Read on for the best of the best watering holes.
This craft cocktail bar has a low key and romantic vibe. The drink menu is extensive and features a rotating list of seasonal ingredients – I highly suggest the Green Giant, featuring gin and muddled sugar snap peas, in the spring. There is also a live jazz band several nights a week.
Before reaching Union Square’s north side, veer off onto East 18th St. for a beer in a true New York classic. You’re just as likely to sit next to old sailors as you are sports fans and young hipsters. The bar has been around since prohibition when it operated as a speakeasy, and their famous burgers are delivered to the bar from the upstairs kitchen via New York’s oldest operational dumbwaiter.
If you’re feeling fancy, nothing beats the old world New York atmosphere of Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. The dimly lit bar features original drawings on the walls and lampshades by Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the children’s book character Madeline and resident of the hotel. Arrive in the early evening to snag a seat at the bar and sip a martini while listening to piano jazz.
I’m lucky enough to have this dusty old standby right on my corner. The wood bar itself is from the 1870s, and the drinks are simple and cheap. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a beer or a whisky on a chilly night.
Photo credit from top to bottom: ontherealny.com(featured image), villagevoice.com, germantracesnyc.org, ediblemanhattan.com, ontherealny.com