There are plenty of watering holes to stop off at in between Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. Here are our favorite bars that are serving up classic cocktails and tasty bites. By Carly Petrone/Selena Ricks-Good
Southwest Porch at Bryant Park
42nd St. and Avenue of the Americas
Cozy up with an adult hot chocolate at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park. Grab a coveted seat on the swings and sip on a boozy hot cocoa or spiked cider while enjoying the park’s atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. Nosh on a burger or salad and dine near the fire pit. Plus, if you need to recharge your computer or cell phone, there are power outlets available to keep all of your devices going.
Cellar Bar at The Bryant Park Hotel
40 W. 40th St.
Step into the gothic underground Cellar Bar inside The Bryant Park Hotel and have a one-of-a-kind experience. You’ll feel like you’re inside a cave with the bar’s large, brick-lined archways and candles that cast a dim glow on this swanky lounge. Their atmosphere is equally matched with a robust list of house cocktails and modern classics. Favorites include the “Love Shack” (Tito’s vodka, fresh white peach, passion fruit, champagne float), The “A.R.C.” (Breckenridge bourbon, homemade mint syrup, lime, aromatic bitters), and the “Midtown Elyxir” (Absolut Elyx vodka, Lillet Blanc, fresh cucumber, pressed lime.) Classic cocktails, like the Old Fashioned, Mai Tai, and Gin & Tonic are also on the menu. Moscow Mule drinkers can try their Granny Apple version, made with Titos Handmade vodka, fresh green apple, fresh lime, and ginger beer. Bottoms up!
Parker & Quinn
64 W. 39th St.
Sip on signature cocktails curated by Alex Ott over at Parker & Quinn, located inside the Refinery Hotel. Try a new kind of Old Fashioned – the “Soda Jerk Old Fashioned” — made with High West Campfire whiskey, Dr. Brown’s Crème Soda Reduction, muddled orange, black walnut bitters, and topped with an orange peel garnish. A perfect fall choice is the “Celtic Harvest” – Jameson Black Barrel, apple cider, pressed ginger root, splash of lemon juice, angostura and black walnut bitters. This classic New York hot spot is the perfect place to grab a happy hour cocktail or a bunch of drinks with friends at night. As Executive Chef Jeff Haskell points out, “The storied ‘over-the-top hospitality’ of New York is alive and well at Parker & Quinn, where we focus on providing a unique experience and superior service for every visitor.”
It doesn’t get much better than an outdoor terrace bar with a spectacular view of New York City. Step into Bar SixtyFive, above the iconic Rockefeller Center and within the famed Rainbow Room, and enjoy a bespoke cocktail along with a bistro-style food selection. This place has been serving up classic cocktails with a modern twist for decades. Order a Sazerac, Dirty Gibson, or mint “T-ulep” (Casamigos blanco tequila, fresh mint, and lavender bitters) while taking in unobstructed views of the Empire State Building. Definitely order some crispy Rockefeller oysters (Rockefeller Fondue, bacon, fennel-spinach puree with Pernod) or the Baked Hooligan Cheese with truffle for the table.
Morrell Wine Bar & Café
1 Rockefeller Plaza
If wine is more your style, then definitely grab a seat at Morrell Wine Bar & Café, located in the heart of Rockefeller Plaza. It can get especially packed during the holidays, but it’s worth the wait for a glass of their delicious mulled wine. Their cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint either. Fall favorites like the “Winter Harvest” (five-spice infused vodka, Busnel Calvados VSOP, apple cider, citrus soda) and “The Fall” (Angel’s Envy #2, Root Liqueur, Sauternes, Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitter) are great for the chillier weather. Nibble on a country charcuterie plate or black truffle deviled eggs — or opt for something heavier, like the seared duck breast or pulled pork sandwich. Grab a seat by the window and enjoy a close-up view of the holiday tree.
21 W. 51st St.
New York, NY
Crowds of thrill-seeking partygoers line up for the mechanical bull at this sprawling Southwestern-themed bar hidden below the skyscrapers. When you’re not trying to conquer the bull, saddle up to the bar for a tequila flight or score a table for a plate of BBQ. Learn more here.
The Rum House
228 W. 47th St.
New York, NY
Exploring Hell’s Kitchen: Eat See And Play
Revamped by the team behind Tribeca cocktail destination Ward III, The Rum House features nightly piano performances and crafty cocktails in a handsome setting. Pull up a stool and sip classic such as an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, or try a signature concoction such as The Edison (vodka, Combier, Cherry Heering, pineapple juice, prosecco and candied orange).
The Bar Downstairs at Andaz 5th Avenue
485 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY
After ice skating at Bryant Park across the street, step into this sleek subterranean hotel bar and warm up with seasonal cocktails by the fireplace. Check out their full bar menu and cocktail selection here.
Forty Four at The Royalton
44 W. 44th St.
New York, NY
Talk about swanky–this lobby cocktail lounge features a sweeping fireplace, U-shaped bar and plenty of plush seating. Cocktails, created by some of the top bartenders from around the country, change seasonally. Check out their latest menu here.
Lantern’s Keep at the Iroquois Hotel
49 W. 44th St.
New York, NY
Another cocktail lounge with a fireplace, Lantern’s Keep is a quiet respite from Midtown’s brouhaha. The 30-seat bar is occasionally closed for private events, so be sure to call ahead for a reservation.