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Best Bars in New York

By: Cityseeker
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Whiskey Tavern

If there is one place in New York that does whiskey and pickle-back shots, it's gotta be Whiskey Tavern. Tucked amidst the baffling conundrum of Chinatown, this bar has been a local haunt for the after-work denizens and friendly folks of downtown. They pride themselves on an impressive drink menu with a notable beer selection, apart from the staple whiskeys and cocktails. This place truly lives up to its reputation, with no signs of pretense, just a warm and cozy tavern where the drinks flow and good times roll. The setup itself is simple, with a wood and brick theme, background music, televisions and garden area. And if you're not that buzzed you could toil away the night with a game of Ultimate Jenga or Connect Four!

New York, NY, United States
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Apothéke

Apothèke is one of the many "speakeasy" type bars found throughout Manhattan. This sanctuary located on this hidden alley in New York's Chinatown has plenty of old-fashion panache, though the drinks may be a bit on the pricey side. The bar replicates an old-world apothecary, proudly displaying antique medicine bottles and old-fashioned chemistry equipment. This bar is manned by expert bartenders who sport white lab coats and dispense alcoholic "prescriptions" (as they call them) like the Mata Hari, Femme Fatale and Dr. Ruth, which are created with the Apothèke's house-blended absinthe and other elixirs.

New York, NY, United States
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Mother's Ruin

Allow yourself to unwind at this classic bar and restaurant when at Nolita. This popular bar has it all, whether you want to start your day here with breakfast, or end it in the wee hours of the morning on weekends, you are going to love being here. The bar is well stocked with a great selection of wines and other spirits. The staff is fun and interactive with the patrons too. Treat yourself to drinks, ranging from alcoholic slushi (frozen drink) and craft cocktails to cans of cheap beer and everything in between.

New York, NY, United States
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Beauty & Essex

Get ready to be surprised! At first Beauty and Essex looks like a normal pawn shop, but walk through the storefront and open another door to discover a speakeasy-style restaurant with interiors that ooze panache, from the high ceilings to the ornate lanterns. The menu is composed of global favorites with special emphasis on contemporary American. The drink list is extensive to say the least, from cocktails and wines to beer. With a crowd that matches up to the ambiance, this is a place to see and be seen.

New York, NY, United States
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McSorley's Old Ale House

McSorley's is a Cooper Union landmark that first opened sometime around the Civil War. It is one of the oldest continuously operating bars in the city. McSorley's serves two kinds of beer, McSorley's Lager and McSorley's Cream Stock Ale, and they are served two mugs at a time. Inside, you'll find sawdust on the floor and historic bric-à-brac alongside photos and news clippings. The menu is simple, with appetizers such as hearty cheese plates. Just be sure to keep the pub's centuries-old motto in mind: "Be Good or Be Gone!"

New York, NY, United States
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Fat Cat Billiards

Located in a windowless, subterranean space in Greenwich Village, Fat Cat provides its guests with a wide range of gaming entertainment options such as ping pong, foosball, chess, checkers, shuffleboard and billiards. This is easy-going place is cheap, gritty, smoky and packed with locals and students, which is exactly how an authentic billiard hall should be. If getting dressed up to play pool is more your style, you would probably be happier at the multitude of fancier pool halls in the city. Fat Cat also has the distinction of being named as New York's best pool hall by New York Magazine in 2013.

New York, NY, United States
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PDT (Please Don't Tell)

PDT (which stands for Please Don't Tell) is a "secret" bar on St. Mark's Place. A call from a phone booth in Crif Dogs (the adjacent restaurant) is the only way to get in. Once accepted, a secret door opens up in the phone booth, leading to PDT. It's not much of a secret anymore though, because the club is hugely popular. Once inside, you'll find a crowded bar area steeped in darkness. The inventive cocktail selection is superb and a major draw. If you're hungry you can also order from the Crif Dogs food menu, which gets delivered to the club via a small pass. A visit to PDT is quite an interesting experience indeed.

New York, NY, United States
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Old Town Bar

Established in 1892 and surviving the Prohibition Era, the Old Town Bar is indeed old, and it is definitely a bar in the traditional sense (filled with lots of drinkers and smokers). However, it is also a restaurant with plenty of atmosphere and good bar food. The old booths, tin ceilings, frosted glass, beveled mirrors and mahogany bar all add to the charm. The menu features burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads.

New York, NY, United States
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Pete's Tavern

Open and virtually unchanged since 1864, this homey destination attracts tourists as well as its share of locals. With a long attractive bar, wooden booths and well-drawn pints of beer, it is a comfortable stalwart in an ever-changing world. The menu features the usual selection of pub fare, including burgers and steaks, and also a large selection of Italian dishes and seafood. However, this is much more than just a local bar, and its location near Gramercy Park ensures a mostly upscale crowd. After work, it can be difficult getting a table or a stool at the bar.

New York, NY, United States
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61 Local

Situated in Boerum Hill, just off Smith Street on Bergen Street, 61 Local is a bright sunny welcoming beer space specializing in local food and drink. On busy nights seating is limited, so there's a chance for some standing. Even if you have to share a table, there's a good chance new friends will be made anyway. Staff are very knowledgeable about the beers and are willing to offer samples before you make your selection. There's also a basic menu featuring snacks, like grilled cheeses and cured meat plates. Overall, the vibe is good at 61 Local anytime and a good reason to venture to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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Clover Club

Clover Club may look like an ordinary bar from the exterior, but once inside, patrons are transported back in time to an era of free-flowing drinks and live jazz. Celebrated mixologist Julie Reiner leads a team of experienced bartenders in creating classic mixes, shareable punches, and inventive cocktails. Let a plate of inspired pub fare like braised pork and grits complement a refreshing cocktail like a rhubarb spritz. There's no end to the hospitality at the Clover Club, so come get cozy on a leather sofa by the Victorian fireplace and let this premier establishment do the rest.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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Stout

With a décor that will transport you to a pub in Ireland, Stout NYC is a beer heaven which houses exclusive brews. This high ceiling-ed bar sports an extensive beer collection and has varied stouts like dry, imperial, oatmeal and sweet. A traditional Irish breakfast including fish and chips, bangers and mash is available on Saturdays and Sundays. Burgers, thin crust pizzas, salads, eight different kinds of oysters are the culinary delights of this place. Relish delicacies like fire cracker shrimp, stout house salad, chicken and lemongrass dumplings, avocado toast, and grilled chicken among others as you admire your surroundings and unwind over tasteful drinks and scrumptious food!

New York, NY, United States
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