‘Tis the Season in NYC: Places to Sip During the Holidays

It’s been so nice to be able to soak in the city at Christmastime over the past week. While there’s nothing like the holidays in Europe (the markets are unbelievable!) this is such a special time in New York.

Everyone knows about the big sights to see: The windows at Saks, the tree at Rockefeller Center. But part of the fun of the holidays is all the parties and festivities at the decked-out bars around the city.

Holiday Bars in New York City

Rolf’s

Chances are, you’ve seen Rolf’s on your Instagram feed. I’ve always wanted to go, and finally made it over this past weekend. The line is always long, especially right before Christmas, but it’s well worth it. The decorations are over-the-top, but they’re so gorgeous. Honestly, even with all that tinsel and ornaments, it’s not tacky. Just festive! Yes, the drinks are overpriced, but they’re perfect for the holidays (I had the spiced apple cider!) Word of warning: Waiting in line just gets you into the bar. If you want to eat, you need to make a reservation months in advance. (However, I’ve heard the food is skippable.)

Miracle on 9th Street

In the East Village, this bar — year round, called Mace — is transformed into a holiday spot. There’s tons of Santa cups and holiday themed drinks! I didn’t have a chance to try it, but I have been to the next spot…

Holiday Bars in New York City

Sippin Santa’s Surf Shack

Sippin Santa’s Surf Shack is a sister bar of Miracle on 9th Street, and it’s close by. It’s on 1st Avenue, and has the same sort of holiday vibes as Miracle (even some of the same cups), but it’s a tiki bar, too! I ordered the Holiday Lei, a champagne cocktail with gin, ginger and cranberry, and it was so good. Move quick, though! It’s only open until Christmas Day.

Eataly Birreria

This spot is open all year round, but gets a makeover come the holidays. This year, the style is a ski lodge in Aspen, complete with fur on the bar and holiday lights. The best part? You can get pasta beforehand and pizza afterwards.

A Midwinter Night’s Dream

The NYLO Hotel’s LOCL Bar got a revamp from students at Parsons School of Design and is serving up nine holiday cocktails. You can drink out of a Santa snowglobe (or a copper elf-shaped cup!) Best of all, $2 from each drink will be donated to Save the Children.

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My Favorite Midtown East Eats

Today I’m doing a culinary look at the neighborhood I call home: Midtown East, or as my little corner of it is called, Turtle Bay. I’ve lived here, in my current apartment, for over two years now. Though I never thought I would, I actually really like living here. When you hear midtown, you picture office buildings and Starbucks. But I live a bit further east, which means that it’s much more like what you’d expect of Murray Hill, Gramercy or the Upper East Side: Lots of residents and lots of restaurants.

In my two plus years here, I’ve tried a bunch of the latter near me (nearly all in a few block radius!) These are my favorites.


Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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The Smith // You’ll see this one included on tons of New York travel guides, and for good reason. The food is great, there’s tons of options, and it’s nice enough for a dinner out. My favorite things to order are the potato chips covered in blue cheese fondue to start and the cavatelli with short rib ragu for dinner. The brunch is just as good — the vanilla bean french toast or the BLT+E sandwich are my go-to’s. Be warned, though: There’s nearly always a wait, especially on weekends for dinner or brunch. There’s a few locations throughout the city, one downtown in the East Village/Union Square area and one near Lincoln Center.


Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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The Upsider // This is a relatively new (just over a year) addition to the ‘hood, but it’s a good one. I’ve only been twice but it’s always packed and there’s lots of balcony tables for the summertime. The food vibes are similar to The Smith — think upscale American with a twist. If you go for brunch, order the fried chicken. You won’t regret it.

Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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Atwood Bar & Kitchen // Atwood completes the Midtown East upscale American eatery trifecta. Think vibes like The Upsider and The Smith, with similarly excellent brunch. Their upstairs also transforms into a bar at night. During some happy hours, they have live music, too.

Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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Sukhumvit 51 // I’ve only eaten in-house here a couple of times, but this is one of my go-to delivery spots. They make the best noodles, the prices are great (you’ll never spend more than $20), the portions are huge, so it takes care of lunch for the next day.

Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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Pescatore // Italian food is my favorite, and this is the best spot in my neighborhood. It’s got all the pastas and pizzas you could want, but the Arthur Avenue pizza is the best. It has sausage, pesto, and jalapeños. This is a fun block for restaurants, too — there’s about six of them, just from 51st to 50th streets.

Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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The Stag’s Head // If you’re craving pubby food, this is a great spot to hit. Lots of burgers, sandwiches and other standard bar fare. This used to be connected to an amazing restaurant called the Pullman Kitchen, which had boozy milkshakes and the best grilled cheeses. It recently closed, and I’m still in mourning.


Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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Cello Wine Bar // This wine bar has a great selection of wines, occasional live music, and delicious nibbles (think bacon-wrapped dates, cheese dips, and pizzas.) Plus, it’s enough of a hole-in-the-wall to make you feel like you discovered something off-the-beaten-path — even in Midtown!

Midtown East New York City Restaurant Recommendations
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Totto and Hide-Chan Ramen // I know, this is two, but they’re right next door and serve the same kind of food, so I’m lumping them into one. These are two amazing ramen places near my apartment. They each have their merits: At Totto, you can get chicken, whereas Hide-Chan is just pork, but Totto has a lot of rules — cash only, no takeout, no to-go containers, etc. If you’re a ramen lover, however, they’re both worth a trip!

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hello, world!

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Hi! We are two best friends — Diana (the blonde) and Natalie (the brunette) and we’re so excited to be launching blogs alongside one another. If you don’t know, our story is a charming one (if we do say so ourselves.)

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on diana: white romper (now on sale!) // espadrille wedges // earrings (similar) // ring
on natalie: striped blouse // silver jack rogers // white lace skirt

We first met in college at Syracuse University, where we were both members of Gamma Phi Beta. A few weeks after meeting, we became big and little (Diana’s the big, Natalie’s the little, despite what our heights may indicate) and (obnoxiously) bonded from there.

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Since then, we’ve been next-door neighbors, New York City interns, down-the-hall sorority house neighbors and after both of our graduations, Diana was a bridesmaid in Natalie’s wedding

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Today, we live just a bus ride away from one another in New York City where we both work in media.

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From the beginning, we always bonded over our love of shopping, style and fashion blogs (and being Midwest to East Coast transplants.) And after many months of chatting about this project, we’re delighted to start fresh together.

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We would love to have you follow along with Diana at Pearl Girl and Natalie at Climbing Rose!

Natalie’s Instagram // Diana’s Instagram
Diana’s Twitter // Natalie’s Twitter
Natalie’s Facebook // Diana’s Facebook
Diana’s Pinterest // Natalie’s Pinterest

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