Best bars in Harlem: The essential drinking spots

The best bars in the neighborhood include everything from retro cocktail lounges to Euro-style beer gardens.



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Whatever your poison, Harlem offers several worthwhile drinking options. Red Rooster offshoot Ginny’s Supper Club and cool lounge Shrine are among the best bars in the neighborhood. Bier International and Harlem Tavern have brought craft-beer cred to the locale. For more ideas, consult our selection of restaurants and nightspots.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Harlem, New York

Bier International

  • Critics choice

This come-one, come-all suds haven brings brew-house cred to Harlem. Beer is the thing, with a focus on crowd-pleasing classics rather than hard-to-find geek bait. A diverse crowd congregates around recycled-wood picnic tables to hoist a selection of ten mostly European drafts—such as malty imperial pints of Fuller's London Pride—plus more than a dozen international bottles, including Harlem’s own Sugar Hill Golden Ale. The Euro-café vibe makes the bar a popular option for

  1. 2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave), (between 113th and 114th Sts)
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The Corner Social

  • Price band: 2/4

Eighteen taps dispense craft and commercial beers (Goose Island, Stella) at this Harlem drinkery, decorated with exposed brick, white subway tiles and a working steel fireplace. Boozers can also choose from more than 40 bottles (Hitachino, Peroni) and classic cocktails at the 20-foot-long reclaimed-wood bar. Settle into a tweed banquette or communal high-top for a full-fledged meal—the menu includes lobster mac and cheese, semolina-crusted branzino and buttermilk-fried oysters,

  1. 321 Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave), (at 126th St), 10027
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Ginny's Supper Club

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Red Rooster Harlem may be a restaurant first and foremost, but anyone who’s made the trek is just as likely to tell you about the scene: Marcus Samuelsson’s uptown gamble is a certified hot spot, with a nightly scrum as lively and diverse as any in town. Thankfully, some of the folks who have been lining up three deep at the front bar can now slip downstairs to Ginny’s Supper Club, a sprawling basement lounge modeled after the Harlem speakeasies of the ’20s. With its own

  1. 310 Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave), (between 125 and 126th Sts), 10027
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Harlem Tavern

  • Price band: 2/4

Harlem's dining resurgence—fueled by hot spots like Red Rooster and Levain Bakery—continues apace with the opening of this massive international craft-brew garden. Bringing theme-park magnitude to the historic 'hood, the 7,000-square-foot venue seats 350 and boasts 80 different beers (20 drafts and 60 bottles). Gather your crew for a guzzling session around the umbrella-shaded tables on the patio or at one of the communal wood tables inside. Both beer nerds and casual

  1. 2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave), (at 116th St), 10026
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Shrine Bar

  • Price band: 2/4

Playfully adapting a sign left over from previous tenants (the Black United Foundation), the Shrine deems itself a “Black United Fun Plaza.” True enough. The interior is tricked out with African art and vintage album covers (the actual vinyl adorns the ceiling). Harlemites and downtowners pack the Shrine for nightly concerts, which might feature indie rock, jazz, reggae or DJ sets. The cocktail menu aspires to similar diversity: Drinks range from a smooth mango mojito to

  1. 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave), (between 133rd and 134th Sts)
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67 Orange Street

Nineteenth-century nostalgia rules this Harlem lounge, inspired by Almack’s Dance Hall, the erstwhile Five Points saloon. Owner Karl Franz Williams, also of Harlem’s Society Coffee, has outfitted the cozy vintage space with purple velvet curtains, distressed mirrors and filament lightbulbs. But he took some liberties with the recipes: The Ol’ Fashionista blends Grand Marnier with bourbon, the house sidecar gets a splash of green chartreuse, and the New York Sazerac features

  1. 2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave), (between 112th and 113th Sts)
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