Food & Drink

10 Reasons to Drink in Nolita

There are more bars in the few blocks North of Little Italy than there are colossal, plastic, frozen lemonade cocktail cups at the Feast of San Gennaro. But since those are only available 11 days a year, here are the 10 best BYO-fried-Oreo bars in Nolita and Little Italy.

Best beer bar: Randolph Beer

343 Broome St
Two doors down from The Randolph at Broome, this beer-focused spin off has an impressive collection of 60+ craft and rare brews, plus style-specific temperature control and glassware to guarantee you drink it all correctly. A portion of every housemade-aioli-smothered burger is donated to the NYC Coalition Against Hunger, so contribute to your mouth in a meaningful way. And, society!

Best cocktail bar: Mother's Ruin

18 Spring St
You can definitely find swankier drinks in this city, but come here to sip judgement-free on clean and tasty cocktails with absurd names like the Oversized Tool or the Free Hamster while also working on some Old Bay-seasoned waffle fries. If you can grab 'em, the best seats in the house are the benches by the big front windows. 

Best local bar with free hot dogs: Spring Lounge

48 Spring St
Come by for free hot dogs Wednesdays at 5pm, the forever-rotating drafts, an impressive amount of cans and bottles, or just cheap PBR if you're feeling casual/broke. The crowd is equal parts youngins on the prowl and old-timey barflies who have probably been hanging there since the bar opened in the 1920s. Feel free to hit on whichever you want. 

Best lounge: Vig Bar

12 Spring St
Picture a dance club with less Tiësto and a lot more Nelly, where people don't try quiiite so hard as Nelly did at one point. 

Best bar lined with gold skulls: GoldBar

389 Broome St
Everything in this luxuriously gilt-laden catacomb looks like it was touched by some kind of bougie King Midas with a penchant for models and bottle service. Don’t trip over the velvet rope at the door.

Best dive bar: Botanica

47 E Houston St
It’s been the Thrillist afterwork HQ off and on for about nine years due to its absurdly cheap happy hour, so count on a crowd of incredibly attractive media professionals who really like bargain Dark 'n Stormys. The decent-sized back room is pretty good for groups, if not for cell phone service.

Best bar for indoor/outdoor partying: Sweet & Vicious

5 Spring St
The graffitied back patio is perfect for sipping on Mason jar margs (aka Jargaritas) in the summertime, but the stupidly long 2-7pm happy hour and stellar DJ have this place hopping at all times of the year.

Best for dates: The Daily

210 Elizabeth St
Between the sexy lighting, excellent appetizers like truffle baba ganoush, and the, well, daily cocktails, hopefully your moves are as smooth as the vibe.

Best happy hour: Tom & Jerry's

288 Elizabeth St
The $5 beer happy hour and free snack mix make this another classic afterwork bar. The bowls you see all over the damn place are actually punch bowls meant for the eggnog-esque Tom and Jerry drinks and were donated by a Wisconsin dude named Joe Wilfer. Obviously. The bar only whips up a batch of the eponymous good stuff once a year around the holidays.

Best for picking someone up: Brinkley's Broome St

406 Broome St
If you’re here and not trying to go home with a beautiful and affluent prep-school type, a beautiful and affluent prep-school type will be trying to go home with you.

Carrie Dennis is an Associate Editor for Thrillist and likes to hit all these spots in one night. Follow her on Twitter @CarrrieDennnis.