Festive East Village Stops

If the holidays are a gateway to an imaginative wonderland, the East Village is the incarnation of that wonderland in bars and restaurants that bring the lights of the season with a Downtown twist.

Rolf’s is a local legend where old-school German Christmas is channeled through a playful New York City sensibility. Here, the question is not whether the decorations will be over the top but, rather, HOW they will reach new heights — physically and metaphorically — each year. New York Magazine writes, “The woodland wonderland dining room at Rolf’s is transformed into a Christmas spectacular that’s as much a December institution as the Rockettes and Rockefeller Center.” Grab a plate of suckling pig and a stein of pilsner to enjoy under the canopy of ornaments, dolls, and tinsel, and you’ll be in your own New York-meets-the-Brothers Grimm fairytale.

The aptly named Miracle, a pop-up bar at Mace, is the perfect place to find the Christmas spirit embodied in a cocktail. More than just eggnog (though you’ll find that here, too), the drinks list reads like a poem to the spirit of holiday mixology and to all the best Christmas associations you can think of. Drinks like Santa’s Little Helper evoke the taste and smell of a winter forest with sage, eucalyptus, and caraway syrup. It also doesn’t hurt that many of the drinks on offer are served in holiday-themed mugs you can refill at your leisure, like the Santa Pants, Santa Mug, and Christmas Carol Barrel. Try the Grandma Got Run Over by a T-Rex served in a Tyrannosaurus rex mug, and the playfulness of the season will follow you home to your East Village luxury apartment at EVGB.

The Standard’s No Bar serves up glasses of prosecco as well as classic cocktails like the Keep It Simple — the platonic ideal of a gin and tonic — when you’re looking for something a little more romantic for your holiday festivities. If you’re a fan of Irish literature, you might associate Christmas with James Joyce’s famous story “The Dead,” in which an unusual Christmas snow falls on Ireland and the pathos of this time of year rings out on every page, along with references to Irish hospitality. That hospitality is exactly what you’ll find at The Late Late, an Irish bar whose aesthetic is inspired by a typical 1960s-era Irish residence. Come for the Guinness and stay for the Ballymaloe Burger, featuring malt mayo and white cheddar.

Mr. Purple, a rooftop bar at the Hotel Indigo, is a great spot for views, and The Skinny Bar and Lounge will transport you to an island getaway with its plant-lined walls and ceiling dangling a sea of umbrellas. It’s a reminder that there is no such thing as one classic East Village Christmas, and that the richness of the holiday nightlife means you can forge new traditions just moments from the East Village rentals at EVGB well into the new year.

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