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The best bars to go to alone in NYC

These are the best bars to go to alone in NYC, when you need to unplug, unwind and have a drink or two, solo-style

By Marion Bernstein and Dan Q Dao

Yes, you should visit the best bars to go to alone in NYC. Whether you’re working on your novel or just trying to carve out a little me time, there are a plethora of great bars that cater to solo goers all over the city (and there’s no shame in heading out alone). From the killer cocktail bars slinging the best negronis to the best dive bars offering Sunday happy hours, these spots are sure to offer any solo drinker a little peace of mind.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best bars in NYC

Best bars to go to alone in NYC

1. The Double Windsor

Bars Beer bars South Slope

It’s like Cheers, but in Park Slope and better. Don’t let the uppity name fool you—Double Windsor’s laid-back vibe and friendly (but not overly friendly) staff paints the perfect scene for a solo diner. Saddle up to the horseshoe bar for a hearty helping of gooey, bacon-laden mac and cheese, then pair your plate of liquid gold with one of 14 craft beers on tap. Come between 3pm and 7pm and shave a buck off during happy hours on weekdays.

2. The Lobby Bar at the Ace Hotel New York

Bars Hotel bars Downtown

Whether you’re in the mood to plug in and zone out or sit back and people watch, the Ace Hotel’s expansive Lobby Bar delivers on both fronts. The Breslin runs the bar, so craft beers, local spirits and house-made pickle juices are to be expected. Come early and snag a couch.


3. Ode to Babel

Bars Cocktail bars Prospect Heights

From local distillery-based craft cocktails to froth-topped coffee and Havarti-Swiss-stuffed grilled cheese, Ode to Babel’s 34-seat lifestyle bar offers something for every mood. Digital nomads can come early, caffeinate and catch up on emails, while solo socialites can imbibe some vibes during Babel’s Ode to Vinyl nights.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Russel K.


Restaurants Coffee shops Upper East Side

This one's for you, Upper East Siders. A longtime neighborhood establishment, this homey, 70-seat spot peddles coffee by day and cocktails and craft beers by night. Whether you snag a seat at a high-top communal table or settle into one of the comfy couches with your laptop, a menu of simple fare (sandwiches, s'mores) makes working on your novel that much more enjoyable.


5. Attaboy

Bars Cocktail bars Lower East Side

It would be remiss to not include one of New York's finest cocktail destinations on the list, especially one that places such an emphasis on bartender’s choice. Ascend your barstool for a bespoke cocktail tailor-made to your tastes and feel like a special snowflake even when you're all by your lonesome.

6. Sycamore

Bars Beer bars Flatbush

This rare gem of a bar slings flowers by day and booze by night. Sip on one of two dozen bourbons as you scroll through the (free) jukebox. Or, take a brew to-go and head on back to the cozy backyard for some fresh air and food—local food vendors hawking tacos, tamales and falafel rotate on a daily basis.

The NoMad Hotel
Photograph: Daniel Krieger

7. Library Bar at the NoMad Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Flatiron

Solo travelers are typically solo drinkers, so visiting a hotel bar is a surefire way to make sure you won't be the odd one out. Of the Nomad's excellent bar programs, this aptly book-filled space tends to be on the quieter side, perfect for catching up on some reading or relaxing in peace.

8. The Bennett

Bars Cocktail bars Tribeca

Ironically, Meaghan Dorman's date-night hot spot also makes for a solid me-time getaway. While couples line the two-tops along the wall, lone rangers can post up at the luxurious marble bar to pamper themselves with stellar cocktails-for-one. Plus, if you're alone, no one will judge you as you inhale their delicious cocktail-inspired cookies, which are served with a mini-glass of warm milk.


9. Hanson Dry

Bars Cocktail bars Clinton Hill

This cocktail bar, from the folks behind Southpaw and Franklin Park, evokes a midcentury lounge with its walnut bar, mirrored light fixtures and vintage cash register. Serious booze enthusiasts will be heartened by the drinks list, which includes twists on classics, like the Hanson Dry (gin, vanilla liqueur, Angostura bitters) and the Tux (rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur, a Pernod rinse). There's also wine and eight local beers on tap, including two from Kelso Brewery, which is located just down the street.

10. Sweetwater Social

Bars Cocktail bars Greenwich Village

This subterranean spot is fitted with loads of bar games ranging from foosball to board games. Amidst all the fun, there's a high chance a group of revelers will need an extra person to make their game an even match. Wouldn't it be great if someone was there alone and wanted to join in? 

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