Christmas Cheer in NYC

Our list of bars and restaurants to fulfill your holiday hankering!

Words by Caroline Spain

Every year when the radiators of New York’s ancient buildings start rattling fervently, the trash bags loading the sidewalks glisten with the glitter of snow, and thick steam bubbles out onto the salted streets from potholes-it is declared the holiday season. New York loves Christmas and Christmas loves New York. Practically every structure within the city undergoes a festive metamorphosis complete with twinkling lights, wreaths, holly, and mistletoe. If you’re a Christmas addict and happen to be lucky enough to experience New York during this magical season, here’s a list of bars and restaurants to fulfill your holiday hankering.


Eataly is a well known large-scale Italian market that services its customers with authentic Italian products, pastries, beverages, and cooking courses. Eataly also hosts a multitude of quality restaurants- one of which is SERRA ALPINA. Serra Alpina translates literally to “greenhouse” in English. This rooftop restaurant transitions with the seasons and provides a bizarrely soothing oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Flatiron District. Come late November, SERRA Alpina transforms from an ornate foliage fantasy to a winter wonderland. The winter design draws its inspiration from the Stella Alpina, a rare flower that speckles the northern alps in Italy. This spot is decorated with frosted branches, yellowy lights, and a consistently stunning view of New York’s skyline. The food itself caters to the often glacial temperatures sweeping through the region during the winter season. The menu includes but is not limited to ciders, salami, truffles, root vegetables, seasonal selection of cheeses and to top it all off, Chantilly cream profiteroles draped in a warm and silky chocolate sauce.

Boilermaker (Sippin Santa)

Boilermaker in the East Village undergoes its own Christmas Miracle November 25- December 31st. The usually cocktail/ dive bar hybrid transforms into a simultaneously tropical and wintry Christmas luau. The pop up coined the name “Sippin’ Santa” and is the brainchild of Beach Bum Berry, an iconic and highly influential cocktail personality. During the holiday season you can find the bartenders at Boilermaker slinging Christmas inspired cocktails such as the “Shaka Kalikimaka” featuring gin, cranberry, orange, anise, and allspice or the “Kris Kringle Colada” which is comprised of Dark Jamaican Rum, Cynar, Allspice, Lime & Pineapple Juice and Cream of Coconut. Boilermaker gives its customers a tropical getaway while maintaining the magic of Christmas in New York City.

Paddy Maguires

Paddy Maguire’s is the kind of place that will give you the feeling you’re celebrating something year-round. However, it provides an exceptionally lively atmosphere around the holidays. The ceilings are decorated with hundreds of multi-colored lights that illuminate the space with pools of red, blue, gold, and green. An impressive collection of ornaments is weaved in throughout the strands of lights providing a photo-worthy display. Bonus, Paddy Maguire’s boasts a solid selection of draught pints, cider, and liquor that will have you wondering if it’s the alcohol or the Christmas cheer giving you a warm, fuzzy feeling.

The Winter Rose Garden

This list wouldn’t be complete without a date idea. If you’re looking for a hushed romantic spot that still embodies the decadence and enchanting nature of the holiday season, grab an intimate booth at the Winter Rose Garden. This over the top exquisite pop up is located in the lobby bar at the Dream Hotel. The display is comprised of 15,000 roses with red accented pieces and dim candlelight. The bar there is happy to offer its patrons seasonal cocktails such as the primrose cider and winter daiquiri. The Dream Hotel is known for its striking visuals and continues to push for more wowing displays for its guests.