Rolf's Bar


Rolf's Bar

New York City-Lower East Manhattan

3.4 / 5 3 / 5

May 11, 2018

Alsatian-inflected old school German restaurant and bar, best known for its extreme holiday decorating.

Rolf’s is an old-school Bavarian restaurant—of which there were many in New York 30 or more years ago—this one with an Alsatian bent. It’s one of those places roving drinkers end up for a heavy dinner of Schnitzel or Sauerbraten before or after a night’s crawl. Though the beer menu is limited (five taps and a handful of bottles), fans of German beers will always find something intriguing to dive into, like a Hofbrau Dunkel Dar or Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss. But it’s during the holidays that this place becomes a destination for the out-and-about crowd. From Octoberfest through New Years, Rolf’s looks as it was taken over by your over-enthusiastic great aunt. During the season, the restaurant oozes Christmas lighting, ornaments and decorations descending from the ceiling, almost into your beer or hot mulled wine. The staff is often overworked, and the food hit-or-miss. Want to skip the drunken crowds and still enjoy the decorations? Rolf’s is open for lunch. Reservations recommended during the holidays. Insider tip: The decorations stay up well into January or February, but the crowds disappear.