If you’ve ever had to entertain a client, boss, or coworker for drinks outside the office, you know choosing the right location can be a delicate affair. You don’t want something so popular that the place is jammed, leaving you either awkwardly hovering looking for seats. At the same time, you don’t want a spot that’s too dead, causing you to look like you don’t know where all the cool kids hang out. And, of course, no one really wants a dive, either, unless that’s something your drinks companion is into.
But don’t fret — we’ve got you covered. These are our tested and approved best places to head for drinks in the Flatiron/Nomad neighborhood of New York City.
Vin Sur Vingt
Perfect For: Someone looking for a glass of wine and French small plates.
Located on Broadway just north of Madison Square Park sits Vin Sur Vingt, a wine bar that looks tiny from the street but is actually much larger when you get inside. It has a Parisian vibe that is sure to impress any Francophile you may be sharing a glass with. The glasses of wine are a dollar or two more than they should be, but if you’re having a drink with someone who you wouldn’t mind spending more than an hour with, you can find some deals if you opt for a bottle.
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Perfect For: Someone who likes a controlled scene.
The Smith is always a solid option, especially when you’re looking for a buzzy vibe without all the pushing and shoving in order to get to the bar. They make solid cocktails here, and their drafts are always great as well. Make sure to split their hot potato chips covered in blue cheese fondue.
Raines Law Room
Perfect For: Cocktail aficionados looking for that exclusive vibe.
Probably the best cocktail bar in the area that doesn’t actually have a bar, you’ll need to get here on the earlier side to snag a few lounge chairs or a couch. The drinks are pricey but worth it.
487 West 17th St.
Perfect For: Getting competitive with coworkers.
If you’re not in the mood to make a ton of small talk and you like great craft beer, head to Barcade. Make sure to bring a ton of quarters with you so you can play all of the retro video games they have on hand.
148 W. 24th
The Nomad Bar
Perfect For: Trying to impress.
This is the go-to drinks spot for most people in the neighborhood who are looking to take out a client or coworker, so be prepared — it gets packed quickly. Off the main bar is the library bar, which we think is the best place to grab a drink. But if it’s really crowded, they could be restricting access to hotel guests only.
Perfect For: A casual drink that feels upscale.
The front bar of this critically acclaimed restaurant is the perfect place to grab a drink in the middle of the week. When the place isn’t so jammed that you have tons of people waiting in the bar area for their tables, it’s a great spot for grabbing a good cocktail or glass of wine in a calm and quiet setting.
35 E. 18th St.
Spin New York
Perfect For: Working out a little coworker aggression.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a little aggression out on a coworker by schooling them in Ping-Pong, this is your spot. If you head here on Monday through Thursday, tables are first come, first serve, but if you decide to show up on a Friday, you can book ahead — though to do that you must really love your coworkers or clients.
48 E. 23rd St.
Perfect For: Anyone who loves Spain.
In the mood for jamon and Rioja? Then this is the spot for you. It can get noisy, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for some light snacks to go along with your drinks, which is always a good call.
53 W. 19th St.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Perfect For: People who love a good happy hour.
Beecher’s is all about the happy hour and their delicious cheddar cheese. You can grab a drink at the upstairs bar or head downstairs to the cellar. You shouldn’t have an issue getting a seat if you go on the early side, but show up too far after 6 and you’ll probably be out of luck.
Perfect For: Tipsy coworker bonding.
This is a dive for sure, but it’s also probably the only legitimate bar in the entire neighborhood. There is nothing fancy about this place; you come here for pitchers of beer and wings, but then again, isn’t that why you go out after work in the first place?
45 E 18th St.
Perfect For: Anyone who loves tequila or mezcal.
Ideal for groups, Casa Neta has an incredible selection of tequila and mezcal, plus they make an insanely good Margarita. The space covers two floors, so there is plenty of room, and you can snack on delicious Mexican small plates as well.
40 E. 20th St.