Bars near the Empire State Building

Chill out with a cocktail or beer with this guide to bars near the Empire State Building.

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The Shakespeare

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

In the past decade, Brit icons like April Bloomfield and Fergus Henderso (of London’s St. John), have transformed English food from punch line into powerhouse cuisine. Jason Hicks and Yves Jadot—the pair behind popular uptown gastropub Jones Wood Foundry—do their own enlightened version at

  1. 24 E 39th St, between Madison and Park Aves, 10016
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Middle Branch

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

In an age when suspenders and ’staches are cocktail-bar clichés, it’s hard to remember that a bit more than a decade ago, craft cocktails were almost a historical footnote, degraded over the years by sugary premade mixes and the herculean rise of the Appletini. Times have changed: Many casual

  1. 154 E 33rd St, between Lexington and Third Aves
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Grace

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This brazen tavern couldn’t have found a more fitting icon than 16th-century pirate queen Grace O’Malley, a bonny lass with a propensity for swilling hooch and seizing her exes’ castles. Honoring the riot-grrrl spunk of the seafaring heroine, the bar’s focused drink syllabus was concocted

  1. 365 Third Ave, between 26th and 27th Sts, 10016
  2. Average cocktail: $12. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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Hudson Malone

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Revenge is a dish best served cold—and at this two-story midtown saloon, it’s a cocktail served chilled. The vengeance comes at the tumbler-shaking hand of Doug Quinn, a barroom baron who put in a decade behind the stick at P.J. Clarke’s, where he became known for his nearly photographic

  1. 218 E 53rd St, between Second and Third Aves, 10022
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Rattle N Hum

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Owner Patrick Donagher is more interested in converting craft-beer newbs than scaring them off: A giant chalkboard wall suggests craft alternatives to mainstream swill, and a daily-changing menu offers 40 mostly American drafts ($7--$9), to help you find your new favorite beer. Purists gravitate

  1. 14 E 33rd St, between Fifth and Madison Aves
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Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge at the Library Hotel

  • Price band: 4/4

The fireplace, cozy sofas and club chairs at this rooftop bar suggest the decadent penthouse apartment you’ll probably never afford. The enclosed greenhouse and the outdoor terrace (in less frigid weather) are both ideal perches for sipping luxurious cocktails—such as the $12 Hemingway made

  1. 299 Madison Ave, at 41st St, 14th floor
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Lounge at Pod 39 Hotel

This rooftop bar, 17 stories above ground, offers a view of the East River and craft cocktails from bar manager Sam Anderson (Hotel Delmano, Freemans). Sip the Weathervane, a mixture of rye whiskey, rosemary, ginger, Campari and lemon juice, while gazing at the vista.

  1. 145 E 39th St, between Lexington and Third Aves
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Upstairs

  • Price band: 2/4

This 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar on the 31st floor of the Kimberly Hotel features ivy-covered walls, old-fashioned globe street lamps and a retractable roof that makes it possible to enjoy the 360-degree views year-round. In addition to signature cocktails, visitors will find a selection of beers

  1. 145 E 50th St, between Lexington and Third Aves
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The Plaza Food Hall

  • Rated as: 2/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Entrepreneur-chef Todd English, inspired by the great food halls of Europe, opened this market in the Plaza Hotel in 2010. The sprawling venue featured multiple stations, including a raw bar, pizza shop, sushi counter and more. Two years after its debut, the Food Hall expands, with 16 more vendors

  1. 1 W 59th St, at Fifth Ave, concourse level
  2. Average main course: $11. AmEx, MC, V
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Sakagura

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You’ll have to work to find this midtown sake den, but the reward is worth the effort. First, go through the unmarked lobby of an office building, then down some stairs and along a basement corridor. There you’ll find a quiet room done up in understated bamboo and blond wood, where 250 types of

  1. 211 E 43rd St, between Second and Third Aves, 10017
  2. Average drink: $7. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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