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

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Dear Irving

New Yorkers know how to drink, and well. Whether you’re a craft-beer connoisseur, a bar food aficionado or a rooftop bar regular, our nightlife-loving city has got the booze haunt for you.

RECOMMENDED: The best New York bars

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

La Birreria

Critics' pick

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

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

Old Town Bar & Grill

Critics' pick

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

Pete’s Tavern

Critics' pick

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

Taproom No. 307

Critics' pick

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 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.

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Kips Bay

Comments

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!