The Most Festive Christmas Pop Up Bars and Restaurants in NYC
Christmas is the most festive time of the year in NYC and there are a ton of Christmas themed pop up bars and restaurants in New York City in the winter. This blog shows you all the festive bars and restaurants in NYC.
New York City is famous for its holiday and Christmas festivity and this does not only limit to the Rockefeller Center Tree and the Saks Fifth Avenue window displays.
After living in New York for the past 7 winters, I keep finding more and more amazingly festive and cute places to celebrate the holidays in NYC. There seems to be more and more Christmas themed pop up bars and restaurants in the city every year and they are getting more and more fancy.
Check out all my other articles on winter activities!
These articles include the best photo spots in NYC during Christmas, best holiday markets, what to wear in the winter in NYC, things to do with kids, and many many more!
This blog contains occasional affiliate links, where I receive a small commission on sales of the products/hotels that are linked at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Most Festive Christmas Pop Up Bars in New York City
New York City is already famous for its bar scene. There seem to be endless number of bars and pubs in New York City but did you know that some of these bars and pubs transform into super cute Christmas theme around November and December?
There are some “stables” on this list since these holiday pop up bars in New York has been around for many years. A couple of them have been taken off the list due to closure.
The good news is that there are a couple of new Christmas pop-up bars in New York City this year. Read on and find out more!
Miracle on 9th Street
Address: 649 E 9th St, New York, NY
Miracle on 9th Street is a Christmas themed pop up cocktail bars located in the East Village.
Every year in November and December, the Cabinet becomes a pop up Christmas venue called Miracle (Miracle is all over the US too) and they are open from 4pm to 1am (week days) or 2am (Weekend) (depends on the location).
All of the holiday decorations in the bars are Christmas and Hanukkah themed, and this even includes the coasters, menu, cups/glasses/mugs. So if you want something Christmasy to drink, this is definitely the right place for you.
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
Address: 249 W 49th Street, NY
13 E 17th St, NY
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment is an Irish bar and restaurant located in Times Square and Union Square. It has a late 19th century feel inside hence its name. Most people go for the bar but there are also pub food (soup, salad, stews, meat, etc). They also serve brunch on the weekends and afternoon tea!
The Union Square location has the decorations up mid November and the Times Square location has the decorations up the last week of November.
They change their decorations throughout the year. If you go at the end of October to mid November, you can expect to see some interesting Halloween themed decorations.
During the holiday season they add tons more winter decorations inside the bar and also set up a really cute window display. When I was there on a Friday night the bar was pretty packed so expect a wait but if you go during the week it should be less crowded.
Address: 45 W 27th St, New York
Oscar Wilde is another Victorian style bistro in the Nomad district. This bistro has always been famous for its elaborate decors and art and object collection. During the holiday season, the interior becomes super festive (on top of all the extravagance it already offers).
Oscar Wilde does not only have Christmas decorations. During Halloween in October the bar is also decorated in a lavish spooky theme!
You can come here for either brunch or dinner (or late night). They also offer a special event for New Years Eve.
The Dead Rabbit
Address: 30 Water St, New York, NY 10004
The Dead Rabbit is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the bar scene in New York City. Located in Lower Manhattan near Seaport district, the Dead Rabbit won the title “the World’s Best Bar” in 2016 and during the first year it opened, it received recognization for its innovative cocktails.
Honestly even without any holiday decorations, the Dead Rabbit is hard to get in. I have been twice and both times I had to wait a long time and it was packed inside. I mean who doesn’t want to go to the best bar in New York City (and one of the best in the world)?
Well this famous Irish pub is now dressed up for the holiday this year with its Jingle Jangle seasonal event. You will find 3 floors of holiday decorations (the Irish way) alongside kitsch-themed cocktails and seasonal dishes.
Ophelia Lounge NYC
Address: 3 Mitchell Pl 26th Floor, NY
Ophelia Lounge is a rooftop lounge at the Beekman Tower. During non-Christmas time, this bar has a 360 degree greenhouse terrace on the 26th floor of the historic Beekman Tower with amazing Manhattan views.
During the winter, Ophelia Lounge is transformed into a snow globe with lights and crystal snowflake garlands.
Address: 210 W. 55th St. NY
If you have seen a crazy and beautiful flower tunnel on Instagram or Tiktok, that is PHD Terrace!
PHD Terrace is a rooftop space with amazing views of Midtown Manhattan and Times Square at Dream Midtown Hotel. This bar has a seasonal theme and is lavished decorated with flowers and lights.
During the winter month, this rooftop indeed becomes extremely dreamy with its holiday pop-up decorations. There are fairy lights, flower tunnels, floral swing and much more! The pop up is called Midwinter Night’s Dream.
Paddy Maguire’s Ale House
Address: 237 3rd Ave, NY
Paddy Maguire’s is a lively Irish tavern and sports bar featuring pool tables, daily happy hours, and horse-racing decor.
What’s special about Paddy Maguire’s is that it becomes super festive both inside and outside during the holiday season. I randomly walked by this bar one night and decided to return with my camera.
Arlo Soho & Arlo Nomad
The Arlo hotels in New York City are known for its luxury and services but now there’s one more thing to add to the list: their holiday themed rooftops.
Every winter Arlo Soho and Arlo Nomad hotels transform their rooftop bars to a winter themed one. The theme changes a little bit every year (one year was inspired by the French Alps and another year was the Antarctica), so stay tuned to see what the theme is like this year!
Address: 129 E 18th St, NY
Pete’s Tavern is a gastropub located near Union Square not too far from Paddy Maguire’s Ale House. There is a bar and also an attached restaurant to it.
What’s interesting about Pete’s tavern is that it has appeared in many films and TV shows such as Law & Order, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Nurse Jackie, etc. Inside Pete’s Tavern you can find tons of celebrities’ photos taken at the establishment.
During the holidays Pete’s Tavern becomes super festive and it is worth checking out. They have a full menu including sandwiches, salad, pasta, and chicken pot pie!
It does get crowded so be sure to make a reservation if you want to come for dinner. They have a large bar area in the front so that also gets quite crowded at night.
Address: 205 E 4th St, NY
The Cabin is a cozy and rustic bar/ restaurant offering specialty cocktails, starters and main courses. It has pretty cute decoration and inside the bar there is a large fake tree, which is quite decorated during the holiday season.
Papillon Bistro & Bar
Address: 22 E 54th St. New York, NY
Papillon is a French brasserie and bar right off Fifth Avenue in mid town.
Located not too far from Central Park, Papillon is a festive bar frequented by those that work in the area. Besides drinks, you can also order food and even brunch on the weekends. In the winter, Papillon is decorated with seasonal decorations on both levels.
Lunch is usually less crowded but if you visit after work or on a weekend you can expect a large crowd, especially in December.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge @ Moxy Times Square
Address: 485 7th Ave 18th Floor, New York, NY
Moxy Times Square’s rooftop bar & lounge is transferred into a Pink Winter Lodge – Frosted Edition this winter.
You can experience the iconic carousel glistening with over 25K rhinestones nestled in between snowy brances, a sparkling white gondola set to the backdrop of the Empire State Building.
You can also enjoy seasonal drinks and food with in this white winter wonderland.
[Returning 2023] Tinseltown at Pekarna NYC
Address: 594 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY
Tinseltown: Where Everyday is Christmas is one of the newest New York City Christmas themed bar in 2022. This pop-up bar will take over Pekarna in Upper West Side from December 1 to January 14th.
Tinseltown is not only in New York but there are Tinseltown Christmas pop-up bars in other cities such as Vancouver, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, etc.
Tickets will be required to enter the themed bar and each ticket include a welcome drink (even non-alcoholic drinks are available). Stay tuned for more photos when the bar opens in NYC.
[Returning 2023] Frosty’s
Address: 220 W 44th St. New York, NY
Frosty’s is another new Christmas pop up bar adding to the long list of NYC holiday bars in 2022. They will be returning to NYC in 2023.
Starting November 30th (till January 1), Frosty’s is taking over Bacall’s, a family steakhouse in the middle of Times Square.
You can expect full on over the top holiday decorations and Christmas experience at Frosty’s. They have holiday themed cocktails, holiday photo experiences to make it a wonderful Christmas experience.
[New in 2023] Sippin’ Santa @ Thief LES
Address: 161 Ludlow St. New York, NY 10002
New in 2023 is the return of Sippin’ Santa, but this time at the Thief LES. Sippin’ Santa is associated with the Miracle pop up bar, so you may think the name “Thief” sounds familiar since I just mentioned it above in the Miracle Pop up section.
This bar will return on November 20th, 2023 and runs through the month of December.
Christmas & Holiday Themed Igloo Bars and Dining in New York City
Igloo is a thing in New York City in the winter. Below are some of the best igloo bars and dining options in New York City during the winter hoilday season.
Winter Wonderland at Somewhere Nowhere
Address: 112 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001
One of the newest igloo pop up in New York City this winter is the Winter Wonderland at Somewhere Nowhere.
Featuring 8 heated teardrop-shaped igloos overlooking the Empire State Building, Somewhere Nowhere can provide you with a cozy refuge amidst the cold New York City winter. Each igloo fits up to 5 people and comes with an integrated Alexa music system, allowing you to control the playlist.
You will find winter cocktails like Choctail made with Woodinville Bourbon, Trader Vic’s Chocolate Liqueur, Rumple Minze, Hot Chocolate, Butter and Marshmallows and mouth watering bites curated by Executive Chef, Sandy Hall like Wagyu Beef sliders and Mushroom Crostini.
You can book these igloos for $85 per person for Thursday to Saturday, with seating times available from 5pm – 9:30pm from now until March 2024. Each igloo reservation for 2 or more people include a bottl eof champagne.
230 Fifth Igloo Bar
Address: 230 5th Ave, NY
230 Fifth is a popular rooftop bar on 5th Avenue among tourists. It is famous for its view of the Empire State Building and in the winter this rooftop bar is transformed into an Igloo land.
There are large igloos set up that allow you to enjoy your drink and the view without getting cold! I recommend going early on a week day as this bar can get really crowded on the weekends at night.
You can either share an igloo with other guests or reserve a private one for $2500 food and beverage credit for up to 25 guests.
Address: 180 Orchard St. 15th Floor, NY
Mr. Purple is a bar and restaurant in Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side.
During the winter time Mr. Purple partners with Veuve Clicquot to create a snow globe on its rooftop with cozy ski-lodge decor and a festive champagne bar, themed cocktails, dishes. The bar gets very popular so reservation is encouraged.
Salon de Ning at the Peninsula
Address: 700 5th Ave, New York
The rooftop bar at the Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue is transformed into a winter wonderland featuring chalet-inspired domes.
This rooftop bar has dramatic skyline views over Fifth Avenue. During the holiday season you can experience what it feels like to be in snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps right in the heart of Manhattan.
City Winery at Rockefeller Center
Address: Rockefeller Plaza
Rockefeller Center is literally the symbol of NYC Christmas, thanks to the giant Christmas Tree, iceskating rink and all the decorations nearby. To add onto the festivity, City Winery has an outdoor pop-up wine garden every winter with igloos (or they call Winter Domes).
City Winery has its iconic winter domes with views of the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The domes are generally available the Friday after Thanksgiving every year.
Route 66 Smokehouse
Address: 46 Stone St. New York
Located on Stone Street in the Financial District, Route 66 Smokehouse is an American restaurant with BBQ and beer garden.
There is even a TV in the tent so you can watch sports or play classic Nintendo games! The price is $75 per guest + tax and tip and reservation is pre-paid. You will have 1 hour 45 minutes to spend in the bubble tent.
The Standard Winter Garden
Address: 25 Cooper Sq, New York, NY
The Standard hotel in the heart of East Village turns its outdoor dining space into a cozy Winter Garden.
You can now book a heated yurt for your whole party (2 to 10 guests) and enjoy a tasty prix-fixe shareable feast, with choices ranging from Wagyu Sliders to Frito Pie to tableside S’mores.
This year’s pop up draws inspiration from the rustic nostalgia of winter hideaways, with oversized mushroom, sculptures, kaleidoscopic colors.
The Most Festive Christmas & Holiday Pop Up Restaurants in NYC
Loreley Restaurant & Beer Garden
Address: 7 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
If you are looking for a festive beer garden then look no further than Loreley Restaurant & Beer Garden. Started in 2003, Loreley is modeled after the Brauhauses in Cologne, Germany and it was the first of its kind focusing on German beers.
Loreley boasts one of the largest heated outdoor beer gardens in the city, and in addition to German and craft beers, offers cocktails, wines and spirits as well. The extensive menu of beer-friendly dishes features giant pretzels paired with warm beer cheese dip; grilled Sausage Party platters; schnitzels, cheesy spaetzle with bacon; burgers and more.
During the holiday season from November 16th to January 7th, Loreley is transformed into a Winter Wonderland. It is decked out with over the top holiday lights and décor both indoors and outdoors in the heated beer garden.
You can also get holiday themed drinks like the Boozy Bourbon Black & White Hot chocolate, Spiked Eggnog, Hot Bourbon Apple Cider, Gluhwein (signature German mulled wine), and other holiday cocktails like Peppermint NItro Martini, Winter Sangria, seasonal craft beers and Hot Toddy. They also have happy hour holiday specials. Be sure to check them out!
*Photo credit: Loreley Garden
Tavern On The Green
Address: Central Park, W 67th St, NY
Central Park doesn’t have a Christmas tree of its own but don’t worry, Tavern on the Green does! Located on the west side of Central Park on 67th St, Tavern on the Green is a modern restaurant with a large terrace. There are many events/ weddings held here every year but it’s also open to public when there are no events.
You can’t get into the court yard without actually dining there, but fortunately you can still capture a nice photo of the court yard and all the Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree from the outside without having to eat there.
Address: 281 3rd Ave, NY
Rolf’s is a famous German restaurant and bar known for its elaborate holiday decorations in Gramercy Park. It has been around for about 50 years now and it draws tons of crowds during the winter.
You can actually go to Rolf’s in the fall to take photos! The decorations will be up and there is nobody, so you can have the entire place to yourself.
If you want to go in December you should make a reservation. They only take reservation for tables over the phone, or you can go about 30 minutes before they open (they open at noon), and get a table when they first open.
Everyone who sits at a table needs to order the main dish, which is between $30-40 per plate. If you decide to just stand at the bar, you will need to order at least one drink.
For two people, we ordered one main each and apple juice, and it turned out to be about $100 for the both of us. To be honest the food is not good, but you don’t go to Rolf’s for the food, do you?
Jingle Bell Book & Candle
Address: 141 W 10th St, New York
Jingle Bell Book & Candle is an American eatery that get most of the produce from its own rooftop garden. Since they have their own garden, the menu cycles are seasonal and heavily dependent on what they produce in their garden.
During the holiday season, the restaurant becomes super festive, decorated with Christmas cards (you can sign one as well).
They also offer festive holiday signature cocktails including the Canela Navidad made with cinnamon-infused Cazadores tequila, lemon and grapefruit, the Coal for Christmas with mint & charcoal-infused Grey Goose vodka, lemon, coconut, and charcoal, the Scrooged with rosemary infused Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Bacardi black barrel rum, Christmas spice and angostura
Reservation is encouraged and can be found on Resy.
Haven Ski Chalet at the Sanctuary Hotel
Address: 132 W. 47th Street, New York
Located in the heart of Times Square is Haven Rooftop above The Sanctuary Hotel. During this winter, this rooftop is transformed into a Haven Ski Chalet with holiday decors.
You will find a beautiful dining area with cranberry bundles and holly arching its way above each table, with shimmering Christmas lights overhead, evergreen garland, and flannel pillows and blankets.
If you really are really feeling the holiday spirit, you can order shot skis with lunch, brunch or dinner. Reservation is highly recommended via OpenTable.
Address: 70 South St, NY
Because of the pandemic, in the winter season Industry Kitchen has set up these private chalets outside of the restaurant. Will update winter 2022 to see if these are still available or not.
Located in the Seaport District of Lower Manhattan, Industry Kitchen is a highly rated restaurant next to the historic South Street Seaport. It is a large venue that can seat up to 300 guests with indoor and outdoor seating.
During the winter Industry Kitchen has really cute Christmas decorations on the outside but also offer Christmas themed drinks and food such as the frozen peppermint slide, Christmas pizza, etc.
Address: 107 E 34th Street, NY
Villa Berulia is a Croatian & Italian restaurant that has great reviews and loved by locals. Besides its good food, during the winter time Villa Berulia has lavish decorations outside of its restaurant that makes for a great Instagram photo.
Panna II Garden Indian Restaurant
Address: 93 1st Ave. #2, New York
Panna II Garden Indian Restaurant located in Lower Manhattan that is famous for its outrageous interior decorations and it is the decorations you are going for (you can read reviews of them on Google).
I’ve seen photos of this restaurant over and over again on Instagram but manage your expectations. Yelp review says there is crazy crowds but go see it for yourself.
Watermark Winter Wonderland at Pier 15
Next door to The Greens is Watermark, a cocktail bar offering drinks, German food and weekend brunch. During the winter Watermark bar offers a winter wonderland experience with waterfront private & heated “glasshouses”.
Aside from the “glasshouses”, there will also be illuminated trees, decorations and also a jumbo screen with holiday movies. There will be hot chocolate/cider and a waterfront cocktail lounge offered this year.
Winter Wonderland at Pier 17
For a second year in a row, Pier 17 will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland this November and December.
In the previous year, Pier 17 was transformed into a number of winter cabins for dining. However in 2023, they will add so much more to Pier 17 rooftop!
You will find a synthetic ice rink (the only rooftop skating rink in NYC) with a view of the bridges and the East River. There is a mini slide, seasonal treats and drinks and Santa’s living room with comfy armchair and photo opportunities.
Bonus: Festive Holiday Coffee Shop in New York City
This may be no secret but Ralph’s Coffee on Madison Avenue is probably the most festive cafe in NYC.
Located right inside the Ralph Lauren store on the Upper East Side, this beautiful cafe features a sit down dining area with tons of drinks and desserts. If you just want to stop by and grab a coffee, they also have counter to-go services with featured drinks. I got the gingerbread latte which was pretty yummy.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN NEW YORK CITY
If you are visiting New York City just for Christmas and the winter holiday, here is a list of the best areas to stay in NYC:
HERALD SQUARE OR TIMES SQUARE
Considered “mid-town” in NYC, both Herald Square and Times Square are very convenient for first time New York visitors.
Many subway lines stop at these two stations and you can walk to major tourist sites like Empire State, Times Square, Rockefeller Center. However most locals avoid these areas because it’s always so busy, crowded and loud.
CENTRAL PARK AREA
Central Park area is considered uptown and you can either stay at Upper West (west of Central Park), Upper East or Centra Park South. Central Park area is more quiet but has access to 1 or 2 subway lines. It’s a bit far from the rest of the items on your New York Itinerary but New York Subway goes everywhere.
NOMAD/ FLATIRON AREA
The Nomad and Flatiron Area is the area south of Herald Square (Empire State Building) down to the Flatiron Building (23rd street). More quiet than Times Square and Herald Square but still quite Central with good subway access. This is close to Eataly and Shake Shack if that helps to make your decision.
LOWER EAST SIDE
If you like food then Lower East Side is the area for you to stay. Walking distance to great food and Chinatown, LES has it all. However subway is a bit more limited but there are tons of buses. One of my favorite rooftop bars in New York City is in Lower East Side/ China Town called the Crown. Drinks are meh but the view is amazing.
Financial District has gotten more popular in recent years as more office buildings have been converted to apartments. Cheaper than mid town Manhattan, Financial District is a great option to explore lower Manhattan as well as the Statue of Liberty.
Honestly if you are staying close to a subway station in Manhattan you can’t really go wrong with any area. The only exception is if you stay very west or very east near the water. Subways generally don’t run there and you will need to walk a lot!
Just a note on Airbnbs or hostels in New York City: they are illegal. Well maybe not strictly regarding Airbnb but you won’t really find that many airbnbs or hostels in New York City especially in Manhattan.
I think there are some rules on who can rent out their residential property as Airbnbs in NYC. This is why you probably will find more hotels in NYC compare to other forms of accommodation.
If you want to check out other cool things to do and see in NYC in the winter and during the holiday season, here are some other articles that may interest you!
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