The Big Apple has one of the best bar scenes in the world. It seems like there is a bar on almost every block, and with so much competition, bars are constantly trying out new cocktails and beers and trying to create memorable experiences.
With so many choices, narrowing down where to go for a drink can be challenging. I’ve put together this list of the best bars in NYC. Keep reading to discover the best cocktails, drink specials, and ambiance the city offers.
15 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017
Phone: (917) 209-3440
Any bar that tucks itself into Grand Central Station is a win. The Campbell hides in plain sight but welcomes all to its iconic location. Originally used as a conference hall, the new and reimagined bar is a three-piece attraction boasting some of the finest cocktails and wine in New York.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 473-9148
This Irish saloon was established in 1854 and is still one of the most unique bars in the city that never sleeps. Fans recognize the establishment for its authentic pub atmosphere, featuring countless decorations of the bar’s history. The charming ale house is cash only, so remember to draw some money!
35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
Phone: (212) 744-1600
An upscale experience isn’t complete without the soothing sounds of live jazz music. Bemelman’s Bar is the classy joint you always dreamed of visiting. Located in The Carlyle Hotel, the bar features murals created by renowned picture book authors and features cocktails crafted to perfection. Since it’s one of the best bars in New York City, New York, you’ll be in fine company here!
3604 Broadway, New York, NY 10031
Phone: (646) 861-0489
This well-known West Harlem bar is precisely what comes to mind when I think of the perfect New York bar. The lights are dim, the music is groovy, and the bartenders perfectly pour all the drinks. The delicious small bites pair exceptionally well with their craft cocktails and great liquor selection.
30 Water St, New York, NY 10004
Phone: (646) 422-7906
Don’t be put off by the name – this is one of the most decorated bars in the world. The bar features three floors of unique cocktail experiences. The Dead Rabbit entangles a bit of tradition with the future of cocktails. Their famous Irish Coffee and Irish Whiskey will ensure a return visit.
54 Pearl St, New York, NY 10004
Phone: (212) 968-1776
This establishment was once the watering hole of choice for a few of the Founding Fathers of the United States. I’m sure they’d be glad to know that this particular bar continues to make people happy today. Nestled in Pearl Street, Fraunces continues to serve some of the finest craft cocktails and beers in New York City.
563 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
As one of the premier LGBTQ+-friendly bars across the bridge, Good Judy has a lot to offer. High-energy drag shows, jello shots, and an environment of love shape the sanctuary that is Good Judy. All are welcome to this fantastic bar found in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn.
35 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (347) 866-7739
Mace places its focus on integrating spices of the world into its world-renowned drinks. Their menu has won them countless awards, and they never shy away from creating an inventive new cocktail. I love pairing their Mint Cocktail with the Vegan Man & Cheese and a side of Cassava Fries.
117 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 561-5523
This sleek and stylish bistro offers an upscale yet down-to-Earth atmosphere. The Bar Room is the perfect combination of restaurant and bar. The brunch menu offers the perfect selection of all Sunday Brunch favorites, such as Shrimp and Grits. The drink menu delights with classic and signature cocktails.
332 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 925-4242
Dimly-lit bars have long been a favorite of many New York bar-hoppers, and Temple Bar offers a dark atmosphere with an extensive cocktail menu. Multiple martinis, shaken drinks, minis, beer, and snacks adorn the menu. Wine is in no short supply here, either! Those who frequent the bar rave over the Temple Fries and Pigs-in-a-blanket.
245 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
This famous Japanese location serves the perfect drink, but people typically love their food even more! Japanese culture and ingredients heavily influence the style and menu of this bar and restaurant. Their drink menu features multiple sakē and shochu offerings, but their miso wings are a must-have.
16 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 401-7986
This bar earned its name due to its location underneath the Korean Barbeque restaurant, Cote. The establishment is lined with plants, giving the feel of drinking in the jungle. The oasis of Undercote awaits, featuring cocktails crafted by professional bartenders. You can’t and won’t experience this anywhere else in New York!
95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Phone: (833) 328-4588
New York City offers access to some of the finest drinks and cuisines from around the globe. Amor Y Amargo adds to this scene with its approach to vermouth-inspired drinks and their bitter focus. Their cocktails and wines boast impressive flavors, with many lavishing in the joy of their Sharpie Mustache cocktail.
627 9th Ave, Manhattan, NY 10036
Phone: (646) 707-0890
Dive bars are always a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. This particular location features a free hot dog with any purchase. Along with that, Rudy’s features an extensive list of celebrities who have considered the bar to be a favorite. Walk through the original doors for the best dive bar in town!
700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
Phone: (212) 777-7022
Are you looking for fun places to go out? The Wayland perfects the cocktail bar scene of the East Village of New York City. They boast the atmosphere of drinking at a friend’s house, with specific fixings found only at a neighborhood bar. Their oyster shooters are to die for, and their impressive food menu only amps up their appeal.
240 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 245-2801
Haswell Green’s location in the middle of Broadway and Times Square makes it the perfect stop for locals and tourists alike. This upbeat club-styled bar is a favorite for many, featuring weekend Drag Brunch with trivia and bingo. A welcoming and fun atmosphere awaits all, with drag queens at the ready!
696 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 247-2055
Never-ending liquor shelves await your gaze as you enter this Hell’s Kitchen masterpiece. The bar focuses on providing its clientele with the highest quality bourbons, whiskies, and scotches. On the Rocks crafts its cocktails to be smooth, delicious, and memorable. Whiskey enthusiasts and newcomers will find a haven for their taste buds here.
8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 777-5415
Though their original location closed, the famous Angel’s Share now offers a pop-up experience! The bar capitalized on the love of lychee martinis and began to grow its customer base. Since then, the Japanese-influenced bar has paved the way for fellow establishments. I loved the Cheek to Cheek cocktail the most!
433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
Phone: (212) 388-0882
Looking for fun places to get drinks? Another shining gem in East Village’s liquor department is Death & Company. For many New Yorkers, this cocktail bar has some of the most memorable drinks in the area. The bar is dimly lit by several breathtaking chandeliers, and the bartenders are kept busy from open to close.
310 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
Phone: (917) 261-6908
Dear Irving is more of a speakeasy-inspired lounge, featuring pretty impressive offerings on its cocktail and food menus. Their lobster roll sliders were my personal favorite! As a bonus, Dear Irving offers cocktail classes to pass on the art of crafting the perfect cocktail from scratch. Embrace the craft of cocktails!
134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
This classy, intimate bar on the Lower East side is a must. Knowledge on the whereabouts of this little speakeasy is passed by word of mouth, as there are no signs directing patrons where to go. Once inside, however, the drinks speak for themselves. I’d recommend the refreshing Fort Tilden’s Cooler to wet the whistle.
228 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (646) 490-6924
This dark and sexy piano bar boasts all the rum imaginable, as is expected from the name. It is located in the heart of Times Square and attracts millions of visitors every year. Folks find powerful rum flavors in almost all signature cocktails, but there is something for everyone here.
116 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 260-3000
This bar is uniquely intimate yet social. The establishment prides itself on its classy demeanor and laid-back approach. Those who frequent the Greenwich Village bar note that the sophisticated presentation of cocktails makes the bar stand out. Presentation is important to the bartenders here, and it shows with every cocktail ordered.
44 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (917) 398-3042
That old-school diner 50s diner vibe returns when you step into Bandits! The decor and unique vibe offer many Instagram-worthy moments for patrons. Their bartenders shake cocktails to perfection, and their tater tots will make your taste buds swoon. Bandits is the perfect place to eat, drink, and feel the 50s fabulousness again.
49 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 689-4002
This candlelit speakeasy is the reason people love the feel of old-time bars. The bar’s location behind a coffee shop features some of the most creative cocktails I’ve ever encountered. I especially loved their Light Me Up cocktail, but the creative bartenders are ready to craft any specialty.
20 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 929-4360
One of my favorite cocktail bars in the city is LB. This stylish spot offers a creative menu with unique cocktails and ingredients like sage, shiso leaf, and yuzu. They also have a great selection of whiskey and beer. But what sets this bar apart is the bartender’s mixology. The bartenders at LB are true artists, creating beautiful and delicious cocktails with precision and flair. It’s worth a visit to see their mixology in action. I particularly liked their Manhattan. I think it’s the best in New York.
28 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 790-8867
The Bar is one of the best bars in New York City, New York. Located inside The Baccarat hotel, the bar has a sophisticated atmosphere with velvet chairs, dim lighting, and live jazz music. Their cocktail menu features classic drinks with a twist, like their rosemary-infused gin and tonic. The star of the show is on their wine list. I was impressed with the selection and particularly enjoyed a recommended white wine for Argentina.
9 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 406-0400
If you’re looking for a bar with an atmosphere unlike any other, check out Apotheke Chinatown. This speakeasy-style bar is in a basement with dim lighting, apothecary bottles lining the shelves, and bartenders dressed in lab coats. They specialize in unique cocktails made with high-quality ingredients. I enjoyed their “Herbal Remedy,” made with gin, fresh ginger, and house-made lemongrass syrup. If you have specific preferences, the bartenders are knowledgeable and will happily make a drink to your taste.
24 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016
Located in a nondescript building, The Raines Law Room at The William is one of the best-hidden gems in New York City. This speakeasy-style bar offers cozy seating and a menu of classic cocktails with their twist. I enjoyed the “Sazerac for Two” made with rye whiskey, absinthe, and bitters. Make a reservation in advance – this bar is popular and fills up quickly. The intimate setting and delicious drinks make it well worth it.
49 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 453-4287
I believe the Lantern’s Keep is one of the best bars in New York City, New York. Located inside the Iroquois New York hotel, this dimly-lit bar offers a cozy atmosphere and an extensive menu of classic cocktails. I highly recommend the “Prohibition Punch,” made with rum, brandy, and citrus.
20 W 23rd St, Cellar, New York, NY 10010
Phone: (646) 600-9257
Thyme Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere and refreshing cocktails. I recommend their “Salty Dog,” made with grapefruit juice and gin, or the “Thyme-Out,” made with thyme-infused vodka and lemon juice. Thyme Bar also offers an outstanding tasting menu if you are hungry and want some food to accompany your cocktail.
271 11th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 981-6188
Porchlight is another standout cocktail bar in New York City. This trendy spot in the Chelsea neighborhood offers a menu of inventive cocktails made with fresh ingredients. I loved their “Julep Du Monde,” made with Wild Turkey Bourbon, Chicory, Amaro Meletii, Vanilla, and Mole Bitters. They also have a great selection of beer and wine and a fabulous happy hour.
75 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 777-9637
Located in the heart of the East Village, Holiday Cocktail Lounge offers a retro atmosphere and delicious drinks. I highly recommend their signature cocktail, Holiday #5. It is made with Gray whale gin, matcha honey syrup, lime, and kombucha. This bar also has fantastic happy hour specials and a late-night menu if you’re looking for a snack to accompany your cocktail.