Carving out a comfortable spot to unwind in the city that never sleeps is easy—if you know where to look. Tucked away inside New York's top-notch restaurants, bars and coffee shops are some of the best nooks to relax in. From fancy drinks dens with warm, winter cocktails to neighborhood bars with roaring fireplaces, these are the coziest bars and restaurants in New York.
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Coziest restaurants and bars in NYC
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.
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.
This winter pop-up at rooftop bar Gallow Green is fitted out like an old-timey cabin, complete with wall-mounted, candlestick-style lamps, cozy, flannel-draped armchairs and a desk scattered with pinecones and parchment. Keep to the cabin, where you can flip through sepia-paged books and even snuggle into a bunk bed, or wander outside towards a crackling fire pit surrounded by plush overstuffed couches. No cold-weather getaway is complete without a warm drink (or two) in hand, so grab a fortifying Maple Toddy, an earthy mulled wine or a spiced-up Irish coffee, grab a seat by one of the fresh evergreens, and pretend you’re one of those rare breed of New Yorkers that—gasp!—has access to an actual country home.
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.
The Twenty Bar
Cocktail lovers might be spoiled for choice at this Williamsburg bar. Options include the Paisley Park with gin, crème de violette, lemon juice and champagne, the Tea At 3 with velvet falernum, arak, ginger beer and mint and the Besame Mucho with mezcal, lemon juice, agave, worcestershire sauce, angostura bitter and a cayenne-salt rim ($12 each). Patrons can also take advantage of The Twenty’s beer and shot specials—Tecate and a shot for $6 or a Tiger tall boy and a double shot for $8—or order something off the wine list ($8–$15). Local DJs spin Latin reggae, disco funk and house pop on Friday nights and hip-hop, ‘80s and ‘90s throwbacks and rock on Saturday nights.
Venue says: “Happy hour from 5pm-8pm includes $10 signature cocktails, $6 beer & shot, $5 house wine. Mention Time Out to extend HH til 9pm!”