Sure, the plethora of cocktail clubs and dive bars have made the bar-studded East Village a hub for boozing 20-somethings for decades. But the lively downtown nabe is also loaded with top-notch vino dens for all different types of wine drinkers, from serious swirl-and-sniffers to fun-loving bottle poppers. When you want a quality glass, sip your way through the best wine bars in the East Village.
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Wine bars in the East Village
Nora O'Malley (Alphabet City Wine Co.) and Phoebe Connell (ABC Beer Co.) exclusively pour vino via draft at this minimalist, geometric-designed wine den, outfitted with 16 brass taps and a blond wood bar. The small-plates menu features dishes like house-made pork rillettes, duck-confit corn cakes and sourdough slathered in Szechuan-peppercorn butter.
Greek bottles and Mediterranean small plates (grilled octopus, spankopita) dominate the menu at this tiny, 10-seat vino den with white-washed brick and marble-topped bar.
Barkeeps at this rustic yet refined wine den pour from an extensive bottle selection hailing from West Coast (Oregon, Washington, California) and European vino hubs (France, Italy, Spain) — plus lesser known grape regions in Australia and parts of South America. With nearly 20 by-the-glass options, including more rare orange wines, and imported beer and hard cider, the bar can attract a generous crowd, especially during the daily happy hour.
Furbished with exposed wood beams and antique chandeliers, this wine bar and beer tavern hybrid pours a rotating lineup of craft beers and all-American wines in a quaint, train-car-slim space. Post up at the 12-seat bar for a Rodenbach pint, or snag the long banquette in back for a meat-and-cheese plate loaded with curds from Murray's and charcuterie from Russo's.
This compact wine and ceviche bar offers limited bar seating, putting patrons face-to-face with chefs as they prepare theatrical dishes. Bold, inventive interpretations of ceviche include tiger prawns with mango, hot pepper and—of all things—Sprite. Dive into the South American and Spanish-focused wine list, offering pocket-friendly options by the bottle and glass.
This cozy, 19-stool restaurant and wine bar boasts a carefully curated wine list that change almost daily, plus excellent sommelier service to help you navigate the long list of esoteric vintages, including cloudy orange wines and other lesser known Georgian varietals. The Mediterranean-leaning food menu also changes every day or so, to incorporate the freshest ingredients available at green markets around the city.
Oenophilic restaurateur Frederick Twomey's Italian wine bar chain stocks bottles from all over the Boot (Pugliese reds, Sicilian whites, Lombardy rosé), displaying them behind the glossy wooden bar. Pair the boozy grapeage with charcuterie, bruschette and traditional panini loaded with Italian cheeses and cured meats.