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.
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…
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.
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.