Some say there’s no place like home for the holidays, which is true, but there’s also no place like New York City for the holidays.
NYC Christmas restaurants pull out all the stops to help get you in the holiday spirit, so we’ve pulled together our list of some of the best ones that must be on your holiday list.
1. Loreley Beer Garden
This Lower East Side gem is the perfect spot to get into the holiday spirit. The Heated Winter Wonderland is well underway and is a seasonally decorated indoor & heated outdoor beer garden. There are specialty cocktails, beautiful decorations lining the whole space, and enough room for your friends and family to celebrate the holiday season. Loreley is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Address: 7 Rivington Street
2. Tavern on the Green
Tavern on the Green is located right in the heart of Central Park and is the perfect place to feel the magic of the holiday season. The restaurant, built in 1934, keeps the storied charms of its past with beautiful decorations and stunning lights. You'll feel transported through the decorations and the food being great is also a bonus. Tavern on the Green is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and accepts reservations for a four-course menu.
Address: W 67th Street
3. Oscar Wilde
Irish writer Oscar Wilde was known for his humor and his dry wit. The bar, Oscar Wilde, is an homage to him and is always in theme. The bar goes all out for the holidays with vintage decorations, lights, and festive fare. Be sure to make a reservation, you won’t want to miss the chance to go to this spot.
Address: 45 W 27th Street
4. Miracle on 9th Street
Miracle on 9th Street is a Christmas-themed pop-up bar offering seasonal drinks in a festive setting and is both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with very kitschy holiday décor and amazing cocktails. Miracle on 9th Street is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Addresses: 649 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009 & 595 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
5. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
Based on the name alone, you can suspect that Lillie’s is already true to the theme and you’d be right. Victorian art and furniture are adorning the establishment. At Christmas time, the theme is taken to the next level, and visitors will adore the huge garlands and glittering Christmas trees that reach the high ceilings. There are two locations, so pick which one is close or try to get to both to see how they’re differently decorated.
Addresses: 249 West 49th Street & 13 East 17th Street
Rolf’s German Restaurant is probably the first place that comes to mind when you ask New Yorkers about Christmas restaurants in the city. Visitors can enjoy over 200,000 lights strung throughout the entire restaurant and enjoy knowing that many of the ornaments are vintage antiques. Plan ahead if you want to go as this can become very popular, especially as you get closer to the holiday. Be sure to make a reservation very early in advance!
Address: 281 3rd Avenue
Nothing feels more like the charm of New York City in December than the bustling French restaurant Balthazar. The classic red booths, the warm lights, and all the decorations make this the perfect spot for brunch or a nice holiday dinner. Be sure to check out the bakery as well, and snag a croissant for when you’re walking the holiday markets of New York.
Address: 80 Spring Street
8. The Magic Hour
The Magic Hour is the Moxy Times Square’s rooftop bar and restaurant. It offers incredible and breathtaking views all year long, which only become more elevated for the holidays. Cocktails taste even better in this transformed pastel pink wonderland, and the bites and fare pair well.
Address: 485 7th Avenue 18th Floor
9. Winter Wonderland at Watermark
Winter Wonderland near the South Street Seaport offers prime views of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn skyline but without the winter temperatures. The Winter Wonderland leans into the greenhouse theme, keeping visitors warm in heated mini-greenhouses where they can take advantage of the spectacular views on the waterfront.
Address: 78 South St Pier 15
Rosemary’s in Greenwich is cute and cozy all year long, and the vibe is elevated to a higher level around Christmas time. This restaurant boasts traditional family Italian meals, delicious cocktails, and warm decorations. We know you won’t miss it, but be sure to get a picture of the Christmas tree on the roof!
Address: 18 Greenwich Avenue
11. Pete’s Tavern
If you're looking for storied history this holiday season, look no further than Pete's Tavern. Pete's Tavern opened in 1864 and is one of New York City's oldest bars. Coined ‘New York’s Home for the Holidays' hundreds of red string lights adorn the ceiling. You can enjoy the festive atmosphere if you grab dinner or just sit at the bar. Pete’s Tavern is open on Christmas Eve but is closed on Christmas.
Address: 129 East 18th Street
12. Bryant Park Winter Village (The Lodge)
The Bryant Park Winter Village is one of the top places to visit if you’re making your list and checking it twice for the holidays. There are winter markets, multiple hot chocolate stands, and an ice skating rink promising fun for you and your friends. The Lodge boasts great views of the ice skaters, the city skyline, incredible themed cocktails, and delicious food.
Address: Bryant Park, 42nd Street and 5th Avenue
13. The Springs
The Springs for the holidays boasts signature cocktails, over-the-top decorations, and of course a fireplace to warm up and get cozy next to the fireplace. There is more than enough space to enjoy the decorations, the patio, and the cocktails. There is a full list of events, and the decorations and holiday theme stay up from November 24 to January 1.
Address: 224 Franklin Street, Brooklyn
Another NYC Christmas restaurant in Brooklyn is Leyenda, located in Carroll Gardens. In the past, Leyenda has become Sleyenda, a Latin-themed holiday pop-up bar with decorations, libations, and disco balls. This spot promises a cozy atmosphere and excellent food and drinks while you take in the festive decorations.
Address: 221 Smith Street, Brooklyn
15. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar may be just one of the most infamous rooftop bars in NYC, boasting fun cocktails and incredible views. From November through April, they offer heated private igloos, where you can enjoy the same views and cocktails from the comfort of your igloo. There's no better way to get into the spirit than to cozy up and hunker down in your private igloo. This will be sure to be a new holiday photo favorite.
Address: 1150 Broadway, New York, NY 10001