Bars with great light

The sunshine may even justify your hangover.



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The two floors of uninterrupted glass walls make this venerable dive, bustling with day drinkers and late-night revelers, a prime (and reasonably priced) place to booze in the East Village, especially at happy hour (daily 4--8pm). Snack on bowls of gratis popcorn while sipping on a gin-and-juice "Sans-gria" cocktail ($8) or order a beer-shot combo ($5). 25 Ave A at 2nd St (212-505-2466)

Hide away in this intimate cloistered space, a tranquil, wooded haven amid Williamsburg's rowdy bar scene. A glass ceiling offers tipplers a face full of sun no matter where you're seated, and plants grow right between the polished wooden floorboards. The focus of the small-plates menu is the oysters, paired with sake, and the selection here is extensive. Try the Fisherman's Shooter special ($18): fresh oyster, uni and quail egg—all immersed in yuzu pepper and dashi —paired with a limited-edition spring draft sake. 77 North 6th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-6160,

Claret Wine Bar
This small but sophisticated Queens wine bar boasts two walls of windows that provide ample opportunities for people-watching. Swing by on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening between 8 and 11pm for live jazz, bluegrass and Celtic tunes performed by a rotating corral of local musicians. The international vino here hails from nearly a dozen locales, including South Africa and Austria. Kick back with a glass of montepulciano ($7) or the popular Jamesport pinot noir ($15), a light, raspberry-rich red. Or come hungry and pair your drinks with a pick-and-mix platter of European charcuterie and cheese ($12--$26) while soaking up the late-afternoon sun. 4602 Skillman Ave at 46th St, Sunnyside, Queens (718-937-7411,

The energy level at this West Village lesbian bar is rivaled only by the hyper decor. Brightly colored trinkets—including tiny striped parasols, blond Barbie dolls and cow-spot painted model airplanes—dangle from the ceiling, so there's plenty to gawk at. Bump elbows with a mix of gay and straight patrons as you toss back draft beers and jam to snarky pop divas like Gwen Stefani and Ke$ha. The set of corner windows won't let in too much light, but what's missing in UV rays is more than made up for in spirit. 281 W 12th St at 4th St (212-243-9041,

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