In case you didn’t already know, Manhattan’s got it all.
In SoHo, high-end shops sit alongside flea markets and chic cocktail lounges, while restaurants in Little Italy dole out platefuls of spaghetti al limone alongside Sicilian Chardonnay. Meanwhile, Chelsea is home to wine bars galore, and FiDi begins to attract more than just finance bros to its up-and-coming watering holes.
While in the quaint, sophisticated Gramercy neighborhood, wine bars dot the streets, Alphabet City pumps out inexpensive Margs along the East River. Meanwhile, the Lower East Side and East Village are home to both late-night dance parties and buzzy cocktail bars.
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Travel uptown, and you’ll encounter Midtown’s Broadway bars and post-work happy hour spots, the Upper East and West Sides’ chic restaurants and down-to-earth dives, and Harlem’s myriad spots for great bites after a night of dancing.
On this tiny island lies an almost overwhelming number of amazing spots to eat and drink. We’ve pared it down to the best of the best, so no matter if you’re strolling down the Museum Mile or thrift shopping downtown, you’ll be sure to find a tipple or two you’ll love.
Here are the best places to drink in Manhattan.
Best Place to Feel Like an Insider: Katana Kitten
With cool twists on Japanese classics and signature drinks with unexpected flavor combinations, Katana Kitten — helmed by “startender” Masahiro Urushido — is an industry darling. Beloved by some of the city’s top mixologists, what Katana Kitten lacks in size, it makes up for in menu variety by serving up a wide array of highballs, boilermakers, and small bites, including iconic dishes like the nori fries served with curry sauce. This understated West Village bar, wallpapered with movie posters and decorated with eclectic, eye-catching trinkets, serves up some of the best cocktails in the city, so if you stop by, you’re sure to be in good company.
Address: 531 Hudson St., New York, N.Y. 10014
Best Place to Mix It Up: Porchlight
Union Square Hospitality Group’s Porchlight, located between Hudson Yards and Chelsea, is not your parents’ cocktail bar. Its menu comprises modern takes on beloved classics — like the Frozen Strawberry Negroni made with ginger and citrus and the whimsically named 51:49 Martini —as well as signature drinks inspired by the American South. We’re especially fond of the Storm’s Brewin’, an elixir composed of Jamaican gold rum, grenadine, and passion fruit, or choose from a laid-back list of local brews on tap. The food menu stars Southern staples like hush puppies, hot honey chicken, biscuits, and fried shrimp po’ boys.
Tip Jar: Stop by on a Monday night between 6 and 9 p.m. for live jazz, country, soul, or bluegrass music. Check out the upcoming performances here.
Address: 271 11th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10001
Best Place to Explore Spirits: Brandy Library
In the heart of Tribeca, Brandy Library is a spirit collector’s dream. Sprawling shelves with propped-up wooden ladders frame a dimly lit lounge where you can relax, or grab a seat by the stunning copper bar and choose from a list of hundreds of spirits. The Library offers up exciting flights to taste some of the best each category has to offer, from rum to tequila. The staff are immensely knowledgeable, and some even offer their own master classes in the space, so feel free to nerd out with them about your favorite bottles.
Address: 25 N. Moore St., New York, N.Y. 10013
Best Place to Embrace Kitsch: Bandits
This diner-inspired West Village hot spot is perhaps the best place in the city to scratch a nostalgic itch. Complete with a disco ball, green velvet booths, and a menu featuring grown-up root beer floats, it’s no surprise that this space regularly hosts costume parties with themes ranging from WrestleMania to the British Invasion. Stop in for a fuss-free beer-and-shot combo, or embrace your “extra” cravings with an over-the-top tiki drink. Either way, the spot is sure to please your taste buds and sentimental side.
Address: 44 Bedford St., New York, N.Y. 10014
Best Place for Family Fun: Torch & Crown Brewery
Having opened its doors in October 2020, Torch & Crown is Manhattan’s first and only full-production brewery. With a tap list and food menu honoring the soul of the city, Torch & Crown proudly serves IPAs, pilsners, porters, and ales brewed in NYC and snacks like soft pretzels inspired by Manhattan’s famed food carts. The space features grand stainless-steel brewing vessels in the center, surrounded by large community tables and a sprawling outdoor area where dogs and children can run around on sunny afternoons.
Address: 12 Vandam St., New York, N.Y. 10013
Best Place to Try It All: Amelie Wine Bar
With locations in Fairfax, Va., San Francisco, and NYC’s Upper East Side and West Village, Amelie Wine Bar has a distinctly European feel, with a dimly lit, romantic atmosphere and generous by-the-glass pours. Enjoy from a wide selection of white, red, orange, rosé, and sparkling wines hailing largely from the other side of the Atlantic alongside French bites like onion soup and escargot.
Tip Jar: Amelie Wine Bar often features live music, so plan to stay for a couple of hours to enjoy the performance. And don’t be put off by the low price point on the wine list — this well-curated spot keeps the quality of its offerings high.
Address: 22 W. 8th St., New York, N.Y. 10011
Best Place to Escape the City: Jungle Bird
Need a quick respite from Manhattan’s noisy, fast-paced energy? Stop by Chelsea’s Jungle Bird to be instantly transported to the tropics. With a menu featuring beloved tiki drinks (including the one that inspired the bar’s name), punch bowls for a crowd, and plenty of signature sips, Jungle Bird captures the playful spirit of beachside bars while maintaining an upscale feel. The space itself is as bright and colorful as the drinks it serves up, complete with teal velvet chairs and a camel leather booth sandwiching marbled wood tables. Vibrant murals, bird trinkets, and plenty of plants tie the aesthetic together for a true sanctuary away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Address: 174 8th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10011
Best Place to Drink With Pride: the Stonewall Inn
With decades of history under its belt, the Stonewall Inn is one of those few “tourist attractions” that’s well worth a visit. The bar, located in Greenwich Village, proudly touts its legacy as a site of LGBTQ+ riots back in 1969 and remains a haven for the city’s queer community. Peer through its rainbow flag-clad windows and expect to witness drag shows, dance parties, karaoke nights, and more. There’s perhaps no better place to immerse yourself in the cultural energy of Lower Manhattan West.
Address: 53 Christopher St., New York, N.Y. 10014
Best Place to Taste the Unexpected: Double Chicken Please
If classic Martinis make you yawn and Negronis feel so 2016, head to Double Chicken Please for an array of cocktails unlike any you’ve tried before. The space, dubbed DCP by those in the know, includes a front and back room — the former doles out cocktails on tap while the latter serves up a unique menu of drinks made to order. The cocktails are each inspired by and named after beloved food items ranging from French toast to cold pizza, with ingredients used in each dish repurposed to make some truly fantastical concoctions. Expect to find that rare combination of lively ambience that doesn’t feel packed, making it a dependable pick for last-minute ventures to the Lower East Side.
Address: 115 Allen St., New York, N.Y. 10002
Best Place to Start off the Night: Mister Paradise
In the heart of the Ukrainian Village, Mister Paradise is a “serious” cocktail bar that thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously. The space has a retro feel with plush leather booths lit with moody red bulbs, and a mixture of classic and signature drinks served up by knowledgeable bartenders in boiler suits complete with nicknames on their name tags adds to the playful vibe. This spot is ideal for post-work happy hours or low-key weekend afternoon sipping.
Tip Jar: The space gets packed at night but makes for a nice, casual hang in the afternoon. When the weather’s warm, sit outside and order the fried chicken alongside your favorite drink. If egg white drinks are your thing, Mister Paradise pours a mean Whiskey Sour.
Address: 105 First Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10003
Best Place to Get Adventurous: Ruffian
Sometimes, we’re in the mood for what we know, and old faithfuls like Provence rosés and Napa Cabs never disappoint. If you’re looking to stay in your comfort zone, Ruffian may not be for you. Here, the extensive list is inspired by the Adriatic region, offering guests a chance to explore lesser-known and highly underrated producers.. Take a trip to Slovenia for a natural Savvy B, or stop by Croatia for a glass of Babić. The food menu offers an array of mainly vegetarian small bites, including quirky offerings like The Gucci Bag, a plate of almond-smoked beet dumplings tucked beside enoki mushrooms.
Address: 125 E. 7th St., New York, N.Y. 10009
Best Place to Get Dancy: Dream Baby
If sitting for a quiet drink sounds like a bore but the club scene doesn’t quite appeal, Dream Baby walks the line between these two vibes. In the front, bartenders serve up $10 Margs (that are actually good) to thirsty patrons; in the back, a DJ spins crowd-pleasing retro hits (think: lots of ABBA) while a second bar doles out macro lagers. It’s proudly loud, with a small line out the door most weekend nights, and is therefore the perfect place to keep the energy going until after-hours.
Address: 162-164 Avenue B, New York, N.Y. 10009
Best Place to Take a Date: The Ten Bells
With locations in the Lower East Side and, more recently, Bushwick, The Ten Bells is a natural wine bar with an impressive and delicious selection of Spanish-inspired tapas. Explore an extensive by-the-glass list, or split a carafe with a friend or date. Speaking of the latter, this is an ideal spot to bring a new romantic interest, as its cool ambience makes for easy fodder for buzzy conversation. During happy hour, enjoy $1 oysters or a selection of tapas for dinner on the cheap.
Address: 247 Broome St., New York, N.Y. 10002
Best Place to Spend an Afternoon: Alphabet Beer Co.
While NYC is now home to its very own brewery, ABC Beer Co. has been a staple for the city’s beer-loving residents for the past 10 years. With a laid-back atmosphere and an extensive tap list, the bar serves up everything from local IPAs to Canadian goses. While the vibe here is undeniably “New York,” its massive pretzels and beer cheese dip will transport you to a Bavarian beer garden, if only for a moment.
Tip Jar: Alphabet Beer Co. is situated right beside Accidental Bar, an inviting and cozy sake bar with delectable Asian-inspired small bites. Pop in for a quick snack before heading to your next destination.
Address: 96 Avenue C, New York, N.Y. 10009
Best Place for Drinks With a View: Manhatta
From the veterans at Union Square Hospitality Group, recently reopened Manhatta offers a panoramic 60th-floor view of the entire city. Come for the Everything Pretzel Bites and French onion burger, and stay for the eye-catching cocktail list, featuring five sips inspired by some of New York City’s most beloved neighborhoods, including a delightful Red Hook-inspired drink made with coconut-infused rye, Punt e Mes, Maraschino, and chocolate.
Address: 60th Floor, 28 Liberty St., New York, N.Y. 10005
Best Place to Embrace Nostalgia: Ding-a-Ling
Ding-a-Ling — as its name might suggest — is an ode to all things fun and slightly absurd. With a menu consisting of drinks like the blended Banana Bread Daiquiri and the Grasshopper, as well as a drinks category dubbed “Negronis(ish?),” the bar is a great last-minute stop on any big night out. Hit the dance floor, or chat with fellow patrons over loaded hot dogs and blended Daiquiris. This watering hole stays open until the wee hours of the morning, making it an apt spot to toast to the city that never sleeps.
Address: 116 Avenue C, New York, N.Y. 10009
Best Place to See and Be Seen: Pebble Bar
If you haven’t yet heard of Pebble Bar, well, where have you been? This buzzy townhouse in Rockefeller Center is beloved by “Saturday Night Live” cast members past and present (the bar was previously called Hurley’s, an iconic bar that shuttered in 2000), as well as celebrities, influencers, and those aspiring to be any of the above. Three stories of leather banquettes, standing tables, and a dazzling oyster bar make Pebble Bar an incredibly easy place to spend the entire night. Order a Martini or three, bring a few friends, and cozy up to a seafood tower.
Tip Jar: Johnny’s, located on the top floor of Pebble Bar, is already becoming the hot spot for private parties.
Address: 67 W. 49th St., New York, N.Y. 10112
Best Place to Feel Like You’re Not in Midtown: Lodi
If more restaurants in this part of town felt like Lodi, we’d all be here more often. Part bakery, part Art Deco café, all delicious, the newest spot from the same team responsible for lower Manhattan mainstays Estela and Café Altro Paradiso is a charming ode to Italian aperitivo culture. In particular, the Marsala Cobbler cocktail with gin, pomegranate, lemon, and dry Marsala is an unexpected tart treat, and pairs perfectly with the chicken salad panini for a luxurious lunch.
Tip Jar: The reserve wine list focusing on classic Italian regions is well worth checking out if you’re stopping by for dinner or a special occasion.
Address: 1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10020
Best Place for Drinking With a Group: Iris
Chef John Fraser knows a thing or two about vegetables (his now-shuttered Michelin-starred spot Nix catered to omnivores, but was equally beloved by meat eaters), but as it turns out, he can also be trusted to make a really great drink — or, at least, team up with beverage director Amy Racine to do so. At Iris, you’ll find plenty of large tables for post-work gatherings or birthdays, and the drinks draw inspiration from the restaurant’s Mediterranean roots. Try the mastic-infused Martini for a boldly Aegean twist on the classic, or discover your next favorite Greek varietal.
Address: 1740 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10019
Best Place for People Who Are Really Into Wine: Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
As the sommelier of Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, one might worry that Aldo Sohm’s taste in wines would be unapproachable and esoteric. His eponymous wine bar (located around the corner from the restaurant) proves just the opposite, toting a vast by-the-glass list that includes nearly 40 offerings, from a $15 Finger Lakes Riesling to a $75 glass of reserve white Burgundy. It’s a buzzy spot that channels the neighborhood’s pulse by encouraging guests to order a flight of wines they’ve yet to try under the guidance of a very knowledgeable (and friendly!) staff.
Tip Jar: Can’t make it to the bar yet, but want to know what Aldo’s all about? His book, “Wine Simple,” is a fantastic guide to the basics of wine that you’ll use as a reference time and time again.
Address: 151 W. 51st St., New York, N.Y. 10019
Best Place to Take Your Parents: Keens
It’s hard to talk about the Midtown dining and drinking scene without a nod to Keens, which has been going strong in the neighborhood since 1885. In addition to serving up classic steakhouse fare for lunch and dinner, Keens is the place to go for a serious Martini or Manhattan in Midtown –– no funky riffs or Instagram gimmicks here. There’s also a solid wine list featuring a whole lot of Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as some less expected bottles, which they’re more than happy to dig through the cellar for. Come for the wood wall paneling that feels truly out of another century (because it is), stay for the shrimp cocktail.
Address: 72 W. 36th St., New York, N.Y. 10018
Best Place to Drink While You’re Waiting for a Train: The Campbell Bar
Despite the chaotic hustle that comes with any commuter hub, Grand Central can be a magical place, and the Campbell Bar is a great example of why. With Florentine-inspired architecture and a stunning stone fireplace, this is a perfect spot to kill some time (but, you know, in a fancy way) before catching the Metro North. We’re especially fond of the cold brew Martini, which will absolutely prevent you from falling asleep and missing that stop.
Address: 15 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017
Best Place for a Drink Before a Show: The Rum House
There is a host of places in Midtown where you can get a drink or two before catching a Broadway show, but the Rum House, located inside the Edison Hotel, is a stand-out pick. With an (obviously) extensive rum cocktail list as well as well-attended jazz piano performances, it’s a lively and nostalgia-inducing spot in the heart of Times Square.
Address: 228 W. 47th St., New York, N.Y. 10036
Best Old-School Dive Bar: Jimmy’s Corner
For a truly no-frills drinking experience, Jimmy’s Corner, just off of bustling Times Square on 44th Street, is the place to go. Beloved by locals and the post-work crowd, the Midtown establishment hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1971, and that’s part of its charm. Stick to beers, shots, and well drinks here (as in, please don’t order wine) and you’ll fit right in.
Address: 140 W. 44th St., New York, N.Y. 10036
Best Place for Weeknights: Pil Pil
Cozy up at this airy, no-frills tapas spot for shareable plates and a stellar Spanish wine list. Pil Pil is a garden-inspired gem on 78th Street, complete with branches and vines on the ceiling and an exposed brick wall. At brunch, enjoy sangria specials and choose from small bites organized by the Spanish regions they hail from, or share plates of patatas bravas and chorizo with a small group over dinner.
Tip Jar: The space includes a private room in the back that’s perfect for hosting intimate parties.
Address: 265 E. 78th St., New York, N.Y. 10075
Best Place to Relive the ‘90s: The UES
Speakeasies may be slightly passé depending on which New Yorker you ask, but nostalgia is absolutely back in style. And what better way to embrace the trend than at an ice cream shop slinging cocktails à la mode? The spot includes a fully functioning ice cream shop on the street level, where thirsty patrons are sent through the freezer down to an underground “storage room,” which serves elaborate cocktails. The space itself is full of plush furniture and ‘90s hip hop decor. The UES also hosts throwback movie nights on Sundays, so you’ll definitely want to stop by for a banana split paired with a ‘00s rom com.
Tip Jar: The UES enforces a very specific dress code for its storage room, which mandates that guests come in cocktail attire and avoid wearing hoodies, caps, jerseys, ripped jeans, or athletic gear. Plan accordingly.
Address: 1707 2nd Ave., New York, N.Y. 10128
Best Place to Spend an Afternoon: Craft + Carry
If you find yourself on the Upper East Side looking for a solid tap list, Craft + Carry is hard to beat. With eight locations across the city, Craft + Carry has something sure to please every kind of drinker, from hop-driven IPAs, root beers, and ciders on draught, to a built-in bottle shop featuring an array of brightly colored cans and large-format beers to go. It’s no surprise that the local chain has gotten so much love from city dwellers.
Address: 1630 2nd Ave., New York, N.Y. 10028
Best Place for Tropical Vibes: Bar Goyana
Owned by a Belgian-Brazilian couple, Bar Guyana is a tropical oasis in lower East Harlem. The walls are adorned with paintings of jungle birds and Monstera leaves, and the menu features Brazilian-inspired cocktails as well as classic regional dishes like queijo coalho and guacamole. There’s also a sprawling Belgian beer selection.
Tip Jar: The couple behind Bar Goyana also runs MOJO Mousse Bar next door. Stop by for a Belgian chocolate-infused dessert.
Address: 177 E. 100th St., New York, N.Y. 10029
Best Place for Something Totally Different: NR
Come to 75th Street for a bowl of stellar ramen paired with unexpected sips. Led by Angel’s Share alum Shige Kabashima, the cocktail program at NR features Asian-inspired ingredients like yuzu and makrut lime leaves, and creates innovative riffs on the classics like the clarified, grapefruit-infused Negroni.
Address: 339 E. 75th St., New York, N.Y. 10021
Best Place for Large Parties: The Penrose
The Penrose is a UES staple that reliably serves up feel-good American fare and playful cocktails like the Dirty Pickle Martini. The drinks program also features thoughtfully crafted zero-ABV drinks, as well as a solid by-the-glass wine list and tap list of brews, which patrons can be found sipping on during Live Music Sundays, The Penrose’s weekly jazz, blues, or folk performance. For larger events for 30-plus guests, consider renting out one of the bar’s private rooms.
Tip Jar: The Penrose can get a little “bro-y” in the late evenings, so make this one of your earlier stops on a weekend night out.
Address: 1590 2nd Ave., New York, N.Y. 10028
Best Place to Get Cheesy: Earl’s Beer and Cheese
With a quirky vibe and extensive tap list, Earl’s Beer and Cheese defies the UES’s shi-shi ambience. The bar and restaurant is known for its delicious brunch fare, starring mac and cheese and the TBD egg sandwich, best washed down with one of the many unique brews on tap.
Address: 1259 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10029
Best Place for a Classic NYC Night Out: Bemelmans
Bemelmans is a storied, iconic lounge located inside the Carlyle Hotel. The spot is a true homage to old-school New York, complete with live piano performances and servers sporting red jackets and black bow ties. The bar is named after “Madeline” author Ludwig Bemelmans, and the space features enchanting murals echoing the book, all painted by the author and artist. Bemelmans has long drawn celebrities, artists, and politicians with its chic setting and impressive cocktail list. A jazz trio performs daily beginning at 5:30 p.m., transporting patrons to simpler times.
Address: 35 E. 76th St., New York, N.Y. 10021
Best Place for Romance: Perch Bar
Designed to look like an overturned boat, Perch Bar is a tiny spot owned by the same folks who own East Harlem Bottling Company, just a block or so away. Complete with one long, narrow table that can host up to 25 diners, Perch has a fun, romantic feel, with dark wooden decor and tropical wallpaper. The spot’s knowledgeable bartenders serve a wide selection of seasonal, craft, and classic cocktails, as well as small bites and a stellar wine list.
Address: 1693 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10029
Best Place for Wow Factor: Overstory
Sky-high bars with a view typically under-deliver on the drinks front (perhaps they just don’t need to try that hard). But Overstory bucks that trend. From the same group and in the same building as Crown Shy and Saga, visits to the 64th floor bar deliver on wow factor from the get-go. A wraparound balcony serves stunning views of the city — especially as daylight turns to dusk — while the bar’s interior could just as easily be that of a sleek, high-end, subterranean speakeasy. Drinks and service are relatively understated by comparison, which is not to say that they don’t match the quality of any of the city’s other best bars. Expect a range of spirits matched with proprietary infusions, and impeccable service from the entire staff during your visit. Don’t be afraid to go off-menu and order one of the classics, of which the bar team are also exceptionally well-versed.
Address: 70 Pine St., 64th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005