Where to Drink: New York Bar & Restaurant Guide

Over the years, I have visited hundreds of bars and restaurants in New York City, mostly in Manhattan, but in the outer boroughs as well. This is a comprehensive list of almost all of those bars and restaurants in which I’ve had a drink. I exclude restaurants which I wouldn’t recommend visiting for a drink, but there are certainly many places not on this list where I would get a drink along with my meal.

I try to add every place that I visit to the list, including the good and the bad. My favorite part of this bar & restaurant guide is that every establishment has a two word description which sums it up in two words and two words only.

This is Where to Drink: New York City

Bar/RestaurantNeighborhoodPriceGood ForTwo Words:Features/Notes
100 MontaditosGreenwich Village$Dinner/DrinksTiny SandwichesLiterally 100 different menu items, fun place, buckets of beer, college crowd
230 FifthFlatiron$$$DrinksFancy RooftopGreat View, Rooftop (Outdoors)
7AAlphabet City$DrinksNothing SpecialPre-Bourgeois Pig Drink spot, Cool music videos playing, just a bar
Ace BarEast Village$DrinksFun GamesGreat size, cheap drinks, tons of games (skeeball, pool, pinball, darts)
AgaveWest Village$$DrinksAiry MexicanGreat location, good-looking crowd, trendy feel, sunny
AinsworthUnion Square | Chelsea$$DrinksFancy SportsbarAs close to a club without being a club, tons of TVs, good music, young crowd
Alfie'sHell's Kitchen$DrinksCraft BeersSolid beer selection, nice happy hour deals, good midtown-ish crowd, a few TVs
AlmondTribeca$$$$Dinner/DrinksQuality AmericanVery upscale and large American restaurant in Tribeca. Very spacious, upscale without the stuffiness
Alphabet LoungeAlphabet City$$DrinksSmall LoungeGreat, young crowd, sticky floors, small space, good music
Alta LineaMeatpacking$$$DrinksOutdoor LoungeUpscale outdoor lounge at the Highline Hotel, only open during summer, trendy crowd
Amor & Amargo/Double BuzzEast Village$$DrinksSecret RoomAwesome, tiny place. Specialize in bitters? Literally one small room. Tell the bartender what you like
B BarEast Village$$DrinksThe SceneYou go here for the crowd. Young, hip, occasionally fratty. Huge bar, tons of different rooms, good music
BabboWest Village$$$Dinner/DrinksClassic ItalianClassic Mario Batali joint, top-notch service, decent menu, delicious pastas
Bait 'n HookEast Village$DrinksOcean ThemedNothing special, good seafood deals, good location, easy to watch a game
Bamonte'sWilliamsburg$$$Dinner/DrinksMobster ItalianClassic Italian spot, around 100+ years, good service, no bar menu - just tell 'em what you like
Bar PrimiEast Village$$Dinner/DrinksMostly PastaHuge space, delicious food, good for groups, parties, etc.
Beauty & EssexLower East Side$$$$Dinner/DrinksTrendySceney, good food, massive space, good crowd, good music
Bell, Book, & CandleWest Village$$DrinksUpscale CellarSmart & Sexy, down a few stairs, strong drinks, small bar area, but ample seating. Good spot
Berkli ParcLower East Side$DrinksQuiet CafŽCafŽ in heart of LES, small menu, small drink selection, cozy spot
Black Tap BurgerMeatpacking$$Dinner/DrinksInsane MilkshakesRough around the edges, but cool dŽcor, great music, decent burgers, a few TVs
Blind Tiger Ale HouseWest Village$$DrinksHipster BrewsGood atmosphere, decent looking food, day-time spot, a little hipster-y, beer only, extensive selection
BotanicaSoho$DrinksSimple SohoKind of dingy, but very simple and cheap, good location, large happy hour crowd
Boulton & WattLower East Side$$$DrinksLES RusticFood not too good, but the bar itself is very cool, good crowd, good starting point for going out
Bourgeois PigEast Village$$DrinksTrendy WineHalf Price Bottle of Wine on Tuesdays, Very Hip, Dark Lighting, Intimate Seating Options
Bowery HotelNoho$$$DrinksModern SophisticationEvent space upstairs. Lots of gardens, long bars, open ceilings
Brazen FoxEast Village$$DrinksA BarFood is nothing special, but upscale sports bar with two levels (some outside)
Brindle RoomAlphabet City$$Dinner/DrinksSmall & TastyGreat Burger, no nonsense ABC location, mostly high tops
Bubby'sTribeca$$DrinksCasual HomeyLaidback, beer served in mason jar glasses, casual
Burger JointMidtown$LunchGood BurgerGreat burger in upscale hotel, hidden location. Cash Only
CafŽ ColetteWilliamsburg$$Dinner/DrinksBrooklyn DinerCool atmosphere, good burger, interesting menu & wait staff, off the beaten 'burg path
CafŽ MogadorEast Village$BrunchGood MoroccanMoroccan brunch, good space, exciting breakfast menu
CafeteriaChelsea$$BrunchTrendy BrunchGood menu selection, trendy crowd, good for people watching, decent service
CampeonUnion Square$$Dinner/DrinksOverpriced MexicanUpscale sports bar atmosphere, lots of TVs, good music, overpriced
Carroll PlaceGreenwich Village$$Dinner/DrinksKnock OffSame menu as Cotta, good atmosphere for drinks at front bar (long, high tables)
Casa MezcalLower East Side$$$Dinner/DrinksDecorative MezcaleriaWonderfully decorated, very colorful but not too bright, delicious (but slow) drinks, solid food
CatchMeatpacking$$$$Dinner/DrinksTrendy SceneyJust a scene, food is not good. Amazing crowd, very expensive
Chalk Point KitchenSoho$$$Dinner/DrinksCute, FarmySmall room, very "homey" dŽcor, farm-to-table, delicious healthy food & drink
City VineyardTribeca$$DrinksScene & ViewGreat setting, green dŽcor, after-work crowd, extensive wine list, big outdoor space
Coffee ShopUnion Square$$Dinner/DrinksUSQ StapleLarge place, cool downstairs DJ room. Weak menu. Nothing to write home about.
CookshopMeatpacking$$$BrunchBoozy BrunchBig plates, big prices, good food, trendy crowd, big space, unique drinks
Cooper'sChelsea$DrinksDecent DraftsGreat draft selection, decent crowd, nice high tops
CottaUpper West Side$$Dinner/DrinksSmall PlatesAwesome atmosphere, dimly lit upstairs, outside seating, great for sharing (pizzas, bruschettas) also good bigger dishes
CraftbarFlatiron$$$$Dinner/DrinksOverpriced NamebrandNothing too special, good American food, very nice atmosphere & service
Dante NYCWest Village$$$Dinner/DrinksTrendy & CozyGreat size, perfect lighting (not too dark), intimate 2 tops, top notch service, delicious flatbread
David Burke KitchenSoho$$$$Dinner/DrinksLuxurious AmericanLarge, open, semi-underground space. Exciting menu, extensive wine selection, great spot
DBAEast Village$DrinksStupid DiveDoesn't serve food, a lot of beers available
Dear IrvingUnion Square$$$DrinksFancy Speakeasy$16 drinks, ring a doorbell for service. Just a novelty place, not good
Dos CaminosMeatpacking$$Dinner/DrinksTop MexicanHuge space, lots of outdoor seating, consistent food, American-ized but that's OK, good people-watching
Down the HatchWest Village$DrinksBeer PongNo reason to go here except for location & ability to play beer pong for cheap
Draught 55Midtown$DrinksBeer HallGreat Happy Hour spot, Tons of beers on tap
Dream HotelChelsea$$$DrinksToo TrendyGreat View, Rooftop (Outdoors), Trendy
Ducks EateryEast Village$$Dinner/DrinksTrendy RoomSmall room, very good wings, otherwise interesting menu. Order the Paloma to drink
East End KitchenYorkville$$Dinner/DrinksFar OutCool neighborhood spot. Extensive menu (fish, steak, etc.) and good atmosphere. Local spot
El Parador CafŽMurray Hill$$DrinksMurray MexicanVery nice spot, authentic Mexican vibes (and service), but why would you go to 34th & 2nd?
EsperantoAlphabet City$BrunchBrazilian VibesGood food, cheap drinks, great/young atmosphere, ABC location
Fig & OliveMidtown East$$$$Dinner/DrinksGreat FoodFantastic, hearty Mediterranean fare. Well-lit, good vibes, serious eats
Flatiron HallFlatiron$$DrinksUpscale HallDrinking hall, large space, strong drinks, good (early) crowd
Floyd NYBrooklyn Heights$DrinksBocce BallBocce ball court, couches, darts, decidedly different feel
Fool's GoldLower East Side$DrinksCraft BeersGenerous selection of craft beers, lots of whiskeys as well. Houston St. location, lively crowd, a few TVs
FreeholdWilliamsburg$$DrinksIndoor OutdoorHuge bar, lots of different spaces, massive outdoor space, good crowd, mediocre drinks
Friedman'sGarment District$$BrunchTry HardsTrying to be a trendy spot, overcrowded, interesting menu items, good but not worth a wait
Frying PanChelsea$$Dinner/DrinksMaritime DrinkingGreat venue on the water, must go on an off-day, Sangria is solid
Gaf WestHell's Kitchen$DrinksDarts DiveSmall dive bar, has darts, buck hunter, etc. Sticky floors
Gaslight LoungeMeatpacking$$DrinksGood MusicLate night spot, diverse clientele, great location, good music, good space
GG'sAlphabet City$$Dinner/DrinksCozy Ameri-talianGreat pizza selection, cool atmosphere inside, good service
GotanTribeca$$LunchUplifting & SimpleGreat sandwiches, coffee shop vibe, quick service
GraysonEast Village$DrinksLively SportsbarRare sports bar in E Village. Long, skinny bar. Loud music, great TV situation, OK food
Greenwich TreehouseGreenwich Village$DrinksCollege FeelSimple bar, OK beer selection, no food
Hair of the DogLower East Side$DrinksSticky FloorsCollege bar feel, always something going on, sticky floors, good last resort
HanjanFlatiron$$$Dinner/DrinksUpscale KoreanInteresting Korean food, narrow space, limited drinks, feels busy
Headless HorsemanUnion Square$$DrinksCandlelit DraughtsConvenient location, ultimately good not great
Henry's EndBrooklyn Heights$$Dinner/DrinksNeighborly AmericanGenuine American food, one inviting room, almost has a "suburban" feel, true neighborhood staple
Hill & DaleLower East Side$$Drinks50s FeelRecord players everywhere, booths, but the action is in the back, good crowd
HillstoneGramercy$$$$Dinner/DrinksAmerican ClassImpeccable service, always great menu, good lighting, actino at the bar, good crowd
Hudson StationGarment District$DrinksSimple SportsbarUnimpressive food, but large space near MSG
Il MulinoGreenwich Village$$$$Dinner/DrinksBest ItalianOld School, small room, amazing food, tons of appetizers, great service, traditional cocktails
Jacob's PicklesUpper West Side$$BrunchFancy FriedDelicious Chicken BLT, fried pickles, awesome "woody" vibe, packed on the weekend
Jeffery'sMidtown East$DrinksCraft BeersExtensive craft beer selection, far east location, OK crowd
L & W Oyster HouseFlatiron$$$Dinner/DrinksGood LocationGood location, small, narrow space, solid food but nothing remarkable
La CavernaLower East Side$$DrinksUnderground ClubA cave in the LES. Good music, crowd can be hit or miss, not worth waiting in line for
LafayetteNoho$$$DrinksClassy FrenchVery upscale, European feeling, great patio and great people watching
Late Late BarLower East Side$$DrinksSweaty LESAmazing music, LES prices, basement dancing, good-looking crowd
Levain BakeryUpper West Side$SnackBest CookieThe best cookies in the world, you will wait
Lil Frankie'sEast Village$$Dinner/DrinksCasual ItalianCasual setting, grandma's kitchen feel, backyard patio, great for catching up with friends
Live BaitFlatiron$$DrinksSouthern DiveBusy on a weeknight, funky interior, interesting crowd, loud music
Los FelizLower East Side$$Drinks"Almost" ClubMultiple levels/rooms, good music, OK prices, fun LES spot, young crowd
Mae Mae CafŽHudson Square$$Dinner/DrinksVeggie CafŽVegetarian feeling menu, library-like atmosphere, cozy
MayahuelEast Village$$DrinksHidden GemInteresting Drinks, Cozy Atmosphere
MaysvilleFlatiron$$DrinksBourbon DepotNice, bright venue. Very busy on a Weds night. Whiskey & Bourbon bar, southern food is better than expected
MŽmŽGreenwich Village$$$Dinner/DrinksFashionable MediterraneanSmall room, dress up or down, Greenwich village vibes, great fish, very New York atmosphere
Met RooftopUpper East Side$$$DrinksUnmatched ViewGreat viewpoint IN Central Park, very "in the know" experience, must pay to get into museum
MoleWest Village$$Dinner/DrinksAuthentic MexicanNice West Village spot, inside has character, patio available, nice homemade guac
Mr. PurpleLower East Side$$$$DrinksLES RooftopAwesome vantage point in LES, club atmosphere, very trendy & sexy & EXPENSIVE
MudspotEast Village$BrunchArtsy CoffeeshopClassic East Village feel, stained glass patio, small space, surprisingly good food
MuiKoreatown$$DrinksNice AtmosphereWeird 5th floor location, unique lighting, good low-top and bar seating, wide selection
NaiEast Village$$DrinksPork & SangriaGreat sangria, tapas spot, food is meh - a lot of pork & potatoes, cozy atmosphere, lots of hightops
Ninth WardEast Village$DrinksCozy & LocalFunky, dark, but people are nice, "locals only", there's even a backyard patio
NomadEast Village$$Dinner/DrinksAfrican VibesNorth African cuisine, Moroccan dŽcor, dimly lit, very lively atmosphere
Nurse BettyLower East Side$DrinksBurlesque ShowTiny, room for maybe 25, small stage in front for free burlesque shows most nights
OttoGreenwich Village$$$Dinner/DrinksFancy PizzaHuge restaurant, good atmosphere, good thin-crust pizzas, extensive wine list
Ovest PizzotecaChelsea$$Dinner/DrinksTrendy PizzaCozy space, loud music, under the high line, good Neapolitan pizza, wine is the move here
Pete's TavernUnion Square$$Dinner/DrinksClassic RestaurantMenu is nothing special at all. Big place, always seems to be packed but don't go here unless desperate
Peter LugerWilliamsburg$$$$Dinner/DrinksBest SteakOld School, you'll have to wait, delicious steak & sides, strong drinks
Plug UgliesMurray Hill$DrinksRustic & CasualBar has been renovated, large wood space, shuffleboard table, decent TVs
Press Lounge (ink 48 Hotel)Hell's Kitchen$$$DrinksWestside RooftopSlight Bridge & Tunnel crowd, impressive westside views, comfortable digs, strong & expensive drinks
Professor Thom'sEast Village$DrinksFratty SportsbarMichigan bar, Boston bar, yuppie crowd, nothing special
PunchFlatiron$$Dinner/DrinksNice BarWell-lit, busy, standard menu, hightops and bar are great, also tables (need reservation)
PylosAlphabet City$$$Dinner/DrinksUpscale GreekNon-traditional Greek menu, awesome dŽcor (1000 clay pots on ceiling), intimate setting
Rare Rooftop ChelseaChelsea$$DrinksGreat ViewGreat 20+ story view in Chelsea, Somewhat loud, small beer selection, limited food
RevivalUnion Square$DrinksReclaimed Wood2 story, intimate bar. Nothing special, but a "hole-in-the-wall" type place
Rio GrandeMurray Hill$$DrinksFratty & LoudGreat post-work crowd, Busy, Indoor/Outdoor, Strong Drinks, Go for the Margaritas, Stay for the Crowd
Roebling InnBrooklyn Heights$DrinksUnremarkable BarNot worth returning too, especially with other bars on the block
RogueChelsea$DrinksAiry SportsbarScreens galore, nothing special in terms of beer selection, huge ceilings, multi-level
Roof at Park SouthGramercy$$$DrinksSexy RooftopFireplaces, couches, hightops. Sexy rooftop has every option, but expensive drinks
RoyalEast Village$$DrinksBumping SportsclubClubby atmosphere. Amazing TV situation. Great music. Always bumping.
Royal Shuffleboard ClubGowanus$$DrinksShuffleboard BarRetro vibe, overpriced, must reserve to play, but unique place to hangout
SantinaMeatpacking$$$Dinner/DrinksColorful OverpricedColorful restaurant, trendy crowd, loud, service is subpar, you go for the scene
Sarge'sMurray Hill$$BrunchGo-to DeliMy favorite deli, insanely large menu, great selection, limited bagel selection, good vibes inside
ScratcherEast Village$DrinksDive BarKind of dark, candles at each table, very cozy, off the beaten path; NO IRISH CARBOMBS
SET BarLower East Side$$DrinksNothing BarNothing bar, but easy to get into in an area where lines are the norm
Shalom JapanWilliamsburg$$$Dinner/DrinksJewish JapanseName says it all - interesting fusion. Small, pricey plates, but pretty good flavors all around
SidebarUnion Square$DrinksFratty SportsbarGreat environment to watch games, always packed, decent buff chix wrap
Smith's BarHell's Kitchen$$DrinksSolid SportsbarOK beer selection, big bar, good wings, lots of TVs
Smithfield HallChelsea$$DrinksSoccer BarGreat dŽcor, great TVs, only stools. Food good, nothing special. One of few sports bars in Chelsea
SnafuMidtown East$DrinksPool TableOnly reason to go is the pool table and Golden Tee. Divey bar
Spitzer'sLower East Side$DrinksBeer HouseTons of beers on tap, can be very crowded. Unusually bright inside for LES bar
Spring Street NaturalSoho$$$Dinner/DrinksHealthy & TrendyExtensive healthy menu, nice but not over-the-top dŽcor, good service, large drink selection
StoutGarment District$DrinksMassive BarGigantic bar with 3 levels, lots of screens, pretty packed after MSG event
SupperAlphabet City$$$Dinner/DrinksHomestyle ItalianAmazing Chicken Parm, nice but not stuffy setting, loud, good for groups
Sweetwater SocialNoho$$DrinksRustic & CasualWell decorated, downstairs, has Pacman & shuffleboard, slightly overpriced
TaboonetteUnion Square$LunchQuick MediterraneanDivine Mediterranean sandwiches in Union Square, pulled pork is a MUST!
Tanner Smith'sMidtown$$$DrinksDim & UniqueMore than a bar, dimly lit, well decorated, great whiskey & beer selection, mostly high tops
Taproom 307Gramercy$$DrinksMany BeersHuge, rotating beer selection. Often packed, but seating situation not good and small menu
Tasca ChinoUnion Square$$$Dinner/DrinksAsian TapasInteresting dishes, vibrant atmosphere, good location, get the chickpea fritters
Tavern on the GreenUpper West Side$$$DrinksOverpriced SceneTouristy, but very high class, and the only place you can get drinks in the park
The Bar Downstairs (Andaz Hotel)Midtown$$$$DrinksTrendy & HandcraftedOne of the best bars in NYC. Very much trendy, with dark lighting and bright colors, but bartenders are not messing around
The Bar RoomUpper East Side$$DrinksWood PaneledCool dŽcor, a few TVs, limited menu, old-school vibe
The BennettTribeca$$$DrinksVintage Cocktails1950s vibe, knowledgeable bartenders, exciting drinks, small space
The JimmyTribeca$$$$DrinksIncredible RooftopOne of the nicest rooftops in Manhattan. Downtown location, has a pool, amazing view
The Malt HouseGreenwich Village$$Dinner/DrinksSurprisingly GoodGood food, good beer selection, nice GV location, mason jar glasses, cool spot
The Meatball ShopChelsea$$Dinner/DrinksGood EatsAffordable menu, always a good crowd, consistently decent
The Met RooftopCentral Park East$$DrinksVeteran MoveIncredible view of the city, great in the daytime, must go through museum
The Nomad Bar (Nomad Hotel)NoMad$$$DrinksMahogany EleganceOozes class, but not stuffy. Creative cocktails, informed bartenders, amazing atmosphere, good looking people
The ParkMeatpacking$$Dinner/DrinksContemporary VibesGreat design, farm-to-table-ish food, lively atmosphere, far west
The SkinnyLower East Side$DrinksDingy DiveCheap bar, feels trashy, but good location and billiards
The SmithEast Village$$Dinner/DrinksSocial MealGreat Menu, Young Crowd, They always make you wait
The TipplerChelsea$$DrinksBarclubGood high-tops and booths, good music, decent atmosphere (a little dark)
The WinslowEast Village$$DrinksQuality SocialA lot of wood, a lot of hightops, very social, nicer than most places in the area
The WrenEast Village/NoHo$$DrinksSolid SpotGreat, cozy atmosphere, decent cocktail list, good location, mostly high-tops (some "communal")
Thirsty ScholarEast Village$DrinksIntimate DiveOK beer selection, good shot specials, can't go wrong for a beer or a game
ToloacheTheater District$$Dinner/DrinksQuality MexicanInteresting items, not your average Mexican food, spicy salsa, close to the theaters
ToroMeatpacking$$$$Dinner/DrinksOverpriced TapasGreat Spanish food in an awesome space. Bill adds up quickly, good looking crowd
Tortilla FlatsWest Village$Dinner/DrinksParty MealGreat place to come with a group: all-you-can drink dinner specials, festive atmosphere
VandalSoho$$$$Dinner/DrinksHuge & TrendySuper trendy, massive space, interesting cocktails, small bites, best NYC crowd
VbarEast Village$DrinksVillage CozyClassic bar in East Village. Cheapish drinks, music, cozy
Vic'sNoho$$$Dinner/DrinksModern ItalianImpressive, well-decorated room; interesting menu, crispy onions are a must
Vig BarSoho$$DrinksDark RapDark bar, small, good DJ, back room has intimate booths, not bad
Wine:30NoMad$$DrinksWine & CheeseCozy place, a lot of high tops, nice backyard garden too. Endless wine list
Wined UpFlatiron$$DrinksSimply WineDark, great ambience, vast wine menu, candles at tables, all two-tops
Wythe HotelWilliamsburg$$DrinksGreat ViewAmazing view of Manhattan, upscale feel in 'burg