Gasp, it’s that time of year again–winter! Okay, so it’s not quite here yet but it might as well be. It’s that bleak period after you “fall back” and it gets dark before you even leave work! Talk about a reason to get depressed! This weather used to leave me running for the subway and rushing home to snuggle up with red wine and a movie on my couch. Hibernating from November through March just isn’t okay, and I’m not gonna let winter turn me into a shut-in. So I’ve compiled a list of my favorite bars around New York City that you can meet friends and, have some cocktails and still stay warm! Some of them even have fireplaces. And let’s face it fireplaces are one of the only reasons to look forward to winter–well, that and of course Christmas. And I do love me some Christmas!!! But I digress…so, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite bars to frequent during New York City’s winter months when it’s at its most freezing! Oh and by “New York City,” you know my ethnocentric butt means Manhattan. Make the most out of getting snowed in this winter
This subterranean spot is tucked below Chelsea Market. It’s super cozy and boasts classic architectural touches like exposed brick and reclaimed water tower wood and train rails from the Highline park. Try one of their expertly prepared and creative cocktails or one of many craft beers that are offered. The music is always fun and the lively bar brings in a relaxed crowd.
Image via Matthew Caldicott
Curl up next to the wood-burning fireplace in this delightful gastropub. The building is a landmark that dates back to the late 1800s. The food here is delish and will satisfy any appetite. My personal favorite is the grass-fed burger.
This adorable two-story bar fills the hole for a much-needed relaxing bar amidst the frat-party chaos. They even have live jazz some nights! Just as cool as its older sister bar, Little Branch.
This old-school hang is a timeless bar with discerning guests. They serve up an impressive selection of cocktails in an inviting and laid-back atmosphere.
If you’re unlucky enough to be stuck by Times Square around the holidays you will understand what a blessing it is to find a decent bar in the area away from the horrors of the tourists! Maple is cozy while at the same time managing to remain sleek and modern. 157 West 47th Street, 212-221-7200
McSorley’s is New York’s oldest continuously operated saloon and it’s still going strong! This no-frills pub is a great place to escape the cold weather. Take a trip back in time (women were only granted access here in 1970!) to this old-timey spot and grab a beer!
Definitely one of the classiest joints in the city. This place is basically a shrine to fine liquor. Melt into the giant leather armchairs while you sip a fine Cognac, Calvado or any other cocktail you can imagine. The trouble will be trying to choose–with more than 45 classic cocktails I just never know how to choose.
Image via Yelp of Ninth Ward
Grab a drink here and enjoy the warmth of a roaring fireplace situated right next to the main bar. This adorable bar in the East Village serves plenty of strong classics like the Sazerac that will warm you right up! 180 Second Ave., 212-979-9273.
There is nowhere better to enjoy the seasons than at Rolf’s! The decorations here are always over the top no matter when you come. My favorite time of year though is around the holidays when it looks like Kmart’s Christmas section exploded all over the restaurant! Savor over delicious German fare and enormous beers to boot!
Image via Time Out New York
This elaborately thought out decor is so welcoming–it just invites you to come hither. The dim lighting, the velvet couches and the extravagant rugs are so posh. The bartenders serve up expertly crafted cocktails (for a pretty penny of course!). My favorite is the hotel’s namesake–the Bowery, which contains gin and champagne.
I love this comfortable bar because it makes me feel like I’m in Europe. It’s a very intimate space that’s inspired by an early 19th century retreat. They serve rustic fare, which is complimented by a working fireplace.
Make the most out of getting snowed in this winter! Do you have another cozy bar that tops your winter hit list? Let me know in the comments!
This Upper East Side favorite will make you feel like you’re in your favorite cozy British pub in England! It’s fabulous.
And don’t forget to check out our Tips for Visiting NYC During Christmas Season other great things to do in New York City around the holidays!