The holiday season is upon us, which means one thing and one thing only: you need places to drink. Might as well make them the very best places that opened in NYC this year. So here it is, after extensive "research", we've arrived at the 11 best NYC bar openings of the year.
NYC's 11 best new bars of the year
This bi-level spot has a wide breadth of offerings in categories like light-spirited, dark-spirited, and classic tipples, as well as a section of "reserve cocktails" for the serious drinkers, and gargantuan vase-like punch bowls for party people. Even if you aren't drinking (which you should be, since it's one of the best new bars IN THE COUNTRY), the amazing burger and pot pie are worth the trip, and the space is straight-up gorgeous.
Amazing cocktails (the Hempen Halter is a great move), a vibe that seems to work for both a quick dinner or drinks with friends (or a night out), and some of the straight-up best bar food we’ve ever had (including the best po’ boy of the year and the beyond-on-point pastrami salmon) make this cocktail and oyster bar a must-hit. Also, the whole best new bars in America thing.
First of all, props to them for making people think about cruise ship shuffleboard at all. Second, this place is a ton of fun, with music, cabanas, tropical drinks, and of course shuffleboard. It’s one of those places you need to go to at least once, regardless of your feelings on it, and no other bar that opened this year fits that bill.
The initial part of the Ludlow hotel’s one-two punch with Dirty French, this indoor/outdoor beauty serves excellent concoctions, like the Grand Prix with Japanese whisky, coconut vermouth, ras el hanout, and aromatic bitters; and the Imperial Planter’s punch for two with Trinidad and Martinique rums, planters spices, fresh grapefruit, and lime juice.
It’s closed for the winter, but this summer, this was the place you wanted to be for an amazing cocktail, amazing views, great oysters, and an opportunity to believe, for a brief moment, that you’re the type of person who owns a yacht.
Upper East Side
A welcome addition to the ever-improving UES drinking scene, this place doles out great bites like the Gilroy Wellington (beef Wellington, foie gras, and mushrooms), along with inventive "Fancy Drinks" like the Heart of Gold (bourbon, maple, grapefruit, smoked bacon salt rim), and an entire section dedicated to different Negronis, like the Nutcracker, loaded with white corn whiskey, Antica Formula, Campari, and walnut liquor.
For when you’re not looking for a carefully constructed cocktail, or really anything more than a good time, this pretty-much-directly-under-the-BQE bar delivers what you need: good times, beer, shots, and a backyard food truck.
You know how you're always looking for a bar that’s laid back, not pretentious, and fun, but also pays attention to quality and interesting ingredients, makes a damn good cocktail, and serves shots? This is that bar.
A big, open beer bar with welcoming vibes, hearty fare, and a fully functional brewery working up the goods while you drink -- it’s a bit out of the way, but that just adds to its beer hall-y charm.
Go for the amazing cocktails, or go for the great beer selection, or go to play foosball at an underground bar -- just make sure you go, because it’s awesome.
It should be a law that at least one world-class beer bar needs to open in the city every year, and this spot fits the bill for 2014. It's got a custom, temperature-controlled tap system that flows with a ton of excellent beers, like Olvisholt Lava, Transmitter SY1, and RushingDuck War Elephant. Also, if for some reason you're here and don’t want awesome beer, they’ve got a pretty interesting cocktail list and whiskey selection.
1. The NoMad1170 Broadway, New York
2. Black Crescent76 Clinton St, New York
3. The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club514 Union Street, Gowanus
4. Ludlow Hotel Lobby Bar180 Ludlow St, New York
5. Grand BanksPier 25, New York
6. The Gilroy1561 2nd Ave, New York
7. Rocka Rolla486 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
8. Boilermaker13 1st Ave, New York
9. Dirck the Norseman7 N 15th St, Brooklyn
10. Sweetwater Social643 Broadway, New York
11. Fool's Gold145 E Houston St, New York
Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.
Black Crescent is a sultry, LES raw/cocktail bar that's doling out delicious oysters from both coasts, and inventive 'tails on the reg.
A massive hall of Florida kitsch (Cabanas! Drink umbrellas!) mixed with industrial not-kitsch (Concrete!), RPSC is officially NYC's first and only bar outfitted with 10 bonafide sunken shuffleboard lanes.
This LES bar has a chilled-out, comfortable, a-little-too-glamourous-to-be-rustic vibe, and top-notch inventive cocktails like the Grand Prix with Japanese whisky, coconut vermouth, ras el hanout (a North African spice mix) & bitters, and the Muddy Water with cumin rye, Irish whiskey, cinnamon, bitters & absinthe.
This seasonal oyster bar perched atop a historic fishing boat at Pier 25 serves an incredible selection of soft-shell crabs, lobster rolls, and of course, lots of oysters. It's best to make a reservation for dining, but you can easily snag a seat at one of the two on-deck bars if you're there for drinks. Refreshing nautical cocktails, wine, Champagne, and craft beer round out the drink menu. Grand Banks is open from May to October.
This Prohibition-era themed speakeasy in the Upper East Side doles out refined bar bites, such as cheese platters, flatbreads, small plates, and sweets, alongside sophisticated libations. The Gilroy's drink menu is divided between "Negronis" -- creative interpretations of the gin-based favorite -- and handmade, carefully-crafted "Fancy Drinks."
From the team behind Williamsburg favorites Lucky Dog and Skinny Dennis, this spot (which's basically underneath the BQE) is a throwback rock bar with cheap beer, a great jukebox, and shuffleboard.
On the cusp of the East Village and Lower East Side, Boilermaker takes its namesake drink very seriously with multiple variations of the beer and shot combo. The drink menu also includes a rotating selection of draft beer, most of which are regional craft brews. Aside from offerings like burgers and wings, the bar's food appeal is its midnight breakfast: from midnight to close, the kitchen whips up pancake stacks in flavors like red velvet and apple pie, as well as egg sandwiches with bacon or house-made sausage.
This spacious Brooklyn haunt features an industrial-looking interior and serves the likes of brisket, pig knuckles, and other tasty options, as well as excellent beers.
Sweetwater Social is a Greenwich Village hotspot from an all-star team (Justin Noel of 1534 and Tim Cooper, Shaun Rose, and Udi Vaknin from GoldBar). It's got delectable cocktails inspired by subway stations, a sexy vault-like vibe, and superb game options (foosball, anyone?).
There’s nothing like a quintessentially New York dive (exposed brick, repurposed bourbon barrels for standing tables, Christmas lights year-round) that also doubles as high quality gastropub. Regulars rave over bar bites like the Sriracha peas, truffle popcorn, and gourmet tacos (pro tip: get the duck confit). The masses flock here on the weekends and Taco Tuesdays, but with a killer oyster happy hour -- 6 daily selections on the half-shell with any drink for a mere $12 -- Fool’s Gold makes for a good time any night of the week.