Where to Grab a Drink in NYC Right Now
Let the good times roll at the hottest new bars for craft cocktails, beer, wine, and everything in between.
After a long two years of mandates during the pandemic, NYC nightlife is currently in the best shape it’s been in a while, thanks to the end of decrees like mask requirements and proof of vaccination to enter (fyi, rules and regulations differ by each establishment so be sure to double check). That means for any New Yorkers who have long been itching to let loose with a semblance of B.C., the time has finally arrived.
And while this city has no shortage of drinking establishments to choose from (Irish pubs, singles bars, rooftop bars, dive bars, galore!), one of the best places to celebrate this new found freedom is at the hottest crop of recently-opened bars in town. From the West Village to Williamsburg and every place in between, here are the 30 best new bars to grab a drink at in NYC right now.
Mix one part all-star team (behind the industry hits Ray’s, The Jane Hotel Ballroom), one part celebrity investors (Pete Davidson included), with one part legendary location (the famed Hurley’s that operated for more than a century)—and you’ve got a new hot spot where all of the cool kids are flocking to: Pebble Bar. This recent debut located inside a historic townhouse at Rockefeller Center offers three floors of separate spaces, with the third being a 35-seat eatery and oyster bar. Along with classic cocktails, beers from New York breweries, wine, and signature drinks like the Hurley’s Old Fashioned (bourbon, demerara, lemon & orange oil), enjoy seafood-focused food from executive chef Carlos Barrera (The Lobster Club).
In addition to craft cocktails, natural wine, beers, and ciders, this recently opened bar and low-key music venue in Greenpoint celebrates the sense of sound—and is specially designed to provide guests with a dope audible experience via elements like custom-built speakers and acoustic treatments on the walls. Eavesdrop features two main minimalist spaces that cover 1,000-square-feet separated into a front area with a 36-seat bar and a back “listening room” with a DJ booth. While sipping on signature cocktails like the Finale (gin, lavender, cherry, herbal liqueur, citrus) from beverage director Max Dowaliby’s menu, visitors can expect weekday programming from artists and tastemakers, and sets ranging from deep house to jazz on weekend nights. Bar bites included Miso & Pepper Carrots, Sesame Slaw, Meatballs made with chicken & chili, and more.
The Sunken Harbor Club
For those nights where you desperately need to escape reality for the magical world of the ocean floor, head to Sunken Harbor Club. Opened last fall by the same team behind Gage & Tollner (and also sharing an entrance), this nautical-themed bar is located above the restaurant and transports guests to the hull of a ship in an enchanting, intimate, and window-less space. Along with a curation of fun design elements and a faux seabed view behind the bar with a mystical sea creature, order tropical drinks like the Angostura Colada (Jamaican rums, pineapple, coconut, and nutmeg) and White Zombie (white spirits, grapefruit, lime, coconut). Bar bites include Braised & Glazed Pork Spare Ribs, Pho, Miso Butterscotch Pudding, and more.
It’s true that NYC has no shortage of places to kick back with a drink and elevated views (stellar rooftop bars, anyone?), but this spot in a Financial District skyscraper soars in its own stratosphere. Owned and operated by chef James Kent and industry veteran Jeff Katz, Overstory is the loftiest of their 70 Pine Street portfolio—with Crown Shy on the ground floor, and SAGA on the 63rd—and in addition to superb cocktails designed by bar director Harrison Ginsberg (The Dead Rabbit, Blacktail) like the Gyokuro Martini (vodka, Gyokuro Green Tea, vermouth), expect to be wowed on its 64th-floor wraparound terrace that offers a 360-degree panorama of the city and beyond.
Easily accessible by car, subway, or a scenic Midtown sky tram, Roosevelt Island is a community on a sliver of land in the East River—and it’s also home to the gorgeous Panorama Room. Located atop the 18-story Graduate Roosevelt Island hotel, this cocktail lounge from native New Yorkers Marc Rose and Med Abrous of the hospitality group Call Mom opened last summer and has it all: great drinks, a fun vibe, exquisite design, and stunning views impossible anywhere else in NYC (yes, that’s the Queensborough Bridge up close!). With plenty of room to dance during nights with DJ sets, beverage director Estelle Bossy’s drink list includes standouts like the High Tide (vodka, aquavit, grapefruit).
Spots within the Golden Age Hospitality group (Acme, Le Crocodile, Bar Blondeau) from industry veteran Jon Neidich all offer a touch of glamour. But with its deep red color scheme and rich ambiance, The Nines brings it up a notch thanks to live music covering funk and jazz to soul and classic rock. At this recently opened piano bar and supper club in NoHo inspired by old-school European hotel lobby bars, custom cocktails from beverage director Ashley Santoro (owner of Leisir Wine, Standard Hotels International) are served in fancy glassware and include classics along with options like the self-titled The Nines (tequila, mezcal, passion fruit, and yuzu). Pair everything with a decadent menu from executive chef Nicole Gajadhar (The Loyal, Nix, Saxon & Parole) with caviar dishes and more.
The PUBLIC Hotel, known for its signature neon-orange escalators and as a Lower East Side hotspot from nightlife legend Ian Schrager, debuted this lobby floor spot influenced by 1920s Hollywood glamour and classic NYC cocktail bar last fall. Bar Chrystie’s cocktail menu is crafted by Robert Krueger (Employees Only, Extra Fancy) and focuses on barrel-aged spirits including the popular Carmina Granada (tequila, pomegranate, cardamom, vanilla). Cocktails for two include options titled Black Tie Optional and a special champagne and sparkling wine selection curated by Amy Racine includes 15 varieties. With a lush design aesthetic, crystal candelabras, eye-level chandelier, and elaborate glassware, here, opulence is celebrated in many forms.
Long before the debut of Hana Makegeolli’s Greenpoint tasting room located inside their Brooklyn production facility last summer, this artisanal Korean rice wine company founded in 2017 by Alice Jun and John Limb already had their products available in restaurants and stores across the country. But now, admirers of the brand—and Korean fermented brews in general—have a dedicated homebase to try a variety of products before purchasing a bottle (or two) to enjoy elsewhere. Whether by the glass, in carafes, or also via a tasting flight, choose from items like the signature 28-day fermented Takju 16, 70-day fermented Yakju 14, or the Solip Makgeolli. Two different cocktail selections are also served, and pair it all with Korean shared plates like Pa Jeon with scallion and garlic chives; Dubu Kimchi with locally sourced tofu; and Galbi Jim.
This gastropub in the East Village from industry veterans Dermont Lynch (Sel Rrose) and Jarek Krukow (Broadstone) Dermont Lynch opened last fall and is located in the former space of Professor Thom’s. Little Rebel is spacious and spread out across two floors. Choose from signature cocktails like the James Dean (rye, vermouth, tobacco tincture) and Rebel Margarita with an array of food including Everything Bagel Wings, Short Rib Croquettes, burgers, and Hanger Steak.
All Night Skate
This roller-skating rink themed bar doesn’t offer actual skating—however, it does have every other essential element needed for a nostalgic night out: a cool space, retro concept, and plenty of concessions. Opened by Olivia Hu (Sunrise/Sunset) and husbands Danny Waits (Brooklyn Bowl, Baby’s Alright) and Mitch McCann, head to All Night Skate for a fun time at the rink sans all that tedious physical exertion. Signature drinks include the Prom Night (mezcal, pomegranate, orange) and Green Light Go (mastiha, rosemary-infused gin, cucumber), and for sustenance, order up street-style tacos and more made by Mr Taco NYC.
As the latest sister spot to The Garret Bars, this bar from Den Hospitality is located at the former Daddy-O corner space and takes inspiration from old-school diners and dive bars. Opened last summer with an interior design concept based on ‘70s NYC and a cocktail program by beverage director Max Stampa-Brown, at Bandits, signature drinks include the Bobby Wasabi (pineapple, wasabi orgeat, shiso) and Bradshaw on Bedford (rose petal, rhubarb, sun dried tomato). The all-day food menu features a range of dishes with options like the Baked Clams, Jersey Ripper Hot Dog, Steak Au Poivre, and a dedicated tots section that include Halal Cart Tots and the Bandits Disco Tots with gravy and maple bacon.
The Bar at Veranda
Last April, the debut of Veranda marked chef George Mendes’ return to the NYC culinary scene after closing his celebrated Iberian-inspired restaurant, Aldea, in 2020. In partnership with restaurateur David Rabin, this eatery is located on the second floor of ModernHaus Soho (formerly The James), and in addition, includes The Bar at Veranda, an intimate cocktail destination with drinks spearheaded by Johnny Swet (The Skylark, Rogue and Cannon). With views overlooking Grand Street, order snacks from chef Mendes like Julienne French Fries or Crispy Salt Cod Croquettes with signature drinks like the Wanderlust (mezcal, thai basil, coconut, absinthe) or Black Walnut Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, select aperitivo, black walnut bitters).
Bar Goto Niban
Opened just before the pandemic took hold, this Brooklyn offshoot is the follow-up project to renowned drinks expert Kenta Goto’s award-winning Lower East Side bar, Bar Goto, which opened in 2015. In addition to also offering high-quality, Japanese-inspired cocktails and bar snacks like the original, Bar Goto Niban features a larger space with 45 seats available at its L-shaped bar, counter seating, or banquettes. Order up stalwarts like the Sakura Martini (sake, gin, cherry liqueur, cherry blossom) and Mr. Flores (tequila, French herbal liqueur, shiso). Food items include the popular Miso Wings, Kombu Celery, and a variety of Japanese croquettes served alongside a house dipping sauce.
With the recent debut of Bar Blondeau, the team behind the much-lauded Williamsburg brasserie, Le Crocodile, have opened their second must-try culinary destination within the Wythe Hotel. Located on the sixth floor (with killer skyline views), chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber have again teamed up with restaurateur Jon Neidich for this French-inspired bar with the cocktail program lead by bar manager Sörine Anderson (Nitecap, Death & Co). Sip on a signature drink based on a classic with its own spin like the Martini Blond (Amalfi Coast gin, cucumber botanical vodka, amber vermouth, lemon oil) along with frozen drinks, zero proof cocktails, beers, and a natural wine list curated by beverage director and sommelier, Rafa García Febles. When it comes to sustenance, expect all of your French favorites like leeks with miso and pine nuts; mussel toast; and salmon rillettes with creme fraiche.
Barn Joo Nomad
This Korean gastropub known for shareable plates, good drinks, and a large vibrant moon gracing each of their dining rooms opened their third Manhattan branch last spring. It’s thankfully located on a stretch of 6th Avenue that’s in dire need of a good watering hole, making Barn Joo NoMad a neighborhood oasis. Go for signature cocktails like the Berritas Margarita (tequila, seasonal berry syrup, pomegranate vinegar) or Korean-inspired options like the Jeju Spritz (bokbunja, campari, sparkling wine) and Toasted Sesame Manhattan (sesame washed bourbon, drambuie, whiskey bitters). A culinary speciality specific to this locale are the open rolls with seafood and more, and save room for the Seafood Krispy Paella or the popular Pasta Nomad Noir (black ink squid tagliatelle, crab, shrimp, mussels, five-cheese sauce).
Inspired by free-thinkers and wanderers of all kinds, co-owner Tarek Debira opened this hip spot near the Brooklyn Heights waterfront right before the onset of the pandemic. In addition to beer and natural wines, at Bohemien Bar, signature cocktails include the Yesterday (gin, Salers, yuzu), Butterfly (vodka, ginger, butterfly pea flower), and One Love (rum, passion fruit, coconut, turmeric). An eclectic food menu includes Beet Dip with labneh and walnuts; Duck Flatbread with leeks; Fried Chicken Tacos; and Lamb Chops with mint yogurt.
Dante West Village
With a focus on spritzes and martinis, Dante West Village is from the same team behind the beloved negroni spot and Greenwich Village bar, Dante, and located further west on Hudson Street. As the younger sibling to the MacDougal Street stalwart (that has origins dating back more than a century), the food here has a nod to coastal traditions of Southern Italy and Northern Spain. Expertly concocted drinks are listed on the menu in categories such as Martini Hour, Spritz Selections, Dante Signatures like the Fireside Old Fashioned, and a Cosmopolitan Collection featuring eight selections like a coconut cosmo or the Cosmotini. Pair everything with a seafood-focused menu with dishes straight from a wood-fired grill and charcoal oven. Happy hour is on weekdays from 3 pm-5 pm with martinis for $10.
Double Chicken Please
After years of shaking up cocktails all over the country in a vintage yellow 1977 Volkswagen minivan (and racking over 10,000 miles and serving 1,200 drinks), globally recognized bartenders Faye Chen and GN Chan permanently parked their pop-up in the Lower East Side to open Double Chicken Please. Expect to be impressed by high-caliber drinks and food with nine “taptails” (that’s cocktails on tap for ya) like the succinctly named #1 (rum, montenegro, cold brew, apricot), three popular chicken sandwiches, and additional bar bites in the more casual front section. In the back bar’s menu, order inventive signature cocktails like the Waldorf Salad (scotch, apple, celery, walnut bitters) or Cold Pizza (tequila, parmigiano reggiano, burnt toast, tomato), in addition to a dinner menu with oysters and Cornish Hen Roulade, in addition to a special late night food menu.
Evil Twin Brewing NYC
After launching in Denmark in 2010, owner Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø moved to NYC with his wife Maria and briefly landed at Greenpoint’s Tørst, which was known for pairing Evil Twin brews with food, before he opened a standalone outpost of the beer brand in 2016. Since then, it’s become known for its multitude of craft beers that range from imperial stouts like the Stroopwafel, to sour ales like the Dumb Fruit 14 made with blueberry, cherry, and Jolly Ranchers. In addition to their Ridgewood homebase open seven days a week and that features 20 taps, frozen cocktails, and more along with outdoor courtyard seating, be sure to visit their Dumbo taproom.
Fats Duvall's Rhum Cafe
Open since last spring, Latin-Caribbean rum cocktails and food offerings are the focus at Fats Duvall’s Rhum Cafe, a SoHo drink destination and restaurant from the team behind spots like The Brooklyn Inn, The Magician, and WCOU (Tile Bar). In a tropical-themed dining room adorned with murals and table figurines that’ll inspire your next beach vacation, vibe out with a wide selection of rum and global beers, alongside head bartender Linda Garcia’s (Clover Club, Le Boudoir) signature cocktails like the Do IOt for the Graham (rum, cinnamon, caramelized apple, graham cracker), and the Pink Flamingo (rum, watermelon, grapefruit and guava juice) that’s served in an actual pink flamingo glass. Snack on Empanadas, Chimichurri Steak Frites, and the signature Duvall’s Burger before finishing it off with the Piña Colada Fried Ice Cream.
After launching the spirits brand Lambda Vodka together, the next joint venture for business partners and married couple, Charles Hughes and Richard Solomon, was opening Harlem’s only African-American owned lounge catering to LGBTQIA customers. Since opening in the summer of 2020, its lounge concept has been a welcome addition to the NYC scene for both the LGBTQIA community, and those looking to hang out in a place that’s more than just a bar. Video game consoles, photo booths, and Jumbo Jenga will keep you entertained, in addition to signature cocktails like the For the Love of Lambda (Lambda Vodka, pomegranate, elderflower tonic) and Stay A While (whiskey, apricot brandy, prosecco). There’s also a two-for-one happy hour from Tuesdays to Fridays at 6 pm-8 pm.
In a city with more drinking establishments than we can count, this watering hole located on a Greenpoint corner stands out with its laid-back, no-frills kinda vibe. Opened in the fall of 2020 by owners Cassie Barnard, Ollie Cleary, and Greg Nearhood (Cleary and Nearhood also own Honore Club in Bushwick), Minnows offers a concise cocktail list along like the Frozen Grasshopper (the frostier version of a New Orleans classic) or the signature Pond Water (a sweet mystery drink with a rotating recipe), in addition to a food menu with sandwiches, tacos, and a dedicated menu section named Fries & Allies with all items like Frito Pie.
This East Village cocktail bar from Will Wyatt (Pretty Ricky’s, The NoMad Hotel) and Alex Thaboua (The Standard, The NoMad Hotel) has long become a popular go-to spot in the area since opening in 2019. While going into hibernation mode more than once throughout the pandemic, the duo also started offering burritos to their customers at Mister Paradise. The silver lining to come of it was the inception of Electric Burrito, the duo’s fast casual Cali-Mexican eatery on nearby St. Marks with exceptional California-style burritos stuffed with fries. In addition to cocktails like the Party Lobster (tequila/mezcal, campari, watermelon, habanero), Mister Paradise offers its own food items (sorry, no burritos though) like Crab Toast and the popular Paradise Double Burger.
This destination bar located on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood resembles a giant backyard which has long made it a popular spot for dance parties. Nowadays’ is especially known for their popular Mister Sunday parties series that just launched new hours and runs from 5 pm-11 pm (with free entry in the first hour with RSVP). For drinks, choose from beer, hard liquor, natural wines, and signature cocktails. Their kitchen is open every Wednesday to Sunday with options like Tonkatsu Ramen, the Wagyu Burger, and Hokkaido-Style Fried Chicken Zangi Sandwich.
This sister bar to ROKC opened in late 2019 and was hitting its stride until the pandemic eventually hit. Now, this Upper East Side spot from owner and bar director Shige Kabashima is open and operating in all its full glory with drink and food offerings inspired by the cuisine of 19th century Japanese port towns. Similar to its sibling cocktail destination, NR offers expertly crafted drinks served within ornate presentations (but those arriving in a simple nick and nora glass are just as good, too). Recent add-ons include a milk washed dessert selections like the Banana + Cacao (banana, bourbon, miso, cinnamon, chocolate bitters) and Apple Pie (fig-infused brandy, gin, apple cider, house apple syrup). For food, choose from bites like a Truffle Egg Sandwich or Karaage Fried Chicken, four ramens varieties, and more. A daily happy hour runs until 6 pm and includes $1.50 oysters.
This spot from the team behind the groundbreaking Japanese bar and speakeasy, Angel’s Share, and Yoshida Restaurant Group opened in December of 2019, just a few months shy of the start of the pandemic. Located at Japan Village in Industry City, Oldies offers a more casual vibe than its pioneering predecessor with a Japanese-inspired drink list highlighting freshly-squeezed fruits, highball variations, and more. In addition to wine, beer, sake, and Japanese spirits, choose from classics like a Manhattan or SideCar in addition to signature drinks like the Day Dream, a dessert cocktail inspired by Japanese candied sweet potato. A menu of bar snacks includes oysters, Chicken Karaage, Corn Tempura, and more.
With an old-school hi-fi theme featuring cool and hard-to-find records, Public Records is another hip Brooklyn social space with multi-faceted offerings to its visitors: it’s a restaurant, cafe, retail store, and dancing spot that serves a plant-based menu of food and drinks. Get un-parched with natural wines highlighting wineries from around the world, along with special on-tap cocktails like the Mr Monk (cachaca, green chartreuse, falernum, pineapple shrub), and signature drinks like the Hey Bro, Colonialism Is Dead (gin, fruit liqueur, cinnamon syrup). The vegan dinner menu includes Cashew Burrata, Pear & Almond Ricotta Toast, and Oyster Mushroom Tinga Tacos. Be sure to check their website for upcoming events that include dancing and more.
Temperance Wine Bar
When you’re tired of drinking subpar boxed wine at home, head to Temperance Wine Bar in the West Village for some highly-curated options in a 1960s-era dining room designed by the same team who formerly did De Maria. Here, owners Jonathan Rexroat and Devin Rochford offer a list of over a hundred wines by the glass created by sommelier A.J. Ojeda-Pons (The Lambs Club, Mercado Little Spain). Whether you’re looking to sip on grapes grown in the Hudson River Valley or from countries like Morocco, choose from natural wines, year-round rosés, lesser known varietals, and more while pairing them with dishes like house-cured Sardines & Butter, Duck Meatballs, and Goat 'Pot-au-Feu' with saffron rice.
At this BK bar that opened last summer, the name and the MO here are meant to encourage patrons to “steal back” all of that precious time lost drinking at bars during the pandemic—and all within a contemporary space inspired by ‘80s NYC (complete with original punk and hip hop party flyers and polaroids of the artist Basquiat). Owned by John McNulty (Swine, Katana Kitten), Thief is a culmination of his over 25 years of industry experience with a beverage program lead by head bartender Victor Everitt. Expect signature cocktails like a Friesling (yep, that’s frozen riesling), in addition to six other offerings like the Golden Apple (jalapeño tequila, apple, saffron, lime) and Car Thief (rye whiskey, caraway, licorice, ginger). Beer and wine are also on hand, along with food like Vegan Mini Corn Dogs, Chicken Parm Sliders, and empanadas from Love, Nelly.
Located in a former gambling den and speakeasy from the 1920s, this underground bar is beneath the bakery Patisserie Chanson. With its drink program led by beverage director Jeremy Le Blanche (Queensyard), at Thyme Bar, he offers elegant drinks and food inspired by botanicals and each served artfully with a touch of wonder. For lovers of elaborate cocktails that arrive in eye-catching vehicles, this place is your jam. Order signature drinks like the Trumpet of Death (marjoram-infused vodka dill weed cordial, amaro, carrot juice) and The Queen of the Night (cognac, Thyme Bar coffee liqueur, Guinness reduction). A pre-fixe menu with food pairings is also available, in addition to a la carte dishes like Wurst Brioche, Truffle Grilled Cheese, and desserts like Strawberry Champagne cake.