New Yorkers are a tough breed, but when the winter chill really sets in, you’re bound to see bargoers flocking to the coziest bars in town. Amidst frosty winds and wet snowfall, even the most hardened urbanite will appreciate rustic warmth of a roaring fire. From romantic spots to hoppy beer bars, these are the best bars with fireplaces NYC has to offer.
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Best bars with fireplaces in NYC
Venue says: “Gold rush happy hour - Monday through Friday 4:20 - 7pm. Late night Happy Hour Sunday-Thursday 11pm - to close”
The white-brick mantel gives the gas-fueled fireplace at this two-story beer bar a homey feel, even when the place is packed. Brewhounds can hunker down with one of the 100-plus international beers by the bottle or one of 28 on tap, but we recommend going with one of the hot punches (often mulled wine or spiked cider), served in a teakettle and ideal for sharing with a friend or romantic flame ($18).
On weekends when escaping the city isn’t a viable option, head to this cabinlike space for a rustic retreat. Your objective: Snag a seat around the wood-burning brick hearth. Though the wine list offers a wide variety of options, sip the mulled vino ($8) to eradicate any chill left in your bones.
Hightail it to the back of this long, narrow space to secure your spot by the gas fireplace. If the hearthside benches are already filled, you’ll still feel the festive spirit as you sit in a carved-wood booth beneath strings of colorful, twinkling lights. Wash down the traditional German bratwurst sandwich ($6.50) with a whiskey-laden hot toddy ($8), which riffs on the recipe from an erstwhile bartender’s Scottish granny.
This standard-bearing cocktail parlor from mixology matriarch Julie Reiner (Lani Kai) expresses its Victorian bent in intricate tile work, curved leather booths, marble tables, vintage sofas and a functioning fireplace. The centerpiece is the 19th-century mahogany bar, where vest-clad barkeeps stir and shake throwback potions, handily defined in the novel-like menu. Choose among regal crystal bowls of punch or finely wrought drinks, both classic and new. The Improved Whiskey Cocktail lives up to its name with an oversize ice cube mellowing a brawny blend of rye, maraschino liqueur, bitters and absinthe. Call for an order of house chips fried in duck fat, or a cheese plate featuring wedges sourced from neighborhood fromagerie Stinky Bklyn to keep you moored.
A fortune teller greets patrons at this comfortably-worn reproduction of a prohibition speakeasy. There’s a rousing scene in front, a mix of diehard regulars and industry types who jockey for the attentions of the chef-coat–clad barkeeps. Of all of the city’s craft cocktail joints Employees Only is among the most populist, with enough nerd-baiting tipples on the menu to please aficionados without alienating everyone else. Easy sipping libations include the floral Provencal, a silky blend of lavender-infused gin, vermouth steeped with herbs de Provence and Cointreau. More seasoned drinkers can call for a Hi-Octane Fix, made with aged rum and scotch, Cocchi di Torino vermouth, Grand Marnier and bitters.
More than 400 varities of whiskey line the shelves at this bar from nightlife maven Tommy Tardie and cocktail ace Miguel Aranda (Bar Masa, Apotheke). Check out the ancient flooring (the planks are 100-year-old reclaimed wood) while nibbling cured meats, cheeses, oysters and ceviches and enjoying nightly jazz performances.
Ease into a seat near the gas-powered, black-laquered hearth and scan the list of tipples, including the frothy New York Harvest (bourbon, applejack, lemon, egg white, red wine; $15). The bar often has limited hours and can be rented out for private parties; be sure to call ahead and make a reservation so you’re not left out in the tourist-ridden streets of Midtown.
As pleasant as it is to dine in the front room of this bistro and nosh on coq au vin, the best seats in the house are hidden in the cozy back room, where you’ll find lounge furniture and a vintage cast-iron stove. Warm up by the wood-burning device and mull the affordable, all-French wine list; nine selections are offered by the glass, 60 by the bottle. We’re partial to the Cahors malbec (glass $11, carafe $32, bottle $44), a spicy, medium-bodied red with hints of cranberry.
LIC’s owners inherited the previous bar’s brick, wood and tin-ceiling fixtures, then brought in a laid-back attitude all their own—and a much more extensive drink selection. They also added an outdoor patio where you can smoke, tie up the dog and even order delivery from nearby restaurants. LIC is a convenient keep-the-party-going pit stop for music fans who migrate down the block after P.S. 1’s Warm Up evenings.
You’ll have to battle the hotel’s out-of-town guests to score a seat in the Art Deco–inspired environs, but it’s well worth it if you can secure one of the overstuffed couches or chairs by the gas furnace. Arrive early, pretend like you own the place and enjoy a stiff Negroni ($14), crafted with Bulldog gin, Antica Formula and Campari.
When the legendary dive bar closed its original Lower East Side location in 2013, regulars were devastated. Thankfully, they didn’t have to go without their Max Fish fix for too long. The bar reopened just a few blocks away in 2014, and bartenders have been slinging cheap drinks ever since. Fans will recognize a few relics—like a cigarette-shaped light and sculpture of a woman sweeping—in the decor, and Max Fish still functions as a bar-cum-art-gallery. Join the crowds at the bar, or for more privacy, rent out the basement for your party. It has its own DJ, bar and a separate entrance. On any given night, you’ll see 20-somethings grooving to electronica, a few old hats nursing beers on barstools and maybe even a few famous patrons. After all, Max Fish is known for hosting celebrities like Johnny Depp, Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan.
Venue says: “The Basement at Max Fish can be booked for private parties. It has it's own private entrance, bar, and DJ.”