Bars in Greenwich Village: Where to go out and drink

Discover the best bars in Greenwich Village, including sports bar Kettle of Fish, Greenwich Village Country Club and more.

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In addition to cheap bars and karaoke dens that cater to the NYU crowd, you'll also find sophisticated wine bars among the drinking options in Greenwich Village. And any self-respecting cheesehead will find themselves rooting for the Packers at sports bar Kettle of Fish.

RECOMMENDED: Greenwich Village guide

Madame X

  • Price band: 2/4

She to he: “If you’re married, we can try the back room.” Everything is bordello red, including the velvet trim on the bar. Drinks have names like Pussy Galore (Malibu, crème de banana liqueur, mango nectar, sour mix and OJ). Smooth R&B beats add fuel to the flame. Just another night at Madame X.

  1. 94 W Houston St, between La Guardia Pl and Thompson St, 10012
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Greenwich Village Country Club

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

New York is filled with places to act like a grown-up kid: For every pedantic cocktail joint serving historically inspired punches, there's a place to get hammered while whacking a Ping-Pong ball or shooting animated caribou. Yet for all of its regressive pleasures, Gotham has yet to mine the potential joys of drunken miniature golf—until now. The team behind Bowlmor Lanes has taken on the challenge, outfitting the 16,000-square-foot space above the alleys with the city's first indoor putt-putt course. The new urban country-club concept replaces the Coney Island–themed club, Carnival, though the place still maintains a fun-house vibe, thanks to an odd mishmash of themes: Vintage fiberglass animals taken from a '60s amusement park lurk among the mini-golf holes, an artificial-grass bocce court is lined with black-and-white photos of high-society high jinks, and an awning near the entrance offers an unexplained homage to CBGB. It's plenty weird, and potentially a blast if you're in the right frame of mind. DRINK THIS: Drinking here is something you do between the greens, not an end in itself. Cocktails with names like the Dessert-ini (alcohol-infused chocolate milk, vanilla vodka) should give you pause; instead, play it safe with basic wine-by-the-glass and draft beer options, or grab cans of suds served in paper bags for ultimate mobility while you peruse the amusements. The grub, like the drinks, is more party fuel than anything else. You'll find the same high-concept junk fo

  1. 110 University Pl, between 12th and 13th Sts, 10003
  2. Average main course: $18. AmEx, MC, V
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Wicked Willy's

Wicked Willy’s ($1 per song) is not a proper karaoke bar—there are no private rooms—but it does host amateur performers Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at around 8pm. “It’s the only place I know where you can play beer pong and sing karaoke,” says regular Alex Salazar. The extensive song list carries the latest Lady Gaga–laced pop hits (“P-p-poker face, p-p-poker face, mum mum mum mah!”), a decent selection of Spanish songs and most of the staples. Performers also get a free drink with the first song they sing—presumably to help steady those nerves. Should the caterwauling overwhelm your fancy ears, there is a large projection screen in the back for taking in the Yankees game.

  1. 149 Bleecker St, between La Guardia Pl and Thompson St
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Café Wha?

  • Price band: 2/4

Somehow, the place is still open, running on the fumes of its illustrious past as a ’60s beatnik-and-incipient-hippie hangout. Ginsberg and Dylan lingered, Hendrix and Havens played, and what remains is history—and tourists. The decent house band cranks out live rock, funk and R&B for an enthusiastic bunch (Wednesday to Sunday, after 9pm). And if you’re hungry, Mamoun’s Falafel is right next door.

  1. 115 MacDougal St , between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts
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Off the Wagon

  • Price band: 1/4

A long wooden bar with plenty of beer on tap dominates the first floor of this bi-level space, while the rest of the room is filled with well-worn booths, televisions and sports team banners. Upstairs is more of the same, with a second, smaller bar and two oversize Ping-Pong tables where beer pong champs can show off their skills. Beginning at noon every Saturday and Sunday, patrons enjoy cheap domestic pitchers and half price wings; pitchers start at $3.50 but increase by fifty cents every hour.

  1. 109 MacDougal St , between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts
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Carnival

  • Price band: 2/4

Brooklyn Bowl upped the alley ante when it opened, and now Bowlmor Lanes throws in its chips with this Coney Island–themed venue. By day, Carnival is a family-friendly spot with face painters and concession stands selling cotton candy and hot dogs. By night, it becomes a bar, furnished with both an actual dunk tank and a drink named after one: a $70, two-gallon monster of vodka, Malibu Rum, gin and juice.

  1. Bowlmor Lanes, 110 University Pl, between 12th and 13th Sts
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Amélie

  • Price band: 2/4

French natives Samie Didda and Germain Michel have brought their popular San Francisco wine bar to New York. The pair's heritage carries through to the 300-bottle wine list and small-plates menu, which features Gallic dishes like daube provençale (red-wine–braised lamb), steak tartare and Emmental-stuffed ravioli with truffle oil. Wine-bottle sconces light the 56-seat spot, which includes a wood coffee table and red epoxy-topped bar.

  1. 22 W 8th St, between Fifth Ave and Macdougal Pl, 10011
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Kettle of Fish

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This convivial Greenwich Village stalwart—a favorite for Wisconsin expats—offers all the trappings of a great American sports bar: charmingly shoddy TVs, cheap suds (bottles of Bud and Yuengling go for $4) and a spirited crowd.

  1. 59 Christopher St, between Seventh Ave South and Waverly Pl
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Alibi

  • Price band: 1/4

Alibi’s intimate basement lounge, stuffed with banquettes, upholstered cubes and divans, aims for a slightly more upscale ambience than other bars on a persistently grungy strip. Another plus is the reasonably priced martinis (instead of beer by the pitcher). But the hoped-for junior-CEO or dressier postcollegiate crowd hasn’t quite materialized yet.

  1. 116 MacDougal St , between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts
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The Pint of No Return

  • Price band: 2/4

Tilt back a craft brew (Delirium Tremens, Abita Amber) at this West Village tavern. The joint also serves beer cocktails, like the Victory Black Velvet, made with Victory Storm King and Prosecco, and tipples, such as the Germaine's Twist, a mix of gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon and cucumber. Classic American grub—including burgers, fish and chips, and wings—make up the bill of fare.

  1. 504 Sixth Ave, at 13th St
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Wine Spot

  • Price band: 2/4

Visitors to the West Village’s Tea Spot need only venture to the basement to find this cozy after-hours wine bar with a small tapas menu.

  1. 127 MacDougal St, between 3rd and 4th Sts
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Karaoke Cave

  • Price band: 1/4

Don't let this karaoke-scene staple's unassuming exterior fool you. You enter the Greenwich Village den by descending a flight of stairs in a restaurant. Once inside, order a drink (booze is two-for-one all night on Mondays) and receive a ticket for a free song; picks are only a buck after that. There's no real stage—patrons simply go to the front of the spacious room and rock out. Choose from the massive songbook, featuring a diverse array of genres including show tunes, Top 40 hits and new-wave classics. (You can't go wrong with pop: Recently, Cee Lo Green's anthem "Fuck You!" sparked a sing-along among a dozen or so patrons.) Those with stage fright can retreat with two or three friends into a private room in the back ($7 per person per hour).

  1. 11 E 13th St , between Fifth Ave and University Pl
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West 3rd Common

  • Price band: 2/4

Close to Washington Square Park and NYU, this comfort food-minded gastropub offers a daily happy hour from 4-8pm and hosts a themed beer dinner on the last Wednesday of the month.

  1. 1 W 3rd St, between Broadway and Mercer
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Bleecker Street Bar

  • Price band: 1/4

The mostly male crowd at this quintessential dive relives its glory days with the help of an Internet jukebox (Johnny Cash, Journey), dartboards, pool tables, televised ball games and even Golden Tee video-game competitions. There are 18 beers on tap, and it’s $6.50 for a 32-ounce “personal pitcher” during happy hour, noon to 8pm daily.

  1. 58 Bleecker St, at Crosby St, 10012
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Bunga’s Den

  • Price band: 2/4

The owners of the West Village dive Johnny’s Bar step it up a notch with this retro-kitsch watering hole. Cushioned booths and a handmade wooden bar make for comfortable environs to enjoy the vast beer selection (14 on tap and roughly 20 by the bottle), including a number of craft brews. Another sign that this place is different from its hole-in-the-wall sibling: Three flat-screen TVs will show local student films.

  1. 137 W 14th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
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The Dove

  • Price band: 2/4

Artsy types, Bleecker Street buskers and East Village expats mix easily in this French-windowed basement bar, with its flocked wallpaper, Persian rugs and gilded wall sconces. In addition to specialty cocktails and draft beers, the menu lists 22 wines by the glass, and barkeeps are happy to provide sample sips. Oenophile co-owner Frank Locker is out to convert Cosmoholics and hops-heads and will gladly give you directions to his wine store across town.

  1. 228 Thompson St, between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts
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Vyne

  • Price band: 2/4

If the pedigreed owners of this Greenwich Village wine bar—whose credits include cocktail meccas Pegu Club and Flatiron Lounge—do half as much for vino as they’ve done for mixed drinks, we’ll all be better for it. The space features a retractable glass facade for warm weather and a fireplace for colder months. Inside, customers can select from a list that leans European and white, with many bottles from sustainable and biodynamic vineyards. Wine-friendly food options include small plates like white asparagus with speck, and chicken schnitzel.

  1. 82 W 3rd St, between Sullivan and Thompson Sts
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