New York is one of the most magical locales in the world to celebrate the holiday season. In fact, NYC might be the most iconic holiday location outside of the North Pole thanks to classics like Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged, Home Alone and Elf. And as we navigate the city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style, we look to the bars and restaurants around town for spirits to get us in the holiday spirit. Here is our guide to NYC’s most festive Holiday Pop-Up bars.
Miracle on Ninth Street (Mace – 649 E 9th St, New York, NY)
One of the very first to get into the Holiday Pop-Up Game, Miracle on Ninth Street has grown from a beloved neighborhood holiday cocktail darling into a worldwide phenomenon with 51 locations around the globe. Head to Miracle for serious craft cocktails by the Mace crew lead by Nico de Soto. Cocktails include the Bad Santa, Jingle Ball Nog and How the Gimlet Stole Christmas. It does tend to get very packed with long waits on busy nights, so try headed earlier in the evening as a first stop on your holiday crawl. Of course, Miracle didn’t forget all the Jewish friends, it has wonderful Hanukkah section as well.
Sleyenda (Leyenda – 221 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY)
Brooklyn’s beloved agave mecca, Leyenda, will be transforming into its first holiday pop-up. Aptly named Sleyenda, this spot slays and has girl power touches throughout. The cocktails are always on point at this joint by Ivy Mix and Julie Reiner and their seasonal creations just make you smile. you Enjoy super delicious Mexican hot chocolate, classic coquito and other festive libations served in holiday ornaments and decorative mugs. Pro-Tip – do not miss the secret slay “Chalet” that is an holiday homage to all of the “Ladies that Sleigh” all day including Queen Beyoncé, Whitney Houston and of course, Mariah Carey.
Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack (Boilermaker – 13 1st Avenue, New York, NY)
Picture Santa riding a wave, with a Hawaiian shirt, lei and tiki drink in hand to the soundtrack of the Beach Boys and Elvis, that is Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack. Themed holiday craft cocktails and boilermakers (aka a shot and a beer pairing) make this spot a must for drinkers. However, it is their holiday party meets local dive joint atmosphere makes it one of our favorites and a must-visit. Serious cocktail game is led by Samuel Gauthier and all of them just make you smile like the Son of a Nutcracker, Little Rummer Boy and Toboggan Nog. Pro-tip, make sure to order up one of their banging burgers.
BAITA (Birreria on the Eataly Rooftop – 200 5th Ave, New York, NY)
Head up to the rooftop of Eataly in the Flatiron area and be transported to an Italian ski village called BAITA. Enjoy northern Italian cuisine in a rustic winter wonderland complete with a ski lodge that seats groups up to twelve. The drink menu features the Vin Brulé, Boozy Hot Cocoa and a fiery Parampampoli served flambé.
230 Fifth – Rooftop of 230 5th Ave, New York, NY
If you’ve ever dreamed of hanging out inside an igloo at the North Pole, 230 Fifth has got you covered. This rooftop lounge has installed 17 luxury, custom made igloos for patrons to enjoy. Each igloos fits up to 15 guests and is heated and insulated to keep everyone cozy and have robes and blankets if you get chilly. They also with transparent walls that allow you to soak in views of NYC’s iconic skyline while enjoying speciality cocktails and hot beverages. If that were not enough, the entire venue will be adorned with over 75,000 lights for a nightly light show that will continuously be showcased throughout the evening.
The Lodge at Gallow Green (The McKittrick Hotel – 542 W 27th St, New York, NY
Travel back in time on the roof of The McKitttrick Hotel as Gallow Green is transformed into The Lodge at Gallow Green. Inspired by Scottish bothies, this seasonal hideaway includes a mountaintop ski cabin nestled in a secluded forest of real pine trees. Get cozy with fireside seating, warm plaid blankets, hiking boots, sleeping bunks and a library. Private seating areas, a bar, mysterious train tracks and an outdoor fire pit are also available for guests to explore. Once inside, visitors relax and enjoy a selection of potent cocktails and large format punches, as well as seasonal dinner fare. The bar welcomes revelers nightly for wintry drinks, including hot cocktails like the signature Sleep No More.
Haven Rooftop’s Ski Chalet (The Sanctuary Hotel – 132 West 47th Street, New York, NY)
Head to Midtown for Haven’s Rooftop Ski Chalet that is heated and tented to warm guests high above the city streets. Located atop The Sanctuary Hotel, revelers can enjoy festive cocktails, fondue and s’mores to keep them feeling merry in the decorative pop-up.
Holiday Garden at Midnights BK (149 North 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)
Midnights in Brooklyn will be decking their backyard garden with festive decor this season. It will be enclosed and heated for the season, so you can enjoy drinks specials such as a Peppermint Mexican Hot Chocolate and Frozen Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Donner and Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge (197 East 3rd Street, New York, NY)
If playing Reindeer Games is your thing, head to the new Donner and Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge in the East Village. Sarah Boisjoli of Estela and Café Altro Paradiso is behind the cocktails here with drinks like the Festivus Mulled Wine and Elf-Nog. Think fireplaces, grandma’s quilts and Christmas decorations galore. The pop-up includes an outdoor holiday mural has been created by graffiti artist and founder of the non profit, Off The Wall Graffiti, Paul Nassar.
Rolf’s German Restaurant (281 3rd Ave, New York, NY)
Rolf’s is a staple on everyone’s must visit bar hop for the holidays and with good reason. The insanely ornate decor barely leaves space for visitors with each nook and cranny covered with lights, garland, and droves of festive tchotchkes. Be warned that while this holiday destination is worth the trip, it gets aggressively packed. We recommend just doing it for the gram by ordering up a mulled wine, egg nog or boot of beer, then quickly head to the next spot after your social media post. Pro-Tip – Molly’s a block away is a great spot if there is a long wait.