The best pint-size powerhouse: Earl’s Beer and Cheese

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  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Beer cheese at Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Earl's Eggo at Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    NY State Cheddar at Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Asian Gnocchi & Beef at Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Time Out, Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Earl's Beer and Cheese

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Earl's Beer and Cheese

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Earl's Beer and Cheese

Williamsburg and the East Village have dominated the tippling zeitgeist of late, but this year’s spotlight-stealing beer bar had us trekking, against all odds, to the hinterlands of the Upper East Side. The unlikely location of Earl’s—as well as its superlative, all-cheese-everything victuals—contributed to the instant mythology of the Lilliputian spot, which flipped the bird to skeptics who doubted that anything this cool could exist this far uptown. But even as critical accolades piled up, it remained the consummate neighborhood joint. Regulars worked their way through an ever-changing rotation of top-notch domestic suds, while curious visitors were rewarded with the year’s most inventive drunk food, including pulled-pork tacos wrapped in a Chinese-style scallion pancake, and a Calabro-mozzarella grilled cheese stuffed with miso mayo, potato chips and a dill pickle. 1259 Park Ave between 97th and 98th Sts (212-289-1581, earlsny.com)


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