Food & Drink

Need to Avoid Your Family? Head to These NYC Bars That Are Open on Christmas Day.

Courtesy of LOCL

There are a number of reasons you might find yourself at a bar on December 25th: You don’t celebrate Christmas, you ran out of booze at home, or you desperately need to get away from your uncle from Tennessee who is just as obnoxious about politics in real life as he is on Facebook. No matter the reason, plenty of New York City bars are ready to welcome you on Christmas Day. From dark dives where you can wallow away in your Christmas sorrows over a lukewarm can of PBR to trendy cocktail spots where you may just find a Love Actually-worthy Christmas romance (or something like that), these are the spots to visit on the 25th.

Bill’s Bar & Burger

Rockefeller Center (& Financial District)

Skip the exceptionally bland ham at home and treat yourself to a beer and bacon cheeseburger (add guac) just close enough to Rockefeller Center for one last guilt-free selfie in front of the tree. The bar & restaurant will be open from 12pm-10pm.



Harlem’s newest cocktail den from former Angel’s Share mixologist Shige Kabashima will be serving its creative cocktails like the Tomato/Clam with mezcal, tomato, wasabi, and clam, from 2pm-12am.



Upper East Side

Starting at 7pm, you can head to the leather banquette-filled bar that made the Upper East Side a worthy night-out destination. After grabbing something from Seamstress’ celebratory amaro open bar, you can choose from a number of creative cocktails from mixology deity Pamela Wiznitzer, like the $14 Liquid Gold (rye, St.-Germain, lime, white port, sesame, cucumber).

Playa Betty’s

Upper West Side

Make Christmas Day a beach day from 12pm-10pm with Playa Betty’s slew of colorful margaritas or a seasonal Spicy Old Fashioned made with chili-infused rum, mole bitters, and a Peychaud's bitters-infused ice ball. Add a side of Austin-style queso and customizable guacamole, because it is a holiday, after all.

Kings County Imperial


Take your traditional Chinese food delivery up a notch this year by heading to the bar at Kings County Imperial, where you can start drinking Tiki-accented cocktails as early as 12pm, before treating yourself to several rounds of dumplings.

Leave Rochelle Out of It

Lower East Side

Starting at 4pm, you can finally unwind from the holiday madness with a $5 beer and shot at Rochelle’s. Stick around late enough and you can dance off all that disappointing present-induced post-Christmas sadness.

Planet Rose

Alphabet City

Do your best version of caroling during Planet Rose’s 4pm-8pm karaoke happy hour featuring $3 beers and $4 well drinks. Cozy up on zebra print booths and get ready to sing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” for the very last time this season (probably).

Courtesy of LOCL


Upper West Side

Converted into a Midwinter’s Night Dream by a designer from Parsons, the winter wonderland bar at the NYLO hotel will be serving Shakespearian holiday-themed cocktails starting at 3pm, including the Love in Idleness (tequila, Lillet, elderflower, lemon, absinthe, blue pea flower ice). Two dollars from each cocktail sale will be donated to Save the Children. Drink up, it’s for the kids!



Astoria’s quirkiest comedy club will be vending takeout Chinese food along with wine, beer, and movie snacks during its 12-7pm quadruple movie screening, which will be followed by a comedy show.

Oficina Latina


A rainbow of fruit-flavored margaritas, mojitos, caipirinhas, and piña coladas will be flowing from 11am to 10pm or midnight -- depending on turnout -- at this Nolita taqueria. Bring an appetite, because you’ll definitely want some tacos as well.

Boulton & Watt

Lower East Side

To really get into the Santa spirit, head to the home of the cast-iron chocolate chip cookie with a side of milk, where you can also count on plenty of beer and hot cider spiked with spiced rum starting at 5pm.

Jake’s Dilemma

Upper West Side

If watching sports is a Christmas Day necessity, make like your favorite Upper West Side frat bro and head to Jake’s starting at 3pm for cheap drinks and a 4pm NFL game.

Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel

Midtown West

Treat yourself to one last holiday indulgence at this elegant old-school lounge, where you can split a $70 Chartruesian Velvet Sling -- a gin-filled pineapple tribute to The Plaza’s historic basement Tiki bar, and a wonderfully cheesy way to celebrate winter in New York -- until 4:45pm when the Palm Court closes for the night. If you’re eager to continue drinking at the ritzy hotel, move down to the Champagne Bar, which is open until 11pm, or the Rose Club, which will pour booze until Christmas ends at midnight.

Lo-Res Bar at Nitehawk Cinema


You don’t have to stay for a traditional Christmas movie to spend the 25th hanging out at Nitehawk’s bar from 11am-1am with film buffs, thirsty Brooklynites, and a wall of nostalgia-inducing VHS tapes... though, not staying for a screening of It’s a Wonderful Life feels like a pretty big mistake.


Lower East Side

This quaint Argentinian restaurant on Stanton St will be pouring from its extensive selection of South American wines (and serving warm mulled wines) from 1pm-9:30pm. Pair yours with an upgraded Christmas meal of empanadas and albondigas (meatballs).

Outdoor Ice Bar at Dream Downtown


If you’re looking to do something over the top, head to this exceedingly sceney hotel bar, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland complete with an icicle chandelier and toy penguins outfitted in their holiday best. There’s nothing like a fake penguin in a vest and top hat to make you want to drink, right? The bar will open at 5pm and stay open as long as the party goes on.

Ulysses' Folk House

Financial District

Head down to the Seaport for an afternoon full of old-fashioned, tavern-style drinking on Pearl St. Feel free to wear your Christmas PJs, in case things get sloppy.  


Battery Park

Get cozy at this Conrad Hotel wine bar/restaurant with a seasonal cocktail menu featuring warm drinks like a boozy hazelnut hot chocolate spiked with Baileys and Frangelico, spiked hot apple cider, and a hot toddy made with fresh peppermint, served until 2am.

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Melissa is a writer based in NYC who has never been to a bar on Christmas.