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Photograph: Ali Garber

The 9 best bars in Soho

One of NYC’s most famous neighborhoods, Soho has excellent wine bars, beer halls, outdoor spots and dives for days.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Bao Ong
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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NYC’s Soho (not to be confused with London’s!) has floated from its artistic reputation and crystallized into a shopping district over the years, but even when they pave paradise, people still gotta eat and drink. And, in spite of its present bourgeois trappings, there are still plenty of genuine places to do it.    

RECOMMENDED: See the full list of best bars in New York

Best Soho bars in NYC

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Nolita
  • price 2 of 4

At this airy Nolita drinkery, co-owners Timothy Lynch and Richard Knapp bring in a rotating cast of star bartenders to sling classic and contemporary drinks. The laid-back space—done up with a cream-colored tin ceiling, exposed brick and weathered-wood bar—also offers a full menu. 

Spring Lounge
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Nolita

Part dive bar, part after-work hangout, Spring Lounge is the kind of place where you need never drink alone. The liquor’s been flowing on this corner since the 1920s; the wooden tables and benches reek of whiskey, hops and malt. The desire for low-key spots like this in the otherwise retail-heavy area is obvious when the crowds start packing in. 

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  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

When it opened in 1830, the Ear Inn was popular with colorful characters ambling in from the docks of the Hudson. The basic decor (dark-wood bar, wobbly tables and chairs, lots of retro ephemera) hasn’t changed much since, but locals continue to pack the place thanks to its relaxed vibe and historic charm. 

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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Nolita
  • price 1 of 4

This narrow slip is easy to miss, and if it’s crowded inside it can be challenging to navigate through the shrinkwrapped space. And it's loud. And the bathrooms are just this side of functional. But, all caveats aside, this is one of the Soho bars we return to the most for simple pints and maybe a glass or two of red or white wine of indeterminate origin. 

  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

The stained-glass visage of a young boy in a cap stares at passersby from this been-here-forever corner establishment (the current owners have operated the place for more than three decades). Tourists from nearby hotels mingle with locals, all ordering from chalkboard menus and sipping microbrews. The docket of standard pub grub includes a respectable burger served on pita bread.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Little Italy
  • price 3 of 4

This sultry lounge, outfitted with jewel-toned velvet couches and antique mirror columns, has a DJ spinning on weekend nights filled with pretty people partying until the wee hours of the night at the 11 Howard hotel. If you don't want to reserve bottle service, be sure to show up when it opens to have a chance of getting into the Soho spot.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Thanks to lofted ceilings and six large skylights, this often-packed beer mecca inside a former parking garage offers a sunny beer-garden-like experience year-round. Beer maidens and barkeeps sling comically large, sudsy one-liter steins of brewskis to a predominately dude-heavy crowd, but the more manageable 12-ounce and half-liter mugs afford a greater range of sampling from the ten rotating taps of Greenpoint Beer Works.

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Looking for more food and drink in Soho?

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