The 50 best bars in NYC (2024)

The 50 best bars in NYC (1)

Sip classic co*cktails, craft beer and expert wine selections at these new drinking destinations and longtime favorites.

Written by

Amber Sutherland-Namako

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Every drink seemsideal when you're at the perfect bar. Yourdive’s beer is frosty, rooftopssend you soaring towardthe clouds andco*cktail destinations shake and stir myriad ingredients into ideally calibrated glasswareunlike anything you have at home. The options are unending, the ice is nicer and you aren’t just drinking, you’re at the spot.

Whether you're dabbling inlow-ABV libations,making your way through dedicated martini menusor collecting passwords for pseudo speakeasies,there is an ideal location for every taste, tolerance and occasion. Find them amongthe 50 best bars in NYC right now.

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The best of the city under one roof

Photograph: Time Out / Nitzan Rubin
Time Out Market New York
  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • DUMBO
  • price 1 of 4

Everything you love about New York City's best bars can be found at Time Out Market: Terrific co*cktails, skyline views and happy hours to end your day and start your evening. Just like our restaurant curation, we'vetakengreat careinbuildingour bars. Some of the city's finestbeverage professionals were withus on day onecreating delicious, Instagrammable libations, and the creativity keeps flowing today. And don't miss ourLove Local Brews Bar, focused on suds made here in NYC.

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Best bars in NYC

Photograph: Virginia Rollison
1.The Long Island Bar
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Cobble Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Occupying a corner spot that operated under the same name for five decades, and now ten years into its second act, Long Island Bar comes by its retro-lite ambiance honestly. Its flickering neon beckons eventual—inevitableguests from all the way down the block, and rewards theirpatronage with comforting, welcoming environs andbest-in-class gimlets and martinis, plus beer, wine and a full menu.It has a way of filling up fast, and the addition of outdoor seating hasn't actually eased the crowds that much.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
2.Attaboy
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

An NYC classic (of somewhat recent origin; Attaboy opened in the famed Milk and Honey space in 2012), this LES co*cktail leader hasa speakeasy vibe, a steel-brushed bar and some of the best drinks in town to top it with.

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Photograph: Courtesy Don Riddle
3.Bemelmans Bar
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 4 of 4

The Central Casting ideal of Old New York, the Carlyle Hotel’s throwback grandeur is juxtaposed with Ludwig Bemelmans’ whimsical original murals here at his namesake bar.It’s as expensive as you’d expect, and the cover charge that starts at $10 after 5:30pm gets you a seat, piano tunes and the opportunity to order$28 vesper martinis, $30 Manhattans and $38 sidecars.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Amber Sutherland-Namako
4.Overstory
  • Bars
  • Financial District

Hovering near the top of special occasion libation destinations, Overstory is also poised among the clouds on the 64th floor of a downtown Art Deco skyscraper. Yes, special occasion is still a euphemism for spendy, and Overstory actually pays off as a ‘worth it’ splurge. Its nicely crafted co*cktails are all $24, and the views from its wrap-around terrace approach priceless.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
5.Clover Club
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 2 of 4

One of Smith Street’s finest since 2008, Clover Club has endured while other beloved restaurants and bars have come and go. This one’s both, plus it’s pretty all around, comfortable and still feels special, whether you’re a regular or coming by for the first time. Its bar’s the best seat on the block, and you’ll need one to peruse the whole novella of a co*cktail menu. Or just try the Clover Club.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Amber Sutherland-Namako
6.Sunken Harbor Club
  • Bars
  • Downtown Brooklyn

Sohui Kim, Ben Schneider and St. John Frizell’s glittering revival was one of NYC’s best new restaurants of 2021, and the team followed that smashing success with Sunken Harbor Club upstairs. The permanent addition picks up where Frizell’s weekly parties of the same nameleft offatFort Defiancewhen the Red Hook favorite relocated. Sunken Harbor Club’s new forever space has dramatic enchanted shipwreck themes and studied drink menus as deep as the sea.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Gabi Porter
7.Milady's
  • 4 out of 5 stars

  • Restaurants
  • Soho
  • Recommended

Milday's is back, baby! Previously a beloved dive bar by the same name that occupied this space for several decades, it's been lovingly reimagined with excellent co*cktails and a lengthy menus, including one of NYC's best burgers.

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
8.Sunny’s
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Red Hook
  • price 1 of 4

A canonical NYC destination, Sunny’s still feels serendipitous when you luck into it on a random, meandering afternoon. It has nautical nods, a long bar and booths up front, tables and enough room for twangy live music in the back and a side yard for alternating breaths of fresh air and the opposite of fresh air. There’s a full bar, but they’re particularly adept at making beer here.

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Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
9.Dutch Kills
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Long Island City
  • price 2 of 4

ThisTime Out New York Best of the City award winnerfirst opened in Queens in 2009. The ever-popular spot still makes standout co*cktails, including the bespoke creations that first put it on the map, in an environment that's relaxed a lot over the years.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Joseph Kramm
10.Cecchi's
  • 4 out of 5 stars

  • Restaurants
  • West Village
  • Recommended

The restaurant component of this slick operation takes up most of its real estate, but its bar is a a premier NYC place to be. Order a martini and fries if you can get within drinking distance of the popular spot.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Alexa Bendek
11.Saint Tuesday
  • Bars
  • Chinatown

One ofrecent years' ubiquitous speakeasy-inspired bars, Saint Tuesday is closer to the archetype than any of the rest. Its Cortlandt Alley entrance is hard enough to find to humble even the most smug among us, and getting to the bar still feels like the Goodfellas Copa shot once you’re through the door. It's also pretty inside with vaguely old-fashioned design, there’s live music every nightand the drinks areterrific.

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FILIP WOLAK
12.The Campbell
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Midtown East
  • price 4 of 4

Grand Central Terminal itself is rather beautiful, but running its gauntlet alwaysrequires a reward. The Campbell, née, The Campbell Apartment, in the building’s southwest corner, is the closest and best place to get one. Once the massive office of the ur-rich NYC finance guy for which it’s twice named, The Campbell’s present form toasts its original leaded-glass windows, soaring hand-painted ceiling and stone fireplace with classic co*cktails. This is what all those latter-day speakeasies aspire to without the goofy costuming.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
13.Maison Premiere
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Williamsburg
  • price 3 of 4

ThisWilliamsburg mainstay beloved for its chicly distressed interior and romantic ambiance is best known for its oysters and absinthe. Sipa potent variety of the anise-forward spirit in the lush backyard.

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison
14.67 Orange Street
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Harlem
  • price 4 of 4

Expertly shaken and stirred co*cktails have been topping 67 Orange Street’s bar and two floors of tables since it first opened uptown in 2008. Slip into the stylish brick-lined space for novel co*cktails created by its own bartenders, plus beer and wine.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Julie Spicy
15.Mace
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 2 of 4

Mace has been a regular on local and international “best of” lists since it first opened in 2015. A later move to West 8th Street gives the perennial fave a little more room for outdoor dining, in addition to a comfortable interior and 27-foot zinc bar. Sip spice and botanical-forward co*cktails, or one of the best frozen drinks in town, and see how fast you’llmake Mace your own personal recommendation.

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Photograph: Courtesy Noah f*cks
16.Panorama Room
  • Bars
  • Roosevelt Island

While many of the best views in NYC are free, they’re even better when they come with co*cktails. Panorama Room on the 18th floor of the Graduate Roosevelt Island hotel has outstanding vistas of the NYC skyline through its walls of windows and from out on its sweeping terrace.

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17.Jadis
  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

A few steps below the sidewalk, Jadis wine bar seems suffused with effortless romance and incidental magic–qualities frequently copied with low, golden lighting schemes and chicly rustic design, but seldom truly captured at quite this pulse-quickening pace. Be careful who you share that carafe with, as it’s easy to get infatuated here.

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Time Out, Photograph: Jolie Ruben
18.Night of Joy
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Greenpoint
  • price 2 of 4

This casual low-rise rooftop is just as enjoyable as some of its sky-high peers. The first come, first sit, second floor fills up fast, however, so dispatch a member of your party to get there early and make sure to reward ‘em with gimlets, old blossom rum lemonades and frozens into the evening.

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Photograph: Courtesy Dave Jeffers
19.Good Judy
  • Bars
  • South Slope

Good Judy has been “a home for queers + allies to join together in unity and solidarity” since it openedin July of 2020. Enter through the narrow facade and you’ll find a half-dozen seats at the glossy bar on the main level, a piano lounge upstairs and a patio in the back. Good Judy also hosts events likekaraoke, bingo and viewing parties.

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
20.Jimmy’s Corner
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Midtown West
  • price 1 of 4

Manhattan’s best dive bar in a borough where they’re ever-dwindling, Jimmy’s Corner first opened near Times Square in 1971. Today, the late famed boxer and trainer Jimmy Glenn’s iconic, memorabilia-rich spot attracts excited crowds from near and far, while maintaining its neighborhood charm with easy to swallow prices.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Delia Barth
21.Nothing Really Matters
  • Bars
  • Midtown West

The last few years brought a (re) resurgence of speakeasy concepts to NYC, and Nothing Really Matters is among the best. More incidentally hidden than many ironically more heavily branded bars of the genre, its gently obscured subway platform-adjacent location makes it feel safely ensconced from friends, foes and social media followers, even if it does have a particularly Instagram-worthy bathroom.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
22.Grand Army
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Boerum Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Thismildly maritime-esque bar’s menu is frequently updated with themes like CATS!–”not the musical” and Nicholas Cage. This season’s sips nod to Mean Girls, and some of Grand Army's greatest hits are also available.

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Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
23.PDT
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • East Village
  • price 4 of 4

If you knowanythingabout one of the world's most famous speakeasy-style bars (sip the irony), you know that it is located down a few stairs, inside Crif Dogs, and beyond a phone booth that longtime bartender and present owner Jeff Bellpoints out may be unrecognizable to the newest generation of drinkers.

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Photograph: Courtesy Michael Tulipan
24.Contento
  • Restaurants
  • East Harlem

The bar at Contento, one of the best new restaurants of 2021, has enough wines by the glass to keep us coming back, but not so many that we never get around to actually ordering, plus beer, co*cktails and a terrific dinner menu. Said bar also has just enough spots to give the full-service restaurant equal drinking and eating crossover destination appeal, and its design keeps people with disabilities front of mind.

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25.The Bar Room at The Beekman
  • Hotels
  • Financial District
  • price 3 of 4

Visit the beautiful Bar Room in the historic Beekman Hotel for high-key romance that really wows. The soaring atrium locale is ornate from its soaring ceiling down to the bar, which is topped with martinis and all manner of other classic and creative co*cktails. Tables, armchairs and large booths populate the rest of the space, should you wish to sink in a little longer.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Fabien Desgroux
26.Velma
  • 3 out of 5 stars

  • Restaurants
  • Ridgewood
  • Recommended

This ideally-calibrated bar and restaurant keepsthe former mostly up front and the latter in the back. That dedicated drinking section has a long row of high-back stools, a few roomy booths and a pool table all surrounded by exposed brick walls, a black and white-tiled floor and a pressed-tin ceiling. The recessed dining room is awash in red sauce charm.A great martini is available throughout, plus more co*cktails, wine and beer.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Noah f*cks
27.Katana Kitten
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

This three-year-old bar in Greenwich Village wasonce named the tenth best in the world. See what the buzz is about over highballs, carefully crafted signature co*cktails, boilermakers, sake, beer and wine across Katana Kitten’s two stylish floors. Skewers and small plates are available to pair.

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28.Brooklyn Social
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 2 of 4

Smith Street’s designation as an eating and drinking destination has ebbed and flowed over the years, but Brooklyn Social has held steady as a prime co*cktail spot since 2004. It seems to have settled out of its once impossibly crowded state, but we’re always looking over our shoulder for the masses to return to its low key bar, flock around its backroom pool table and fill up its hidden patio once more.

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29.Old Town Bar
  • Restaurants
  • Gastropubs
  • Flatiron
  • price 1 of 4

Aptly named Old Town has occupied its ever-changing neighborhood a block above Union Square since 1892. It was possibly pushed intoactual speakeasy status during prohibition, but the bar does not dine out on that confoundingly popular designation today. Instead, the large-but-easily-crowded staple’s neon sign beckons all for beer and all the other expected beverages, plus bar food. It's also one of the easiest hangouts in the retail-saturated Union Square area.

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Sydney Butler Photography
30.Talea Beer Taproom
  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Williamsburg

This woman-ownedbreweryopened its first taproom in Williamsburg in March of 2021, followed by a second this June.In addition to refreshing, fruit-forward beer and seasonal suds, co*cktails, wine, and snacks are also on the menu. Sit inside our out, grab a draft and pick up some canned beer to go when it's time to say goodnight.

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Photograph: Beth Levendis
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • East Village
  • price 4 of 4

First opened in the earlier years of NYC’s great co*cktail resurgence, Death & Co. is still a top pick for booze devotees who take their spirits seriously. Seating is first come, first served in its effortlessly glamorous space, so prepare to break a sweat if you’re trying to nab a spot at peak imbibing times.

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32.Montero
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • price 1 of 4

A real-deal dive bar in an area less and less hospitable to the genre, Montero’s a grizzled old charmer decked out in the seafaring accoutrement you’d expect from a spot that got its start serving sailors so many years ago. Today, it lights up on karaoke nights when visitors belt out PBR-emboldened versions of former and current hits.

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Photograph: Daniel Krieger
33.The Dead Rabbit
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Financial District
  • price 2 of 4

No dearly departed hares here: The Dead Rabbit has been one of NYC's most award-winning locales since it first opened in the sometimes sleepy Financial District in 2013. The place still gets packed for terrific food and drinks, including a best in class Irish coffee.

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Photograph: Courtesy Noah Speck
34.Sweet Afton
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

An ideal neighborhood go-to now in its second decade, Sweet Afton must be doing something right. The beer, wine, co*cktails and weekday happy hour wheresome of the above are priced from $5-$13 are a good start, and the roomy indoor and back patio seating areas don’t hurt, either.

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35.Russian Vodka Room
  • Restaurants
  • Russian
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

Not to be confused with similarly named establishments around town, Russian Vodka Room’s stout 52nd Street exterior opens to a long piano bar and dining room filled with vodka infusions, occasional live piano tunes and a full menu including pâté, salmon roe, caviar, schnitzel and stroganoff. It's an old favorite with a lot of character, seemingly impervious to Times Square’s chain-creep.

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Photograph: Courtesy Noah f*cks
36.Dear Irving on Hudson
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 3 of 4

The team behind Dear Irving added a second outpost on the 40th and 41st floors of the Aliz Hotel in Times Square in 2019. Its high design is a little 60s-era James Bond and a little Art Deco, and -on Hudson serves some of the best co*cktails in an areawhere venues often skate by on simply existing.

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Photograph: Angie Vasquez
37.The Honey Well
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Harlem
  • price 2 of 4

Bartenders at this cool downstairs barserve fantastic sips in such unlikely vessels as upturned “lightbulbs,” honey bears and even glowing approximations of lava lamps. Retro tunes and amber hues play off of wood paneling and beaded curtains inside, and there’s a dreamy, vine-lined garden out back.

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Photograph: Syd London
38.Julius'
  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

Historic Julius’ autobiographical headline is “New York’s oldest gay bar and Greenwich Village’s oldest bar.” Today, the small, iconic spot hosts parties, events and a happy hour weekdays from 5pm to 7pm. It's also known for its burgers, available in a few varieties, plus sandwiches, classic sides and bar snacks.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Emmanuel Rosario
39.Double Chicken Please
  • Bars
  • Lower East Side

What first began as a vintage Volkswagen minibus tour around the United States became a brick-and-mortar destination, literally and figuratively, in late 2020. It’s collected a lot of honors in just three years in operation, including the number one position on the ‘50 Best’ organization’s list of North America’s finest bars. The co*cktail menu is lengthy detailed and the much simpler DCP house shot (mezcal, plum, shiso) is a quick pleasure, too.

Photograph: Courtesy of Fraunces Tavern
40.Fraunces Tavern
  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Financial District

Dating back to 1762, Fraunces Tavern doesn’t look a day over 261. In addition to modern conveniences like indoor plumbing, its distinct spaces serve as a one-stop-shop for a few different photo-ops: grab a beer at the main bar, sip Brenne beside the fireplace in the whiskey room orhead up to the landmarked building's more recent concept, its, second floor piano bar.

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41.McSorley’s Old Ale House
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

One of the oldest bars in New York City, McSorley’s Old Ale House has the sawdust on the floor and dusty aged curios to prove it. The prices seem suspended in time, too: Dark or light ales are $6 per pair of half pints. Yes, you must choose from just two beers, and your one [1] order is served in two [2] mugs. Most of McSorley’s food (sandwiches, burgers, dogs) is under $10.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
42.Leyenda
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 2 of 4

The crowds that started filing into Leyenda for Best American Bartender Ivy Mix’s “pan-Latin inspired” co*cktails when it first opened in 2015 have seldom slowed since then. Though it’s roomy, the Smith Street space, where candle light flickers off a tin ceiling, fills up quick for freshly shaken and draft drinks.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Elsa
43.Elsa
  • 3 out of 5 stars

  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • Cobble Hill
  • price 2 of 4

  • Recommended

Elsa serves up its original (and since closed) East Village locale's cutesy-fancy feels in this Cobble Hill iteration. The drinks incorporate ingredients like Thai chili and grapefruit bitters along with rum, guava and lime in the Wake Me Up to Drive, and there’s a back patio to keep in mind when it’s nice out.

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Photograph: Courtesy of La Noxe
44.La Noxe
  • Bars
  • Chelsea

As evidenced by La Noxe’s popularity, the New York City subway system sure does drive people to drink. This subterranean destination is adjacent to the 1 train in the 28th Street station. When traveling above ground, try your luck at the bell at 162 West 28th Street; you’ll need all the good fortune you can get for a shot at sampling the buzzy spot’s exclusive libations.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

This exemplar co*cktailer in a historic clock tower that was once a piano factory where portraits of long-ago luminaries presently line the walls sure checks a lot of boxes. Fill in the rest over Champagne Charlies, made with gin or vodka, honey, passionfruit, lemon juice and prosecco and served in a coupe.

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46.Bar Goto
  • Bars
  • Izakaya
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

Pegu Club alum Kenta Goto’spolished black-and-goldventure is nicely secluded from the chaos of nearby Houston Street. Expert co*cktails are joined by many Japanese whisky varieties and a brief but satisfying snack menu.

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Photograph: Courtesy of NR
47.NR
  • Bars
  • Lenox Hill

The team behind Harlem’s popular ramen destination ROKC (where drinks quickly became the main attraction) was at it again at the end of 2019 when they opened NR on East 75th Street. Super-simply named co*cktails betray their show-stealing presentation: the mezcal-based Grapefruit is literally smoking, the tequila Cucumber is served in a green bell pepper, and the Pineapple + Passionfruit with rum is on fire.

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
48.Holiday co*cktail Lounge
  • Bars
  • co*cktail bars
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

This decades-old East Village mainstay—said to have hosted Frank Sinatra, Allen Ginsberg and Joey Ramone—is a welcome anomaly in a city with so much turnover. And though the place has been polished in more recent years—duct-taped booths traded for green banquettes, neon beer signs for gilded sconces—its charm never dulled.

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Photograph: Courtesy Evil Twin Brewing/Caroline Lethbridge
49.Evil Twin Brewing
  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Ridgewood

Evil Twin's novel suds are beloved by craft beer devotees who got a brewery, nicely-sized taproom and adjacent, roomy outdoor space to sip the stuff back in 2019.

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Photograph: Courtesy of @simonleungphoto
50.Ye’s Apothecary
  • Restaurants
  • Lower East Side

You'll need to act fast to nab a seat at the short, cinematic and dramaticly lit bar that sets the stageat this romantic restaurant. Or just grab a spot elsewhere in the long dining room, where excellently inventive co*cktails are paired with greatSzechuan tapas.

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