The best bars in the East Village
But come nightfall, the neighborhood’s many dive bars, craft cocktail joints and speakeasies turn the East Village into one of the city’s most buzzing, lively destinations.
This borough is home to one of the best speakeasies in New York: Please Don’t Tell, or simply PDT as it is more affectionately known. At the back of Crif Dogs, a popular hot dog joint, you simply pass through an old phone booth to enter the low-lit bar with taxidermy animals lining the walls. Their cocktails are strong but balanced, and you can chase them down with a gourmet bun from next door.
Another excellent, world-renowned cocktail institution is Death & Company. The sleek, dimly lit lounge is a must-visit for any serious cocktail enthusiast: since opening thirteen years ago, Death & Co has been influencing the global cocktail scene like no other. This is a bar that’s always aiming to innovate with a cocktail menu that changes regularly, so you can always expect something new and exciting.
From the same team behind Death & Co, Proletariat caters to the staunchest beer fans among us. This sliver of a bar on the iconic St. Mark’s Place only sits 10, so make sure you come early. On the menu: a steady and always changing rotation of rare, new and unusual beers, served by friendly and knowledgeable bartenders.
Next up, Amor y Amargo. This craft cocktail den has a distinctly bitters-forward approach to mixology. The pocket-sized space has a simple, old-school vibe and decor, with shelves packed with bitters, bottles and cocktail tools lining the walls. These are available for purchase, by the way, so if you’re a budding home bartender, this is your chance to up your cocktail-making game and get expert advice in the process.
Finally, Paper Daisy is a modern cocktail joint that scores major Instagram points, meaning you can be sure you’re always going to find it packed. The creative drinks, delicious food, sleek interior and charming outdoor setting (a beautiful, sunny patio with overhanging vines) make it all worth it, though. Put this one in your brunch bucket list!