Shooting billiards at a pool hall in NYC is a worthwhile pastime for most New Yorkers—or, at least, it’s a surefire way to make drinking seem somewhat constructive. And since chugging brewskies at beer bars can be sort of, er, uneventful, it’s nice to know that there are so many drinking dens with games in NYC to keep us entertained. While some of the best bars come equipped with pinball machines or board games nowadays, the number of venues with pool tables—particularly in Manhattan—has been steadily dwindling for years. Luckily, we’ve assembled a list of the best pool halls in town, so when you feel like chalking up a cue stick, you’ll know where to take a dive.
Find the best pool hall in NYC
A vast majority of this 11,000-square-feet upscale locale is blanketed in plush and ornate carpeting—a nice compliment to the pristine and velvety green of its 25 Brunswick pool tables. If you find yourself getting hustled, take a break, grab a seat at its lengthy zinc bar and treat yourself to a swanky cocktail made with some esoteric liquor (the booze selection is endless).
In 2006, this pool hall opened its doors in West Midtown with a Far East kick: K-town. Space Billiards’ modish interior is (barely) lit with a mixture of red paper lanterns and strings of bead-like bulbs that glow neon, which only add to the spot’s unique aesthetic: a bizarre collision of South Beach vibes, K-pop style and barstool athletics. Weird maybe, but, hey, it works.
As on of the city’s best sports bars, this unpretentious spot is a solid choice for noshing on chicken wings and sipping suds (there are 18 beers on tap), or watching whatever game is playing on one of the haunts 16 HD TVs. Tastefully exposed brick and vintage videogames give this spot major “cool” bonus points, as do the rambling tentacles of industrial-looking AC ducts, which line the 12-foot ceilings.
Venue says: “With pool, ping pong, and darts, we're the perfect spot to have your next party! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
These digs have cred—a tough thing to come by in the world of pool halls. You might call Society Billiards professional grade: it’s got pro-level Diamond Tables, an onsite club pro and a pro shop. But don’t be daunted, as the crowd and staff alike tend to be friendly, and both are scattered with gems in the form of Lebowski-level stone-cold chillers and diamonds in the relative rough of pool-shooting culture (i.e. slick trench-coat wearing hustlers who screw their cue together in a way that makes you relieved it’s not an Uzi). If you’re going to order the drink, we recommend the Bullshot Martini (Bulleit Bourbon, maple syrup).
This place has a simple approach: a live DJ, and lots of pool tables. The best part? Your wallet won’t endure a major dent, as it only costs $12 to play on the weekends, and $10 on the weeknight (girls play free Tuesday and Thursday). For a worthwhile native drink, try a “Threesome,” a choice mix of Hennessy, Hypnotiq and Red Alize.
This is an ideal place if you’d like some game-honing lessons, but less so if you’re fond of wearing doo-Rags or tank tops after 7pm (both are banned). It’s a cheap and dank oasis, a reprieve from the UES snootiness that surrounds it—unless you consider a no doo-Rags policy snooty.