New York City is a nightlife capital, with some of the best bars in the country clustered around bustling neighbourhoods. From dives to cocktail dens and craft-brew havens to wine haunts, these are the 10 New York bars that will prove you they have the best nightlife.
The Bar at Baccarat Hotel New York
With giant crystal chandeliers dangling overhead, Champagne served in lead crystal flutes and scarlet walls that are heavy in the hand, and scarlet walls that recall the City of Lights’ most refined rooms, this bar is a beauty. Bar stools are more like thrones; it’s hard not to feel like royalty when you’re here. You cannot miss a visit at this top 10 New York bars.
A Negroni on tap sounds like a terrible idea until you have one at Dante, a 100-year-old Village mainstay that Linden Pride brilliantly revamped in 2015. Daylight floods in through sprawling old windows at this century-old watering hole ideal for day drinking.
A welcome break from the comedy club-hawking flyer guys of Greenwich Village, this named New York bars was established in 1915, and after a century it snagged new owners, a co-owner with heavy cocktail cred, and a faded grandeur vibe that conjures its famous regulars—Patti Smith, Hemingway, Anaïs Nin—of yore.
Come here—a minimalist shelter from the storm of Lower East Side partiers—for okonomiyaki, sleek Japanese design, and excellent highballs. Kenta Goto, owner and barman, was once at Pegu Club and has retained that famous bar’s excruciating attention to detail. It shines in his highballs—look for anything with yuzu—and the delicate coupe c cocktail, such as one made with a rosy cherry blossom, sake, gin, and maraschino.
The Bar Room
This is a proper cocktail spot; look for the James DeVille, a bracing bourbon and absinthe cocktail that seems to suit the glimmering, low-light decor. Or go for beer; there’s a solid list on tap. This integrant of New York bars is a Tom Colicchio establishment, this is the rare bar with great New American cuisine. Expect updated classics like a beautiful baked Alaska, clams casino, and fried rabbit with fennel and lemon.
NoMad Bar actually feels like a temple to haute drinking. With dark wood panelling, heavy curtains, and a giant arch over the gleaming bottles of booze, it’s something to see—with a great cocktail, to boot—so long as you don’t mind the din.
This integrant of New York bars arguably broke the seal on “soft cocktails”—booze-free numbers made with house-squeezed juices, tinctures, and shrubs—and they’re wonderful. Look for the “Peter Piper,” with pineapple, black pepper, pickled passion fruit, and lime.
Don´t be foolish with this named New York bars, Minetta Tavern is a steak restaurant first, but the best seats are at the bar, where you’ll want to order a cocktail and people watch. Black-and-white tiled floors, tin ceilings, dark wood, glittering people this place actually feature at a Sex and the City episode. Don’t order a $24 glass of wine, unless you must. The 1930s vintage of the place might prompt you to pick a Martini, a Manhattan, or an Old Fashioned; barkeeps will do right by all of the above.
The Eddy is a haven in a neighbourhood known for roving bachelorette parties and bros doing shots— this cited top 10 New York bars is cosy, with good drinks and a smart menu. All white-washed brick, dark wood, dim lighting, and a happy murmur among its grateful regulars. There’s a short, smart wine list, but most are here for the cocktail, such as El Scorcho, a mescal-rum number spiked with pineapple and lime, or the Banana Bread, which mingles Scotch with banana, sea salt, sherry, and walnut liqueur.
This Williamsburg standby is renowned for its cocktail program, oyster happy hour, and general Southern Gothic vibe. The light, which pours in, is made for Instagram, and you’ll see brunchers taking full advantage of it. Absinthe addicts, attention: This is your New York bars. There’s a whole separate menu devoted to absinthe cocktails, a real vintage drip in-house, and barkeeps who know what they’re doing with it all. Brews are locally sourced and tasty, and the non-absinthe drinks shine, too.
Surprisingly spacious, with dark brick-lined walls lending an air of cosiness, this Danny Meyer joint has his signature hospitality in spades. In this top 10 New York bars you’ll be welcomed right away by a smiling bartender, and if you poke around a bit, you’ll find a little leather banquette-lined nook for one-on-one chatter. Try a sherry cobbler or a New York sour—classics for a reason—or inquire about a favourite. They’ll likely be able to create yours.
The Rum House
The Rum House is cosy and welcoming; a proper respite from the madness of Times Square—with a piano to boot. Regulars visitors of this named New York bars sit at the bar, sipping daiquiris and rum Old Fashioned, but you could tuck in at a table with your date. For fun, look for obscure rums, such as the buttery Zafra Master’s Reserve. If you want to stick to your usual bourbon Old Fashioned or French 75, they have those, too.
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