Food & Drink

The 16 OTHER best whiskey bars in NYC

Published On 02/23/2014 Published On 02/23/2014
Andrew Zimmer

We recently published our editor's picks for the best whiskey bars in NYC, but we heard from plenty of people that NYC's whiskey power couldn't be contained by just 10 spots, so we talked to famed barman and whiskey enthusiast Naren Young of Fork and Shaker, Empellon, and Empellon Cocina (who also had some strong opinions on what we missed), to help us navigate the deep, whiskey-filled waters of NYC, and right the ship.

On the Rocks (click here for address and deets)
Hell's Kitchen
This far-West outpost for whiskey consumption has an extensive list for serious drinkers out there that're looking to knock back a couple of fine glasses in like-mannered, non-picklebacking company.


Vintry Wine & Whiskey (click here for address and deets)
Financial District
This Stone Street den combines its love of wine with its love of whiskey, and the result is an excellent mix, atmospherically speaking (don't actually mix them).

Rye House

Rye House (click here for address and deets)
Union Square
Along with some really tasty eats, they helpfully break down their broad menu into categories like "Dry, Resinous, and Spicy", "Tobacco, Leather, and Chocolate", or "Old & Complex"... all of which describe your sex life. Zing!

Post Office

Post Office (click here for address and deets)
Not only is their whiskey list top-notch, but they've also got killer whiskey cocktails, like the Little Devil with rye, Peychaud's Bitters, Combier, and Dolin Blanc, plus a dope sandwich list including pulled pork and some excellent grilled cheese.

Idle Hands (click here for address and deets)
Alphabet City
As with DBA on our last list, you could very easily get distracted by their badass beer selection, but these guys are dominating the bourbon scene with one of the best lists in the city.

Dead Rabbit

Dead Rabbit (click here for address and deets)
Financial District
It's got the biggest collection of Irish whiskey in the city, and it's also, ugh, one of the finest cocktail bars in the whole world.


Caledonia (click here for address and deets)
Upper East Side
This Scottish pub only serves whisky (with no "e"), with options from all the usual Scottish regions (Highlands, Lowlands, Islay, Islands, Speyside, Bayside, Valley, Screech, Kelly Kapowski).

Brandy Library

Brandy Library (click here for address and deets)
Their selection is near-endless, and they pride themselves on having special and rare numbers on hand, which you may need one of their "spirits sommeliers" to help guide you to. Oh right, they have spirits sommeliers.

Flickr/Sam Howzit

B Flat (click here for address and deets)
Another semi-speakeasy (actually from some of Angel's Share's original bartenders), this subterranean spot has live jazz and a dope ice program to go along with next-level whiskey options, and apparently, black cocktail napkins.

The Whiskey BK

Whiskey Town (click here for address and deets), Whiskey Tavern (click here for address and deets), The Whiskey BK & The Whiskey Annex (click here for address and deets)
Chinatown, East Village, and Williamsburg
One of the original progenitors of the pickleback, this family of bars may be a place to get weird, but they've also got a deep selection of whiskeys, and they even make their own whiskey -- a "family-made" brown dubbed the Tom Lawless.

Angel's Share

Angel's Share (click here for address and deets)
East Village
This hidden, speakeasy-style cocktail bar goes to infinity (and beyond!) when it comes to their brown spirits list.

The NoMad

The NoMad (click here for address and deets)
You might not think of this guy as a go-to for whiskey, but this actually excellent hotel bar has a just-as-excellent list of whiskeys to back them up.

Fraunces Tavern Whiskey Society/ Facebook

Fraunces Tavern (click here for address and deets)
Financial District
Part of the "American Whiskey Trail" (which is something you need to go on ASAP), this historic tavern has a bar-within-a-bar called Dingle Whiskey Bar, named for a town in County Kerry, Ireland, and boasts "some of the finest whiskeys and whiskies" around.

AND for your convenience, we've mapped out all the whiskey bars (including our first picks!), below:

View NYC Whiskey Bars in a larger map

Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist's NYC Editor, and appreciates that sometimes a Top 10 list just isn't enough, especially when it comes to whiskey bars, or reasons to drink whiskey, or um… favorite Miley Cyrus songs songs about whiskey. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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1. Vintry Wine and Whiskey 57 Stone St, New York, NY 10004 (Financial District)

From the team behind Adrienne's, Ulysses, and pretty much everything else on Stone St, VWW's a brown booze and vino temple that feels like the inside of a swanky tree thanks to a 23ft bar made of rare African "flaming bubinga" redwood.

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2. Post Office 188 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

This will be, by far, the most fun you'll every have at the Post Office. There are no letters or stamps, but there is a long list of tasty craft cocktails and a food menu featuring sammies, soups, and snacks.

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3. On the Rocks 696 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (Hells Kitchen)

This fun and intimate drinkery boasts one of the most extensive whiskey collections around.

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4. Fraunces Tavern 54 Pearl St, New York, NY 10004 (Financial District)

This Pearl St boozery/resto has something for everyone, whether you're looking for a solid adult beverage (their whiskey list is extensive and impressive) or a delicious meal (with everything from burgers to pot pie to penne).

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5. Rye House 11 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011 (Flatiron)

From Executive Chef Greg Johnson, Rye House has a long list of 'tails, an even longer list of spirits, and a food menu chock-full of tasty options like perogies, Truffle Grilled Cheese, and fish tacos.

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6. Idle Hands 25 Ave B, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Set up by a trio of music/entertainment vets in the subterranean hole that used to house the Warhol hang Save The Robots, Idle plays the part: concrete floors, black leather banquette-lined walls, and a stool/bench-strewn stage area.

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7. Caledonia Bar 1609 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028 (Upper East Side)

This low-key Upper East Side pub is unique for making old man Scotch a hit among the twenty-something generation. The Scottish owner makes his extensive spirit menu manageable by separating the bottles by their geographic origin (most are from the Highlands, Islay, and Speyside) and adding tasting notes. For those looking for something with a lower alcohol content, a few Scottish beers finish out the menu. The dark and glossy bar is the centerpiece of the tiny space, and there’s a small food menu with shareable appetizers like Scotch eggs and pork sausage rolls.

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8. Angel’s Share 8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

A Japanese speakeasy lives next to the unassuming, second-floor restaurant Village Yokocho: walk up the stairs, turn left and through an unmarked door you'll find a small but comfortable room with a dark wood bar, regal wallpaper, and a large mural depicting the namesake angelic cherubs. Long lines betray Angel's Share's secret since the place has been catering to cocktail enthusiasts for decades, so arrive early -- and with a small group. The formally dressed bartenders craft impeccable, Japanese-tinged takes on classic American cocktails that make it worth the wait.

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9. B Flat 277 Church St, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

This sultry Tribeca jazz lounge has got some of the best whiskey pairings imaginable.

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10. The NoMad 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 (Nomad)

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.

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11. Brandy Library 25 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

With ongoing “school spirit seminars,” the Brandy Library not only teaches you about craftsmanship in the liquor-making process, they will also pour you some mighty fine stiff drinks. With over 100 different cocktails on their menu and over 900 bottles in their liquor library, if you can't find something you like here, there's just no hope.

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12. The Dead Rabbit 30 Water St, New York, NY 10004 (Financial District)

The Dead Rabbit is a cocktail sanctum, taproom, small-plates resto, and "grocery." This Irish-American-inspired duplex in the Financial District -- boasting vintage saloon-like vibes and decor -- will make you feel as if you've traveled back in time. The taproom, which is located on the ground floor, is a traditional Anglo-Hibernian pub, where you can order craft beers, bottled punch, and a variety of whiskeys. If you walk upstairs you'll find the parlor, with an ambiance equally as charming as the pub, but with a heavier focus on communal punch and cocktails. The small "grocery" is actually a corner in the taproom, where they sell an assortment of dry goods, but most notably Irish and British imports that are otherwise hard to find.

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13. Whiskey Town 29 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Just opened by two bartender brothers, WT offers 40 whiskeys to only 3 vodkas, iced canned beer, and a nightly rotation of The Stones' Exile on Main Street. Offsetting the cold-blooded alcoholism are surprisingly plush booths in which to languidl

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14. Whiskey Tavern 79 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013 (Chinatown)

Part of the Whiskey Town family, Whiskey Tavern is a hideaway saloon in Chinatown dedicated to bourbon, rye, and Scotch. From the family of bars responsible for pioneering picklebacks, it's also home to the signature Spicyback, a whiskey shot chased with pepper-infused pickle juice. The food menu is loaded with all the usual bar bite suspects -- think tater tots with bacon and cheese sauce, fried pickles, and saucy wings.

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15. The Whiskey Brooklyn 44 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

The brothers behind Whiskey Town and Whiskey Tavern bring their brown liquor concept to Williamsburg with this subterranean, brick-walled bar near McCarren Park. Set in a former tonic water factory, The Whiskey Brooklyn follows a foolproof neighborhood bar formula with plenty of flat-screen TVs, two shuffleboard tables, and simple but satisfying bar food (one-third pound burgers, fried pickles, Buffalo wings). Ordering a flight of one-ounce pours is the best way to sample the expansive whiskey selection, and don't leave without doing a few pickle backs.



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