Coziest restaurants and bars in NYC
Though this dive radiates a 1970s vibe up front (argyle-patterned walls, oversize vinyl booths), it's the tucked-away, moody back room—lit by soft-glowing chandeliers and an ornate fireplace—that wins over the West Village crowd.
Journey north for the winter at this mountain-lodge takeover of Eataly’s rooftop bar, La Birreria, revamped with pine trees, vintage Dolomite artwork and Adirondack chairs, each draped with a warm blanket to snuggle into. Warm up further with melted raclette cheeses and three caldi (hot) cocktails with bases of tea, hot chocolate or eggnog; and classic-riffing cups like a Barr Hill Gin–charged White Hot Negroni and a frosty, espresso-laden Grappacino.
The rustic vino bar is even toastier inside than its log-cabin exterior suggests. With a glass of red in hand while sitting fireside, you'll feel like you're vacationing in the sleepy upstate woods, not hitting happy hour in the heart of Gowanus.
Escape the chill at this inviting rooftop lounge, where you can imbibe by the fireplace in the bookshelf-adorned writer’s den, or get lost in a novel—and a glass of wine—in the adjoining greenhouse. Cushy leather couches are one draw; literary-inspired cocktails like the lime-and-ginger Tequila Mockingbird are another.
This may or may not be the oldest bar in Brooklyn, but it for damn sure is the coziest. Dark wood, high ceilings and grizzled old regulars sidled up to the bar make it the alcoholic equivalent of a hug. Next time it snows, grab a book (and some cash—no credit cards accepted) and hunker down to sling back a few pints and play some tunes from the jukebox. Get ready for instant fuzzy feels.
We understand if you've never gotten beyond the 19th-century mahogany bar, fancy-pants cocktails—go classic with fizzes and sours—and exceptional small bites like steak tartare. But the back room is where you want to be. Behind a curtain (and sometimes a velvet rope), there's an exclusive chamber, heated by fireplace, where you can whisper, woo and be waited on.
This LES joint has come to be regarded as the tastemaking cabin-in-the-’hood at the end of the now-legendary alley. Its oft-copied taxidermied interior evokes a kind of hipster hunting lodge with worn, blanket-draped leather chairs, wooden bookshelves scattered with classic titles and a working fireplace. Reinforcing the cozy hideaway feel are hearty plates like Colorado lamb stew and house Cheshire pork and apple sausage.
The expansive bookshop is full of reading selections and a quaint café for spending an afternoon paging through your favorites. Plus, it's flooded in warm lighting that sets the mood for a chill afternoon to get lost in a deep conversation with a few friends.
The original Bar and Books location, the first dedicated cigar bar in the city, is a sophisticated spot for smoking cigars (indoors!) and sipping cognac. The shelved books, dark wood details and warm lighting, coupled with a full bar and light dishes, should give you enough incentive to avoid going back out into the cold.