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The Ultimate Guide to the West Village Bar Scene

My favorite places in the area to grab a drink.

Are you planning a trip to New York City? If so, consider stopping by the West Village. This neighborhood is a central hub for bohemian culture. In addition, it has several arts venues, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Village Vanguard jazz club, and the Cherry Lane Theatre, NYC’s oldest Off-Broadway theater.

Besides the West Village’s trendy restaurant scene, there are also several places where you can unwind after a long day and sample your favorite drinks. So, if you’re interested in your favorite draft beers or want to try new signature cocktails, you’re bound to find something to enjoy alone or with your colleagues.

bestfriends drinking cocktails at a bar in West Village

But, with so many West Village bars to choose from, finding the best places for a night out might feel like a daunting task. Not to worry, because I compiled a list of some of the best bars in the West Village that you should consider stopping by for a nice night out.

Best Bars in West Village, NYC

  1. Blind Tiger
  2. The Garret
  3. Bandits
  4. Katana Kitten
  5. LB
  6. Employees Only
  7. Anfora
  8. Corner Bistro
  9. White Horse Tavern
  10. Village Vanguard
  11. LELABAR
  12. Marie’s Crisis Café
  13. Julius’
  14. Hudson Bar and Books
  15. The Spaniard
  16. The Otheroom
  17. The Stonewall Inn

Blind Tiger

281 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014, United States
Phone: 212-462-4682
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First up on my list of the best bars in the West Village you should check out is the Blind Tiger, located on Bleecker Street, within walking distance from the Cherry Lane Theatre and Friends Apartment. This alehouse has a rustic and cozy atmosphere, adorned with wooden furniture. 

This venue serves vintage and contemporary craft beers paired with a wide selection of small plates and larger dishes. Consider asking about their weekly bottle specials when experimenting with new flavors.

My favorite draught beer option is their Milk Stout Nitro. I recommend pairing it with their Roast Beef Cheesesteak Sandwich, Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos, Kale Salad, or Homemade Beef Empanada.


The Garret

296 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-675-6157
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Next up is The Garret, another destination you can find on Bleecker Street. It’s a great place to stop by for excellent cocktails in a decorative setting. Best of all, it’s on the second floor, right above Five Guys. They also accept walk-in, so you don’t have to worry about booking a reservation for yourself and your friends.

The Garret is open all week, until midnight. Their best cocktails are The Norse Whisperer, The Beatles at Shea, Pisco Punch, and Between the Sheets. You should also consider asking your bartender about their rotating wines by the glass, especially after sampling a hearty Five Guys burger.


Bandits

44 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 917-261-6447
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Located on the corner of Bedford Street and Leroy Street, Bandits is another place I recommend for a quick bite to eat and a nice drink. This West Village bar has a retro atmosphere, perfect for winding down during the weekend with the people you care about.

In my opinion, their best drinks are Jimmy’s Jungle Juice, Smokey Cokey, Purple Rain, and Pickle Back. Don’t forget to try any of these with their Taco Cart Tots, Baked Clams, or Bandit Wings. They also host weekend brunch from noon to 4 p.m., so be sure to stop by for a Bandit Bloody cocktail or classic mimosa.


Katana Kitten

531 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 347-866-7739
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Don’t know where to get a drink in the West Village in a cool setting? Then, consider visiting Katana Kitten, located on the corner of Hudson Street and Charles Street. This brightly-lit establishment has a relaxed atmosphere, not unlike a traditional Japanese izakaya. I consider it a great place to try some of the city’s best sake.

Katana Kitten has also received recognition from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

I recommend ordering their Toki Highball, Hinoki Martini, Hakkaisan Sake, or Panda Fizz cocktail. You should also try these drinks with their Teriyaki Burger, Fujimi Crispy Chicken Skewer, Karaage Calamari, or Nori Fries.


LB

20 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-929-4360

You can spot LB on the corner of 7th Avenue and St. Luke’s Place, near the Hudson Park Library and James J. Walker Park. I consider it one of the best bars in the West Village because of its cozy underground speakeasy ambiance and vivid cocktail menu that any locals and tourists will love.

They have live music every Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., elevating your immersion as you sip their Gold Rush, Brandy Shake, Fancy-Free, or Diablo cocktails. LB offers smaller food dishes to pair with your drinks, such as popcorn or beef hot dogs, making it the perfect treat after exploring the city.


Employees Only

510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
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Employees Only is a retro, Prohibition-style bar where you can sample classic cocktails and New American cuisine with an Eastern European twist, crafted by Executive Chef Julia Jaksic. You can find it on Hudson Street, a short drive away from the Hudson River piers.

This bar serves dozens of wine options for any nightly occasion, even if you don’t come for dinner. Their best cocktails are the classic West Side, contemporary Ginger Smash, seasonal Monkey Business, and fancy Hi-Octane.

If you make a dinner reservation, try their EO Burger or Truffle Grilled Cheese. You can also try their annual three-course Pre-Fixe Thanksgiving dinner.


Anfora

34 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-518-2722
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Can’t find a bar in the West Village offering Old World wines with natural flavors and no additives? Then, consider spending your night at Anfora, on 8th Avenue, for a classy experience. It’s across from Jane Street Garden and next to the Behind the Mask gallery. Every month, Anfora offers regional wines and spirits, along with in-person wine education events.

Anfora is also one of the best bars in the West Village for trying delectable small plates. Don’t miss out on their Porchetta Tonnato, White Bean Hummus, or Onion Dip with Chips when ordering their Pineapple Daiquiri, Red Spritz, or Folksbier.


Corner Bistro

331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-242-9502
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Are you looking for a more casual space to hang out with your friends at the end of the week? Corner Bistro, located on the corner of West 4th Street and Jane Street, is the best place where you can enjoy beer and burgers at an accessible price. Their rustic and cozy setting is worth any trip to the West Village.

They also deliver canned beer if you’re too busy to stop by in person. During my visit to the West Village, I tried their Heineken with tater tots and a Chili Burger. In addition, Corner Bistro offers daily breakfast and weekend brunch.


White Horse Tavern

567 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-989-3956
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White Horse Tavern, nestled on the corner of Hudson Street and West 11th Street, is New York City’s second-oldest pub. It has a vintage, relaxed atmosphere adorned with hanging lights and plants on its exterior and offers outdoor dining options. It’s also a popular hotspot for writers and artists. 

This bar has several drink menu options, including classic and original cocktails. I recommend looking at their appetizer and sharing plates menu when dining or drinking with friends. I like ordering their Joe Schmo From Kokomo, Oaxaca Old Fashioned, or Cosmopolitan cocktails with pretzel bites, fried pickles, or chicken wings.


Village Vanguard

178 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-255-4037
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Nestled on 7th Avenue South, Village Vanguard is one of the best bars in the West Village. You can enjoy a nice drink while experiencing live jazz music every Monday night in a clubby setting. Its walls are decorated with lights, instruments, and vintage photographs of jazz musicians who performed throughout the decades.

This jazz club’s bar serves a wide selection of wine, beer, and spirits, perfect for toasting the night away as you immerse yourself in the venue’s performances. There’s a one-drink minimum for every guest, so be sure you and your friends or family know what they want to order during your nightly outing.


LELABAR

422 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-206-0594
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Across from James J. Walker Park, off the corner of Hudson Street and St. Lukes Place, lies LELABAR, an elegant yet casual bar. Its Oval Bar has an intimate atmosphere with warm lighting and proximity to your bartender and patrons, making it the perfect setting for a date or friendly gathering. They also have a heated outdoor patio.

They have over 700 wine options available by the glass, which tastes great with their small bites, cheese, and charcuterie. Consider visiting during their daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. or booking a private wine tasting course for parties of six or more.


Marie’s Crisis Café

59 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 646-470-6040
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Another lively bar I recommend checking out is Marie’s Crisis Cafe found off the corner of Grove Street and 7th Avenue South. Every night, they have piano accompaniment and play acoustic show tunes where you can sing along freely. This welcoming environment is a go-to destination for musical theater-lovers and is considered a safe space for all.

Most of their beer and cocktails cost around $10, with discounts during their 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour from Monday through Thursday. They also offer non-alcoholic beverages for guests who prefer soda or juice. I recommend trying their Manhattan on the Rocks or a bottle of Stella Artois.


Julius’

159 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-243-1928
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Just off the corner of West 10th Street and Waverly Place lies Julius’, the city’s oldest gay bar. After a long day of walking through the neighborhood, I enjoyed coming to this place for wine or off-well drinks with a delicious burger. It’s also within walking distance from McCarthy Square.

Julius’ hosts happy hour every weekday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., so you’re bound to find something tasty to drink or eat. In my opinion, you should try their wine or Budweiser with grilled cheese, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, or a Julius Burger. They also offer live music, perfect for parties.


Hudson Bar and Books

636 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-229-2642
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Next on this list of the best bars in the West Village is Hudson Bar and Book, located off the corner of Hudson Street and Horatio Street. I was surprised by this bar’s refined and cozy ambiance during my visit to the city, emphasized by its walls with built-in bookshelves.

Although the thought of combining a bar with a library setting sounds outlandish, it works well as a place for winding down after a long week. You can also enjoy a drink on the outdoor pavement. Consider trying their Smithsonian or Dark & Stormy cocktails with chili cheese toast, pizza, or cheese and charcuterie platter.


The Spaniard

190 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-918-1986
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Are you in the mood for sampling whiskey, cocktails, and classic American fare? Then, drop by The Spaniard for a lovely night out. You can find this gastropub on West 4th Street, minutes away from Washington Square Park. It has a cozy, old-school atmosphere, ideal for sampling the best drinks in the city.

My favorite cocktails that they serve are their Paloma, Aperol Spritz, and The Toucan. If you’re more of a whiskey fan, pick from their extensive list of bourbon, rye, or scotch. The Spaniard’s drinks taste great with steak tartare or crispy calamari. Stop by on the weekends for a brunch mimosa.


The Otheroom

143 Perry St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-645-9758

Overlooking Perry Street, a short distance away from the Hudson River, The Otheroom is one of the best West Village bars where you can enjoy a nice drink in a dark yet cozy environment. While not the largest bar on this list, it’s great for quality or alone time or spending time with a close buddy in their dark lounge. The dim candle-lit tables also enhance the atmosphere.

Although The Otheroom’s menu doesn’t serve many dishes, they offer plenty of beer and wine options that you can enjoy by the riverside. I recommend sampling their Perry Street Manhattan cocktail or Ace Pineapple Cider.


The Stonewall Inn

53 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-488-2705
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The last place on this list of the best bars in the West Village is the historic Stonewall Inn. You can find this bustling bar on Christopher Street, across from the Christopher Street Station, minutes from Sheridan Square.

They offer several drink options, including their signature citrus-hopped Stonewall Inn IPA, if you’re in the mood for something fruity yet crisp and mellow.

I also love stopping by this bar for its lively entertainment. Visit Monday through Thursday for their Piano Bar, Friday and Saturday for their late-night dance parties, and Honey Burlesque Tea Dance every second Sunday of the month.


Final Thoughts

Plenty of places in the West Village serve excellent drinks and offer several atmospheres for a night out, from quiet and intimate to lively and immersive. Hopefully, this list can help you narrow down the best bars in the West Village to make your visit to the city more memorable. 

 Are you looking for something else besides a drink? Then, check out this list of West Village’s best restaurants.
Did I miss a bar on this list? Leave a comment below about your favorite go-to spots for a drink, and I’ll check them out!

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.