New York is the city that never sleeps, so why not indulge in a little Big Apple bar crawl while you're there? The city can be overwhelming with its non-stop traffic, flashing skyscrapers, and incessant sounds. And to top it off, making the choice about which bar to stop in for a cold one adds more tension than a thrill. There are hundreds of bars up and down the New York skyline, with plenty of reviews on the internet to speak to each of their upsides and setbacks.
But who has time for that? What if you just wanted a skim the best of the best? A collaborative list of New York's best dive bars in conjunction with some of the more popular locations is the best way to ensure that everyone in your party has a good time. Here are 10 bars every person doing a New York pub crawl should drink at.
Located on the Lower East Side, Attaboy is a little bit speakeasy and a little bit trendy. The cultured atmosphere offers seating at the bar or cushioned booths for those who want a quiet conversation under the dimmed lighting. The industrial building has been recommissioned to portray a slick and innovative New York bar, whose cocktails are as strong as they are affordable.
Knock one back in the cozy bar-next-door of Clandestino. No cocktails are off limits here, with a wall full of libations to choose from. They've got selections for every taste bud, with beers and wines in full stock. Whether you're looking for a Guinness on tap or you want to try something new like one of their fancy French wines, just give one of Clandestino's bartenders your preference and they will gladly hand you back one of the finest concoctions you could hope to find this side of the Lower East.
The high-back bar stool and the low-ceilings inside of Nitecap give the perfect illusions of a 1920s New York speakeasy. The diminutive hole-in-the-wall bar is exactly where you want to be to end your night. It draws in a modest crowd, who won't bore you the who's who in New York or cause too much chaos. Its menu is only composed of the finest cocktails, dreamed up tasteful attention to detail. They're big on the old-fashions and spritely cocktails, which just means that you can order just about anything at Nitecap.
7 Bar SixtyFive
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Un brindis por este viaje, porque alguna vez me imaginé visitando NY.🗽 Un brindis porque soy "bendecida y afortunada" jaja... Un brisdis porque en este punto es tan sólo la mitad de mi camino al destino más importante. Esta es a penas una parada muy cortita. Brindis porque todo salga bien y como lo queremos. #TopOfTheRock
You may not have expected to end up on the 65th floor on the Rockefeller Plaza, but if you want a bedazzling view with heavy-handed cocktails, that's just where you'll end up. Bar SixtyFive is located in the Rainbow Room inside of one of New York's finest skyscrapers.
It officially opened in 1934 and has since given way to some of the sumptuous in the city. Here you can peer out at the New York horizon while you sip on The Silver Slipper; an old-fashioned gin drink that bodes well with Bar SixtyFive's antique cocktail menu.
6 169 Bar
The award for New York's dive-iest of dive bars should go to the 169 Bar. The theme of this bar isn't really clear, but that's what makes it fun. Laden with palm trees, candle-lit chandeliers, and pink-hued lighting, this bar is known for its erratic, yet fun-loving crowd. The beer is cheap and you'll feel like you're home here, even with the leopard print pool table and go-go dancers.
5 Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
The Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall is a quaint outside oasis that is a peaceful getaway from New York's dizzying street lights. Their patio beer garden is nestled in between trees and greenery to provide a lush atmosphere for those sitting on the picnic tables. It's dedicated to the Czech culture with the beers and bratwurst to prove it. It's like New York's very own friendly backyard barbeque, where the grill is fired up and the beers are served cold.
Forgtmenot is a popular brunch and dinner spot that budget-savvy travelers will appreciate.
The Christmas-lit ceiling illuminates the various knick-knack decorations that take up the majority of this bar's brick-piled walls. The entire ensemble makes it seem like your next-door neighbor's shack rather than a bar. They have a limited selection of draft beers, but you'll want to come for the food and the cocktails.
Pianos doubles as an electric dance club and an indie-rock concert bar venue. The two-tiered building offers plenty of space for all parties, and you'll be amazed by the talent that takes the stage. It's mostly local go-getters and DJs who know how to work the crowd. This enticing environment welcomes beer advocates, wine connoisseurs, locals, and tourists so you won't find a better motley crew of revelers anywhere in New York.
2 Copper & Oak
If you are looking for a more unique bar profile, then you will want to stop by Copper & Oak. Their central seating area will astound you with its seemingly golden interior, filled with whiskey from top to bottom. However, you won't find any beer or mixed drinks here. Are of their fine, dark spirits are served neat. It's a petite space, but you'll find that their bar stools fill up quickly. It's a luxurious atmosphere that is really the only place to go if you're a Scotch drinker.
Barcade is reminiscent of the collection of arcade-themed bars that you'll find throughout the states. But New York's playful attitude just seems to liven this place up more than any of its sister locations. The small bar has just about every pinball machine and joystick game you remember from your childhood. But this time, you can enjoy besting your buddy at Donkey Kong with the aid of one of Barcade's exclusive beers. Their Abita Still Fly is a pale ale made only for their locations, and their Smuttynose Coily Belgian-style Saison is definitely worth a try.