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The best Soho bars

Quench your thirst at one of these Soho bars, from sophisticated cocktail parlors to lively beer halls.

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Whatever your poison, these Soho bars offer worthwhile drinking options, including one of the city's top mixology mavens: Audrey Saunders’s seminal cocktail den Pegu Club. Check out one of these New York bars to indulge in some of the best beer, wine, bar food and snacks for a night out or before heading to a nearby Soho restaurant.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Soho, New York

Best Soho bars

City Winery

Unabashedly grown-up and yuppie-friendly, this slick new club launched by oenophile Michael Dorf, founder of the Knitting Factory, is New York’s only fully functioning winery, as well as a 350-seat concert space. Acts tend to be on the quiet side, but that doesn’t mean the shows lack bite. Younger singer-songwriters like Keren Ann and Diane Birch have appeared, but the place is dominated by older artists (David Johansen, Los Lobos).

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The Ear Inn

When it opened in 1830, the historic Ear Inn was popular with colorful characters ambling in from the docks of the Hudson. The basic decor (dark-wood bar, wobbly tables and chairs, lots of retro ephemera) hasn’t changed much since, but locals continue to pack the place thanks to its relaxed vibe and historical charm. Free snacks such as fried chicken and sausages can be had weeknights from 4 to 7pm, mitigating any wallet damage wreaked by a few $6 pints of Guinness.

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Houston Hall

Inside an artistically gritty former parking garage, the high, wood-raftered ceilings and 8,000-square-foot room keep personal space intact and conversations surprisingly audible. It’s less barnyard incivility, more free-range drinking. The dude-heavy crowd hoists comically large one-liter steins, all delivered by waitresses in low-cut red tanks and eyebrow-raising short black skirts. More manageable are the 12-ounce and half-liter mugs, affording a greater range of sampling from the ten rotating taps of Greenpoint Beer Works.

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West Village

Pegu Club

Thanks to the arrival of other serious mixology dens (PDT, Death & Company), Audrey Saunders’s imperial Pegu Club is no longer cutting-edge. But it’s still the gold standard for some of the city’s finest elixirs. The eponymous house cocktail is a sweet-and-sour blend of gin, bitters, fresh lime juice and orange curaçao; the Earl Grey MarTEAni, a tipsy take on afternoon tea, features Earl Grey–infused gin and lemon juice frothed with egg white. If you want to tweak your tipple, feel free: Every table comes with droppers of simple syrup, bitters, and lemon and lime juices.

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Puck Fair

Although there are 25 different beers on tap and 60 by the bottle at this airy trilevel pub, Guinness is the star: Thanks to the pricey Kilkenny cooling system, the black stuff tastes almost as good as it does on the Emerald Isle. Gaggles of Irish and other Euro expats take their pints at the enormous bar or small wooden tables. Retreat to the slightly quieter downstairs to tuck into pub grub like bangers and mash (available until 4am) in peace.

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