Long Island City has come a long way from the highly-industrialized, desolate area it once was. Now with an abundance of bars and restaurants fueling this neighborhood’s nightlife, we profile the ten best places to go for drinks in Long Island City.
At The Beast Next Door you can enjoy excellent craft beer selection and signature cocktails like the ‘Kentucky Winter’ – a delicious blend of Bulleit bourbon, lime juice, ginger beer, and honey. There’s also a food menu perfect for sharing, with an extensive selection of cured meats and cheeses from around the world.
Every town has ‘the’ local bar, and LIC Bar is Vernon Boulevard’s reigning local spot. Steeped in a 100-year history, LIC Bar is a great place to meet with friends and dance the night away. There’s a great selection of jukebox classics to live bands that perform almost every night. The LIC Bar serves a wide range of tap beers, single-malt scotches, and mixed drinks. When the weather is nice, they provide one of the only outdoor spots allowed in the area.
Step inside Blend on the Water and you’ll feel closer to the Equator with the hot Latin American menu, drinks, and atmosphere. You’ll find frozen sangria and margaritas and a menu of Latin fusion fare, from the lomo saltado to the homemade ‘Blend Burger.’ Located off the East River, there’s an infectious party feel with music pumping and people dancing. The amazing views of the city can be seen through the ten-foot windows that wrap around the entire restaurant.
The Creek and the Cave is one of the best places to catch the next wave of comedy’s biggest names while drinking and eating on the cheap. The Creek is a dive comedy bar with a Mexican-themed menu and comedian-inspired signature cocktails like the ‘Gethard,’ and pitchers of flavored margaritas.
Nestled in the middle of Vernon Boulevard is a new take on an old Irish pub. Woodbines is a quaint and cozy pub with excellent craft beers and a sophisticated pub menu. The menu offers pub favorites like fish n’ chips and chicken curry in great portions. They have a good range of cocktails including their signature cocktail – The LIC Tea. You’ll also find a variety of craft beers, with many local beers from breweries like Singlecut and Rockaway Brewery.
Dutch Kills is only recognizable by a neon sign that simply states ‘BAR.’ As you step inside Dutch Kills, you are transported to a Prohibition era, speakeasy-style bar, with classic cocktails and spirits. You’ll find a dark atmosphere, vintage decor, small booths, and a sharing menu. If you’re struggling to choose a cocktail, just tell the server your desired spirit and they will concoct the perfect drink for you.
Alewife is a spacious, two-floored bar perfect for groups of friends or events. This boisterous bar has a great number of TVs making it the perfect destination for catching any big sporting event. Alewife also has many live events ranging from trivia nights to karaoke, with a community atmosphere. They have an impressive beer list, ranging from American crafts to out-of-country delights that are constantly rotating. Their food menu is classic bar fare: a favorite among regulars is the truffle cheddar pretzel.
Station LIC is a hip American bar that takes its aesthetic from the early 20th century train stations of New York. You’ll find signature cocktails, like the potent ‘Derailer,’ and a menu of delicious food. What’s more, a fun fact for film fans: Tom Cruise filmed his bar scenes for the movie ‘Cocktail’ at Station LIC’s location back in the day.
The Standing Room specializes in amazing signature cocktails created by award-winning mixologists Joji Wantanabe and Shige Kabashima. With ingredients ranging from truffle honey to pistachio to the bell pepper, you’ll marvel at the creations made here. The Standing Room also serves up laughs Wednesday to Friday nights on their main stage, with cutting edge comedy shows and comedians. Jay Pharoah and Judah Friedlander from hit American TV show Saturday Night Live (SNL) are just two of the top comedians that have performed for audiences here.
At Dominie’s Hoek, local art adorning the walls and there are lots of board games to choose from, so making friends or entertaining them will be an easy task. The bar staff is extremely friendly and happy to educate you on the beers they have on tap. If brunch is your thing, Dominie’s offers an unlimited mimosa brunch special.