Christmas / Holidays / New York City

Festive Eats in NYC – Holiday Restaurants for Families

Looking for a festive place for a family meal to bring in the Holiday season? New York City has plenty of options! From a restaurant that feels as if you are literally sitting inside a Christmas tree, restaurants that have a direct view of a world famous ice skating rink, and dining inside the largest present in NYC – the choices are endless for festive holiday meal madness. Below – a list of our favorites!

Best Holiday Restaurants in NYC

Rock Center Cafe NYCLook at this incredible view of the famous ice rink and the tree! 

Rock Center Cafe
Enjoy a meal under the twinkling lights of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, while watching ice skaters twirl on the famous rink – it doesn’t get more New York then this! Lunch, brunch, or dinner with the ultimate winter view – this restaurant looks directly eye level to the famed Rockefeller Ice Rink, with floor to ceiling windows. A Holiday dream come true in New York city’s most iconic holiday destinations – as you can imagine, reservations are essential. Be sure to also check out the fun Breakfast with Santa options – which include VIP admission (with no wait!) to the famous ice rink.
The Rock Center Café, 20 West 50th Street. NYC. Reservations required. More information HERE.


Smith & Wollensky in NYCWrapped up for the Holidays. Photo courtesy of Smith & Wollensky

The Biggest Present in the City – Smith & Wollensky
Is there anything more festive then eating inside a present? As part of its annual tradition, famed steakhouse Smith & Wollensky celebrates the holidays by transforming itself into the city’s largest Christmas present!  Already festive with its green and white exterior, Smith and Wollensky’s gets wrapped in a massive red bow from Thanksgiving through the beginning of the New Year. The restaurant is a New York City institution (celebrating 40 years this year!) and the adornment has become one of our favorite holiday attractions.
Smith & Wollensky. 797 3rd Avenue at 49th Street. More information and for reservations HERE.


Night scene with Igloos at 230 Fifth Rooftop in NYCIgloos in the city!

Dinner in an Igloo – 230 Fifth

Do not adjust your screen – that is a real Igloo you see! Perched high upon the 230 Fifth Rooftop in NYC, these amazing igloos are a winter lovers dream. Located on the largest rooftop in all of the city, there are over a half dozen igloos to explore, each made of plastic and PVC pipe, and decked out with fun colorful party lights. Each igloo is outfitted with tables and chairs, and can sit up to 11 people. Note that igloos can not be reserved, and are first come first served. Food is available (think burgers and sandwiches) however it is important to note that it could be cold – the igloos only have small space heaters and do not retain heat. There are restrictions for children – read about this and more in our full review here.
230 Fifth. Located at 230 Fifth Avenue at 27th Street. More information HERE.


Pete's Tavern NYCA sea of lights with a bite!

A Blanket of Lights – Pete’s Tavern
Pete’s Tavern, one of the oldest bars in NYC, is world renown for their festive Christmas decorations. The windows in front of the restaurant feature a Christmas village, and the bar entrance area is completely (and beautifully) COVERED in red Christmas lights over the entire ceiling. Grab a seat in the back in the restaurant, and enjoy amazing pub fare such as burgers and sandwiches in a remarkably friendly  and cozy atmosphere. One of our holiday favorites that we frequent year after year.
Pete’s Tavern. 129 E 18th St.  More information HERE.


The floor to ceiling windows of Public Fare offer quite a spectacular view!

A Winter Garden Window – Public Fare

Public Fare is a casual eatery that pops-up on the northeast corner of Bryant Park as part of The Winter Village.  It is a light filled space, with 3 separate counters – one for food such as grilled cheese and tomato soup, salads, and sandwiches; the other for coffee and pastries, the other a bar for adult beverages and treats. The food is good, but it doesn’t have anything on the views. The restaurant overlooks the famed ice rink, as well as the beautiful Bryant Park tree. There couldn’t possibly be a more festive setting.
Public Fare. 28 Bryant Park, the Northeast side of the park near the Library. More information HERE.


Santa's Sipping Surf ShackSip on tiki drinks with fun Christmas treats!

A Christmas Staycation – Sipping Santa’s Surf Shack
Aloha from the North Pole! Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack, a tiki Christmas pop-up bar, is back for the 2017 holiday season. This festive paradise is the perfect place to get away from the cold while enjoying a fun drink such as a Cindy Lou Who or a Kris Kringle (both of which are cocktails!). While yes, Santa’s Sipping Surf Shack is more of a bar setting, we brought our toddler son and enjoyed food away from the bar at a proper dinner table and it was perfectly fine. He got a kick out of the decor while enjoying one of their famous burgers and chips, while mom and dad were able to sip on a holiday cocktail – a Holiday win!
Santa’s Sipping Surf Shack. A Holiday Pop-Up located at Boilermaker NYC. 13 First Avenue (at First Street). New York, NY. Website HERE. 


Best Holiday Restaurants - Rolf's NYCNothing beats the incredible decor of Rolf’s!

Like Eating inside a Christmas Tree – Rolf’s
Can’t stop looking up at this famous German restaurant! From gorgeous glass ornaments to angels in porcelain, faux snow and seemingly miles of fancy tree garland – there is no way you won’t be in a Holiday spirit after your visit one of the best Holiday restaurants in New York City!  Rolf’s Is a NYC Holiday institution, and is much a Christmas spectacular as the Rockettes in Rockefeller Center. As such – the Restaurant is SLAMMED through the month of December, often with a hours long wait to gaze at the festive decor. Best bet for families- make a lunch of dinner reservation for the restaurant, and enjoy space at a (tightly packed) table instead of trying to cram the fam into the standing room only bar area.  Important to note: there is no children’s menu and the food is a bit pricey – be sure to check the menu before going. Even with this – it’s so it is worth it! Quite simply – If you haven’t been to Rolf’s, you haven’t celebrated the holidays in NYC. A must see.
Rolf’s. 281 Third Avenue at 22nd Street. Reservations ESSENTIAL. Website and More Information HERE.

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