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: Full guide to Greenwich Village, NYC
Bars in Greenwich Village
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.
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.
This bi-level beer hall in the West Village lives in a space that was once a cooperage—that is, a barrel manufacturer. Forty taps dispense mostly craft brews, including domestic and international picks like Chicago’s Goose Island IPA and Belgium’s Chimay Tripel. Or nurse a whiskey or winter cocktail beside one of Amity’s two working fireplaces. Look out for a variety of burgers on the food menu.
Analogue is a craft cocktail and jazz bar located on the historic West 8th Street in the heart of Greenwich Village. While the bar boasts an extensive whiskey, bourbon and Scotch selection, along with house-made syrups, tinctures, bitters and shrubs, it continues to propound the philosophy that serious drinks don’t have to be taken too seriously—shedding pretense in favor of personality. It features live music on a weekly basis, a dynamic seasonal menu and a spacious private back room devoted to customized private events. Analogue’s aesthetic mirrors that of a simpler time—the bar is appointed with rich wood, leather furniture and an old record player; portraits of jazz legends, including Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, hang on the walls.
Beer lovers, rejoice! Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor is here to cover all your imbibing needs. Part art gallery, part craft beer bar—get the name now?—this spot serves up a rotating list of 24 beers on tap, plus about a dozen more in bottles or cans. Suds lovers who are up for a challenge will want to order the “run the board” flight of all the beers on tap and settle in for the long hall ($75). Less ambitious drinkers can choose from smaller flights of six, 12 or 18 beers ($24, $45 and $60, respectively). The bar offers a small menu of eats to soak up the booze—think hot pretzels with beer cheese ($7), all-beef hot dogs ($6) and Thai chicken meat pies ($7). And who knows? Maybe once you’ve had enough to drink, you’ll find a new appreciation for the art on display.
The venerable Bar 13, a casual two-level club (three, if you count the roof deck), is notable for having a pair of the smallest licensed dance floors in the city. It's also notable for its split personality, with music ranging from frat-boy rock and hip-hop to under-the-radar drum ’n' bass, house and techno.
A “moga” was an early-20th– century modern Japanese woman, reminiscent of the politically and socially liberated American flappers of the 1920s. Bar Moga takes this muse to heart by showcasing spirits and wine primarily from women-run companies and Japanese-inspired cocktails mixed by Becky McFalls-Schwartz (SakaMai). Her drinks marry shochu with Western ingredients: The Devil’s Pocket Watch mixes sweet-potato shochu with Scotch, apricot liqueur and pistachio-cranberry maple syrup, while the Woman in the Dunes features barley shochu as well as heavy cream, coffee liqueur and toasted almond. Inside the intimate space—sectioned by partitions and anchored by a working fireplace—the yōshoku-style food menu sticks to the East-meets-West theme, with comfort foods like fried shrimp and croquettes.
Find billiards, music and booze at this casual Soho lounge and cocktail bar, from the owners of Gatsby's and Firefly. The bi-level space—featuring exposed brick, navy stools and a pool table in the back—offers respectable craft suds (Brooklyn Brewery, Chimay, Delirium) and frilly cocktails (chocolate martinis, melon mojitos). On Friday and Saturday nights, DJs spin Top 40, electronic and dance music.
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.
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.
Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar
There’s not much better than sipping wine while nibbling on a quality bar of chocolate, and Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar has based their business off this perfect pairing. Try something off the restaurant’s extensive wine list, or choose from its wide selection of chocolate martinis, ranging from raspberry with chambord and kahlua, to almond with frangelico and a hazelnut truffle, to peppermint with creme de menthe (each $15). For dessert, Ayza not only offers cacao-themed desserts like chocolate pizza ($9) and fondue ($11), but also gourmet chocolate bars from the likes of Jacques Torres ($2.50) and Cioccolada($3). It’s not all sweets, either—diners can also choose from assorted cheese plates, charcuterie boards and tapas, or order off the full dinner menu. If you want it all—wine, cheese plates, tapas and chocolates—check out the group dining option, where $60 gives you access to a two-hour open bar and plenty of small plates.
Venue says: “Our outdoor seating is completely open! Happy Hour is great at the patio. Every weekday, 3-6pm. Join us!”