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The 50 best bars in NYC

From dives to cocktail dens and craft-brew havens to wine haunts, here are the best bars in NYC to visit right now

Photograph: Filip Wolak

New York City is a nightlife capital, with some of the best bars in the country clustered around bustling neighborhoods like the East Village and Williamsburg. Whether you favor craft brews or serious cocktails; a beer-and-shot special or a transporting glass of wine, NYC has a game-changing bar to slake your thirst. To narrow down the options, we’ve compiled this list of the 50 best bars in NYC right now. From hot new barrooms to tried-and-true staples in every neighborhood, these are the kind of places that beg you to stick around for another round. Did we miss your favorite New York bar? Join the conversation in the comments.

Best bars in NYC: Top 10

1

The Dead Rabbit

At this time-capsule FiDi nook, you can drink like a boss—Boss Tweed, that is. In a redbrick landmark, Belfast bar vets Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry (of Northern Ireland’s acclaimed Merchant Hotel) have conjured up a rough-and-tumble 19th-century tavern. And it’s just the kind of saloon that the bare-knuckle Five Points gang the joint’s named after (its emblem was a dead rabbit impaled on a spike) would have frequented.

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Financial District
2

Clover Club

This standard-bearing cocktail parlor from mixology matriarch Julie Reiner (Lani Kai) expresses its Victorian bent in intricate tile work, curved leather booths, marble tables, vintage sofas and a functioning fireplace. The centerpiece is the 19th-century mahogany bar, where vest-clad barkeeps stir and shake throwback potions, handily defined in the novel-like menu. Choose among regal crystal bowls of punch or finely wrought drinks, both classic and new.

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Carroll Gardens
3

Death & Company

The nattily attired bartenders are deadly serious about drinks at this Gothic saloon, a pioneer in the current mania for craft cocktails. Behind the imposing wooden door, black walls and cushy booths combine with chandeliers to set the luxuriously somber mood. The barkeeps here are consistently among the city's best, turning out inventive and classic drinks such as the Sweet Hereafter, a Latin American martini riff made with floral pisco, St.-Germain, Dolin Blanc vermouth and Cocchi Americano.

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East Village
4

Pegu Club

The far-reaching influence of New York's reigning queen of mixology, Audrey Saunders, is hard to measure. Her storied cocktail lounge, the Pegu Club, begat many of today's standard-bearers, including Death & Company, PDT and Mayahuel. Pay a visit to the urbane barroom, a second floor sanctum on bustling Houston Street, and explore Saunders’ eminent opus, which includes new classics such as the Gin-Gin Mule. She first served the drink—a vivacious elixir of homemade ginger beer with Tanqueray gin, fresh mint and lime juice—at the Beacon Restaurant & Bar in 2000. Equally renowned is the Earl Grey MarTEAni, a frothy and fragrant nod to English teatime traditions made with loose-leaf–infused Tanqueray gin, lemon juice and an egg white.

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Soho
5

PDT

The entrance to this taxidermy-strewn saloon is hidden behind an old phone booth inside Crif Dogs. Pick up the receiver and a hostess opens the back wall of the booth. Inside, a team of barkeeps (led by industry icon Jim Meehan) offer thoughtful cocktail creations like the frothy Sixth Street, a complex, guava-spiked mix of house-made ginger beer, a kafir-lime cordial and a pungent curry powder. The staff is happy to talk you through any libation on the menu, or suggest an haute dog brought in from next door. It’s that kind of dedication that makes getting in worth the effort.

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East Village
6

Maison Premiere

The majority of NYC's N'awlins-inspired watering holes choose debauched Bourbon Street as their muse, but this gorgeous salon embraces the romance found in the Crescent City’s historic haunts. Belly up to the oval, marble-topped bar and get familiar with the twin pleasures of oysters and absinthe: two French Quarter staples with plenty of appeal in Brooklyn. The mythical anise-flavored liqueur appears in 19 international varieties, in addition to a trim list of cerebral cocktails from barkeep Maxwell Britten (Freemans, Jack the Horse).

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Williamsburg
7

Tørst

On the front line of the Scandinavian bar scene is Greenpoint drinkery Tørst—Danish for “thirst”—helmed by legendary “gypsy brewer” Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø and chef Daniel Burns, formerly of the planet’s hottest restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen. These warriors are laying waste to tired ideas of what a great taproom should be, with a minimalist space that looks and smells like a modernist log cabin, and rare brews from thoughout Europe and North America.

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Greenpoint
8

Attaboy

Not all spin-offs are created equal: The best retain what you loved most about the original, with enough new material to keep things fresh—Frasier from Cheers, The Jeffersons from All in the Family—while others simply crash and burn. Luckily for Gotham’s cocktail-swigging masses, this Milk and Honey offshoot falls into the former school, boasting characters as familiar as Frasier Crane to the Cheers crew, but with a livelier, lighter air than the late Sasha Petraske’s dim big-league cocktail den. From the up-tempo retro tunes (a little more Etta, a little less Ella) to the brightly lit, lived-in digs (whitewashed brick, tarnished a sign hanging on the wall), Attaboy proves a breezy evolution of the form.

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Lower East Side
9

Pouring Ribbons

Most big-deal cocktail dens were launched by a singular personality. Toby Maloney—a bartending O.G. at the legendary Milk & Honey and Pegu Club—boasts enough star power to roll out a spot on his own. But the gifted drinks slinger, along with business partner Jason Cott, recruited top cocktail talents Joaquín Simó (Death & Company) and Troy Sidle (the Violet Hour) to form something of a booze-powered Fantastic Four. The team has set up pioneering bars across the country in places like Nashville (the Patterson House) and Chicago (the Violet Hour), as well as working on consulting gigs in Gotham. Pouring Ribbons marks the all-star squad’s solo debut in NYC, with one of the most exciting new drinks menus and a capacious teal-daubed barroom.

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East Village
10

The NoMad Bar

For the white-collared wayfarers wandering the streets north of Madison Square Park, NoMad is a depressingly apt name. Sure, the neighborhood has seen a much-welcome rise in upstanding restaurants, but finding an any-day gastropub that doesn’t reek of postgrad brewskies is harder to come by. Who better to fill the void than Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek, the James Beard Award–winning trio behind neighborhood stunners Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, who expanded the latter to include this elegant saloon inside the NoMad hotel, teeming with lofty pub grub, digs worthy of 007… oh, and $198 cocktails.

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Midtown

Best bars in NYC: A–D

Alameda

Greenpoint, land of rapidly rising rents and Girls sightseeing tours, is in the midst of a cool-kid renaissance. Tucked into Brooklyn’s northern tip and accessible only by the erratic G train, the once-scrappy underdog to dominating Williamsburg is now a dining destination in its own right, attracting not only Lena Dunham fan-girls but also cachet-boosting restaurateurs like the Brooklyn Star’s Nick Padilla and Waine Longwell. The duo’s smart, striking bistro, Alameda, resets the standard for the neighborhood, once home to only beer-pouring local joints and Polish dance halls. The handsome, horseshoe-shaped bar commands the room, and from it come quaffs that cheekily riff on classics.

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Greenpoint

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar

Branch-offs can often snap under pressure, but Le Bernardin has sprung a stem as strong as its base. Sitting across the galleria from that vaulted seafood restaurant, Aldo Sohm’s annexed vino-hub is far less buttoned-up than its big brother—no reservations or suit jackets required—but the level of detail here proves this apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

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Midtown West

Alewife Queens

A serious craft-beer selection is the draw at this bi-level beer hall, which comes from a team of hops zealots with ties to Alewife Baltimore and the cultish Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA. Sure, there’s an Anywhere, USA, vibe to the generic-looking gastropub, and we could do without the poppy soundtrack and truffle oil on our fries. But the owners come through where it counts, curating a balanced and worldly beer list (28 taps, 100-plus bottles) that can go toe-to-toe with the most pedigreed suds haunts in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

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Long Island City

Barcade

Prepare to geek out at this temple to beer and vintage arcade games: first at the 35 classic quarter machines (Donkey Kong, Contra), then at the ever-evolving beer selection detailed on a chalkboard above the bar. Owner Paul Kermizian stocks only American beer, with 75 percent of his haul hailing from the Northeast. But despite constant lineup changes, he manages to maintain remarkable stylistic balance—on the 24-tap draft list, you might see a crisp Victory pilsner alongside a diverse trio of stouts.

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Williamsburg

Blind Tiger Ale House

Long before craft entered the lexicon, there was Blind Tiger, one of the OGs of the New York beer scene. Since its arrival in 1995, Blind Tiger has achieved legendary status thanks to a meticulously curated program and some of the city's best bar food. The 28 taps ($6.50--$11), three casks and one gravity keg (usually $7), plus more than 80 bottles ($7--$55), make this the first port of call for brewhounds who want to track down pours they can't find anywhere else. Weekly events, including meet-the-brewer nights and frequent style showcases, help drinkers navigate the hunt.

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West Village

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

This authentic Czech beer garden, opened in 1910, offers plenty of mingle-friendly picnic tables, where you can sit while you sample cheap platters of sausage and a solid lineup of European and domestic beers (pints $6, pitchers $16). Though the huge, tree-canopied garden is open year-round, summer is the prime time to soak up some rays over a pint.

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Astoria

Boilermaker

The buzziest bar opening of 2013, '70s-clad Golden Cadillac, shuttered abruptly in July to soul-search, taking those glorious Buttery Nipples down to its retro grave. Emerging from the disco dust is a no-frills neighborhood bar—from co-owner Greg Boehm and chef Miguel Trinidad—named for the old-school, sometimes-redneck beer-and-whiskey-shot combination from the Industrial Revolution. Cracking the books on the history of boilermakers, barkeep Erick Castro mixes and matches four pairings, including a stout-and-amaro combo, that change seasonally with the drafts.

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East Village

Boobie Trap

When you hear “boobs and beer,” you think Hooters. But even that iconic paean to cleavage and canned suds gets some serious competition from this Bushwick bar and breastaurant from Iggy’s drink slinger Kristen North. Lady lumps abound at the brazen, retro-kitted dive—done up with hot-pink lights and heaps of B-movie camp—but hidden beneath the nip-slip kitsch is a surprisingly respectable neighborhood hangout.

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Bushwick

Booker and Dax

The far-out experiments of the wizardly Dave Arnold, French Culinary Institute's director of culinary technology, have long informed the work of boundary-pushing bartenders and chefs like Don Lee and Wylie Dufresne. At this tech-forward cocktail joint, housed in the former Momofuku Milk Bar space next to Ssäm Bar, Arnold's boozy tinkerings get a room of their own. Here, glasses are chilled with a pour of liquid nitrogen and winter warmers are scorched with a Red Hot Poker, a rod with a built-in 1,500-degree heater created by Arnold himself.

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East Village

Copper & Oak

When the weather turns brisk, the spirits go dark: floral gin gets swapped for smoke-nosed Scotch, and sunny rum makes way for spicy, robust rye. The brown slugs of fall are heartier than summer’s easy-drinking sips and leagues more complex: mash percentage, grain variety, even soil disparities can profoundly alter the taste of whiskey. That’s a hell of a lot to grasp for a connoisseur, let alone a brown-bottle newbie. Thankfully, the intimate Copper & Oak on the Lower East Side have whiskey enthusiasts covered like the sealed top of an aged barrel.

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Lower East Side

d.b.a.

When it opened in 1995, this trailblazer embraced all the contemporary beer memes while most NYC bars were still dealing in Miller and Coors. Beer lovers fond of European classics as much as the domestic microbrewery du jour will appreciate the scope of the 20-deep draft selection (most $7): You might find an orange-tinged Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier from Germany alongside New York beers such as the velvety Southampton Imperial Porter.

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East Village

Dear Irving

It’s a scene straight out of Midnight in Paris—or maybe Back to the Future—all golden-age yearning and space-time shuffling. This dapper Gramercy lounge, from Raines Law Room operators Alberto Benenati and Yves Jadot, is a railroad space divided into period-piece quarters, including a tufted Victorian parlor and an ashtray-dotted hooch den worthy of Don Draper. Spend an hour at this luxe oasis and you’ll completely lose track of time—no DeLorean required.

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Gramercy

Donna

This breezy, rum-soaked drinkery, secreted away near the Williamsburg waterfront, is charming, refined and a little subversive—an enchanting nook that feels worlds away from the industrial streets outside. The cocktails alone could coax aficionados from their habitual perches, but it’s the transporting staging that seals the deal—a fever-dream vision of Central America that takes its inspiration from Spanish-colonial cathedrals, Art Nouveau parlor rooms and the sailor’s flophouse that existed on this site in the 1800s.

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Williamsburg

Dram

This airy Williamsburg bar is New York’s first truly progressive cocktail joint—a casual mixology haven with stools to spare for drinkers of all persuasions. The lighthearted but well-executed menu changes according to the whims of Dram’s precocious barkeeps or order the bartender's choice with your preferred spirt. There are classics, too—like a beautifully integrated Sazerac—but you can also take your boozing cues from the neighborhood dudes draining $4 Porkslap ales or sipping from a smart collection of international wines.

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Williamsburg

Dutch Kills

By now, the late bar pioneer Sasha Petraske’s formula is pretty familiar: natty bartenders, precise drinks and little (if any) signage. What separates Long Island City's Dutch Kills from the rest is space. The plentiful elbow room makes it a comfortable place to enjoy cocktails like the rye-based Garibaldi, made with lime juice, Campari and mellow white grapes. The Infante takes the familiar pairing of tequila and lime, and lightens it up with homemade orgeat (rosewater and almond syrup) and nutmeg.

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Long Island City

Best bars in NYC: E–O

Employees Only

A fortune teller greets patrons at this comfortably-worn reproduction of a prohibition speakeasy. There’s a rousing scene in front, a mix of diehard regulars and industry types who jockey for the attentions of the chef-coat–clad barkeeps. Of all of the city’s craft cocktail joints Employees Only is among the most populist, with enough nerd-baiting tipples on the menu to please aficionados without alienating everyone else. Easy sipping libations include the floral Provencal, a silky blend of lavender-infused gin, vermouth steeped with herbs de Provence and Cointreau.

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West Village

Grand Banks

By the peak of summer even New York’s most venerable boat bars have become flooded with frat-tastic curios, all watered-down brews and Lonely Island references. This season, a new anchor drops in the Hudson, offering grown-up alternatives to that bustling sea of bros: Grand Banks, the historic schooner turned oyster bar captained by Mark Firth (Marlow & Sons). Bid farewell to plastic chairs and “I’m on a boat!” sing-alongs—it’s only smooth sailing from here.

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Tribeca

Huckleberry Bar

The name says it all: To be a huckleberry is to be the right one for the job, and Huckleberry Bar is just that. Owners Andrew Boggs and Stephanie Schneider have created an experience that will satisfy any boozer’s desire: choice beers, an ace wine selection, serious cocktails and respectable eats. Acquire an intimate table in the expansive room and call for a glass of punch or a house drink such as the Greenbriar, made with oloroso sherry, peach bitters and Lillet.

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Williamsburg

Jimmy’s No. 43

This subterranean brew house is the unofficial clubhouse for the New York beer community, thanks to the efforts of garrulous owner Jimmy Carbone. Because of Carbone's hands-on involvement in the local scene, his dozen taps (most $8) and deep bottle collection are often the first point of entry for both hyperlocal nanobreweries and new-to-NYC imports. We've tried unfiltered Franconian lagers and a Japanese brown ale brewed at the foot of Mount Fuji at the marble-topped bar.

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East Village

La Birreria

This massive rooftop beer garden, located 14 stories above the Italian megastore Eataly, offers a direct line to one of the world’s most exciting new beer regions: an unprecedented stash of beers from the Boot, as well as innovative house-made ales reflecting trends on both sides of the Atlantic. Hops-heads will geek out over the three proprietary cask-conditioned ales brewed on the premises—the collaborative effort of craft-brew pioneers Sam Calagione (founder of Delaware's Dogfish Head), Teo Musso (Piedmont's Birra Baladin) and Leonardo Di Vincenzo (Rome's Birra del Borgo).

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Flatiron

Leyenda

True to her name, Ivy Mix stirs an incredible cocktail, especially in the company of Julie Reiner. The drink pros made quite the formidable pair at the Clover Club, Reiner’s Cobble Hill cocktail institution where Mix served as head bartender, but they’re testing if lightning strikes twice at this Pan-Latin follow-up. (Spoiler: It does.) In a mystic-cool space fitting for such bartender worship—rigged with Indio candles, cathedral-pew booths and a golden tin ceiling imprinted with crosses—Mix takes the reins on the cocktail menu and proves she’s worthy of the title leyenda (Spanish for legend).

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Carroll Gardens

Little Branch

As befits cocktail progenitor Sasha Petraske’s liquid legacy, the drinks at this clubby, low-ceilinged Village rathskeller are nigh perfect. If you choose to deviate from the menu, just give the neatly attired, polite bartenders a base liquor and a hint of your mood, and they can tailor a drink on the fly. A call for rye got us a spot-on Italian twist on a Manhattan, featuring maraschino liqueur, Carpano Antica vermouth and amaro. Custom-made cocktails—no password or secret handshake required.

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West Village

Mayahuel

Barkeep Phil Ward focuses on tequila and its cousin, mescal, at this East Village haute cantina. His wonderful menu features the Slynx cocktail, a liquid campfire of aged tequila, applejack, bitters and a smoky rinse of mescal. The craftsmanship in the drinks is equaled in the bar menu, featuring shareable snacks like popcorn dolled up with cotija cheese, ancho chili and lime. Despite its many strengths, Mayahuel wears its ambitions lightly. With so many of today’s top-tier cocktail bars lousy with vanity, that humility is a welcome departure.

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East Village

McSorley’s Old Ale House

Ladies should probably leave the Blahniks at home. In traditional Irish-pub fashion, McSorley’s floor has been thoroughly scattered with sawdust to take care of the spills and other messes that often accompany large quantities of cheap beer. Established in 1854, McSorley’s became an institution by remaining steadfastly authentic and providing only two choices to its customers: McSorley’s Dark Ale and McSorley’s Light Ale. Both beverages have a lot more character than PBR, though at these prices, it won’t be long before you stop noticing.

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East Village

Molly’s Pub and Shebeen

This rustic East Side Irish retreat gets it right. Thickly accented bartenders tend to off-the-clock Manhattanites and pastoral touches—a whitewashed facade, sawdust-covered floor and Celtic crosses—make the tavern feel like it's been transplanted from the Emerald Isle countryside. Get in the spirit with a pint of Murphy's Stout ($8), a creamy swig brewed in County Cork using a 150-year-old recipe. If none of the four Irish beers on tap appeal, opt for one of the dozen-plus whiskeys, including the peppery Powers Gold Label ($8).

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Midtown

Nitecap

Warning: You’ll be annoyed with Nitecap at first. The entrance is hard to find (hint: if you pass Schapiro’s, you’ve gone too far), the grizzly-haired doorman will likely tell you there’s a sizable wait, and you’ll have to wrestle an unwieldy velvet curtain the second you step inside. But the effort is well worth it, if only for the cavalcade of cocktail killers at its helm: Death & Co. honchos David Kaplan and Alexander Day own the joint, with drinks maven Natasha David (Maison Premiere, Mayahuel) behind the stick. Together, the trio has stirred up the kind of devil-may-care after-hours haunt you’ll want to linger at long after closing time.

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Lower East Side

Old Town Bar & Grill

Amid the swank food and drink sanctums sprouting around Park Avenue South, this classic tavern remains a shrine to unchanging values. Belly up to the bar and drain a few pints alongside the regulars who gather on stools “south of the pumps” (their lingo for taps). If you work up an appetite, skip the much-priased burger in favor of the chili dog: A grilled and scored all-beef Sabrett is deposited on a butter-toasted bun along with spicy homemade beef-and-red-kidney-bean chili, diced onions and shredded cheddar.

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Flatiron

169 Bar

The bouncers at the door aren’t window dressing—they’re serious about keeping out the rough element that characterized this hangout for much of its 80-year history. True, the venerable dive has evolved, hosting events with such partners as Triple 5 Soul (there’s an occasional cover of $5) and adding DJs who spin jungle and new wave. It hasn’t evolved too much, though: 169 remains a satisfyingly obscure place to get a beer for $3 and, until it’s time to hit the pool table, pump the music and start dancing.

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Downtown

Best bars in NYC: P–W

Pete’s Tavern

According to history buffs, in 1904, O. Henry wrote “The Gift of the Magi” in what was then a quiet Gramercy pub. Today it’s three deep at the bar, and O. Henry would have a hard time parking it anywhere. Though Pete’s—a Civil War–era survivor—draws its share of tourists, you’ll also rub shoulders with neighborhood types who slide into the wooden booths to snack on affordable Italian eats with standard suds (16 beers on tap include a hoppy house ale) bubbling in frosty mugs.

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Gramercy

Raines Law Room

There is no bar to belly up to at this louche lounge. Drinks are prepared in a beautiful but half-hidden back room surrounded by gleaming examples of every tool and gizmo a barkeep could wish for. From this gorgeous tableau comes an austere cocktail list. Try the Pioneer Spirit (rye, apple brandy, orgeat and angostura bitters), the Andean Dusk (Pisco, grapes, lemon and rose champagne) or turn up the heat with the 10 Gallon Hat (mezcal, ancho chile, lime and pineapple). Who needs a barstool anyway? The popular speakeasy also has a second midtown location inside the William Hotel.

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Flatiron

61 Local

In this earnest Cobble Hill beer hall, owners Dave Liatti (a former engineer for Sixpoint Craft Ales) and Chris Munsey (Murray’s Cheese) have created a real nerve center for the Brooklyn brew scene. Their 30-plus taps are devoted to local craft beers (Ommegang, Barrier Brewing), small-batch wines (Red Hook Winery) and kombucha, and they curate a steady flow of events connecting patrons with the purveyors. Stop by for discussions, cooking classes and film screenings, or just settle into a communal table with your crew.

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Boerum Hill

Spuyten Duyvil

The pared-down lineup of six drafts and one cask here speaks to owner Joe Carroll's reverence for beer. "With too many lines, the beer can sit around and get stale," he says. Spuyten's minimal draft offerings, as well as its 100-plus bottle list, are focused mainly on tiny European breweries. Sample old-world rarities like the thick, sherrylike Samichlaus lager from Austria or cellar-aged Cantillon lambics of various vintages. There’s also a tasty bar menu of smoked meats, pâtés, cheeses and terrines.

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Williamsburg

The Summit Bar

Exclusivity pervades New York cocktail culture, with bars hidden behind faux phone booths and inside unmarked, darkened dens. But Alphabet City's understated Summit forgoes the pretense—no reservations or covert knocks required—without compromising its drink savvy. Barkeeps Greg Seider and Gil Bouhana have created a split-personality menu that appeals to traditionalists (old-fashioneds, whiskey sours), as well as adventurous imbibers. We can pass hours at the black-granite bar, slowly sipping Seider's quirky "alchemical" inventions like Charmane's Star (Russian Standard Vodka, Cucumber, Shiso Leaf, Fresh Lime, Vietnamese Cinnamon Infused Agave, Rhubarb Bitters) or the whiskey-driven Gov’nor (yuzu, orange juice and cardamom-infused agave syrup).

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East Village

Sunny’s

This unassuming wharfside tavern has been passed down in the Balzano family since 1890. On weekends, the bar buzzes with middle-aged and new-generation bohemians (the latter distinguished by their PBR cans), and the odd salty dog (canines, not sailors). Despite the nautical feel, you’re more likely to hear bossa nova or bluegrass than sea chanties warbling from the speakers.

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Red Hook

The Brooklyn Inn

The immense dark-wood bar, bare-bones pool room and old-school jukebox attract an unpretentious crowd that’s more interested in drinking than in flirting. There are plenty of choice beers on tap, including Old Speckled Hen, Dentergens Wheat and local Six Point Brown Ale—all for a reasonable $5-or-so a pint. The Inn dates back to the 19th century; tie on a few and you may even see the ghost of Walt Whitman.

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Boerum Hill

The Counting Room

This spacious, stylish watering hole offers two great bars in one: wines by the glass and half bottles on the ground floor, and cocktails and spirits in a basement lounge. The wine list upstairs, with a focus on small, all-natural producers, features a well-priced collection of offbeat finds. Downstairs, you can sip classic and original drinks like the La Vie de Boheme (gin, lemon, spiced orange-fennel syrup and prosecco).

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Williamsburg

The Drink

This maritime tavern trains its focus on the communal pleasures of punch. Frank Cisneros (Dram) is behind the nightly punch-by-the-glass specials as well as large-format bowls for groups, including the Crusade—a fruity marriage of Old Monk Indian rum, citric rooibos Earl Grey tea from South Africa and a boatload of spices. Tea-stained navigational charts on the ceiling and nautical bric-a-brac rachet up the seafaring spirit, but the prices are a draw for landlubbers as well.

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Upper West Side

The Happiest Hour

Picture Don Draper on vacation: rum cocktail in hand, wind blowing through that meticulous coif. While you may never have Jon Hamm’s cut-from-glass jawline (sorry), you can make like a Sterling Cooper adman at leisure in this retro-kitted tiki lounge, from Tijuana Picnic partners Jon Neidich and Jim Kearns. The bi-level bar is crammed with mid-20th-century curios—a ’60s pop soundtrack; mod, half-moon booths; waitresses in Chuck Taylors—but it’s the customizable cocktails and breezy vibe that win over the crowd.

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West Village

The Shanty

If you've ever visited a vineyard, you're familiar with the tasting-room drill: Watch a promotional video, then sip minuscule pours in a makeshift barroom. But things are a bit different at the Shanty, a new drinkery attached to the manufacturing floor of the New York Distilling Company, which recently kicked off production in Williamsburg. The place offers a unique tippling experience, allowing drinkers to compare the borough-made booze side-by-side with more familiar brands or try it in a range of well-built cocktails.

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Williamsburg

Weather Up Tribeca

Owner Kathryn Weatherup puts her friends to good use at this tony Tribeca drinkery, a spin-off of her popular Prospect Heights bar. Richard Boccato (Dutch Kills) steers a well-balanced cocktail list featuring a mix of classics—like the Revolver, which softens the bite of bourbon with coffee liqueur and orange bitters—and original quaffs. Of the latter, we liked the pleasingly bitter Kensington Fix, made with Plymouth gin, simple syrup and earthy Amaro CioCiaro. Pair the booze with smart snacks from Tyler Kord (No. 7), such as luxurious oyster platters or baskets of excellent house-made potato chips. While prices are high, there’s plenty of polish to be found here—right down to the immaculate ice that’s harvested and cut on site.

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Tribeca

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Comments

11 comments
Tommy T
Tommy T

Not a single gay bar?

Jude P
Jude P

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gmail G
gmail G

Need a full list. This neighborhood drill-in is ridiculous.

Meaghan S
Meaghan S

No Bronx? Riverdale has some awesome bars.

Nataliia
Nataliia

Hey, I think you may also want to include The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern to your list. I've been there a couple of times and let me tell you I think it's the best bar in NYC. Just imagine you can eat and drink where Jorge Washington was dinning, isn't cool? Check it out at 54 Perl Street.

AP
AP

Ridiculous...no UWS or Harlem?

Arthur C
Arthur C

Where's the Upper West Side? Lazy, sub-par list.

Damien Champagne
Damien Champagne

Editors: Are you saying that there you won't recommend a SINGLE bar on the Upper West Side? Especially after finding two in the wasteland of Midtown West? Wow, that's pretty weak. Maybe you should buy a map.

Marissa G
Marissa G

@Damien Champagne they did list The Drink as UWS... although I'd say it's more Morningside Heights

rebecca p
rebecca p

@Marissa G they actually didn't... The Drink is on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn! Nowhere near the UWS, good reporting, TONY.