Apartments with real crackling fireplaces are the stuff of dreams for most New Yorkers. But without having such a luxury, we appreciate the hard-to-come-by heat and smoky memories that cling to our clothes all the more.
Here are 10 of our favorite places to feel far from home while doing things by the fire, like eat poutine, drink a Bloody Mary, wait for a train, play games, make s’mores, watch football and canoodle.
Where to make s’mores
The fireplace is just one of the many reasons this spot is worth traveling to Cobble Hill. Camp has karaoke, it has a log cabin aesthetic, it has board games and marshmallow-capped cocktails and cheap beer and, oh yes, s’mores.
Where to Dodge Prohibition
Smoky, art deco speakeasy Employees Only will transport you back to the 1920s. Enjoy Employees Only’s signature Manhattan and a full meal off the bar’s impressive dinner menu to feel like Gatsby himself.
Where to eat a full British breakfast
Stop by The Shakespeare on Sundays from 12-8pm to take advantage of traditional Sunday roast. For $19 a person, your table will receive a choice of three meats, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, and seasonal vegetables. Complete the English experience with a cask ale.
Where to have a swanky Bloody Mary
At the St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar & Salon, admire the legendary Maxfield Parrish “Old King Cole” mural behind the bar while sipping a Red Snapper, one of the hotel’s signature Bloody Mary drinks.
It’s lucky for us locals that Hudson Hotel’s Library Bar—featuring shelves of books, period furniture, delicious cocktails, and a cozy fireplace nook—doesn’t have a guest-only policy.
Where to eat truffle fries in a German beer hall
Spritzenhaus 33 Bierhall has a roaring fire, truffle fries and a terrific list of every kind of booze, from sparkling to single malt, ciders to sours, lagers to gluten-free, plus some creative cocktails like Bee’s Knees and The Greenpoint.
Where to people watch in a heated garden
After dinner in the West Village, find a seat at Waverly Inn in the enclosed back patio next to the fancy fireplace, where you’ll order some strong drinks and dessert and delight in the flavors and faces of the night.
Where to read and play bocce
Union Hall may be a 5,000-square-foot bar, restaurant and live music venue with bocce and wild Friday night karaoke parties to boot, but come winter the best spot in the whole place is right by the fire with a drink, good book, and warm body to cuddle with.
Where to canoodle and doodle
If these walls could talk, patrons of The Writing Room will wonder while admiring old photos on the walls of celebrities in this room, where restaurant Elaine’s once lived. You’ll feel like you’re a part of a new legendary establishment on the Upper East Side as you chew an appetizer of smoked white fish, share an entree of buttermilk fried chicken, and finish with creamsicle pops next to paperbacks and a cozy fireplace.
Where to watch football
At Latitude Bar and Grill in Hell’s Kitchen, there are fireplaces and big TVs (20 in total) in the back of the first floor and in the billiards room upstairs, so you’re sure to find a prime spot to enjoy a cheap drink while watching the action unfold on the field.
Pig Hill Inn | Cold Spring, NY
Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa | Milton, NY
Pratt Bed & Breakfast | Old Saybrook, CT
Mohonk Mountain House | New Paltz, NY
XV Beacon | Boston, MA
Photos: Top photo of Mohonk Mountain House. Michael Caroe Andersen, respective venues, Spritzenhaus by jonathanpercy
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.