Deck the (Food) Halls! NYC Restaurants with Amazing Christmas Decorations

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Looking for an NYC restaurant that really brings the cheer during the holidays? There are plenty of restaurants in NYC that do Christmas decorations with extra flair, from elegant to over-the-top. Whether you want a quick bite or a big Christmas dinner, this is where you can enjoy the most festive Christmas decorations in NYC while you dine.

(Looking for more to do in NYC during the holidays? Check out our Bucket List here!)

Credit Giada Paoloni on behalf of the Howard Hughes Corporation

For Your Own Personal Cabin with a Killer View: The Greens

Get cozy in one of the 28 rooftop cabins at the Seaport District’s The Greens. With floor-to-ceiling views, virtual fireplaces, room for 10 and real heat, the cabins aim to offer a little bit of “Upstate downtown.” Beyond fondue, cocktails by Dante are available, and you can even get a candy apple for the kids. Reservations open every Monday at 10 a.m., with a portion of proceeds going to charity.

Pier 17
89 South St.
Seaport District 
Online: thegreens.pier17ny.com

Lilie’s Victorian Establishment

For Over-the-Top Decor Near Times Square or Union Square: Lillie’s Victorian Establishment

At Lillie’s Victorian Establishment in Times Square, you’ll feel like you walked onto the Love, Actually set. It’s so festive in this Victorian-inspired restaurant tucked right in the same block as two Broadway theaters, you won’t want to leave. The place is decorated to the max with thousands of sparkling garlands tinsel-bright baubles, life-sized Nutcracker soldiers and bedecked Christmas trees. And your kids will love the chicken fingers (they’re some of the tastiest in the city) or try the buttermilk pancakes (available without gluten, FYI) if brunch is more your scene. We love Lillie’s year-round—it’s one of our favorite places for brunch with kids in NYC

249 West 49th St. 
212-957-4530
Times Square 
Online: lilliesnyc.com

13 E. 17th St. 
Union Square
212-337-1970

Mahsa T. via Yelp

For the Most Dazzling Ceiling Decor: Rolf’s Bar & Restaurant

The reigning champion of NYC restaurant Christmas decorations, Rolf’s Bar & Restaurant features such awe-inspiring Christmas décor that this German eatery has achieved bucket-list status for most New Yorkers. Order up some potato pancakes with applesauce (hamburgers and meatloaf are other family-friendly faves) and spend the rest of the meal marveling at the 150,000 antique glass ornaments hanging from the ceiling, and the ancient looking dolls in-between.

281 Third Ave.
212-473-8718
Gramercy
Online: rolfsnyc.com

Aiko S. via Yelp

La Grande Boucherie

For holiday decor with a Parisian flair and a side of pommes frites, head to the elegant La Grande Boucherie. Celebrated for its authentic French cuisine, the restaurant is decorated in an Art Nouveau style and features slim, twinkling trees and a large evergreen decked out for the holidays. It’s big—designed to accommodate as many as 400 guests, and includes a large open arcade topped with an arched glass roof. (Heated floors in this area keep things toasty.) If you’re going to MoMa or Radio City, this is a good place to land nearby. 

145 W. 53rd St. 
212-510-7714
Midtown
Online: boucherie.nyc

Derek S. Yelp

For the Famous Frrozen Hot Chocolate: Serendipity3

It’s true, many people come here to taste the legendary Frrozen Hot Chocolate, and Serendipity3 is a spirited place to dine any time of year. But for the holidays, the restaurant adds a little extra oomph with colorful garlands made of ornaments for an especially festive interior. Stop by for a meal or to sample of one its over-the-top sundaes. 

225 E. 60th St. 
Upper East Side
212-838-3531
Online: serendipity3.com 

Serra Alpina

For a Rooftop Winter Wonderland: Serra Alpina

Serra Alpina, which takes over Eataly’s entire 14th floor enclosed rooftop, is a “Winter Greenhouse” dining space that changes with the seasons.  Previous years featured the winter wonderland look pictured above, with the restaurant’s ceiling covered with sparkling lights, and a decorated trellis surrounded by snow-covered Christmas trees that would make the best holiday card backdrop. Meanwhile, the menu, featuring the cuisine of the Italian Alps region, offers some tried-and-true kid-approved faves, like risotto with butter and cheese, fried rice balls. and mocktails —our favorite is the Arancia Rossa, with blood orange juice, Meyer lemon puree, cranberry juice and soda spritz. Desserts are worth saving room for, too. 

200 fifth Avenue at 23rd St.
Flatiron District
212-229-2560 x311
eataly.com

Charisse S. via Yelp

For Old New York Vibes: Pete’s Tavern

Established in 1864, this Gramercy Park bar and restaurant holds a lot of history. Writer O. Henry lived down the block and was a patron (some say he wrote his famous story “The Gift of the Magi” here), and during prohibition, Pete’s was a speakeasy disguised as a flower shop. During the holidays, it gets extra cozy with a striking canopy of tiny red lights over the bar, Christmas decorations throughout and a festive exterior with lights, wreaths and holiday villages in the windows. The menu includes hearty dishes, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more, there’s a kid’s menu, and they do brunch as well on the weekends. 

129 E. 18th St. 
Gramercy
212-473-7676
Online: petestavern.com

Patricio M. via Yelp

The Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall

That’s right, it’s an outdoor beer garden that hangs tough during the winter. (They’ve even got their own tree lighting here, happening December 3 in 2021.) Bundle up and head to this family-friendly Astoria, Quens spot to feast on traditional Czech and Slovak fare, as well as bites like crab cakes, quinoa salad and chicken tacos. Of course, the beer list is extensive and diverse! 

29-19 24th Ave. 
718-274-4925
Astoria
Online: bohemianhall.com

Tavern on the Green

For Classic New York Cheer: Tavern On the Green

For the quintessential Christmas in New York, head to this Central Park landmark. Tavern on The Green brings the Yuletide cheer with glistening décor including its very own 20-foot Christmas tree with over 2,000 ornaments and 10,000 lights. The bar room is full of greenery, a Christmas tree and lights, and boughs and lights adorn the exterior of the restaurant as well.  Adding to the scene is the frequent live jazz, and you and the kids can warm up after a jaunt in the park with spiced cider or hot chocolate. 

Tavern on the Green
67th Street and Central Park West
212-877-8684
Upper West Side 
Online: tavernonthegreen.com

Industry Kitchen

For a Waterfront Chalet Feel: Industry Kitchen

Forget heading to a ski chalet. Instead, head downtown to Industry Kitchen, an industrial chic space located at the South Street Seaport, for some of the most extensive holiday decorations in town. We’re talking 5,000 square feet of sparkling lights, Christmas greenery, giant reindeer families on the terrace, snow-flocked Christmas trees and wreaths along with two tall nutcrackers at the entryway. And then there are the tasty treats your kids will go love such as Gingernut Pizza with a ginger crust, eggnog frosting, spicy pecans, candy canes and sprinkles or Pop Candy Land pizza, featuring a rainbow crust, cream cheese frosting, pop rocks and cotton candy. Yum!

70 South St.
Seaport District
212-487-9600
Online: industry-kitchen.com

Carson T. via Yelp

For Old School Brooklyn Cheer: Tom’s Restaurant

To be fair, it’s kind of always Christmas (and 4th of July) at this Prospect Heights, Brooklyn institution, which has been serving up breakfast all day since 1936. (Many of the decorations, from twinkling lights and tinsel to American flags stay up year-round.) Still, Tom’s busts out some extra decorations for the holidays and the perpetual good cheer and good will of the joint gets turned up to 11. (FYI: Tom’s is close to the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden if you go and need a place to nosh before or after.) 

782 Washington Ave. 
718-636-9738
Prospect Heights
Online: tomsbrooklyn.com

—Lambeth Hochwald

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