50 best New York bars: West Village

The West Village is known for its intimate and quirky New York bars. Whether you favor wine, beer or cocktails, there's a watering hole for you in this 'hood.

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

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

Bar Sardine

After shuttering for two weeks in July 2014, Chez Sardine shook its Asian influences to reset with a more playful snack menu and a heavier concentration on cocktails. Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly remains in the kitchen to dispatch elevated bar bites like black-garlic deviled eggs, herbed french fries with maple-mustard aioli and cod fritters with lemon mayo. The mid-20th-century space now has a larger bar run by Wisco alum Brian Bartels, who whips mint soft-serve ice cream into cocoa and cream liqueurs for the Black Pepper Grasshopper.

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West Village

Blind Tiger Ale House

Critics' pick

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

Employees Only

Critics' pick

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

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

Little Branch

Critics' pick

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

Comments

3 comments
flavio
flavio

Still it is confusing. When you read "50 Bars" in the title, you are expecting to see 50 Bars! there is not even a paragraph at the end explaining that you should click to see different locations.

jalyse18
jalyse18

@KeyLimePie this article is the 50 Best Bars in NY and this is the West Village page. To see more, choose a different location from the list at the bottom, like Soho or UES.

KeyLimePie
KeyLimePie

Is it just me or does this story only list four bars on one page? Where is the NEXT button? does NY Mag only work in FireFox??? wtf. I am looking at this with my bf and he agrees that there is no way to page forward in Chrome or IE. Help!