five different kinds of chocolate and spike it with your choice of alcohol. Plus, they come with over-the-top garnishes like peppermint bark, churros, and biscotti.

PLAN A TRIP 2 East 55th Street At, 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022

Light, Drink, Stemware, Wine glass, Lighting, Christmas, Glass, Champagne stemware, Champagne, Christmas eve,
The St. Regis New York

The Après Skate Chalets presented by Balsam Hill (Midtown)

Few New York City Christmas experiences are as iconic as visiting Rockefeller Center. As much as we love looking at the giant tree or ice skating at the rink, our favorite way to celebrate is with a cocktail. These Après Skate Chalets are located right on the rink and offer fun beverages (including a seasonal beer lineup from Other Half Brewery.)

Reservations for a private chalet are currently booked for the season, but keep an eye out for potential new time slots. You can also enjoy the same snack and treats to-go for walk-in guests.

PLAN A TRIP 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

a row of flags on a fence
Rockefeller Center

Grinchy's At Roberta's (Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Roberta's may be known for slinging some of the best pizzas in all of New York City, but they also transform their Tiki Bar into a Grinch-themed holiday pop up. Beyond a lineup of festive cocktails, you can also indulge in a feast-worthy menu of suckling pig, prime rib, and dry-aged duck. It'll make your heart (and your stomach) grow three sizes.

PLAN A TRIP 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Jonathon Charles Demske

Frosty's Christmas Bar (Midtown)

Located near the heart of Time's Square, the bar Bacall's & Blue transforms into Frosty's—the ultimate holiday oasis. Whether you want to get the perfect Christmas photo-op, try a specialty cocktail, or share a shotski with your friends, Frosty's is the place to be this holiday season.

PLAN A TRIP 220 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

a room with tables and chairs with balloons from the ceiling

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