Holidays, New York

Visiting Rolf’s NYC for a Christmas Experience in December

rolf nyc christmas

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  • Rolf's German Restaurant and Bar
  • 281 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10010
  • Reservations: Needed for a table in the restaurant side. They only start taking reservations by phone in October, everyone on the reservation must order an entree and there is a time limit on the table.
  • Best Time to Go: October-December to really experience the holiday spirit and festivities.
rolfs nyc christmas bar

Rolf's NYC at Christmastime

Rolf’s German Bar and Restaurant has become an iconic New York City holiday destination due to it’s crazy and over-the-top holiday decorations. It is a place that everyone wants to see and enjoy during the holiday season. Therefore, it is always packed and there is a line out the door. 

Where Rolf’s NYC Is Located

Rolf’s German Restaurant and Bar is located in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of New York City. It is a treat to walk into their immaculately decorated space and be overwhelmed with Christmas ornaments in every direction you can see.

Getting In & Reservation Info at Rolf’s NYC

When you arrive at Rolf’s you will see two lines forming from the door. One is for those without a reservation waiting to get into the bar area and the the other is for people who have reservations. Even with a reservation, we waited over an hour outside for our table to be ready.

Food at Rolf’s NYC

If you want to enjoy a traditional meal at Rolf’s at a table, you must make a reservation ahead of time. They only start taking reservations for the holiday season in October and they only take reservations by phone. Each person in your party must order an entree. Entrees range from $26.95-$65.00. There are no vegetarian entrees but they will let you substitute an entree for two side dishes if you are a vegetarian. The options for entrees are traditional German foods including schnitzel and sausages. The portions of food are rather large. I had the Smoked Bratwurst with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. Others at my table had veal sausage, potato pancakes and cucumber salad. No one really cared for their food. If I had to recommend something, I would recommend the Smoked Bratwurst.

There is a time limit for how long you can stay at your table. It is unclear if it is one hour or two hours and it is also unclear if your time limit starts from the time your reservation is made for or if it is for when you are finally seated. The staff will continually remind you of how long you have left at your table. If you don’t finish your food within the time frame, you can move to the bar area. 

rolf nyc christmas

Drinks at Rolf’s NYC

They have many drink options at Rolf’s. You can opt for a traditional German beer, some of which come in rather large glasses. Or you can have a seasonal cocktail. The drinks and the decorations are where Rolf’s really shines. They have Spiced Apple Cider, Mulled Wine and more. The drinks are quite tasty but also very expensive and they do not list the drink prices on the menu at the table. 

Is Rolf’s NYC Worth a Visit?

Yes, if you really want to see their Christmas decorations and you know what you are getting. If you have extra time and are willing to wait in line for the bar area, this may be your best bet. If you are willing to spend a lot of money on mediocre food, plan your visit by calling ahead(and hoping you get through on the phone) to make a reservation in October, and still wait in a really long line, then the restaurant side might be a better option for you.

Rolf’s is packed, the line is always long, it is hot inside due to all the people and all the decorations. Don’t expect a good meal or friendly door staff or reasonable prices and you will be fine. 

They are really into Christmas. the decorations are over-the-top as long as you don’t stare too hard and notice all the dolls staring down at your from the ceiling weaved between the ornament.s use the bathroom before you go and dress warm because even with a reservation you will be spending a long time outside in the cold.

It is a quintessential, New York City holiday icon though.

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Elyse

Elyse is a Road Twenty author focused on writing about New York City, local and international travel guides & food and cocktail recipes as well as other lifestyle topics. She is based in New York City and has a love for cheesy Christmas movies, tacos and the sunshine.
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About Elyse

Elyse is a Road Twenty author focused on writing about New York City, local and international travel guides & food and cocktail recipes as well as other lifestyle topics. She is based in New York City and has a love for cheesy Christmas movies, tacos and the sunshine.
View all posts by Elyse →

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