The best bluegrass music venues in NYC

These are the best bars and venues to hear bluegrass music in NYC, when you want some country in the city
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Samantha Grace Lewis
By John Marshall |
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Even if you’re not a giant bluegrass music fan, there are few things more soothing than the swift fingerpicking of a deft five-string banjo player, and there are few people more in need of soothing than New Yorkers. When we feel blue, perhaps we should turn more often to bluegrass at these folk music venues and dive bars. Read on to find out where you can get down to country songs here in the Big Apple.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best live music venues in NYC

Best bluegrass music venues in NYC

1
Sunny's
Bars, Dive bars

Sunny’s

icon-location-pin Red Hook

The remoteness of Red Hook has long been its charm, and the backroom of Sunny’s Bar has long been a refuge for down-home musicians. Every Wednesday, you can treat yourself to the sweet tang of bluegrass music in an unpretentious watering hole—one that’s been serving up cheap booze and good tunes since the 1890s.

2
The Flatiron Room
Photograph: Courtesy The Flatiron Room
Bars, Lounges

The Flatiron Room

icon-location-pin Flatiron

From 6:30 to 10:30pm every Monday, you can saddle up to these posh digs and enjoy exotic spirits (read: Japanese whiskey from the menu of more than 400 varieties) and a live bluegrass quartet. Attend a few times and you’ll be an expert on bourbon whiskey in no time.

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4
Skinny Dennis
Photograph: Courtesy Skinny Dennis
Bars, Dive bars

Skinny Dennis

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Hit up a honky-tonk hoedown at this Williamsburg staple. Savor the Western vibes while imbibing spiked sweet tea in a brimming Mason jar or sipping an outrageous blend of Guinness and Dr. Pepper called the Dr. G.Relax and kick back on a bench made out of a 1981 Ford F100 pickup truck. You know, like they do in the South (or at least south of Greenpoint Avenue).

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5
The Strand Smokehouse
Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Restaurants, Barbecue

The Strand Smokehouse

icon-location-pin Astoria

If you’ve struggled to find a halfway decent pulled pork sandwich north of the Mason-Dixon line, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, this Astoria beer garden delivers some of the best BBQ—and more. It has generous picnic-style seating out back and a long list of creative moonshine-based cocktails. Oh, and of course, lots of worthwhile bluegrass ensembles. Need we say more?

6
Photograph: Shutterstock
Bars, Dive bars

Mona’s

icon-location-pin East Village

Every Monday, virtuoso guitarist Rick Snell hosts an open session at Mona’s that features Appalachian fiddle music, bluegrass and old-school country. If you’ve got a bad case of the Mondays, there’s no better cure than the no-cover music at this after-hours joint.

More of a jazz fan?

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