There’s nothing like visiting New York City. Everything from Times Square, the towering skyscrapers, Broadway, the food scene, and everything in between makes this one of the most exciting places in the United States, maybe the world, to visit.
Times Square alone attractions millions of visitors annually. Many people can’t wait to see Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and try delicious New York-style pizza.
Whatever the reason you have for visiting the city that never sleeps, you’ll have the time of your life.
Besides the food scene, NYC has plenty of bars for you to hang out at. Out of the hundreds of bars all around New York City, it’s tough to pick the right one for the night sometimes, so you might want to check out this guide.
Whether you’re in the mood for a touristy bar or a place locals go to, here are the best bars in NYC.
44 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Bandits is less than a mile west of Washington Square Park. This retro bar is also a burger joint. The watering hole features wood paneling, exposed brick inside, and several areas to sit outside.
The interior features vintage decorations, from old telephones to neon lights and velvet seating.
Bandits is known for having cold beers and delicious cocktails. They have a few frozen cocktails, plenty of local beer, and signature cocktails.
They have a full bar, so you can order almost anything you want. I immediately looked at their signature cocktails and tried the smoky coney. It had white rum, coca-cola reduction, and lemon. It was fabulous.
98 Loisaida Ave, New York, NY 10009
In the East Village on Loisaida Avenue is Accidental Bar. This bar is only minutes away from the East River.
You’ll notice the casual vibe when you walk inside, but the decor is beautiful and filled with warm tones. It’s the perfect place to grab a drink and bite to eat after a long day of exploring.
Accidental Bar serves all your favorite drinks, an International food menu, and plenty of sake. If you’re looking to try something new, then their sake menu is what you’re looking for.
They have 12 sake options and other cocktails for you to try. I opted for the yuzu special sake, which was fantastic.
509 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
You’ll find Pineapple Club a block from Tompkins Square Park. This bar is vibrant and features tropical decor.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see a patch of artificial turf outside, adding to the tropical atmosphere. The interior is beautiful with shades of pink, orange, and yellow and welcoming staff members.
Pineapple Club’s menu goes along with its tropical decor. There are frozen cocktails, extra-large cocktails for sharing, and a full bar so you can order whatever you want.
Their food menu is excellent, too, if you need a snack while you’re here. Something popular here is their Russian roulette shots. You get six shots, and it’s a surprise every time.
245 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
Bar Goto is on Eldridge Street, minutes from Sarah D. Roosevelt Park. It’s a small, contemporary Japanese bar that’s worth popping into.
The lighting is dim, the floors are dark, and much of the wooden furniture. I love sitting at the bar, but there are booths and a few outdoor tables to sit at if you prefer.
The menu at Bar Goto features sake, cocktails, and wines. Like many other bars in New York, they have a full bar, so you can order a rum and coke if you prefer.
134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
Down the road from Bar Goto is Attaboy. The bar markets itself as the everyman’s bar that’s hidden in plain sight. The interior feels like you’ve stepped back in time.
Everything feels very old-school with stone walls, wooden tables and chairs, and mood lighting.
While the vibe is old-school, the bartenders at Attaboy are known for their innovative cocktails.
They have plenty of beer and wine for those who don’t want liquor, but you have to look at their cocktail list if you stop here.
For first-timers, Penicillin is the way to go. It’s a honey and scotch cocktail famous here.
There are multiple locations of Dear Irving in New York. One is on Irving Place near the Flatiron Building, and the other is closer to Hell’s Kitchen and has one of NYC’s best rooftop bars that offers views of the Hudson River.
Both locations are elegant cocktail bars that are perfect for a lovely evening.
Since Dear Irving is a cocktail bar, I can’t recommend looking at the cocktail list. The menu is broken down by their tried and true creations to agave options to fresh cocktails, and more. Popular drinks are the Smoking Hand and Professor Sweater.
I loved the Gibson, gin, vermouth, and pickled onion.
221 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
If you’re heading to Brooklyn, Leyenda should be on your list. This bar is on Smith Street in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood.
Leyenda has a lot of Latin American decor and is a very welcoming place to have a drink. If the weather’s warm, sitting on their back patio is popular.
Leyenda is another innovative cocktail bar in New York, but they have beer and wine. They have one of the best happy hours in the area.
If you can make it in between five and seven during the week, you should. Their cocktails, beer, and wine are all discounted, including food options. The Nuts to This cocktail is fantastic.
35 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Mace is located on West 8th street, less than 400 feet from Washington Square Park. The bar is in a small brick building, and you can see some of the brick in the space’s interior.
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with decor that feels both modern and vintage at the same time.
They have a beer, wine, cider, happy hour, and a cocktail menu. When I stopped here, I had to try the cocktail named after the bar, Mace.
They make it with Aperol, beet juice, orange acid, aquavit, mace mist, and coconut cordial. It was refreshing and easy to sip on.
298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
You’ll find Maison Premiere across the bridge in Brooklyn. Maison Premiere sits on Bedford Avenue and is an upscale oyster bar and restaurant.
The aesthetic inside feels vintage with antique-style furniture and Earth tones. If you’re with friends, you’ll love cozying up in their semi-circle booths.
Maison Premiere offers wine by the glass or bottle, beer, cocktails, and a food menu that’s worth looking into.
When I went to Maison Premiere, I ordered a dozen oysters which were fabulous, but I mainly came here for the drinks.
Something that intrigued me was how many absinthe cocktails they had. I tried the Yellow Parrot and was very impressed.
87 Richardson St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Talea Beer Co. is on Richardson Street, near McCarren Park in Brooklyn. Before you walk in, you can sense the modern aesthetic.
The building is white, and the door and windows had black paneling. This bar has the same vibe that most breweries do. It’s comfortable, casual, and a great place to gather with friends.
When you visit Talea Beer Company, you’ll get to taste some delicious locally crafted beer. If you’re with people who want to come here, but you don’t like beer, don’t worry.
They have plenty of wine and cider too. They specialize in IPAs and sour beers. My favorite beer was their blackberry cherry crush sour.
110 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
On Atlantic Avenue is The Long Island Bar. This is a bar with a significant community presence in Brooklyn.
The Long Island Bar first opened in 1951 and is now a place for locals to spend their evenings and a place visitors love stopping at. The decor is old-school but still very minimalistic.
The Long Island Bar has a small selection of beer and wine, but they have a great cocktail list. Their beer list includes an IPA, amber ale, and a lager.
They have white, red, sparkling, and rose wine, but I wanted to try a cocktail or two when I visited. The Paloma with tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime was the perfect drink.
35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
Bemelmans Bar is less than half a mile from Central Park’s entrance on 72nd Street. If you’re looking for a high-end space to enjoy drinks before your dinner reservations or a show, Bemelmans Bar is the place.
It’s inside The Carlyle Hotel and features Ludwig Bemelmans’ famous murals on the walls.
One of the best parts about this bar is the piano. You can listen to elegant music while sipping a nice glass of wine or a unique cocktail.
The menu features plenty of standard cocktails like old fashions, cosmopolitans, and martinis. A local raved about their Old Cuban cocktail, a champagne mojito.
CHEER TAVERN, 433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
You’ll find Death and Company two minutes away from Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. This famous cocktail bar is swanky yet casual, and the bartenders know what they’re doing.
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1920s during prohibition as you sip cocktails in this underground bar.
Death and Company cocktail menu is something to admire. They break their cocktails down into categories like bright and confident, rich and comforting, and others.
I decided to try their Four Page Letter, which consists of bourbon, brandy, Fred Jerbis Vermut, and Amaro Braulio. Even if bourbon isn’t your favorite, it’s worth trying.
315 7th Ave Entrance at, 162 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001
La Noxe is right across the street from The Fashion Institute of Technology. This is a dimly lit bar that features velvet chairs and couches.
The deep red walls add the perfect pop of color to the bar, and you’ll have to walk partially into the subway to find the main entrance.
For tapas and cocktails, you can’t go wrong with spending an hour or so at La Noxe. My favorite tapas they offer is their bar mix and meat and cheese board. The best part is that all their cocktails pair well with their tapas.
I saw that they have an espresso martini on the menu, and it was one of the best I’ve had.
15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
McSorley’s is less than a mile away from New York University on East 7th Street. If you’ve never been to McSorley’s, you have to when you’re in New York.
This bar has been around since 1854 and has plenty of history and character. It’s a classic Irish pub with wooden furniture and weathered concrete floors.
When stopping here for drinks, you can get almost anything you want. They have plenty of beer, a full bar to make any mixed drink or cocktail, and a handful of wine options.
This is the type of place where you order rounds of beer with friends, and the best beer to drink here is McSorley’s Ale.
30 Water St, New York, NY 10004
The Dead Rabbit NYC is less than a five-minute walk from The Battery. The bar is two stories and has a casual and welcoming atmosphere.
The bright red front door greets you when you arrive, and then inside has a weathered, old-school bar aesthetic.
This bar has everything you could want. They have great food, great company, and even greater drinks. Their beer selection is excellent and perfect for those who love beer.
I almost ordered a local beer but noticed that they’re famous for their Irish coffee, so I tried that instead. I’ll admit, it was one of the best Irish coffees I’ve had.
627 9th Ave, Manhattan, NY 10036
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy cheap drinks in New York, you need to head to Rudy’s Bar and Grill.
It’s in the perfect location on 9th Avenue near Times Square, and they have the most affordable drinks in the city.
It’s a laid-back bar that borders on a dive. You’ll know you’re there when you see a giant pig statue outside.
When you’re at Rudy’s, you can enjoy cheap beer and free hotdogs. That’s right. You get a free hot dog with every purchase.
They have an extensive beer list, but their beer shot combo is my favorite thing to do at Rudy’s. You get a blonde draft beer with a shot of whiskey for the price of a craft beer.
229 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022
Strangelove Bar NYC is less than a mile from Rockefeller Center. This is a laid-back bar that features tasteful graffiti on most of the walls inside.
It’s very punk rock, but that doesn’t have to be your aesthetic to enjoy a drink here.
Besides the unique and punk rock vibe, one of the best things about Strangelove Bar is cheap drinks. That’s hard to come by in NYC.
This isn’t the type of place you go for a handcrafted cocktail. Here, you enjoy classic beer and mixed drinks. Their beer shot combo is worth it. You get your beer and then a shot for only two bucks.
700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
Five minutes from East River Park is The Wayland. This no-frills joint is the perfect place for a cold drink when you need a break from walking all over New York.
The decor is minimal, but the atmosphere is perfect. They often have live music, and everyone is incredibly friendly.
Even though The Wayland is considered a no-frills space, they’re known for making fabulous cocktails. When I stopped in, I asked the bartender what they thought I should try, and first, I had an oyster shooter.
After that, they made me their Pearls of the East. It had vodka, lemongrass-basil syrup, lemon, and seltzer. It was so good I had another after.
116 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
The Up and Up is on MacDougal Street, just a few feet away from the Comedy Cellar. It’s a dimly lit bar with beautiful brown leather booths and floral wallpaper.
Regardless of the time of day, this bar is intimate because you have to go downstairs to get inside.
You’ll have an extensive selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and snacks to munch on when you’re at The Up and Up.
They have several meat and cheese plates to choose from, but the cheese puffs are my favorite.
As for the drinks, there are an overwhelming amount of original cocktails. I recommend the Mezcal Safecracker.
228 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
The Rum House is an excellent bar in Times Square. Thanks to the piano inside, it’s known for great drinks, fantastic staff, and live music.
It’s the perfect bar to hang out at when you want to listen to music and sit back and relax. The interior has white tiles and dark wood features throughout.
As the name may suggest, rum is the spirit of choice at this bar. They have a full bar, though if rum isn’t your thing. My favorite options are their old-fashioned with rum and then the Hemingway daiquiri.
If you’re looking for a snack, they have movie theater popcorn which is a hit.
48 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Less than half a mile from the Elizabeth Street Garden is Spring Lounge. This classic dive bar has been a staple in NYC since opening in the 1920s.
The entire bar has weathered wood, there’s a moose head on the wall, and plenty of NYC memorabilia on the walls.
Spring Lounge has a fully stocked bar with all sorts of spirits and plenty of cold beer to go around.
They offer seasonal drinks, but the best thing you can order here is a classic mixed drink or craft beer. I went with 3 Floyds Zombie Dust IPA, perfect for this laid-back bar.
20 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
LB is on 7th Avenue, near James J. Walker Park. This is an underground bar that’s dimly lit, modern, and has an intimate setting. There are black and white photos of classic celebrities on the shelves, and they offer outdoor seating if you don’t want to be underground.
The bartenders are masters of mixology at LB, so you’ll love their cocktail selection.
They have everything you could want, but I went with a classic margarita. They also have an exciting cocktail that’s a mojito with hot sauce.
135 W 45th St, New York, NY 1003
If you’re looking for the best rooftop bar in NYC, Bar 54 at the Hyatt Centric Times Square is it. It’s 54 stories above the ground and offers you beautiful views of the city.
It’s the perfect combination of casual and classy. Bar 54 is great for date night or girls’ night out.
You can order pretty much anything you want at Bar 54. They have a variety of spirits to create whatever cocktail you want.
The views pair well with any drink, but you can’t go wrong with a glass of white wine while you take in the fresh air.
169 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
169 Bar is on East Broadway and is a super casual spot to hang out with friends, and it’s comfortable enough for you to enjoy a drink by yourself.
The interior is kind of like a dive with dim lighting, palm trees, and Christmas lights strung around.
Like other NYC bars, you’ll find seasonal warm drinks on the menu, signature cocktails, beer, and wine.
I love trying signature beverages at new bars, so I went with their pickle martini. If you love pickles, this is a drink you need to try.
The best thing about New York is that there’s something for everyone. There are high-end bars, casual spots for beer, and dives.
Whether you’re in the mood for a craft beer, cocktail, or a glass of wine, there’s a bar in NYC calling your name.
As you plan your trip to the Big Apple, bars are only half the battle. There are hundreds of delicious spots to grab a bite to eat in New York. If you’re looking for the best waterfront restaurants in NYC, be sure to check this list out.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!