New York City

Best Bars in

New York City
New York really doesn’t need any introduction. Vibrant, dazzling and full of good times just waiting to happen, The City That Never Sleeps is the perfect destination for nightlife lovers.

Alongside of all the big-name establishments, there’s always something special to discover, and every little side-street may hide a secret treasure. At the end of the day, the question is not so much where you can get a great cocktail in New York, but where can’t you?

While buzzy Williamsburg, hipster Greenpoint, the chic Upper East Side and the homey Upper West Side also have great different dining and cocktail options (and we highly recommend you visit them, too), your best bet if you’re short on time is to make your way through Downtown Manhattan, where all the most exciting nightlife is concentrated. Filled with excellent bars to suit your every mood, it’s also where you’ll find some of the best rooftop venues in the city – a great way to kick off or end your evening in style. 

Let’s dive in.

Known for its vibrant energy, the East Village has been one of the city’s most alternative districts since the 1960s, when many struggling artists (and one successful Andy Warhol) made it their home. Staying true to its irreverent creative heritage, today it houses art galleries, indie theaters, tattoo parlors and live music venues alongside boho-chic boutiques, hip restaurants, hidden speakeasies and stylish cocktail lounges. With NYU right nearby, it gets especially busy and animated on the weekends.

Next up, the Lower East Side, where the bulk of immigrants who arrived in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came to settle. The tenement buildings they used to live in now stand next to upscale developments, elegant shops, and some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and bars. But the still thriving historic markets, fabric stores and traditional delis like Katz’s and Russ & Daughters are living reminders of the neighborhood’s past.

Similarly, neighboring SoHo (South of Houston Street), famous for its cobblestone streets and impressive cast-iron architecture, used to be a warehouse-filled industrial zone. It’s since become one of the city’s hippest shopping destinations and nightlife hubs, with designer stores, high-end galleries, scene-y restaurants and excellent wine and cocktail bars drawing fashionistas in droves.

Upward from SoHo is the Greenwich Village or West Village, also referred to as simply “the Village” by New Yorkers. Its winding cobbled streets lined with 19th century brownstones, tall trees and public squares make it seem like something straight out of a movie. The heart of the city’s 1960s counterculture, it stood for decades as a place where artists, beatniks, bohemians and members of the gay community could find refuge. The likes of Jack Kerouac, Jackson Pollock, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix all wrote, created and performed here. Today, the Village draws fashionable crowds to its designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants, stylish cafes and exceptional cocktail lounges, but its rebellious heritage lives on. Notable venues like the legendary Village Vanguard and the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement, are still open, flanked by dozens of jazz clubs, cabarets and off-Broadway theaters that make this neighborhood one of the city’s most exciting entertainment hubs.

Just north of the Village is Chelsea, a charming and eclectic mix of townhouses, luxury buildings, in-demand restaurants and trendy shopping spots. Warehouses and factories from its industrial past now house hundreds of galleries, making it one of the most dynamic and influential art districts in the world. The High Line, an elevated park built on former railway tracks, is an unmissable attraction. The neighborhood has a trove of cool drinking venues, from hidden speakeasies to chic wine bars. A New York City LGBT hotspot, it is home to a great number of gay bars as well.

Finally, nestled between the West Village and Chelsea is the Meatpacking District. Home to former 20th century slaughterhouses and packing plants, the first segment of the High Line, and the Whitney Museum of American Art – one of the city’s most respected institutions, it is the most fashionable and dynamic area in New York City. Its characterful architecture and wide range of high-end designer boutiques, trendy restaurants, top-tier hotels and exclusive nightclubs make it a major attraction hub, drawing packs of young tastemakers in search of great atmosphere and high quality experiences. Come here for world-class cocktails over stunning views on the skyline, surrounded by a stylish party crowd – pressed shirts and stilettos are de rigueur. Now this how you conclude your New York experience on a (very) high note.

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