260 Best Bars in New York City, New York

67 Orange Street

Harlem Fodor's choice

Named for the address of a historic Black tavern in the Five Points neighborhood, 67 Orange Street has been a Harlem staple of the craft cocktail movement for more than a decade. The cozy space is surrounded by exposed brick and wood-clad walls, with flickering candles lining the bar and a handful of tables. The Manhattan After Dark cocktail is a standout: bourbon, port, ginger liqueur, Benedictine, and Angostura bitters are combined and then poured through a cigar smoke–filled decanter. There's also a kitchen serving small bites like truffle fries, fried calamari, and chicken wings.

Bar Chord

Fodor's choice
A rotating selection of craft beers and numerous small-batch spirits, nightly live music (never a cover charge), a stellar jukebox, and an expansive year-round backyard (heated in winter) have made Bar Chord a favorite since it opened in 2013. Check out the collection of vintage guitars from the 1950s to the '70s for sale up front.

Bar Pisellino

West Village Fodor's choice

Don't be surprised if you see some snickering Italian tourists taking a selfie in front of this bar/cafe's sign on the facade. The name means "small penis" in Italian. The interior is nothing to laugh at. Imagine if, by some divine miracle, a prettied-up antique bar in Milan or Rome suddenly materialized in the West Village. That's the vibe at Pisellino. The high-ceilinged, wood-and-marble-clad space is stunning. During the day, sip espresso; in the evening, stop by for a perfectly made Aperol spritz or a Negroni.

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Park Slope Fodor's choice

Outstanding regular performers, such as the Django Reinhardt-channeling Stephane Wrembel, as well as events like the all-women Latin collective La Manga or the Slavic Soul Party, spin threads of folk and global into 21st-century music. Performances take place in the back room, while up front the somewhat musty, Parisian-like bar has a laid-back vibe and a full cocktail menu.

Beauty Bar

East Village Fodor's choice

This original location of the Beauty Bar (which has become a minichain across the United States) made a name for itself offering drinks and manicures in the made-over salon starting at 5 pm on weekdays and 3 pm on weekends. The DJ spins everything from new wave to soul, and it's open until 4 am Wednesday through Sunday.


Harlem Fodor's choice

From the sultry red interior with jewel-toned furnishings and quirky chandeliers to the Asian fusion menu, every detail within this new cocktail bar on Restaurant Row was designed by award-winning executive chef Serena Bass (the woman behind the Chelsea Hotel's once-star-studded Serena lounge). The sexy setting serves as a playful backdrop for the well-curated drink selection, including the Rosa Peligrosa made with mezcal and Thai chili, and tasty bar food, like the braised short rib fried wontons and katsu (breaded chicken) sliders. Cozy up with a date on the plush, custom-made aqua-marine couches and terracotta chairs or peep the adorable heated patio in the back.

Blue Note

Greenwich Village Fodor's choice

Considered by many (not least its current owners) to be "the jazz capital of the world," the Blue Note was once the stomping ground for such legends as Dizzy Gillespie and still hosts a variety of acts, from Chris Botti to jazz to Latin orchestras to Maceo Parker. Expect a steep cover charge except for late shows on weekends, when the music goes from less jazzy to more funky.


Park Slope Fodor's choice
Homemade bitters, syrups, and ginger beer make every carefully made cocktail here all the more tasty. Try the house favorite Smoky Mary's, with chipotle tequila, agave, and an alderwood smoked salt rim. The warm atmosphere is mid-century modern meets old Western hotel, and in summer you can sip your tiki-style drink on the back patio. An impressive menu of small dishes is served until 2 am. All breads and desserts are made in-house.

Bowery Ballroom

Lower East Side Fodor's choice

This legendary theater with art deco accents is probably the city's top midsize concert venue. Packing in the crowds here is a rite of passage for musicians (some already big; some on the cusp of stardom). Grab one of the tables on the balcony (if you can), stand (and get sandwiched) on the main floor, or retreat to the comfortable bar in the basement, which fills up after each show.

Brooklyn Inn

Boerum Hill Fodor's choice
One of Brooklyn's oldest and most unassuming bars, the Brooklyn Inn doesn't rely on gimmicks: it just serves reasonably priced beer and mainstay cocktails. The formula must work, because the place dates back to the 19th century. With high ceilings and large windows in front—there's a pool table in back—this is the quintessential neighborhood spot.
148 Hoyt St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201, USA

Brooklyn Steel

East Williamsburg Fodor's choice

You wouldn't think a premiere live music venue would be in such a secluded, industrial district, but perhaps that it's Brooklyn appeal. Formerly a steel factory, this venue from the Bowery Presents group hosts many rock and indie acts to large space that holds 1,800 guests across its main floor, balcony, and three bars.

Death & Company

East Village Fodor's choice

Inventive cocktails, decadent bar bites, and a sultry, upscale atmosphere attract those with a thirst for finely crafted drinks at not completely outrageous prices. You can order classic cocktails but this is the kind of place where you can try something new and inventive and know that the flavor profiles are spot on. All patrons are seated, so there can be a wait to get in, but the host outside will log your name and text when something opens up.

Diamond Lil

Greenpoint Fodor's choice

Locals flock to this favorite neighborhood bar with Prohibition-era speakeasy vibes, known for creative concoctions and oysters served daily. Its dimly lit, art deco aesthetic sets the mood, whether you settle into a booth or cozy up to the bar, for cocktails that change seasonally, including the rum-based, toasted marshmallow-topped Après-ski in the winter, and the popular smoked paloma in the summer. Warm months also bring the opening of the pleasant yard in the back.

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Midtown West Fodor's choice
For a night of jazz with big names and talent in a posh setting, turn to Dizzy's, an intimate club with Manhattan-skyline and Central Park views and southern-inflected cuisine (gumbo, blackened fish dishes) and cocktails. Late-night sessions are ideal for an after-dinner nightcap; some of the drinks, such as the Dizzy Gillespie, are named after jazz legends.


Fodor's choice
This cocktail bar bills itself as "an elegant space for dirty kids"—that is, just because you like nice things doesn't necessarily mean you want to dress fancy. And Donna certainly is elegant, with a white vaulted ceiling, a long curved bar, reclaimed-wood benches and tables, and beautiful people drinking fabulous cocktails like the signature frozen Brancolada (a piña colada riff with Branca Menta). Tacos and other Latin fare provide the terrific, appropriately downscale nibbles. DJs spin most weekend nights.

Dutch Kills

Long Island City Fodor's choice

The dark bartop with cozy wooden booths at Dutch Kills—a cocktail den with a nod to the neighborhood's historic roots—serves finely crafted drinks for $17 each. Try the Para Ti, made with mezcal and house-made falernum, or the Horse Before Cart, a refreshing, zingy concoction with gin and aperol. Expect precisely chiseled chunks of ice and skilled bartenders who, with a few queries into your preferences and curiosities, can create a concoction just to your taste.

Existing Conditions

Greenwich Village Fodor's choice
Science and booze merge beautifully at this experimental cocktail bar with exposed brick walls and wooden tables. The cocktail-shaking wizards here are Don Lee and Dave Arnold (from acclaimed spots PDT and Booker & Dax, respectively), who use methods like centrifuging and pressure cooking to concoct very drinkable—and fun—libations, such as a carbonated margarita with clarified strawberries and a waffle-infused bourbon drink spiked with maple syrup.


East Williamsburg Fodor's choice
The cocktail list at this small spot is full of the hits you'd expect at a bar run by the experts behind the two Weather Up spaces in Manhattan and Prospect Heights. Part of the allure, though, is that bartenders will mix a cocktail to your precise specifications. Prime time here is late night. Finding the entrance is part of the fun: look for the painted feather and the three-story-tall mural of a boxer.


Brooklyn Heights Fodor's choice
Comfy sofas, a relaxed scene, and large boccie courts have made this bar a neighborhood staple. And while the beer cheese dip is memorable, locals flock here for the solid selection of drafts and bourbons, plus weekday happy hours and other specials like the ever-popular bucket of assorted beer by the can. The same folks run Union Hall in Park Slope and the Bell House in Gowanus.

Freddy's Bar and Backroom

Fodor's choice
We could tell you this place has history—Freddy's has been in South Slope since 2011, but it occupied its previous home in Prospect Heights for almost a century (relocating when the Barclays Center took over the area)—but what you really want to know is that Freddy's is a good time. There's pretty much always something going on, whether it's live music, comedy night, or live band karaoke. There's a full menu, too.

Grand Army

Boerum Hill Fodor's choice

Housed in a former corner market, this easygoing neighborhood craft beer and cocktail bar, led by head bartender Patty Dennison, changes their cocktail roster seasonally, each with funny names to go along with the season's quirky theme. The kitchen keeps up, preparing light bites to pair with them. 

Harlem Nights

Harlem Fodor's choice

Located in historic Central Harlem, Harlem Nights is a cozy neighborhood bar set in a relaxed lounge atmosphere. With live entertainment ranging from open mike nights on Monday to comedy shows on Saturdays and weekend DJs, there’s something for everyone. At their daily happy hour, you can enjoy craft cocktails that are updated every few months. And with an extensive food menu that embodies the heart and soul of Harlem, you'll want to repeat your experience at this rustic bar again and again.

Hot Bird

Fodor's choice
A barbecue-chicken joint was the previous tenant of this laid-back bar with a large patio on an industrial stretch of Atlantic Avenue—hence the name. Stake out a picnic table for a group of friends, or just hit it up as a casual date spot. There's a small menu of tacos to go with the drinks, which is good, because once you're here, you won't want to leave.
546 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11238, USA

Hotel Delmano

Fodor's choice
It's easy to miss the unmarked entrance to this cocktail bar on Berry Street, but head to the entrance on North 9th Street and you'll feel whisked away to an old-world parlor. Despite the name, this isn't a hotel, though the owners were inspired by lobby bars. Patrons imbibe cocktails around marble-top tables or at the curved bar, where bartenders blend fresh fruit and homemade syrups into classic and original libations. Jazz and dim lighting make the place feel intimate.

Jazz Standard

Gramercy Fodor's choice

The Standard's sizable underground room draws top names in the business, and as part of Danny Meyer's southern-food restaurant Blue Smoke, it's one of the few spots where you can get dry-rubbed ribs to go with your bebop. There are welcoming Jazz for Kids concerts most Sunday afternoons.


East Village Fodor's choice

A low-key mainstay of the downtown literary scene, the second-floor KGB Bar and third-floor Red Room together keep a busy calendar of music, readings, and other events. The name and the Soviet kitsch are a nod to the spot's history as a speakeasy for leftist Ukrainians. Some events have a cover charge and/or drink minimum.

La Noxe

Chelsea Fodor's choice

Housed behind an unremarkable door in the stairwell of the subway station at the southeast corner of 7th Avenue and West 28th Street, this 600-square-foot speakeasy-like cocktail bar has enough room for 30 lucky people. The dimly lit space pops with blue and purple hues, as a DJ plays funk and electronica. The experience will quickly make you forget you're drinking a nicely made (but somewhat pricey) cocktail in a subway station.

Lillie's Victorian Establishment

Midtown West Fodor's choice
Delight awaits at this uncommonly large (for Times Square) and flamboyantly decorated bar, with nearly every square inch covered in old English art and sculpture. Don't be thrown off—the cocktails here are inventive and expertly made, as is the tasty, filling pub fare. Consider a table reservation if you're dining around pre-theater hours. Lillie's also shares its friendly brand of Victorian charm in its Union Square location.


Greenwich Village Fodor's choice

A multitime World's Best Bars honoree, this 8th Street cocktail bar is in its third home in a handful of years and hopefully it will stay put here for a while. French mixologist Nico de Soto is the man behind the bar (both figuratively and literally), crafting inspired libations using unorthodox ingredients in a sleekly designed, dimly lit atmosphere. Things like dates, black sesame, pine nuts, corn puree, and something called "Champagne acid" are all likely to find their way into your glass. And it will taste fantastic.

Maison Pickle

Upper West Side Fodor's choice

From the same father-son team who made Jacob's Pickle a neighborhood fave, this pleasant restaurant is deservedly famous for its French-dip sandwiches, melts, and other filling dishes. But its "old-school but progressive" cocktails, wine, and beer menus keep both of its separate bars busy. This is the sort of place where one visit will make you a regular.