The Best Bars in New York City
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Whatever your nightlife scene or drink of choice, there's a New York watering hole to satisfy your tastes. Longtime dive bars and historic taverns are thriving, even as beer gardens and speakeasy-style lounges continue to spread from the East Village to Williamsburg and beyond. Credit for the craft cocktail revival goes largely to NYC native Sasha Petraske, whose legacy lives on at spots like Dutch Kills and Pegu Club. Here are more favorite drinking destinations, from happy hour at Maison Premiere to last call at an iconic hotel bar.
80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
For some of the best views of the New York City skyline, you have to leave Manhattan. Case in point: the Ides Bar at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Located on the east side of the East River, this place serves up a view that stretches from the...
77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012, USA
When Audrey Saunders first opened Pegu Club on Houston Street in 2005, it was a pioneer. While nowadays bars and hotels around the world can boast of mixologists creating handcrafted cocktails, Saunders started her business when the idea of an...
2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
The King Cole Bar is about as legendary as any bar in New York. Located in the St. Regis Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, it has been the place to go for a cocktail since it opened in 1932—Salvador Dalí, John Lennon, and Marilyn...
567 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, USA
The White Horse Tavern in the West Village is about as old-school as any bar can get. Founded in 1880, its long dark-wood bar is backed by a mirror and lined with stools; vintage prints and photos adorn the walls. It's also a cultural institution,...
383 Carroll St, Brooklyn, NY 11231, USA
The Gowanus Canal has long been a scar on Brooklyn, a toxic Superfund site that the city, state, and federal governments have spent millions of dollars to return to something somewhat closer to a pristine state. With Brooklyn enjoying a red-hot...
27-24 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101, USA
Don't let the name frighten you; it's merely a reference to the neighborhood in which this bar is located ("kills" means "creek" and "Dutch," of course, is a nod to the colonists of "New Amsterdam"). When it opened, it attracted only locals in the...
615 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
Williamsburg having had its moment as the epicenter of cool in Brooklyn, some of that energy has moved north in recent years. Greenpoint remains a largely Polish neighborhood, but one hipster beachhead has been Tørst on Manhattan Avenue....
Pier 25, Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10013, USA
All aboard Grand Banks, a seasonal oyster bar on the historic Sherman Zwicker, the last of a large fleet of schooners that fished the Grand Banks of the North Atlantic and traded goods in South America. It's docked at Hudson River Park's Pier 25...
155 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, USA
City Winery is one of those rare places that does many things well. The fully-functioning winery is also an event venue that hosts live music performances as well as food and wine classes; plus, it serves food, too. The menu is...
2919 24th Ave, Astoria, NY 11102, USA
New York City's oldest beer garden laid its cornerstone more than 100 years ago, and it remains a popular destination for beer lovers of all ages. While it draws visitors year-round, its ample backyard is best enjoyed in warmer months, when a full...
53 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014, USA
"Where Pride Began" is the slogan of this West Village bar that is not only a landmark for the city's LGBTQ community but, as of June 2016, a National Historic Landmark as well. On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the bar, part of a...
225 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009, USA
This East Village bar’s menu ranks complex cocktails on a scale from refreshing to spirituous, and comforting to adventurous. It's upstairs from a liquor store on Avenue B, and the atmosphere is understated, keeping the focus on the expert...
22 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004, USA
Pier A has a long and storied history, but its life as a restaurant and bar is relatively new. Opened in 1886 as the headquarters for the Harbor Police and Department of Docks, it served numerous other official government functions before opening...
146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002, USA
"Why are so many people hanging out at this pawn shop?" you might think to yourself while walking along Essex Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. But it's not the goods in this (working!) pawn shop that the hangers-about are interested in; it's...
530 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001, USA
Located atop The McKittrick Hotel—site of the immersive theater experience "Sleep No More"—Gallow Green is a beguiling outdoor space overgrown with flowers and vines that offers up views of the Hudson River and the High Line. It's as popular for...
298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Maison Premiere's French influence invites you into another era around its marble horseshoe bar. If you come early, you can take your time here. We were lured by the $1 oyster special during happy hour. It all washed down well with a boozy sazerac...
135 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
Rooftop bars are a dime a dozen in New York and many of them offer great views of the city's skyscrapers. For now, at least, none is taller than Bar 54, which sits atop the Hyatt Times Square on the 54th floor. There are aspects of the decor that...
622 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tequila lovers will want to make a beeline to Midtown East for an evening at La Biblioteca ("The Library"), where more than 400 bottles of tequila and other agave-based spirits await. In addition to small-batch produced tequila, which you can...
433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009, USA
When Death & Company opened in the East Village in 2006 it was not among the first wave of that period's cocktail revival, but it would prove to be one of the most enduring of the second generation of lounges. The original owners opted for an...
151 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019, USA
Le Bernardin's award-winning wine director Aldo Sohm and acclaimed Chef Eric Ripert opened a wine bar with a downtown feel in a Midtown location. Aldo Sohm offers a small lunch and dinner menu of light fare, but of course the main focus is wine....
425 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011, USA
Chelsea Market is popular for its diverse restaurants and food stalls, ranging from fresh lobster and seafood to tacos, crepes, and currywurst. Underneath the street level is a less visible but equally popular destination: The Tippler, a...
30 Water St, New York, NY 10004, USA
Despite its unappealing name, Dead Rabbit is one of the most popular bars in all of New York City and has also charmed the judges behind the World's 50 Best Bars list, which listed it second in 2015. Drinks are served in two discrete spaces:...
37 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010, USA
This refined spirits parlor takes pride in its selection of rare and unique whiskies, bourbons, and single malts, which topped 1,000 at last count. Dedicated whiskey guides can help you navigate the dizzying array. Among the riches, you might...
899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA
This cavernous beer hall in Crown Heights from the team behind Brooklyn Flea (a weekend flea market that travels to different locations in the borough) opened in 2014 and has quickly become a popular spot. The aesthetic is warehouse Brooklyn:...
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