10 Best Bars in Midtown East, New York City

The Campbell

Midtown East Fodor's choice

Classy tipplers and well-dressed commuters pack into this Grand Central Terminal bar (especially during the evening rush), but you can still have a romantic time in one of Manhattan's more beautiful rooms. The restored space dates from the 1920s, when it was the private office of an executive named John W. Campbell, who entertained friends and colleagues here. Sample the good life as you sip cocktails from club chairs and banquettes. The proprietor also offers the smaller Campbell Palm Court and enclosed, outdoor Campbell Terrace; the latter is just outside in the former taxi driveway.

Bierhaus NYC

Midtown East

Guests pile onto long benches at communal tables at this German beer hall, as costumed barmaids serve imported German beers, pretzels, and shot-skis (a ski with shot glasses attached). Live music almost daily, a 50-foot balcony, and a glass ceiling that retracts in the summer ensure that a stop here is always a good time. Appetizers are large, and beer can be ordered in a two-liter (glass) boot if you wish.

Evolve Bar and Lounge

Midtown East

Filling a space that's long been the site of a gay establishment, Evolve is a go-to for mostly men to mingle after work and on weekends. The long bar is a watering hole for many regulars, and the smoke-friendly back patio is an added incentive to unwind in a bar unlike others in the neighborhood. Check the bar's social-media pages to see what go-go shows and open-mic lineups are planned.

221 E. 58th St., New York, NY, 10022, USA

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King Cole Bar

Midtown East

Maxfield Parrish's justly beloved 1906 mural of "Old King Cole" and his artful court (made famous by the 18th-century nursery rhyme) adds to the already considerable elegance at this romantic and essential Midtown lounge. Try the Bloody Mary—since this is where the drink was introduced to Americans as a "Red Snapper" back in 1934—and be ready to pay for the privilege of drinking in this legendary establishment.

Ophelia Lounge NYC

Midtown East

Twenty-six stories above street level, Ophelia is the pinnacle of The Beekman Tower. An impressive space for after-work drinks and romantic dates alike, the bar has a greenhouse-style terrace with spectacular 360-degree views of Midtown and the East River. The emphasis is on mixology and cocktail presentation, and the signature drink, Ophelia’s Ascension (with Maker's Mark and mezcal), is a crowd favorite. While the ambience will draw guests back, service can be iffy. If you can, make a reservation and arrive in time to catch the sunset.

Sofia Wine Bar

Midtown East

This family-owned art-gallery-turned-wine-bar is a neighborhood gem with wine sourced from all over the world, and the homemade recipes and handmade pizzas create an authentic Italian vibe. Now in its second generation of ownership, Sofia occupies a space full of exposed brick, chandeliers, and unique art, a nod to its past life. Global wine lovers and locals alike appreciate the vast selection of wines (by the glass or bottle) that can be paired with made-from-scratch small plates.

The Bar Downstairs

Midtown East

The bar in the basement of the Andaz 5th Avenue hotel may have a generic moniker, but it certainly has pedigree. Alchemy Consulting, a joint venture from Chicago's Violet Hour and New York's Death & Co., designed the cocktails here; look for spins on the Negroni and Manhattan in the sleek subterranean space. The food menu is similarly upscale, with small plates and a short list of mains.

Townhouse Bar

Midtown East

Distinguished mature men from the Upper East Side meet younger would-be versions of themselves at this "gentlemen's club" and piano bar. The attire is "uptown casual" if not fancier (though jackets are not required), and there are daily happy hours plus weekly special events.

Uncle Charlie's Piano Lounge

Midtown East

A fun find for LGBTQ+ travelers and allies, Uncle Charlie's is a second-floor haven for happy hours, piano singalongs, and quiet breaks on the back outdoor patio. It's a casual scene with flirty regulars and attentive bartenders pouring 'til the wee hours (from 4 pm to 4 am nightly except Sunday, when hours are 5 pm to 2 am).

Upstairs at The Kimberly

Midtown East

The 30th-floor penthouse rooftop lounge atop The Kimberly Hotel offers cocktails with a view. Sip a Midtown or your drink of choice while taking in 360-degree views of the city; you may even catch a glimpse of the Chrysler Building. A retractable glass ceiling, heated floors, and outdoor fireplace make this bar perfect for any season.