Whether you’re a fan of dive bars, beer bars, rooftop bars, romantic bars or any other kind of bar, you can always find what you’re looking for in New York—most of us don’t even need to leave our neighborhoods to visit a bar (and bartender) we love. If your favorite bartender made it to the shortlist below, vote for them, then come back on March 17 to see if they made it into the final 50.
Been a bartender for: 7 years
Signature drink: Let me make you anything with Amaro
The best thing about being a bartender is: Learning from people and sharing experiences.
Bar: The Duplex Piano Bar
Been a bartender for: 29 years
Signature drink: Maria Sangria and the Blackberry Manhattan
The best thing about being a bartender is: My connection with my customers. I hug at least 20 people a night.
Been a bartender for: 3 years
Signature drink: Smoked Apple Fashion
The best thing about being a bartender is: Creating something truly unique to an individual's taste, having them experience the process from start to finish and then watching them take a sip—knowing you have just created a lasting memory for them.
Been a bartender for: 10 years
Signature drink: Original Cinn
The best thing about being a bartender is: Some might think that everything has already been done, but—as a bartender—I feel there's no to limit one's creativity.
Bar: Greenwich Project
Been a bartender for: 9 years
Signature drink: Side by Side with Death
The best thing about being a bartender is: Just serving people the best drinks we possibly can and reaching them through that.
Bar: Little Branch
Been a bartender for: 6 years
Signature drink: McIntosh
The best thing about being a bartender is: It's pure Magick. Connecting with people. Helping them relax. Making something special for them.
Been a bartender for: 18 years
Signature drink: Tequila, blood orange, dark cherries, jalapeño and bitters
The best thing about being a bartender is: Meeting people from all over the world, and getting to share NYC's hidden gems in food and shopping.
Been a bartender for: 8 years
Signature drink: Leaves Falling
The best thing about being a bartender is: Giving my customers a great time with my drinks, and seeing their smiles and happiness.
Vote for your favorite bartender
See more on New York's Best Bartender
Bartenders are such a big part of our day-to-day life in New York that it’s easy to take them for granted, but where would we be without their beer-pouring, drink-mixing, sob-story–listening, make-all-your-evenings-magical-through-the-power-of-booze ways? That’s why we’re celebrating them with a competition to find the absolute best bartender in NYC.
Whether you’re looking for a craft cocktail, raw bar or backyard garden, the Smoking Monkey in Clinton Hill has you covered. Cocktails like The Other 75 with cognac, lemon juice and champagne and the El Clasico with mezcal, cointreau, muddled orange and pickled vegetables (both $14) riff on the classics. The bar also offers a selection of craft beer and wines. Need something to eat? The cheese and charcuterie platter ($20) would satisfy a small group, but larger parties might want to order a massive seafood platter piled high with lobster, assorted oysters, clams and shrimp ($112). The crab cake sliders ($9), baby octopus with potatoes ($9) or the house burger with sauteed red onions, tomato, bacon and cremini and shiitake mushrooms ($14) might also hit the spot. Just make sure to save room for the chocolate cake with rum-spiked whipped cream ($8).
Venue says: “Our backyard just opened! Join us for happy hour and enjoy $1.25 oysters and clams from 4pm-7pm everyday of the week.”