The Best Bars And Restaurants In The US To Get You In The Holiday Spirit

Heading out for holiday drinks, looking for a family feast, or just searching for a cozy Christmas hearth to sit beside? The holidays are often enjoyed with huge displays of ornate decorations and lights, and these bars and restaurants are no exception. From sparkling decor and larger-than-life festive displays to delicious Christmas cocktails, we've searched the internet to discover the best bars and restaurants across the U.S. to get you in the holiday spirit.


Fancy a rustic southern lodge that serves surf and turf? Or, how about a self-pour sports bar that runs with a Grinch theme each year? Maybe a secret ski chalet is more up your street? This list includes Christmas pop-ups that are only in town for a limited time and long-standing institutions that have been handing out Christmas drinks for decades. We've also selected bars and restaurants from all over the U.S. to give you the best chance at finding an exceptional holiday dining or drinking experience in your state.

Pete's Tavern - New York City, New York

Although it didn't get its name until 1922, Pete's Tavern is one of the oldest pubs in New York City and has been serving drinks since 1864. Open all year round (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) Pete's Tavern is especially famous for its incredible holiday decorations, which go up every year and are sure to put you in the festive mood. The bar is something of a New York institution and keeps things classic every Christmas with red and green lights.


When the weather turns crisp in New York, you can drop into Pete's and warm yourself up with a dram from their toasty winter warmers menu. This menu includes holiday classics like mulled wine, hot toddy, and the Gift of the Magi black tea, which is flavored with hot buttered rum. Mainly a casual spot, Pete's Tavern has a warm, lively atmosphere and is open from noon until late, serving drinks until midnight at weekends.

The menu at Pete's Tavern is cheap and cheerful, with appetizers mostly under $20 and entrees between $25 and $45. Its central location in Gramercy Park on East 18th Street and Irving Place puts it just a short distance from popular entertainment venues, like Irving Plaza and The Stand Comedy Club. During the festive seasons, Pete's keeps back tables for walk-ins so booking isn't required.


La-La's Little Nugget - Austin, Texas

La-la's Little Nugget brings Christmas cheer to Austin, Texas, all year round. Perched on Justin's Lane near Brentwood Park, this quirky tavern is famous for its authentic dive bar atmosphere and for keeping its festive decorations up all year. Since opening in 1972, you can see an amazing array of kitsch, vintage, and classic decorations that have been collected throughout the decades. The bar has a fun, retro feel, with a jukebox and a pool table. It's open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends while you're home for the holidays.


Tasty Christmas drinks include a signature Irish coffee with a candy cane topper, peppermint hot chocolate, and a secret boozy eggnog recipe. If the bar gets busy, customers can spill over into the covered outdoor seating. It's open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. throughout the week and noon to 2 a.m. at weekends.

You don't need to make a reservation during the holidays as La-La's at Christmas is first come, first serve. If you get peckish, you can order food through the adjacent Brooklyn Pie takeout. The food is fast and affordable, focusing mainly on pizzas and calzones that cost between $12 to $33.

The Lobby Bar - Los Angeles, California

It may not have freezing temperatures or regular snowfall, but Los Angeles, California, has plenty of great bars and restaurants decked out for the holidays to get you in the spirit. If you fancy sipping a holiday cocktail in a stylish, modern setting, The Lobby Riverside on Main Street is an ideal place to visit. The bar staff will blow your mind year-round with quirky cocktail art, but at Christmas, they pull out all the stops. Seasonal hits include the amazing Merry Fetchmas — a "Mean Girls"-inspired cocktail — or a Baileys and cherry liqueur creation known as a Dirty Snowman.


While the cocktails are on the pricey side ($18 for the Dirty Snowman), the food is pretty affordable, with filling mains like burgers and short-rib mac and cheese coming in at around $20. It's also got a ton of vegan options and a seriously hearty brunch menu. If you're planning to eat at The Lobby, it's a good idea to make a reservation. The Lobby also runs a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday offering deals on draft beer, wine, and some cocktails.

During the holidays the bar also gets bedazzled with Christmas baubles and twinkly lights. It's the perfect setting for a glam Christmas night out.

Tap99 - Washington D.C

If you're looking for holiday drinks on tap in Washington D.C., Tap99 sports bar may be the perfect place. This unique bar turns into a Whoville-themed Christmas pop-up during the festive season, allowing guests to sample its regular 99 drinks on tap along with special Christmas drinks. And, a Grinch impersonator will often make an appearance. 


The bar has a self-pour model — pour as much as you like from each tap and tally up at the end of the night. Christmas beers on tap include the Christmas IPA and the Gingerbread Fog. You can also try holiday cocktails on tap, like the Christmas Mule and the Cranberry Sidecar. A 1-ounce pour ranges from $0.70 to $1.50 – and the bar runs a drinks-only happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays when you can get money off drinks and bar food. Snack options include sports bar classics like sliders, pizza, and jumbo wings and you can also order takeout.

Tap99 is located on Half Street right outside Nationals Park, so sports fans can get festive after a game. You don't need to book a table — it's a casual place — and there's plenty of outdoor seating for when the bar gets busy.


The Burleigh at the Kennebunkport Inn - Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport in Maine is a coastal town that really gets into the holidays. During December the town is decorated to the nines with holiday cheer and even holds an annual Christmas Prelude festival, which includes a tree lighting ceremony, candlelight caroling, and even Santa sailing in on a lobster boat. If you want to get in on this holiday action, one of the best places to visit is the Kennebunkport Inn with its on-site restaurant, The Burleigh. This homely eatery is open throughout the holiday season, excluding Christmas Day.


During this period, it runs a holiday menu, complete with Christmas cocktails like the Jingle Juice — gin, sparkling wine, and lemon — and the Bad Santa, which is whisky, cider, and bitters. The dining room is beautifully decked out, including tons of decorations on the ceiling. Next door, you can step into the Tinsel Bar, which is transformed into a Nutcracker-esque dream during the festivities. Naturally, they also play Christmas music in the snug to get you in the mood, and you can head down on Sundays to hear the live piano performance.

The Burleigh is open for dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m.. It's a smart casual vibe and large plates cost around $28 to $35. Diners are advised to book a table as the festive season in Kennebunkport tends to be busy.


Skilodge Superfrico - Las Vegas, Nevada

If you've ever fancied nipping into a secret ski lodge on the Las Vegas strip, we've got the bar for you. Tucked away in a secret location within Superfrico's restaurant, Skilodge Superfrico is modeled on an Alpine log cabin apres-ski, with a cozy fireplace, dim lighting, and winter warmer cocktails. It's got an exclusive yet eclectic vibe — more like a novelty bar than anything too serious. Visitors at Superfrico can sip on a Milk and Cookies mixer, made from a mouth-watering combo of gin, Amaretto, and orange, or enjoy a candy cane lychee margarita.


The food menu features an array of cheese-crusted, square pizzas with unique toppings, like blue crab, pistachio pesto, and 'nduja pork. Finish your meal off with some hot campfire s'mores to give you an authentic, winter wonderland feeling. Superfrico is open every day from 4 p.m. until late and only accepts walk-ins. However, if you are planning to go with 10 or more friends, you'll need to call ahead.

Hey Nonny - Arlington Heights, Illinois

Hey Nonny on South Vail Avenue is an Arlington Heights music venue and bistro that goes all out for the holidays. Every year, the dining room is decked out with decorations based on classic Christmas films, like Christmas Story (including the famous leg lamp) and the venue itinerary fills up with incredible Christmas acts. From the bar, you can indulge with a festive s'mores-inspired cocktail made from whiskey, mezcal, chocolate bitters, and toasted marshmallows.


Guests can eat dinner inside the venue if they're booked in premier seating. Alternatively, you can book cabaret seats and order from the snack menu. If you want to eat in the bistro, it's also a good idea to book, although you don't need to do this if you've already reserved your premier seats. Limited outdoor dining is available on the patio and the venue is open from 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays — except Mondays – and 4 p.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday.

Hey Nonny's dinner menu features classic bistro dishes, like chicken parmesan and pork chops at affordable prices. A main course at Hey Nonny generally costs between $20 and $40. If you want a holiday splurge, you could go for the $42 braised Tomahawk ribs.


Angus Barn - Raleigh, North Carolina

The Angus Barn Steakhouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, has a rustic, southern lodge feel and hearty cuisine to match. This vast historic lodge sprawls across several dining rooms and lounges and has a fully staffed wine cellar in the basement. During the holidays, each room is decked out in full Christmas regalia, with candy cane colors, glittering lights, and a magnificent tree. With its host of private events rooms and its luxuriant menu, featuring exclusive cuts of dry-aged beef and a prime rib and lobster tail surf and turf, the Angus Barn may be the perfect venue for an extra-special Christmas get-together.


The Angus Barn is moderately priced, with most mains ranging between $45 to $55 and $70+ on the upper end. Be warned — if you're planning to go for a holiday meal, the restaurant fills up well in advance so book early to avoid being disappointed. The Angus Barn also has a smart casual dress code.

Tinsel Tavern at Vivo! Dolphin Mall - Miami, Florida

Located inside Vivo! Dolphin Mall on 12th Street in Miami, Florida, the Tinsel Tavern is part of the center's fabulous Christmas village. Holiday visitors to the mall can wander around the stalls, which are stocked by local artisans and boutiques, or grab a cocktail at the Tinsel Tavern pop-up bar. Guests can sit in the bar or book an igloo for up to six people. Although the tavern does encourage walk-ins, anyone who books a table will also get a discount on Christmassy hot chocolate or a warm cider.


Try a festive coquito  — a Peurto Rican version of eggnog made with coconut milk, spiced rum, condensed milk, and vanilla – or break out your best seasonal look for the ugly sweater party. The Christmas Village is open until late Thursday to Saturday.

Craftsman Row Saloon - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When December rolls around, the Craftsman Row Saloon in Philadelphia is sure to be crammed from floor to ceiling with festive decorations. This spacious eatery and bar already have a warm, cozy atmosphere, with its comfy booths and wooden decor, but it takes on an extra special feel during the holidays. Christmas items jazz up the menus, with tasty specials like the Christmas dinner burger, which comes with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato fries. Craftsman Row Saloon also runs an incredible milkshake menu, with alcohol-free ice cream shakes for kids and a selection of boozy Christmas shakes for adults.


The saloon puts on extended hours throughout the holidays and the kitchen is open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday. It's situated on Jeweler's Row – Philadelphia's historic shopping district — so it's a great place to stop for a bite after buying your Christmas presents. If you feel like staying at home, you can order takeout. Or, if you're in the party mood, Craftsman Row offers holiday shooters, like the Santa's Dose jello shot or the Apple Pie rum fireball.

Butch McGuires - Chicago, Illinois

Christmas at Butch McGuires has a longstanding history and is well-known in West Division Chicago for its welcoming atmosphere around the holidays. Butch McGuires is a family-run joint and its former owner and namesake, Butch McGuire, made a point of getting this saloon bar good and festive every year. From a humble beginning with a couple of balloons, now a festive double-decker train travels throughout the bar. The restaurant serves a great range of cocktails like the Peppermint Patty made with hot chocolate, whipped cream, and peppermint schnapps.


Food at Butch McGuires is classic and affordable. You can grab a cheeseburger for $16 to $18 or chow down on a full rack of ribs for $28. Butch McGuires is open every day, with the kitchen staying open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Since the establishment is a pub as well, the bar is open until 4 a.m. in the week and 5 a.m. on Saturdays.

Entry to Butch McGuires is free unless you're specifically attending an event there. You don't need to book a table to eat and drink there but, again, for certain parties, live performances, or events hosted at Butch's tickets may be required.

Miracle at Mystic Station - Malden, Massachusetts

This Christmas cocktail bar is one of the many Miracle pop-ups that shoot up all over the U.S. during the holiday season. The Miracle at Mystic Station Boston has some of the kitschest, most festive decor that you'll see anywhere, so it's worth stopping in for a Christmas tipple. You'll also find fun, holiday-themed dishes on the menu, like Marley's Ghost pepper fried chicken wings or the Prancer's pretzel topped with cheese and sweet mustard. Miracle at Mystic Station also does takeout orders and the food is very affordable, with large plates at around $15 to $25.


The bar also serves a range of Christmas cocktails. Sip on a Christmopolitan made from vodka, vermouth, and cranberry, and can be served in a fun holiday mug. Miracle at Mystic Station does not take reservations and, especially during weekends, you may have to queue for a table. The pop-up is open every day but only serves drinks and snacks Monday through Tuesday.

The Christmas Corner Bar - Lakewood, Ohio

The Around The Corner Bar is a famous Lakewood, Ohio, sports bar that's been popular on Detroit Avenue since it opened in the 1970s and positively explodes with festive cheer at the holidays transforming into the Christmas Corner Bar in December. Christmas karaoke kicks off at the beginning of the month and private igloos are offered for groups. The cozy fireplace decked with shimmering lights and green garlands plus the Christmas cocktails will help get the Grinchiest of souls into the Christmas mood. Try a Gingerbread Mantini made with vodka, Franangelico, and ginger beer, or indulge your sweet tooth with a Raspberry Rudolph — raspberry vodka, grenadine, and marshmallow.


The bar hosts live music and dance parties throughout the season and is open until 2 a.m. every night. The food is affordable and is exactly the sort of thing you need to mop up those festive drinks — think chicken Philly wraps and hamburgers — and can be ordered as takeout. They also have a kid's menu if you're visiting with family.


We searched through listicles and blogs detailing bars and restaurants with strong holiday themes in various destinations around the U.S. We also checked ratings on sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp and looked at the venue's websites, menus, and social media profiles. We chose bars and restaurants that were holiday-themed all year round as well as some Christmas pop-ups.