Drink, Monica Byers, New York — November 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm




NEW YORK – I’m just going to put it out there – while I love Rolf’s any time of year, I really, really adore this German bar/restaurant during the Christmas season.  I’d never heard of Rolf’s until a friend described it as being a place where “Santa threw up.”  Beginning right around the 2nd week of November and continuing through the holiday season, come into Rolf’s and you’ll be greeted by more than 80,000 Christmas lights, an abundance of colorful ornaments and a collection of slightly creepy dolls – all strung up in such mass that you won’t be sure how to move around the place.  It’s as though – quite literally – someone visited Wal-Mart, purchased each and every Christmas decoration they had in stock, and put it all up in this not-very-large establishment.  But that’s all part of the charm – navigate your way to a seat at the bar, treat yourself to some mulled wine, enjoy a chat with the friendly bartenders and patrons (locals – you won’t find many tourists at Rolf’s), sing along with the endless of loop of seasonal tunes, and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

What’s the “little thing” that makes Rolf’s worthwhile?  I’m a sucker for the uber-festive holiday vibe though, I admit, this can sometimes horrify people – particularly if they are not big fans of Christmas.   Personally, I find it impossible not to feel happy at while sitting on a barstool at Rolf’s.

Where is it?  281 Third Avenue – at the corner of Third Avenue and 22nd Street.

For more from Monica, follow her on Twitter at @MonicaJuniel.

For the latest in travel, follow us on Twitter at @ZenArtOfTravel.

  (Photos:  Gary Fong)


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