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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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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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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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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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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The Ginger Man

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Bona fide beer geeks come to this Herald Square bar for the dozens of drafts and the bar’s serious approach to beer. Retro posters cover the walls, adding to the aficionados-only vibe. Feel the need to sample every one of the 70 drafts, like the rare Hitachino Hefeweizen? Reserve a table for you

  1. 11 E 36th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10016
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The King Cole Bar

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

This grand hotel saloon, whose centerpiece is a grandiose Maxfield Parrish mural of Old King Cole, is steeped in legend. The lounge’s best-known invention is the Bloody Mary—née the Red Snapper, right here in 1934. But these days, the drink leaves something to be desired: When we ordered the

  1. The St. Regis New York, 2 E 55th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10022
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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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Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

  • Price band: 2/4

Some commuter bars are built for killing time, but this historic spot could entice you to miss your train on purpose. The O-Bar dates back to 1913, and its vaulted ceilings and desultory service suggest its institution status. Cocktails are competent classics (there may be no greater environment in

  1. Grand Central Terminal, Lower Concourse, , 42nd St at Park Ave
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Salon de Ning

  • Price band: 4/4

The Peninsula hotel’s former Pen-Top bar gets an Asian makeover (look out, Suzie Wong). Two terraces—one providing a Fifth Avenue vista, the other a view of the Hudson to the west—are outfitted with daybeds fashioned from ornately carved timber. Eastern-tinged cocktails like the Ning Sling

  1. The Peninsula New York, 700 Fifth Ave, at 55th St, 23rd floor
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