50 best New York bars: Gramercy/Flatiron

Historic taverns, Irish pubs and blockbuster beer gardens are among the best New York bars in Gramercy and Flatiron.

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  • 50 best New York bars: Molly's Pub and Shebeen

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    50 best New York bars: Old Town Bar

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    50 best New York bars: Pete's Tavern

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    50 best New York bars: Taproom No. 307

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    50 best New York bars: La Birreria

50 best New York bars: Molly's Pub and Shebeen

Molly’s Pub and Shebeen

  • Price band: 1/4

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 ($7), 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).

  1. 287 Third Ave, (between 22nd and 23rd Sts), 10010
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Old Town Bar & Grill

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 45 E 18th St, (between Broadway and Park Ave South), 10003
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Pete’s Tavern

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 129 E 18th St, (at Irving Pl), 10003
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Taproom No. 307

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

On first glance, this pub appears to be another noisy Murray Hill watering hole, with TVs tuned to the game and a boisterous, singles-heavy after-work scene. But look beyond the loosened ties and apelike courting rituals, and you’ll find there’s more going on than you think: a glimmering lineup of 40 craft-beer taps and two casks behind the long oak bar; couples perched in elevated booths, sharing arugula-topped brick-oven pizzas and crocks of chicken-liver mousse; and groups in the back enjoying innovative suds tastings with beer sommelier Hayley Jensen. The well-curated brews make Taproom a serious draw for beer nerds, while the other upgrades—including better-than-usual sports-bar grub—boost its crowd-pleasing appeal.

  1. 307 Third Ave, (between 23rd and 24th Sts), 10010
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La Birreria

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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). But you don't have to be a beer nerd to appreciate the views of the Flatiron and Empire State Buildings while sipping on the unpasteurized, unfiltered suds. Fight your way through the  scrum, snag a seat at the Carrara marble bar or one of the communal salvaged-wood tables and line your stomach with accomplished rustic eats (fat probusto sausages, gorgeous salumi) before letting loose on the brews.

  1. 200 Fifth Ave, (at 23rd St), 10010
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Users say

1 comments
Sam Ramb
Sam Ramb

When I'm in the area after work, I always end up at Rodeo Bar which doesn't appear to be on this list. Good happy hour prices and margs with a kick!