At this time-capsule FiDi nook, you can drink like a boss—Boss Tweed, that is. In a redbrick landmark, Belfast bar vets Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry (of Northern Ireland’s acclaimed Merchant Hotel) have conjured up a rough-and-tumble 19th-century tavern. And it’s just the kind of saloon that the bare-knuckle Five Points gang the joint’s named after (its emblem was a dead rabbit impaled on a spike) would have frequented. DRINK THIS: Resurrecting long-forgotten quaffs is nothing new in Gotham, but the Dead Rabbit’s sheer breadth of throwback libations eclipses the competition. Spanning 100-some-odd bishops, fixes, nogs and smashes, the bar squarely hits many of these mid-1800s hallmarks. The Byrrh Wine Daisy ($14), era-appropriate in its china teacup with mustache guard, is particularly well wrought: Puckery rhubarb soda, raspberry eau-de-vie and fresh citrus amp up the fruit-forward Byrrh, while bitter Amaro CiaCiaro and piney angelica tinctures squelch any overt sweetness. Some drinks are less successful in their reincarnations (the Tween Deck is a flat mix of Jamaican rum, Sixpoint cask-conditioned ale, lime sherbet and allspice), but the whopping list holds plenty of sure-footed sips alongside the missteps. GOOD FOR: A working-class drink—though that working class is now buttoned-down bankers instead of roughneck Irish dockhands. McGarry and Muldoon liberate the cocktail from its blue-blood trappings. The snug, sawdust-strewn first floor is made for pints and whiskey slu
Taking cues from Coyote Ugly, this FiDi saloon makes its bartenders the main event. The all-female cast of boozeslingers is known to perform feats of fire-blowing and hula-hooping while serving cheap swill like $2 Rolling Rocks—one of them may even pull you up on to the bar for a dance. A full menu includes typical bar fare, and if you go there on a Sunday, you can enjoy gratis burgers and hot dogs when you purchase a drink.
The gimmick at this glam hotel drinkery is the absence of the bar itself. In place of the traditional format, mixologists man glossy black stations, and patrons are free to mingle among them. The cocktails, like the Perfect Pearl Manhattan (bourbon, sweet and dry vermouth, and Lagavulin Scotch), are updated twists on Prohibition classics. For those who choose not to cluster around the mixing stations, servers with wooden carts—modeled after ones used on 19th-century Pullman cars—roll the drinks directly to you.
Venue says: “Monday-Friday 11-4pm $15 Beer & Burger! Saturday, Sunday & Monday $0.50 Wings!!! Join us every day of the week for our special promotions!”
At this bi-level beer hall, servers have donned traditional lederhosen and dirndls for lugging pints of German beers like Schofferhofer Grapefruit and Hofbräu Dunkel. To soak up the suds, find Deutsch bites like jagerschnitzel and sausages. The wooden bar was imported from German town Erding, and there is a 70-seat outdoor space for warm-weather boozing.
Fish-roe emporium Caviarteria is behind this chandelier-clad subterranean drinkery, dedicated to champagne, jazz and—obviously—caviar. A grand piano is parked in the corner for live music on Fridays and Saturdays, while the neon-lit mahogany bar offers bubbly-based cocktails like the Dolce Vita (vodka, Grand Marnier, elderflower) and a vodka martini garnished with trout roe. Caviar (kaluga, sturgeon) is served by the ounce with mini blini and crème fraîche, or choose from platters like smoked salmon or foie gras with sliced onions and toast points.
Located on the former site of a ship chandlery and liquor importing business, Bin No. 220 has history in its bones. The bar here focuses on wine, with more than 60 vintages available by the bottle (about 20 of which are also available by the glass). A well-stocked bar is also available for drinkers who would rather sip the hard stuff, too. Even better, the varied menu of snacks has something to go with whatever you’re drinking. Dabble in an antipasto plate of various cured meats, cheeses and roasted vegetables ($12 for a small, $16 for a large), or stick to an all cheese or all meat plate ($14 for a small, $18 for a large). If you’re hungry for a full meal, choose from their menu of paninis or salads: the gorgonzola, pear and candied walnut salad, grilled cheese with truffle butter or prosciutto, mozzarella and red pepper sandwich (each $14) might fit the bill.
Bartender Jeremy Strawn (the Mulberry Project) mixes literary-themed cocktails at this plush Battery Park City lounge. The rye-and-amaro based Moveable Feast nods to Hemingway, while the Finishing Touches—which features absinthe, maple bitters and roasted pecans—references author Jean Kerr, who wrote a novel by that name. A small menu of plates tends toward the decadent: A surf-and-turf burger is made with American Wagyu beef, while the mac and cheese is studded with truffles.
A stone's throw from its 19th-century namesake, Castle Clinton—America's first beer garden—the folks behind Watermark Bar honor the storied nabe with a 4,000-square-foot Battery Park beer hall of their own. At the marble bar, 20 taps rotate selections of hard-to-find brews: Huyghe Delirium Tremens, Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Rouge and De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrik Bruges Triple, available in pints, half pints or third pints. A flux capacitorbehind the bar controls the carbonation and temperature of each tap, ensuring that pints are served at an optimal 34 degrees. Pub grub includes Bavarian fare like spaetzle, soft pretzels and house-made brats, such as an all-beef link with pickled tomato relish, and lamb sausage infused with cumin and ginger.
A 54-foot bar and 15 flashing neon beer signs serve as welcome distractions for workforce warriors avoiding the gravitational pull of nearby Wall Street. Six drafts (Yuengling, Stella and Blue Moon among them) make up the beer selection, and pub grub includes Dakota’s signature “cheeseburger fries”—deep-fried Black Angus beef stuffed with cheddar cheese and potatoes. Heading back to the trading floor? Sober up with a free cup of joe on the way out.
Cocktail hotshots David Kaplan and Alex Day—respectively co-owner and former bartender of the exemplary Death & Company—transport enlightened tippling to a larger, louder stage with this 120-seat subterranean bar and New American eatery. Ditching the hushed tones and slo-mo stirring of Death & Company, the pair kitted out the glossy dark granite bar for speed with foot-pedal-controlled sinks and four filtered seltzer taps. Festive bubbles are the star of the drinks program—half of the 16 cocktails are effervescent, and the menu offers four house-made sodas (including celery and strawberry-tarragon) and ten sparkling wines. Plunk down on one of the plush gray banquettes and sip the Heads Up, which combines Aperol, acid phosphate, seltzer and a cutting-edge elixir: vermouth blanc is flash-infused with watermelon via a whipped-cream canister. Day, along with head bartender Scott James Teague (Pegu Club), also created a number of sophisticated noncarbonated concoctions, like the Wolf Tone, made with pisco, grappa, elderflower, eucalyptus and bitters. An art installation of knotted ropes made by bondage artist Midori hangs near the oak-and-brass chef's table, where Phillip Kirschen-Clark (Vandaag) will serve a tasting menu. But his inventive booze-friendly small plates—including Negroni-cured oysters and absinthe-pickled eggs—are also available throughout the space. In the coming months, Handsome Coffee Roasters will open a daytime café in the upstairs lobby.
Probably the closest thing the seaport has to a Williamsburg vibe, this cozy, nautical-themed spot fosters a robust bar scene. Locals have made it a headquarters, downing suds and fancy cocktails in equal proportions. The raised seating area has rough-hewn pews and comfy booths where you can pick at bar snacks (salads, sandwiches) and get a bird’s-eye view of the evening’s shenanigans.
At this canine-themed tavern, the word growler refers to both jugs of beers and bellowing pups. Dog-lovers can bring their pets to the oak-paneled spot—which features antique prints of dogs and an outdoor patio—and choose from 20 American craft suds (Sixpoint, Allagash). To eat, find hot dogs from Mile End and sausages from Salumeria Biellese in pretzel brioche buns, plus fried pickles and sandwiches.
It’s happy hour in reverse: Jeremy’s 8 to 10am “eye opener” is just the ticket for day traders seeking liquid assets. The deal offers 32-ounce Styrofoam buckets of Coors for just $5. After work, you’ll find off-the-clock Wall Streeters and hard hats comfortably sharing the bar. Join them to nibble crispy fried clams while catching up on the game, broadcast on five televisions.
You don’t expect to find biker bars in the Financial District, and that’s what makes coming upon one so damn fun. Stop by and you’ll find pitchers for $8 each, pool, darts and dudes with ZZ Top facial hair hitting the jukebox. It’s charming in its own rough-around-the-edges way, and the perfect pit stop after a hard round of foraging at Century 21.
The downtown location of Anthony Bourdain’s famed brasserie supplies virtually the only energy in a neighborhood where nightfall brings urban tumbleweeds. Weekday lunch and happy hour hum, but the long bar maintains its buoyancy on evenings and weekends. All the bistro standards—affordable French wines, tasty steak frites—are served in an airy, mirrored space that feels like Paris without the cigarette smoke.
Sailing diehards can get three sheets to the wind at this two-story booze barge, moored in the Hudson River near Ellis Island during warm-weather months. Accessed via a vintage launch departing from Battery Park's North Cove Marina, the 140-person waterborne watering hole is the official clubhouse for the Manhattan Sailing Club. At the open-air bar on the upper deck, cheer on regattas over plastic cups filled with $5 beers (Coors Light, Heineken) or dark and stormys. Food is BYO, or order from a nearby restaurant and have it launched over to the floating clubhouse.
Wall Streeters have a new option for after-work martinis: this fifth-floor bar in the W Hotel. Mixologist Charlotte Voisey crafts cocktails named for the neighborhood: The Five Points blends pisco with muddled pineapple and arugula, while the Brooklyn Bridge blends rye, bitters and blood-orange liqueur. Bar bites include a bacon and arugula pizza and grilled spicy octopus.
Longtime South Street Seaport advocates Sara Williams (Fresh Salt) and Stephen Dima, who produces the RiverRocks and Seaport Music festivals, partnered for this 32-seat Friday-through-Sunday bar within the Fulton Stall Market. With a record shop and Little Water Radio sharing the space, boozers are treated to DJs spinning vinyl while they sip New York wines, like a Finger Lakes–sourced Fox Run chardonnay, and rotating beers from nearby breweries, including Sixpoint, Southern Tier and Ommegang. The weekend watering hole plays host to tap takeovers with food pairings from vendors, such as Nigerian street bites from Egunsifoods and New American sandwiches from Gaddy Lane.
More than 30 years—and 17 global locations—after the debut of its Upper East Side flagship in 1984, Rosa Mexicano heads downtown for the first time with a vibrant bi-level outpost, divided into a Guadalajara-inspired dining room upstairs and this lower-level agave cantina. At the marble bar, John McCarthy (Greenwich Project, Cedar Local) stirs concoctions showcasing Latin spirits curated by certified mescalier Courtenay Greenleaf. Cocktails include a fiery cucumber-basil margarita with Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, a house-infused mescal and tonic, and an Oaxaqueña featuring mescal and hot bitters sweetened with corn milk and agave. Corn pops up frequently on the snack menu as well, with house-ground masa serving as a base for sopes piled with pulled beef and black beans and for tortillas nestling lamb marinated in chili de arbol and steamed in avocado leaves.
An ocean-fresh raw bar and icy microbrews, not Styrofoam buckets of suds, rule at this upscale offshoot of nearby dive Jeremy’s. Lunching businessmen pack the upstairs lounge to munch half-pound burgers, oysters and po’ boys at paper-topped tables, which are equipped with crayons for sudden inspiration. After dark, easygoing locals rule the slender downstairs bar, downing Dogfish Head and Lone Star brew and playing Connect Four beneath lazily spinning ceiling fans.
You may feel a sense of déjà vu upon entering this Irish pub, even if you’ve never been here before. It’s the type of watering hole that exudes nostalgia: The 1897 building, originally a Syrian Catholic church, is a historic landmark, and the owners are third-generation proprietors. To complete the picture, 12 beers are offered on tap, the menu includes a nicely charred burger, and the waitstaff speaks in a lovely sing-song brogue.
Venue says: “Over 150 craft beers on tap, new beers every week. Happy Hour Beer & Bites $6. Lunch pre-fix menu $16”
Come for the beer (they’ve got a 99-label strong collection that includes brews like Chimay and Duvel) and stay for the chicken? The “Wing Ding” special promises two hours of unlimited, wings, fries and booze for just $22. It’s a fine distraction…assuming the 15 flat-screens don’t do the trick.
The menu at this West Village bistro is as classic as its surroundings. Exposed brick lines the wall behind the bar, and wooden rustic wooden tables fill the space. You’ll see modern takes on traditional appetizers like chicken liver mousse ($10), steak tartare ($15) and oysters by the dozen ($30) on the small plates menu. As for entrees, there’s the agnolotti with butternut squash and sage ($17), the eponymous burger with onion jam and your choice of roquefort, cheddar or gruyere ($19) or the pork loin with delicata squash and heirloom grains ($24) to choose between. On any given weekday, stop by for the happy hour from 4–7pm to sip two-for-one beers and select wines while nibbling on oysters or twice-fried chicken for an admirably low price (each $7).
Venue says: “Come join us Mondays for $10 Burger Night! $1 Oysters all day Tuesdays! Sunday Brunch $7 brunch cocktails until 4pm!”