Best bars in Gramercy and Flatiron: The essential drinking spots

Find the best bars in the area, whether you prefer unpretentious pubs, sophisticated wine bars or cool cocktail lounges.

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Whatever your poison, Gramercy and Flatiron offer several worthwhile drinking options—the best bars in the area include craft-beer bars, old-school pubs, and superb spots for cocktails and wine. Plus Sasha Petraske’s seminal faux-speakeasy Milk and Honey recently migrated to the nabe.

RECOMMENDED: Gramercy and Flatiron guide

The Cannibal

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

With its deli fridges stocked with ales and lagers, and its aged steaks and whole hams dangling from steel hooks, the Cannibal could double as the set of a new dude-food show on the Cooking Channel. Run by guys and packed with them, the place is so unabashed in its bromance for craft beer and artisanal meat it’s almost a parody of a manly restaurant. If you like meat and beer, though, it’s pretty close to paradise. For restaurateur Christian Pappanicholas, the beer-obsessed

  1. 113 E 29th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Aves, 10016
  2. Average small plate: $11. AmEx, MC, V
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La Birreria

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This massive rooftop beer garden, located 14 stories above the Italian megastore Eataly, offers a direct line to one of the world’s most exciting new beer regions: an unprecedented stash of beers from the Boot, as well as innovative house-made ales reflecting trends on both sides of the Atlantic. Hops-heads will geek out over the three proprietary cask-conditioned ales brewed on the premises—the collaborative effort of craft-brew pioneers Sam Calagione (founder of Delaware's

  1. 200 Fifth Ave, at 23rd St, 10010
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Pete’s Tavern

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

According to history buffs, in 1904, O. Henry wrote “The Gift of the Magi” in what was then a quiet Gramercy pub. Today it’s three deep at the bar, and O. Henry would have a hard time parking it anywhere. Though Pete’s—a Civil War–era survivor—draws its share of tourists, you’ll also rub shoulders with neighborhood types who slide into the wooden booths to snack on affordable Italian eats with standard suds (16 beers on tap include a hoppy house ale) bubbling in frosty mugs.

  1. 129 E 18th St, at Irving Pl, 10003
  2. Average drink: $5; Average main course: $14....
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Eataly

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This massive food and drink complex, from Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich, sprawls across 42,500 square feet in the Flatiron District. A spin-off of an operation by the same name just outside of Turin, Italy, the store’s retail maze and six full-service restaurants include a rotisserie with the city’s best flame-roasted chickens, an awe-inspiring display of hard-to-find produce (plus an in-house “vegetable butcher”) and the meatcentric white-tablecloth joint Il

  1. 200 Fifth Ave, between 23rd and 24th Sts
  2. Average main course: $20. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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Taproom No. 307

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

On first glance, this pub appears to be another noisy Murray Hill watering hole, with TVs tuned to the game and a boisterous, singles-heavy after-work scene. But look beyond the loosened ties and apelike courting rituals, and you’ll find there’s more going on than you think: a glimmering lineup of 40 craft-beer taps and two casks behind the long oak bar; couples perched in elevated booths, sharing arugula-topped brick-oven pizzas and crocks of chicken-liver mousse; and groups

  1. 307 Third Ave, between 23rd and 24th Sts, 10010
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Old Town Bar & Grill

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Amid the swank food sanctums sprouting around Park Avenue South, this classic tavern remains a shrine to unchanging values. Most old-time Old-Towners go for the much-praised burger, which we found in need of a little salt. For lightweights, there’s a smattering of salads and other sandwiches. Some things, however, do change. Bloomberg’s antismoking legislation has made the once befogged booths and long mahogany bar strangely haze-free.

  1. 45 E 18th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South, 10003
  2. Average main course: $8. AmEx, MC, V
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Old Town Bar & Restaurant

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Amid the swank food and drink sanctums sprouting around Park Avenue South, this classic tavern remains a shrine to unchanging values. Belly up to the bar and drain a few pints alongside the regulars who gather on stools “south of the pumps” (their lingo for taps). If you work up an appetite, skip the much-priased burger in favor of the chili dog: A grilled and scored all-beef Sabrett is deposited on a butter-toasted bun along with spicy homemade beef-and-red-kidney-bean

  1. 45 E 18th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South, 10003
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Lillie’s

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You’ve seen it before—an attractive bar with a thoughtful booze selection spoiled by an annoying clientele. So it is at beautiful Flatiron spot Lillie’s. An oblivious, dude-heavy crowd undermines the ornate 19th-century interior and the tasteful beverage list, which includes an easy-drinking proprietary wine, rare whiskeys (look out for the nine Glenmorangie Scotches) and a broad collection of craft beers. But once the sun sets and the suits vacate their barstools,

  1. 13 E 17th St, between Fifth Ave and Broadway
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Union Square Wine & Spirits

  • Critics choice

Taste 48 different wines via the store's tasting machine, and check out the many events that are hosted here. The international wines start at $10 and run the gamut up to a $1,200 bottle of French red. In the warmer months, keep an eye out for the Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé, a medium-bodied, food-friendly pour with layers of red fruit and citrus peel.

  1. 140 Fourth Ave, at 13th St
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