The holidays are here and I seriously couldn’t be any happier. I talk a big game about Fall, but the holiday season makes it hard to not love both just as much. New York City is truly so magical this time of year. Everywhere you look businesses have decorated. Boutiques, deli’s, restaurants, etc… Year round New Yorker’s mostly socialize in restaurants and/or bars, and the holidays are no exception. I have put together my favorite restaurants to gather with family and friends during the holiday season for that extra special festive feel.
There is absolutely nothing quite like Rolf’s! This German restaurant is fully decorated for Christmas all year long. Yes, all year long. They don’t take any of the festive decor down. You can expect a traditional German menu full of schnitzel, spaetzle, bratwurst, potato pancakes, and more. Evenings get busy and the bar are gets lively but this is definitely the most festive restaurant in NYC.
Balthazar is a true New York City staple. The epitome of a big French bistro with red leather booths, martini’s, steak frites, and delicious sweets! Whether you visit for breakfast for dinner you’re bound to have a true NYC experience at Balthazar. They also have an adjacent bakery if you just want a quick coffee and/or baked good while on the go.
One of NYC’s oldest bars, Pete’s Tavern is a local favorite. Pete’s was founded in 1864 and has never shut its doors since. Serving a mostly Italian American menu that its regulars keep coming back for. As soon as you walk in you notice the wall filled with old photos through its decades in service and the many celebrities who have walked through its doors. Pete’s is a NYC landmark definitely worth visiting during the holiday season.
NYC’s most delicious seasonal restaurant. Menu and the decor is totally based on the current season. With American fare, bottomless brunch, exquisite rotating decor, and an amazing location this is a definite holiday must! I love the concept of changing not just the menu but also the decor as the seasons change. Definitely a unique and fun concept that keeps our family going back.
How could I resist a gorgeous indoor rooftop with a huge Italian market downstairs? I absolutely love this winter wonderland at Eataly Flatiron during the holidays. Its the perfect place to meet a girlfriend for a festive holiday lunch. I always grab some market necessities at the market downstairs on my way out. Because the restaurant uses all fresh imported ingredients from Italy the menu is always delicious and like taking a trip to Italy itself. Its also an incredibly kid friendly restaurant and high on my families favorites list.
I love a delicious French menu full of escargot, cheese, steak frites, etc…. Lafayette never disappoints for my French cravings. Similar to Paris and Parisians, theres an elegance to the restaurant and its aesthetic. As soon as you walk in, it feels grand and special and very festive for the holidays. With a sommelier on staff don’t hesitate to ask all your wine questions. They have one of my favorite bakeries in the city so I always make sure to grab a few baked goodies for the next day.
This grand bar at the Beekman Tower is a gorgeous space all year round but is extra special during the holidays. It transforms into a snow globe winter wonderland. Located on the top floor of the hotel, Ophelia is an indoor rooftop bar specializing in mixology and specialty cocktails. Perfect to warm up on a cold winter night. Ophelia is at the top of my list for the ultimate holiday beverage.
What is actually better than champagne and the holidays? Well the people at Veuve Clicquot totally agree! They have partnered with the very popular NYC rooftop bar Mr. Purple to bring New Yorkers the ultimate holiday bar pop up. Guests can be found sipping champagne in life size snow globe/ igloo like spaces. Don’t forget to order the fondue or to maybe indulge in a spike hot chocolate. This is the most Instagram worthy holiday space of the season!
Lucky Strike is another old school NYC classic adored by locals. Lucky Strikes definitely knows how to decorate for the festive season. The less elevated little brother to Balthazar and Pastis, Lucky Strike is a great option for a more casual evening. Regulars swear by the French onion soup and all the brunch options. With Happy Hour everyday of the week this is a wonderful no fuss restaurant perfect for a holiday catch up with a friend.
This is definitely one of the more refined options on my list. Located in a landmarked Greenwich Village carriage house this space is so unique its often used for weddings. With a prefixed menu and a full two story tree, its a must for a formal family holiday meal or a romantic meal with a sweet someone special.