There is no place like New York City during the holiday season and venues across the city are transforming their bars into winter wonderlands that rival the spirit of Rockefeller Center. So put on your best Ugly Snowflake Sweater and head to these themed holiday pop-ups to toast to the spirit the season and jingle all the way around town.
Holiday Bars in NYC
Rolf’s is New York City’s OG holiday pop-up. Walking into this rustic Gramercy German bar is literally like walking into an overly ornate Christmas Tree. It truly is holiday spectacular must but be warned, it gets insanely packed with long lines during primetime hours. Although it should be on everyone’s holiday list, it is hard to enjoy if you are getting bumped around while waiting for a coveted barstool.
Pro-Tip: head there during off hours and treat yourself to a Mulled Wine, Eggnog or Boot of Beer. Make friends with someone else at the bar and offer to pay it forward to get your obligatory pic for your instagram feed. Now through May , 212-477-4750, www.rolfsnyc.com281 Third Ave.New York, NY
One of our very favorite holiday pop-ups in NYC returns to Mace for the 3rd year and features cocktails by bar star, Nico de Soto. Clearly we aren’t alone in loving this spot because the lines for this brilliantly kitschy are usually down the block during busy hours. However, it is totally worth the wait for amazing themed drinks like the Bad Santa and Christmas-politan with the perfectly merry soundtrack and arguably the strongest holiday glassware game with adorable Santa head mugs and custom holiday vessels by Cocktail Kingdom.
Pro-Tip: Just go! But get there early or go late, don’t go during primetime hours and expect to get in. Now through December 24th. . www.macenewyork.com639 E. 9th St., New York, NY
Silver Belles at Belle Shoals
The beloved Williamsburg juke joint has us dreaming of a white Christmas with their beautifully designed Silver Belles pop-up. Under the beverage direction of Josh Mazza, you can enjoy boozy hot cocktails like the Choco…Choco…Oaxaca and the Baby It’s Cold Out Cider by their fire pit under twinkling lights. Head there for live holiday music and call ahead to find out when you can meet Bad Santa for a photo opp in their heated magical garden.
Pro-Tip: Head straight to the backyard garden for their Hot Cocktails and bring your corn hole skills ready to make some new friends and check out their prized Wurlitzer to cue up some tunes. Open Now through January 2017. 718-218-6027, www.ingoodcompanyhg.com/belle-shoals281 Third Ave.New York, NY
Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack at Boilermaker
Drink 11: Hang 10 at Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack with the 'Royal Tannenbaum' ???? this holiday pop-up at @BoilermakerNYC is totally not to be missed dude! Jägermeister, Vodka, Lime Juice, Grapefruit Bitters, Cinnamon & Lime by Samuel Gauthier. Check out our "12 Drinks of Christmas" on thirstynyc.com #thirstynyc #12drinksofchristmas
Santa Claus is coming to the East Village cocktail haven, Boilermaker for the 2nd year of Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack. Jolly Ole St. Nick is coming Tiki AF with the help of Beach Bum Berry of New Orleans’ Latitude 29 and Chicago’s Lost Lake partnering up with beverage director, Sam Gauthier. Rock around the decorated Christmas tree to the sounds of The Beach Boys and Elvis Presley while enjoying Polynesian style cocktails like “I Saw Mommy …” and the “Holiday Lei.” The Sippin’ Santa menu features nine cocktails total with three contributed by each celebrated bar team.
Pro-Tip: Go with a fun group and order up one of each cocktail and make sure to try the Chinatown Christmas served over an actual snowball.
Now through December 24th. , 212-995-5400, www.boilermakernyc.com
Holiday Hideaway at The VNYL
Leave it to swinging 1970’s glam hotspot, The VNYL, to bring the blinged out seasons greetings. Tucked beneath the main floor, they transformed the Lion’s Den into The Holiday Hideaway with specialty cocktails by Gareth Howells. Enjoy Santa’s Milk Punch and Cookies by their (faux) yule log fireplace surrounded by enough sparkly tinsel to make Kris Kringle jealous.
Pro-Tip: Head there on Mondays for their holiday movie series curated by Adrian Grenier and elves handing out complimentary boozy gifts. Now through January 1st, 2017., 917-675-7725, www.thevnyl.com100 Third Ave., NY, NY 10003
BAITA 2.o at Eataly
Leave it to Mario Batali’s Eataly NYC’s mecca of all things Italian to bring the Alps to their Flatiron location. They have fully transformed their enclosed rooftop into a magical Italian ski lodge, complete with a log cabin and cozy fur-lined chairs. Escape the bustle of Manhattan and transport yourself to après ski mode with a list of over 120 wines, homemade vin brulé (Italian Mulled Wine), four Negroni options, and 12 specialty cocktails including the Cabin Fever and Pumpkin Blaze.
Pro-Tip: Call ahead for a reservation for the dine-in log cabin for a truly one of a kind experience. Now through April 2017., 212-937-8910, www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/nyc-flatiron/nyc-baita200 Fifth Ave., NY, NY
A Midwinter Night’s Dream at LOCL Bar
We are as giddy as a sugar plum fairy to hit up the new pop-up at LOCL Bar on the Upper West Side’s NYLO Hotel. With a design partnership with legendary Parsons the New School of Design and cocktails by the incredibly clever Cody Goldstein, this is sure to magically make spirits bright. Guests will enjoy seasons greetings in the form of the “Shakespeare’s Globe” in an actual snow globe and “Love In Idleness” that will magically transform from white to blue in the presence of the holiday spirit. That drink is the ultimate do-gooders’ virtual stuffing stuffer with $2 from each Love In Idleness cocktail will be donated to charity partner, Save the Children.
Pro-Tip: This is our pick for after a visit to Lincoln Center or Museum hopping. Now through January 1st, 2017., 212-362-1100, www.nylohotels.com2178 Broadway, NY, NY
Winter Holiday Gardens at Midnights
Let it snow at Midnights Winter Holiday Gardens in Williamsburg with drinks by veterans of The Modern Maysville. Enjoy seasonal holiday beers and themed cocktails like Pistol Pete’s Hot Boozy Cider in their fully decorated garden. Stay toasty in this winter wonderland with charcoal warming stations or head indoors for a rotation of DJs.
Pro-Tip: Go on Wednesdays to score 1/2 price cocktails from 11PM – 2AM.Opens December 1st., 718-384-6961, www.midnightsbk.com149 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, NY