Where to Drink Downtown this Winter

Grandlife guide

Where to Drink Downtown this Winter

back to list

Chilling out when it’s literally freezing outside sounds contradictory, yet some downtown NYC bars offer perfectly warming environments to nurse cocktails and kick back. We’ve lined up five of the coziest wintertime spots—yep, some with fireplaces—to get your Hot Toddy, mulled Glögg, and evocative seasonal cocktails (or straight-up spirits) during the height of sweater-weather season.

Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs

Built in 1810, this former leather trading store turned Tribeca multi-room restaurant and bar features a working fireplace on the ground floor towards the rear. Be sure to request or reserve a seat in this brick-walled space, which absolutely smacks of history and modern tastiness.

Warm Up With: Kissed By A Rose—a Thanksgiving-inspired concoction from Bar Director Zachary Cramer. “I make a cranberry sauce with thyme, vanilla extract, water, and some sugar,” Cramer explains. “Then we add vodka, lemon juice, and top it off with sparkling rose. It adds a real cool complexity to a vodka cranberry, and evokes family memories.”

135 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013; T: (212) 374-1135

The Parlor at The Dead Rabbit

Ringing in at number 16 on last year’s coveted The World’s 50 Best Bars list, the FiDi’s Dead Rabbit bounced back better than ever following a fire this past summer, with renovations and a most welcome expansion that accommodates another 125 patrons on its bustling ground level. Dead Rabbit’s no reservations, seating-only second-floor Parlor bar feels straight out of Ireland. Decked out in rustic pub wood and leather-topped stools and seats, it is well worth the waiting list even on the most blustery evening.

Warm Up With: While its cream-topped Irish coffee is the thing of legend (and always available), try this winter’s hot cocktail, The Life of Reilly. Spanish brandy, Madeira, macadamia nut, Fernet menthe, cacao, and a cream float top.

30 Water St, New York, NY 10004; T: (646) 422-7906

Waverly Inn

The West Village’s buzzy Waverly Inn gets some of its heat from the celebrities and VIPs that frequent this restaurant and bar all year round, but wintertime sees its fireplace bring even more warmth and glow to the dimly lit, intimate environs (which began life as a tavern and bordello during the mid-1800s). “It’s very lived in,” says bartender Peter Pavia. “You have over 100 years of history behind you, and walking in the door you get the feel of about every one of those years.”

Warm Up With: Sure, there’s a Hot Toddy, but, as Pavia says, “what’s really good to drink at wintertime is scotch….I also really love and love to serve the Armagnac, and if someone else is paying for it, a vintage Armagnac.”

16 Bank St, New York, NY 10014; T: (917) 828-1154

The Back Room

Dating back to the prohibition era, The Back Room—aka The Lower East Side Toy Company—retains the look and feel of its resplendent 1920s yesteryears, including a brick fireplace, velvet couches, tiny lamps and wall sconces, patterned wallpaper, wood floors, antique furnishings, and the discreet teacups its cocktails are served in.

Warm Up With: The PTZ, crafted with Michter’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon, Cointreau, Angostura bitters, and vitamin C-rich orange and lime juice.

102 Norfolk St. New York, NY 10002 T: (212) 228-5098

Employees Only

Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2019, this West Village speakeasy, hidden behind a “Psychic” storefront, has been a fixture on The World’s 50 Best Bars every year since the list’s debut, and opened a Singapore location in 2016. Gorgeously retro décor and hardcore mixology mixed with dim lighting and an always-buzzing crowd, make the weather outside irrelevant.

Warm Up With: The Ginger Smash is updated seasonally. This winter’s iteration incorporates cranberries and immunity-boosting fresh ginger. There’s also an off-menu classic Hot Toddy if you’re determined to keep the mitts warm.

510 Hudson St. New York, NY 10014 T: (212) 242-3021

WORDS Lawrence Ferber

You May Also Like

Downtown New York bookstores guide McNally Jackson the Strand Mast books Printed Matter Bookmarc

6 Must-Visit Bookstores in Downtown New York

art & design
stories
Booklovers unite—we’ve rounded up our top picks of downtown bookstores. 
FOR ALL YOU LOVERS OUT THERE

FOR ALL YOU LOVERS OUT THERE

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
stories
Winter getaway escape New York Rivertown Lodge Scribner's Hasbrouck House Troutbeck Inn Deer Mountain Inn The Arnold House

Top Picks for a Winter Getaway

travel
stories
Wood-burning fireplaces, alpine-inspired cuisine, rustic charm—our guide to New York’s best winter stays. 
The Grit + The Glam: Alix Brown's NYE Soundtrack

The Grit + The Glam: Alix Brown's NYE Soundtrack

entertainment
music
stories
Soho Diner is Now Open!

Soho Diner is Now Open!

restaurants
stories
Soho Diner 24-hour diner Restaurant New York Pancakes

The Soho Diner is Open For Business

restaurants
stories
New York Diner Soho Diner La Bonbonniere Square Diner Veselka Walker's Empire Diner

Classic NY Diners & Late-Night Spots

food & drink
stories
To celebrate the opening of a new 24-hour diner in SoHo, we’ve rounded up New York’s most beloved late-night haunts and quintessential spots.
Fotografiska Ellen von Unwerth New York

Fotografiska Opens in New York

art & design
stories
The multi-level photography destination opens with an exhibition of work by Ellen von Unwerth. Co-founder Jan Broman gives us the lowdown. 
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600