Staten Island may not be as frequented by visitors as New York City’s other boroughs, but the island is merely a ferry ride away. It’s ready to welcome anyone who hops off the orange ship with a host of bars, from watering holes to cocktail bars and breweries.
Staten Island is regarded as New York City’s most residential borough, peppered with standalone houses instead of the usual walk-ups and skyscrapers. But despite the suburban feel, the forgotten borough is home to a string of beaches, historic houses, theater and public performances, museums and storied pizza parlors – plus plenty of places to drink after a quick, free ride on the Staten Island Ferry. These are the best Staten Island bars, whether you’re a local looking for a new dive to frequent or you’re exploring the borough for the first time.
Play Sports Bar
Bar, American, $$$
Play Sports Bar is especially popular with fans of the New York Rangers ice hockey team
This bona fide game-day spot is especially a haven for hockey fanatics during the play-offs when the bar becomes Rangers town. You’ll also find athlete autograph signings, competitive darts tournaments, trivia nights, karaoke, live bands and an outdoor beer garden.
Fondly referred to as Pug’s, Mother Pug’s Saloon is a local watering hole for island rockers. On weekends, the bar is likely to host a variety of live local acts – mostly punk, metal and alternative bands – to swaying crowds clutching plastic cups of Jack and Coke and bubbling beer. During the warmer months, beer drinkers and music lovers spill out onto the outdoor patio to see bands play outside.
A mix between a sports bar, restaurant and dance party, Rookie’s shows hockey and basketball games on its many flat-screen TVs and welcomes patrons to bust a move at its weekly DJ nights. Here, pair glasses of beer with standard pub fare: loaded tater tots, wings, mozzarella sticks and sliders.
During the day, Z-Two operates as a diner, but once the sun sets, the space quickly shifts into a nightlife destination. Swing by for the daily happy hour ($3 draft beers, $7 cocktails and $5-6 appetizers), or simply stop by any time for a glass of sangria or wine. Weekends at Z-Two usually kick off with a live DJ, and during the warmer months, everyone sips cocktails in the outdoor lounge.
Barbecue and craft beer mingle at Craft House. Here, Kills Boro Brewing is set up in the back, and Craft House is up front, churning out glasses of orange, yellow and black beers and meat by the pound: slabs of brisket, smoky ribs, pulled pork flanked by soft potato rolls. There’s a wide selection of beer on draft – from Kills Boro to Evil Twin and Grimm Artisanal Ales – as well as wine and cider. During the summer, perch outside on the bar’s outdoor patio with a pint of beer and a plate of chicken and waffles.
For the avid craft beer consumer and whiskey and bourbon enthusiast, Bootleg Mannings is the place to go. This bar serves a host of bottles, cans and on-tap beers, along with a selection of more than 160 whiskeys and bourbons. It also carries a wonderfully diverse collection of sought-after craft beers and local labels. Wednesdays at Bootleg Mannings is karaoke night, where well-known drinks and domestic drafts run for a mere $3.
This cozy, intimate bar/restaurant just around the corner from the Staten Island Ferry mixes cocktails with some of the best thin-crust pies on the island. Pair cocktails like The Sauce (Twisted Tea swirled with sweet-tea vodka and garnished with a lemon) with speciality, cracker-thin pizzas, topped with rounds of meatballs, pepperoni and sausage, and swiped with pink vodka sauce.
There’s always something to do at Joe Broadway’s, whether you’re delicately tapping billiard balls in the pool hall upstairs or shamelessly hogging the mic on Monday karaoke nights. The first floor boasts 15 flat-screen TVs and three projectors, and the billiards room is also home to an air hockey table, darts and shuffleboard. Belly up to the bar for a beer or mixed drink, then settle into some bar food: pineapple-teriyaki wings, burgers piled high with frizzled onions and bacon, and crispy mac and cheese balls.
Located in the North Shore, The Flagship Brewing Company is one of the few breweries on the island and was started by a few locals avid on sharing their love of beer with the community. Settle down in the taproom strewn with communal tables to taste light summer ales and hoppy lagers. Come for a casual tasting or a $5 brewery tour or take a peek at their calendar for interesting events, such as tastings, book signings and readings, and live music.
At Liberty Tavern, the bar is perpetually crowded with regulars. A staple of local nightlife, the hotspot is frequented by North Shore Staten Islanders looking for a space to watch sports or play shuffleboard and darts. Along with the host of beers and mixed drinks available, the tavern’s kitchen whips up triangles of pepperoni pizza, Irish corned beef empanadas and pulled pork sliders.
This intimate, speakeasy-style bar is all about cocktails. The bar’s mixologists expertly shake metal shakers and delicately garnish drinks with orange peels and edible flowers. Choose from classics such as negronis and sazeracs or have the bartender craft you a bespoke cocktail based on your spirit and flavor preferences. There’s also a small food menu peppered with platters flooded with wedges of cheese from Manhattan’s Murray’s Cheese and salumi from Ends Meat.
Liedy’s Shore Inn is the oldest bar on Staten Island – one with a tin-stamped ceiling and a crew of regulars keeping the charming place’s spark alive. The saloon-like bar has been family-run since opening in 1905, a place where locals can happily sip pints of beer and nosh on turkey clubs and wings. There’s live music Wednesday through Saturday, but there’s also an old-school jukebox, which putters out music even when there are just a few people stationed on swirling stools.