Best bars in Tribeca: The essential drinking spots

The best bars in the neighborhood range from unpretentious pubs and wine bars to sophisticated cocktail destinations.

Whatever your poison, Tribeca offers several worthwhile drinking options. Among the best bars in the neighborhood are several spots for standout cocktails. Oenophiles will find cheer in the larger sibling of East Village wine bar, Terroir, which also serves gourmet snacks. For something more substantial, consult our selection of restaurants and cheap eats.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Tribeca, New York

Brandy Library

Critics' pick

Downtown booze connoisseurs frequent this so-called library, the only one we can think of where liquor lines the walls. A novella-size drinks menu lists a glossary of spirits and 100 cocktail options, among them the Corpse Reviver (gin, lemon juice, Lillet Blonde, Cointreau and Pernod) and the Jarnac Ginger (cognac, bitters and ginger beer). Paying $13 for one of these earns drinkers a basket of gratis gougères (warm cheese puffs).

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Tribeca

Macao Trading Co.

Critics' pick

At this venture from mixologist Jason Kosmas (Employees Only) the menu takes a separate-but-equal approach in its presentation of Chinese and Portuguese flavors—inspired by the cuisine of Macao, Portugal’s last colonial outpost in Asia. Some dishes showcase one ingredient two ways, as in the flavorful but not groundbreaking prawns: the European version grilled in a wine-and-garlic-fortified cream sauce, the Asian rendition sautéed sweet-and-sour. As for the sipping crowd, its focus is on the decadent drinks. A cloudy Mah-Johng, a Rob Roy rendition featuring Scotch sweetened with a splash of vanilla liqueur, is smooth but devastatingly strong; the gin-based Bashful Maiden, with its blend of elderflower liqueur, falernum syrup, lemon and pureed melon, is a mellower choice. The upstairs bar can fill up quickly; try the discreet downstairs lounge, adorned with Chinese erotica, instead.

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Tribeca

Mudville 9

Critics' pick

Come for the beer (they’ve got a 99-label strong collection that includes brews like Chimay and Duvel) and stay for the chicken? The “Wing Ding” special promises two hours of unlimited, wings, fries and booze for just $22. It’s a fine distraction…assuming the 15 flat-screens don’t do the trick.

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Tribeca

Terroir Tribeca

Critics' pick

Eat Out Award–winning wine bar Terroir, from sommelier Paul Grieco and chef Marco Canora (both of Hearth), gains a larger sibling with this Tribeca outpost. The list of more than 150 bottles has been expanded, but as at the original spot, emphasizes selections that best express their terroir, or sense of place. Eight taps, meanwhile, will dispense six beers, while two lines will be dedicated to special selections of fermented grape juice. A wine-friendly menu from Canora will also be available.

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Tribeca

Tribeca Tavern

Critics' pick

There’s a certain ilk of New York bars that, at first glance, are decidedly ordinary—they offer nothing special in terms of drinks, decor or anything else. Somehow, though, these unassuming, often rundown spots transcend any one of a number of stereotypes and provide pub crawlers with a terrific bar experience. No place fits the bill better than TriBeCa Tavern. While the decor borders on decrepit (TriBeCa Tavern may be a contender for Manhattan’s Worst Restroom), it’s actually quite homey: Ample tables provide plenty of seating space, but the real prize is up front, where a cozy enclave provides patrons with a view of bustling West Broadway. The friendly bartenders are more than happy to whip up whatever drink you desire, though the reasonably priced draft beer, served by the pitcher, is really the way to go. The standard digital jukebox and surprisingly good sound system, like most things at this great little bar, sound better than you would’ve thought.

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Tribeca

Weather Up Tribeca

Critics' pick

Owner Kathryn Weatherup puts her friends to good use at this tony Tribeca drinkery, a spin-off of the popular Prospect Heights bar of the same name. Richard Boccato (Dutch Kills) steers a well-balanced cocktail list featuring a mix of classics—like the Revolver, which softens the bite of bourbon with coffee liqueur and orange bitters—and original quaffs. Of the latter, we liked the pleasingly bitter Kensington Fix, made with Plymouth gin, simple syrup and earthy Amaro CioCiaro. Pair the booze with smart snacks from Tyler Kord (No. 7), such as luxurious oyster platters, or baskets of excellent house-made potato chips. While prices are high, there’s plenty of polish to be found here—right down to the immaculate ice that's harvested and cut on site.

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Tribeca

Silver Lining

New York is lousy with venues offering craft cocktails and ones that spotlight live jazz. But enjoying these two noble pursuits in the same place has been nigh impossible. At this well-heeled Tribeca drinkery, the sounds of piano keys and shaking jiggers find a common stage inside a majestic 154-year-old townhouse. Little Branch vets Joseph Schwartz and Vito Dieterle, along with Sasha Petraske, have transported their studied classic cocktails to Tribeca, and Dieterle—who moonlights on the tenor sax—curates the talent. The excellent drinks and sultry music are perfect for dealing a coup de grâce to a demure date. One caveat: The crude food (bone-dry lamb sliders, mealy bagna cauda with limp veggies) could make your tête-à-tête go flaccid fast.

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