Drinks by the Fireside: 8 Cozy Bars for Fall

A can’t-miss guide to New York’s warmest—and coolest—fireplace bars.

Beers taste better when you're in a cozy bar

Like rooftop seating in summertime, bars with fireplaces are a must for fall. On a blustery night, the promise of a fireside drink is the only thing that will motivate some New Yorkers to consciously uncouple from their Netflix and takeout.

These spots range from neighborhood haunts to haute scenes, but whatever their differences, they share the warm glow of a crackling fire, which will make your date look more attractive and your drink that much more satisfying.

The Classic: Union Hall 

Damaged by a fire earlier this year, Union Hall reopened to the relief of regulars who’ve been flocking to the Park Slope bar since 2006. The front area of the 5,000-square-foot space features a wall of books as well as leather and velvet couches and chairs bathed in the amber light of a two-sided fireplace. The other side of the fireplace faces the indoor bocce court, where some pretty serious league players can be found. The bar menu boasts brisket burgers, chili-braised chicken tacos, buffalo wings, and (Canadians, take note) poutine, while the downstairs stage plays host to well-known and up-and-coming comedians, bands, and live podcast tapings. 702 Union Street, Park Slope

bars fireplaces nyc
Get toasty by Union Hall’s fireplace / Photo by Isaac Danna

The Perennial: Art Bar

Art Bar has drawn patrons to its inexpensive happy hour (try one of the many martinis on offer), roaring fireplace, and boisterous West Village scene for as long as we can remember. This is a solid watering hole where you may have to occasionally shout to be heard, but you may also find yourself in conversation with some truly amazing people. The menu has many of your favorite drinking companions, like buffalo wings, fried calamari, and fish-and-chips, as well as vegetarian options. But who are we kidding? You come here for a taste of New York City nightlife of yesteryear, not nachos grande. 52 Eighth Avenue (between Horatio and Jane Streets), West Village

The Scene: The Bowery Hotel

If you asked a first date to get a drink with you at a hotel in the Bowery two decades ago, you probably wouldn’t get a second one. That was a different era and a very different Bowery. The neighborhood is now home to the Bowery Hotel, a luxe destination where the crackling lobby fireplace sets a tone of classic (but hip) elegance. The drinks are a little on the pricey side, but well worth it for the people-watching. This is where you’ll spot some of the chicest folks downtown, many of whom you may have already seen in magazines or on movie screens—that is, if you can take your eyes off the dazzling hearth. 335 Bowery (between East 2nd and 3rd Streets), East Village

bars fireplaces nyc
Classy lobby, classier fireplace in the Bowery Hotel / Photo by Annie Schlechter

The Chill Spot: L.I.C. Bar

In summer, the laid-back Queens staple L.I.C. Bar offers weeping willow–shaded outdoor seating; during the colder months, its fireplace pours honey over the restored vintage interior. Live music is also a draw here, with shows Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday most weeks. 45-58 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City

bars fireplaces nyc
Make your way to warmth at LIC Bar

The Beaut: Black Mountain Wine House

The small yet well-considered menu will draw you to Black Mountain Wine House in Carroll Gardens, an equally small yet well-considered spot. The charcuterie and cheese, crostini, and very on-trend fondues impress, but it’s the sheer loveliness of the rustic-yet-modern space that will keep you coming back. The fireplace is just one of the warm old-school elements that makes this place a cozy must-visit for the colder months. 415 Union Street, Carroll Gardens

The Misnomer: The Beast Next Door

Don’t let the name fool you: The Beast Next Door is a welcoming, downright un-ferocious bar and café in Long Island City. Try the weekend fixed-price special (any bottle of wine of your choice served with three cheeses) or any of the open-face sandwiches, salads, or smoked salmon. The former garage space has been transformed into a warm, eclectic bar, with church pews, a funky chandelier, and dramatic wall art. The fireplace is more of a wood-burning stove, but you won’t complain when you feel its warm embrace. 42-51 27th Street, Long Island City

bars fireplaces nyc

The Meat Mecca: Spritzenhaus33

The lucky—or merely persistent—will get a spot right next to the fireplace at Spritzenhaus33, the cavernous meat-forward German beer hall in Greenpoint. Here you’ll find the best of ’wurst, from brats to kielbasa (with a vegan option for herbivores), along with Belgian fries and soft pretzels. The beer menu is as dense as the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap and will be sure to challenge even experienced hops-heads to try something new. 33 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint

The Kitsch Factory: Camp

Normally, we’d write off a place like Camp as a one-note theme bar, something kitschy and a little silly, but this Brooklyn spot is so damn likable it transcends its summery theme. Designed to look like a lodge or the staff cabin of an old-school sleepaway camp (think: taxidermy, archery targets, a kayak), Camp has been luring folks since many of its regulars probably were campers. And, really, are you so hard-bitten that a s’more doesn’t delight your inner child? Don’t worry, you don’t have to have every line of Moonrise Kingdom memorized to sit by the wood-burning fireplace, but it might help you get in the spirit. 179 Smith Street, Boerum Hill

Cozy nights are made cozier with roaring fireplaces…and a few recommendations from us.