Tis the season for baubles, tinsel, ornaments, trains, gingerbread and igloos – yes, igloos – at some of the city’s restaurants and bars.
They’ve gone beyond a wreath slapped up on the door and taken holiday decorating to a whole, new level. Here are a few New York City eateries that go all out for the holidays:
1. Rolf’s – 281 3rd Avenue (at 22nd Street)
Rolf’s, a German restaurant in Gramercy, is completely decked out with about $65,000 worth of Christmas decorations. Hungry New Yorkers eager to get in the holiday spirit line up outside before the restaurant’s 12 p.m. opening to get a seat in the center of the holiday cheer.
Reservations are tricky – the phone lines are constantly busy – but decoration devotees can try their luck by showing up at the restaurant until it closes at 10 p.m. Christmas enthusiasts who don’t mind waiting a bit can also wait until after the holiday season for a visit to Rolf’s: their decorations are kept up until the spring.
Rolf’s is open 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
2. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment – 249 West 49th (at 8th Avenue) and 13 East 17th (at 5th Avenue)
This restaurant, with locations in Times Square and Union Square, has gone all out with its decorations for the last eight years.
“When you come in, you have no choice but to get into the Christmas vibe,” Lillie’s employee Ronan Kerr said. “The music and the decorations and the food: everything just oozes Christmas.”
Lillie’s locations are open from 11 a.m. – 4 a.m.
Here are other spots in New York City to celebrate the holidays in style.
3. 230 Fifth – 230 5th Avenue (at East 27th)
Ever wondered what it’s like to drink in an igloo? 230 Fifth has the answer. The igloos, which are first-come first-serve and seat 11 people each, are situated on the bar’s rooftop and offer a stunning view of Manhattan.
The rooftop deck is partially heated. There are also seasonal drinks on offer including spiced whiskey martinis and rum-spiked hot cider.
230 Fifth is open 4 p.m. – 4 a.m.
4. Pete’s Tavern – 129 East 18th Street (at Irving Plaza)
Not only is Pete’s Tavern one of the oldest operating bars in New York City, but it’s also the place where well-known author O.Henry wrote “The Gift of the Magi.” The building that houses Pete’s dates back to 1829, but the inside holiday decor is wonderfully contemporary. Swing by for a ceiling ornately adorned with angelic white lights and good cheer for the taking.
Pete’s Tavern is open 11 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.