33 diverse places to grab a drink (or five) in New York City

Jul 26 2018, 8:20 pm

It’s no secret that NYC knows how to party. Whether it’s a rooftop bar, speakeasy, jazz club, nightclub, or dingy old hole-in-the-wall, there are endless options for awesome places to get your drank on in New York any night of the week. This city never sleeps, so you’re not allowed to either!

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We took it upon ourselves to do an extensive amount of research to provide you with a list of some of the best places to drink in New York City. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

“WTF” brunch: Bagatelle

 

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This weekend brunch spot is best summed up by the artwork leading into the restrooms, which reads: “WTF is Bagatelle”.

Allow us to paint a picture for you.

You stroll into a classy-looking French-Mediterranean restaurant in the Meatpacking District with white tablecloths and distinguished waiters. Everything feels very upscale, until you notice the table next to you is drinking a giant $220 mojito pitcher with 8 neon-coloured straws.

As the afternoon progresses, the space slowly fills with socialites dressed like Sex and the City cast members (think powerful, patterned pantsuits). The music gets louder. The curtains are drawn. It’s now standing room only. The dignified old ladies who have come for a nice Saturday brunch are very confused. 3:00 pm hits and the lights flash to dark. All of a sudden you’re having champagne showers in a full-on nightclub. The smoke machine blasts the room. The distinguished waiters are now dressed in costumes ranging from Superman to LED robots to mariachi bands, and they are being carried on shoulders with champagne sparklers. You can’t quite comprehend what is happening but it’s New York and YOLO.

That is Bagatelle. And that is only in New York City.

Address: 1 Little West 12th Street
Neighbourhood: Meatpacking
Phone: +1-212-488-2110
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Caribbean dance hall: Miss Lily’s

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Not only is Miss Lily’s one of our favourite places to eat in New York, but the vibes keep on going and drinks keep on flowing into the night. This funky lively joint is a great place to groove to some reggae beats while sipping a tropical cocktail.

Address: 132 West Houston Street / 109 Avenue A
Neighbourhood: Soho / East Village
Phone: +1-212-812-1482
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Epic skyline views: PH-D Lounge

 

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Located in the penthouse of the Dream Hotel Downtown, PH-D is the ultimate rooftop lounge. With full-length windows showcasing the epic skyline stretching from the Hudson River all the way to the Empire State Building, trust us, you have never seen a nightclub backdrop like this one. Whether you’re inside on the d-floor or cozied up on the terrace, this is NYC nightlife at its finest.

Address: 355 West 16th Street
Neighbourhood: Chelsea / Meatpacking
Phone: +212-229-2511
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Your grandma’s cool basement bar: The Flower Shop

 

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The Flower Shop is everything we love about the Lower East Side. It’s a chill, unpretentious crowd, that manages to be quirky and grungy yet still trendy. This spot also has a very local and homey vibe, and always delivers a good time. Head downstairs for pool tables and even more retro flair. If you want to have a house party in your grandma’s basement (is that weird?), this is it.

Address: 107 Eldridge Street
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Phone: +1-212-257-4072
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Not your 9-to-5 crowd: Employees Only

 

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Originally created for the Sunday night party people who work in the service industry, this iconic speakeasy is now bumping every single night of the week. It was founded by a team here in NYC, and now has locations across the world from LA to Singapore to Hong Kong. Come here for a legit Prohibition-style scene with carefully crafted cocktails, and the occasional burlesque pop-up dance. You will not regret it.

Address: 510 Hudson Street
Neighbourhood: West Village
Phone: +1-212-242-3021
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Rooftop igloos: 230 FIFTH

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This spacious two-level rooftop bar boasts epic front-row seating to the Empire State Building. Drinks and eats are affordable, and the atmosphere is slightly upscale but welcomes all types. And if you come in the winter, you can cozy up in one of their fuzzy red robes in their pop-up heated igloos. (If you’ve been to NYC in the winter, you’ll appreciate the value in this.)

Address: 230 5th Avenue
Neighbourhood: Flatiron District
Phone: +1-212-725-4300
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Dial-in speakeasy: Please Don’t Tell

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New York seems to have tucked a hidden bar into every nook and cranny of the city, but Please Don’t Tell is a classic speakeasy gem due to its stealthy and creative entrance – a red phone booth inside a hot dog shop. Enter through Crif Dogs (and maybe grab a hot dog on the way), pick up the phone and let the host know how many are in your party. Just please don’t tell anyone else…

Address: 113 Street Marks Place
Neighbourhood: East Village
Phone: +1-212-614-0386
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Authentic jazz: Smalls Jazz Club

You can’t go to New York City without kicking back to some live jazz music. Smalls is true to its name. It’s not big or fancy, but it is authentic, classic, and gives you everything you need to get lost in the sound. Check out the performances by some of today’s jazz greats or up-and-comers as they jam out at this charming jazz club.

Address: 183 West 10th Street
Neighbourhood: Greenwich Village
Phone: +1-646-476-4346
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Inventive cocktail bar: Existing Conditions

This is a trendy, high-energy cocktail bar by New York’s own cocktail connoisseur, Dave Arnold. Cocktails really are a science, and the bartenders here are sure to concoct you up something delicious.

Address: 35 W 8th Street
Neighbourhood: Greenwich Village
Phone: +1-212-203-8935
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Hipsters, come hither: Pianos

 

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With live indie music downstairs and hip-hop DJ tracks upstairs, this 2-level dance club has everything you need no matter what your definition of “cool” is. Located in the heart of the trendy yet laid back ‘hood of the Lower East Side, this spot is lively and approachable. Pianos attracts party people of all sorts and is definitely a local favourite.

Address: 158 Ludlow Street
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Phone: +212-505-3733
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Dancing on couches: The Jane Ballroom

New York City is full of bumpin’ dance clubs, but the Jane Ballroom inside the Jane Hotel is a personal favourite because it makes us feel at home. No, really – the inside is a giant living room. We’ve been told to stop jumping on the couches but we still appreciate the cozy decor, good tunes, and non-pretentious (for the most part) dance partners at this party place.

Address: 113 Jane Street
Neighbourhood: West Village / Meatpacking District
Phone: +1-212-924-6700
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Neighbourhood pub: Brass Monkey

Despite many of its douchey upscale neighbouring clubs, there’s no dress code for this drinking establishment set in the Meatpacking District. With a rooftop pub adorned with twinkle lights and good vibes, you’re sure to have a solid night out here.

Address: 1304, 55 Little West 12th Street
Neighbourhood: Meatpacking District
Phone: +1-844-344-1200
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Swanky rooftop: JIMMY at The James

Rooftop pool? Check? Epic view of downtown Manhattan and the Freedom Tower? Check. Delish cocktails? Check. Jimmy boy, we’ll see you soon.

Address: 15 Thompson Street
Neighbourhood: Soho
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The OG disguised drinks: The Back Room

best places to drink

Cocktails in teacups at The Back Room. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive)

You’ll need to successfully convince the bouncer waiting out front that you are, indeed, here for the speakeasy Back Room, before he points you in the direction of down the alley, veer right, and up the stairs. One of only two (!!!) NYC speakeasies that were open during Prohibition and are still in operation today, Back Room is a true speakeasy in that its drinks are served in teacups or inside paper bags. Back in the 1920s, these kind of disguises were key to keeping the party alive.

Address: 102 Norfolk Street
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Phone: +1-212-228-5098
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Carefully crafted cocktail lounge: Death & Co

 

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With the perfect mix of decor, dim lighting, music volume, and layout, this carefully crafted cocktail lounge is ticking all the boxes. It’s a highly sought-after spot with seating only, so you may have to put your name down, but they will give you a call and it’ll be so worth it once you get inside.

Address: 433 East 6th Street
Neighbourhood: East Village
Phone: +1-212-388-0882
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Bitters tasting room: Amor Y Amargo

Unlike its neighbour Death & Co, this cocktail bar accommodates for standing room – so cram in there, order one of their expertly crafted cocktails (but alas, no vodka), and make some new friends. It’s basically impossible not to.

Address: 443 East 6th Street
Neighbourhood: East Village
Phone: +1-212-614-6818
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Speakeasy through a Five Guys: The Garret

 

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You access this second-floor through a Five Guys burger joint in the heart of West Village – burgers and booze, can anyone think of a better combo?!

Address: 296 Bleeker Street
Neighbourhood: West Village
Phone: +1-212-675-6157
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Irish Bar: The Mean Fiddler

Located steps from Times Square, this is an authentic Irish pub right in the heart of NYC. Get your vocal chords ready for karaoke on Friday and Saturday, or pop by to enjoy the live music on Saturday through Thursday. You can expect friendly staff and guests, cheap food and beer, and a jolly ol’ time.

Address: 266 W 47th Street
Neighbourhood: Midtown
Phone: +1-212-354-2950
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Date night: Banzarbar

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Follow the stairs through Freemans restaurant (also a great place to grab some grub) to find the hidden cocktail bar, Banzarbar. Themed like an Antarctic expedition, this 20-seat bar has great drinks and awesome presentation. An A+ option for date night or drinks in a small group.

Address: Freeman Alley
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Phone: +1-212-420-0012
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Rooftop d-floor: Plunge

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Perched on top of the Gansevoort Hotel is one of the city’s hottest happy hour spots/ nightclubs/overall drinking establishments. If you like your bottle service with a side of city skyline, Plunge is the place for you.

Address: 18 9th Avenue
Neighbourhood: Meatpacking District
Phone: +1-212-660-6736
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Menu-less speakeasy: Attaboy

best places to drink

Attaboy in Lower East Side. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

Catering to guests on a first-come, first-served basis, Attaboy is one of our favourite hidden bars in New York. There’s no fixed menu, so chat with the bartenders and they will whip something up based on your palette (however, they don’t carry vodka. (Not sure how we feel about this trend). Seating is very limited so keep your group to four people or less.

Address: 134 Eldridge Street
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side

Dive bar: Spring Lounge

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This is a classic, old New York dive bar with six rotating craft beer taps. The open windows make for great lighting and energy, so while the look is “dive,” the vibe is not. You will see white and blue collared workers here on any given day.

Pro tip: Come on Wednesdays for free hot dogs!

Address: 48 Spring Street
Neighbourhood: NoLita
Phone: +1-212-965-1774
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Celeb spotting: Catch

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This rooftop seafood restaurant will turn from dinner to dancing faster than you can say “make mine a double.” Located in the heart of the bumpin’ Meatpacking District, this is a boujee place to slot into your Friday or Saturday night. You may even spot a celeb or two!

Address: 21 Ninth Avenue
Neighbourhood: Meatpacking District
Phone: +1-212-392-5978
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German beer garden: Standard Biergarten

best places to drink

Biergarten at The Standard. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive)

Nestled in the Standard Hotel underneath the High Line, this beer garden is serving up traditional German eats and drinks all year long. The crowd is laid-back and friendly. Make sure to pop into the game room to indulge in some ping pong, foosball, pick-up sticks, giant connect four, and more.

Address: 848 Washington Street
Neighbourhood: Meatpacking District
Phone: +1-212-645-4100
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Multi-level Irish pub: Dead Rabbit

Wall Street isn’t known to have the most bumpin’ bar scene in NYC, but this Irish pub is definitely a must-visit gem. The middle floor is a great cocktail bar, while the top and bottom floors are perfect for beer and whiskey. They have plans to expand to the building next door, and we can’t wait!

Address: 30 Water Street
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Phone: +1646-422-7906
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Wine bar (& everything else): VON

An upscale wine/cocktail/craft beer bar with a bumping dance floor underneath, VON is a fabulous spot to grab a drink any night of the week. This one has got everything you need in a bar, and then some.

Address: 3 Bleecker Street
Neighbourhood: East Village
Phone: +1-212-473-3039
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Artsy speakeasy: Fig 19

 

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As far as cool speakeasy concepts go, Fig 19 is definitely up there. You may feel like you’re at the wrong place because there is no bouncer at the entrance off of Chrystie Street in the Lower East Side, and you access the bar through an unmarked door at the end of an art gallery – but once you get a taste of the fun vibes and delish cocktails, you will be glad you came.

Address: 131 Chrystie St
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
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All around good times: The Spaniard

 

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West Village brings a chill, mature, yet here-to-party crowd, and the Spaniard is a perfect place to experience this. Sit at the wrap-around bar if you’re not going to get food, or post up in one of the comfy booths if you’re in it for dinner. There are always people in this neighbourhood bar and it’s a great go-to no matter the occasion.

Address: 190 West 4th Street
Neighbourhood: West Village
Phone: +1-212-918-1986
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Vibes on point: Mr. Purple

 

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Because you can never have too many rooftop bars in New York City, are we right or are we right?! Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo in the Lower East Side, Mr. Purple tends to attract a university crowd and even the occasional celeb. Don’t forget to soak in the views from its two terraces, one of them with a pool – you know, if you’re into that.

Address: 180 Orchard Street
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Phone: +1-212-237-1790
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Basement speakeasy: Little Branch

Behind a nondescript brown door in West Village and down a flight of stairs, you will find a Prohibition-style speakeasy with handcrafted cocktails and a seductive ambiance. There will often be live jazz performers, and you can find a cozy little booth to whisper sweet nothings to your companions – or just sip away while enjoying the music.

Address: 22 7th Avenue South
Neighbourhood: West Village
Phone: +1-212-929-4360
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Discotech: Electric Room

This intimate underground dance bar is a great place to lose yourself to the beat. Located on the lower level of the Dream Hotel, Electric Room features neon light fixtures, graffiti art, crafty cocktails, and the hottest DJ tracks. Come one, come all.

Address: 355 West 16th Avenue
Neighbourhood: Chelsea
Phone: +1-212-229-1269
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Instagrammable cocktail lounge: While We Were Young

Get out your phone ladies (and select gents) – this airy pink, gold, and marble paradise is going to look so-freaking-cute-on-your-feed-ahh! (Okay, we’re done.) But don’t take our word for it – go check it out for yourself. We’ll just be over here refreshing your Instagram page till that photo pops up.

Address: 183 West 10th Street
Neighbourhood: West Village
Phone: +1-917-675-6272
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High-end and high-rise: Top of the Standard

You will be twirling around in awe at the panoramic view from this glittering rooftop lounge. Even the window in the individual bathroom stalls give you a floor-to-ceiling view of the Empire State Building! (TMI? Don’t care.) Located next to the High Line at the top of the Standard Hotel, this is a great spot to come enjoy a cocktail with an upscale crowd.

Address: 848 Washington Street
Neighbourhood: Meatpacking District
Phone: +1-212-645-7600
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Want to share your favourite places to say ‘cheers’ in your own city? Email us at [email protected] or post using the hashtag #dailyhivemapped!