The Official Upper East Side Drinking Guide
Unless you live there, have a buddy who just moved there out of college, or are a Blair Waldorf super fan, you probably haven't found yourself on the Upper East Side recently. Well, that's about to change, right after you read this drinking guide to a totally underrated boozing 'hood.
Caledonia Scottish Pub (click here for address and deets)
This Scottish pub is one of the best whiskey bars in the whole city. Period. Moving on...
The Penrose (click here for address and deets)
This Uptown gastropub from the people behind The Wren and Wilfie & Nell is where you go if you're into happy houring with attractive people (like, REALLY attractive) who give a crap if the place they're at has good food and drinks.
Heidelberg (click here for address and deets)
If you've never been here, you're in for a real treat... if you consider giant boots filled with beer treats, like we do.
JBird Cocktails (click here for address and deets)
This elegant cocktail bar is definitely the spot to go if you're a cocktail enthusiast or having-an-awesome-time enthusiast, with two-person cocktails like the Tiki Oasis Punch: a mix of a whole bunch of rums, black tea, cinnamon, and vanilla. Or just get the cocktail that was maybe named by Rust Cohle -- the Blackheart Machine, filled with aged rum, Fernet Branca, and coffee.
JG Melon (click here for address and deets)
Everyone needs to come here at least once. About as classic-NY as it gets these days, the move is always some beers and a burger.
Jones Wood Foundry (click here for address and deets)
Forget the UES, Jones Wood is one of the best British pubs in the whole city with familiar pub trappings without feeling cliched, and a great craft-heavy beer list (mmm... Jones Woods Session IPA...), and bar-friendly eats like a lamb & rosemary pie.
Earl's Beer & Cheese (click here for address and deets)
Yes, there's a place outside of your kitchen that focuses on beer and cheese too, and they do it a good deal better (see: pork belly grilled cheese, some of the best mac & cheese in the city, and allllllll the craft brews).
Guthrie Inn (click here for address and deets)
The cocktail arm of the ABV/Earl's/Guthrie family of bars is just as worthy of a trip Uptown as any of the others (or maybe a mini-bar crawl is in order?). Get classics like Sazeracs and Sidecars buttressed by originals like the Sharpie Mustache with rye, gin, and Meletti & tiki bitters.
ABV Wine Bar (click here for address and deets)
From the same guys as Earl's ABV, this alcohol dispensery's focused on the vino and a high/low mix of refined eats like scallops with chili ginger, yellowfin tuna crudo, and "super fries" covered in onions and cheddar Béchamel.
The Gilroy (click here for address and deets)
Brand-new to the scene, this is gonna be a place to hit if you're not allergic to cocktails -- their menu features a whole bunch of different Negroni options (from barrel-aged to bottled), plus they'll ply you with eats like fresh oysters and mac & cheese with Irish cheddar and Asiago.
The Pony Bar (click here for address and deets)
Just like its Hell's Kitchen brother bar, this craft beer haven is perfect for people looking for a spot that's rocking a serious and deep list of suds, like Stillwater Nebuchadnezzar Remix or 21st Amendment's Lower DeBoom.
Bondurants (click here for address and deets)
Craft beer, Southern food, and bourbon -- if this place was in the Lower East Side, people would be climbing over each other for a seat. Get ready to get down on some Bell's Hopslam, pulled chicken and Boudin meatballs, and an extensive list of the brown spirits.
Dorrian's (click here for address and deets)
Okay, so you definitely need to be in a certain mindset, and you definitely need to be a certain age, but here's the thing: this place is almost always fun, despite how s-showy in can also be. When in doubt, do it.
Bemelmans (click here for address and deets)
If you're getting your sophistication on, head here: they've got a truly great cocktail program and you'll feel that much fancier, even if you go back to your three bedroom convertible with "partial views" afterwards.
The Met Rooftop Bar (click here for address and deets)
In the Summer, it's really hard to beat this: crazy-good park views, art, a sense of escaping, and a sense of drinking while experience a sense of escaping. It's kinda the perfect bar.
Subway Inn (click here for address and deets)
The dive to end all dives in the area, get there before they permanently close (like so many other of our favorites are threatening to do).
Andrew Zimmer is Thrilist's NYC Editor, and he's considering moving to the UES because apparently it's cheaper than Brooklyn now. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.