11 NYC Bars the Locals Don’t Want You to Know About

Courtesy of duckduck

It’s hard to get away from the hype in NYC. As soon as a new bar garners a little good press, it becomes ridiculously crowded and sometimes impossible to get into. But just because a bar isn’t all over the interwebs doesn’t mean it isn’t an amazing place to enjoy a good drink. So we asked 11 New Yorkers about the bar that they don’t want tourists to know about. Check out these neighborhood spots and drink like the locals do.


Lucey's Lounge in Gowanus was this place for me. The owner is a fun, fascinating eccentric who will talk your ear off with stories about the technical aspects of LA movie work (he is also the only man I know named Lucey). And Henry behind the bar puts together a serious and always changing cocktail program. They also make the only bar popcorn I’ve ever actually wanted to eat. But it looks pretty divey from the outside and because of where it's located, I could go in on some Saturdays and there would be a handful of people sipping Henry’s cocktails alongside some older regulars drinking cheap beer. It was great.” - Noah Kaufman, Supercall Managing Editor

“As weird as it sounds, my favorite New York place is a Chicago bar in Soho called Emmett’s. They serve the best pizza on earth with an amazing wine and beer menu. This is a real cool local place with a super Soho vibe. It’s timeless and not touristy. Everyone knows each other. You will share drinks with people who have been living in this part of town forever with the most amazing crazy stories that I unfortunately can’t share with you.” Vincent Marino, Loosie Rouge and Loosie’s Kitchen & Café


“I think I'd honestly have to say Jimmy's. It's small and unremarkable from the outside, but what's hiding within is one of Times Square's last remaining great bars. It's narrow, covered in boxing memorabilia and mostly frequented by those who work in the area—think stagehands and business bros who don't earn quite enough to start drinking over at one of the steak houses yet. The beers are dirt cheap—not only for the neighborhood but for the island—the staff is just the right amount of gruff and friendly, and there's a jukebox with a good selection of old standards mixed with a smattering of R&B. Please do not come here. It's already crowded enough. - Justine Sterling, Supercall Executive Editor

Black Crescent on the Lower East Side is basically my second home. To me, that’s the mark of a great bar—it’s not your workplace, it’s not your home, but it feels just as familiar.“ - Frank Cisneros, Bar Moga

Courtesy of duckduck

Duckduck! It’s been there for 10 years and it’s meant to be for the neighborhood. It remains relevant even through all the development but stays a little grungy and cool.” - Justin Harter, Citysticks

"Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen. It's the diviest of dives. There's duct tape on all of the seats and they give you a free hot dog with each drink!" - Eric Tschudi, Shuko

Courtesy of Yours Sincerely

“I don’t want people to go to Yours Sincerely because it’s my neighborhood spot and I don’t want it to be packed. The charm is the space you can have while still enjoying good cocktails. It's hard to enjoy your drink without getting bumped into these days—by the time you get back to your seat, 1/3 of your drink is gone.” - Max, Art Director

“The bars at Sixty Soho are solid—which shouldn't come as a surprise given how stylish the hotel is—but they've been mostly empty every time I've been there visiting family staying at the hotel. There's the ground floor bar (part of Sessanta) with a nice patio where you can people watch in one of the best people watching neighborhoods. There's the Gordon Bar hidden on the second floor which is gorgeous and definitely my favorite for cocktails. And then there's a rooftop bar (which I have yet to experience) which is something every hotel should have. If you're a tourist staying there or nearby, you should definitely check it out. (Same goes for the bar at the Marlton Hotel, which is kind of dark but pretty cozy, and they have amazing French fries. God I love hotel bars.)” - Nicholas Mancall-Bitel, Supercall Assistant Editor


“This bar is a diamond in the rough. A short walk from the Barclays Center—an area littered with meaningless sports bars that are indistinguishable from each other—Sweet Polly sits quietly off the corner of Flatbush and Sixth Avenue. This bar is EVERYTHING the rest of the bars in the area are not: an impressive, innovative cocktail menu, an amazing food menu whether you want a meal or just a snack, and an owner who knows your name and pours his heart and soul into the place. I’ve had a lot of favorite bars over the years, but this place has been at the top of my list since it opened a year and a half ago.” — Georgiana, Graduate Student

The Bad Old Days is the ultimate local bar. It is in the heart of Ridgewood, Queens, and is owned by millennials, for millennials. They have games, comfortable couches and it is most definitely a tourist-free zone.” - Mena Jibran, Tanteo Tequila

Hartley's is one of the best hidden gems in NYC. They keep it simple and execute with high standards in a no-frills setting with a great atmosphere.” - Jason White, Barano