New York / Recommendations / Restaurants/Bars

Recommendations: The Christmas Tourist

Sometimes you’re just stumped when it comes to picking a bar/restaurant/activity.  When you’re drawing a blank of where to go and what to do, hopefully my themed roundups will serve as a helpful guide. 


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New Yorkers are used to touristy visitors, the ones who want to see the typical sites (I’m lookin at you, Times Square) and never get to the real meat of what makes New York cool.  The Christmas Tourist is like that on steroids.  It’s all about THE TREE.  Here’s the thing: once you get to Rock Center, it takes about 37 seconds to look at the tree.  Then it’s like, “what now?”  Here’s what:

  • Before going to the tree, head to MoMA for a little art appreciation.  It’s just a few blocks over from Rock Center.
  • Since you’re already in Midtown, walk over to Bergdorf Goodman to check out the window displays.  All the department stores do it up, but the windows at Bergdorf’s are by far the most fabulous.
  • From Bergdorf’s, hop into a cab and go to Rolf’s.  This place is like being inside a Christmas tree.  It gets packed so plan to make a reservation in advance or get there very early.  Also, beware of the Christmas martini.  It is delicious but VERY dangerous.

Your Christmas Tourists are likely in town for more than one day, so here are some other ideas to fill the time:

  • It’s wintertime so I suggest hitting up bars and restaurants with fireplaces.  Some of my favorites are:
    • Flatiron Room
    • The Campbell Apartment (this is a good one for tourists – the older ones will appreciate its history and exploring Grand Central, the younger ones will love that this was where Nate and Serena had their tryst in Season 1 of Gossip Girl)
      • If you go here, you should also hit up UrbanSpace Vanderbilt for grub
    • Blind Tiger if your guests like beer
      • If you go here, the West Village is your oyster – so many amazing nearby restaurants
  • Celebrate that other major December holiday: Chanukah!  Hit up 2nd Avenue Deli for traditional Jewish fare.  Make sure to order latkes to celebrate the festival of lights!  Also, they have the best chopped liver.  Ever.
  • Go ice skating.  My favorite rink is the one at Bryant Park.  It’s large and there’s a great Christmas Village of shops outside.
  • Go to a movie – it’s a great way to stay warm for 2 hours.  I recommend the AMC Loews on W. 84th.  It has these huge reclining seats.  Sneak in a bottle of wine or hot cider in a thermal mug to enjoy with your popcorn.
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One thought on “Recommendations: The Christmas Tourist

  1. I went to New York in February and June but would love to visit at Christmas time. I would definitely recommend walking round Central Park in the snow too, it was incredible!

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