There are no televisions inside this venue, so Ampersand is a great place to engage in thoughtful conversation or spend in pensive silence. Albeit limited, the menu includes delectable items such as burgers, lamb meatballs and fish tacos with spicy aioli. The cocktail menu displays a variety of tasty concoctions and is filled with bourbon and whiskey.
Ampersand, 294 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 477 8100
Pete’s Tavern has been in business for over 140 years, making it the oldest operating bar and restaurant in New York City. The building which houses Pete’s was originally the Portman Hotel where, on the main floor, a ‘grocery and grog’ store was the first drinking establishment opened in 1851. During Prohibition, when the manufacturing, storage and selling of alcohol was illegal, the bar continued to operate disguised as a flower shop. Pete’s Tavern was also a haven for literary giants. In 1905, American short story writer William Sydney Porter, known by his pen name O. Henry, was a loyal regular and wrote ‘The Gift of the Magi’ in what was then a quiet Gramercy pub. Since then, Pete’s has worked to preserve an old-time neighborhood atmosphere, the 40-foot rosewood bar, tin ceiling and tiled floors were all installed in 1864. The booths and cabinets are also original 19th century pieces, as well as the brass chandelier that sits above the cashier cage. The rich history of this tavern draws in many tourists who relish in the fine Italian-American cuisine served with Pete’s famous 1864 House Ale.
Pete’s Tavern, 129 East 18th Street, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 473 7676
This British-inspired restaurant and pub boasts an impressive list of gins from around the globe and over 20 varieties of Old World, New World and British beer on tap. An eclectic batch of unique cocktails also grace the menu, each one featuring botanicals such as orange, cucumber and bee pollen to balance the house-made flavored tonics. The Winslow’s spacious setting is furnished with a 20-foot front bar and a back bar embellished with fumed oak and blackened steel. High tables and bar stools are scattered throughout, providing enough seating even on busy nights. Customers have the option of reserving a private room in the back where the music can be adjusted to their liking. Live music also happens on some nights.
The Winslow, 243 East 14th Street, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 777 7717
This luxe oasis is something like a time portal, an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern city life into a decadent, turn-of-the-century drinking parlor. The dapper lounge is furnished with black-leather chairs, crystal curtains and a Victorian parlor where paintings and miniature chandeliers line the walls. Everything appears to be dripping in glitter and gold, from the sparkling tin ceiling to the gold-striped floor. Dear Irving is an intimate speakeasy that holds multiple themed rooms. The décor changes from modern to Gatsby-esque as one wanders through the various sitting areas, but an air of mystery and seduction is maintained despite the changing themes. The cocktail menu features both classics and house creations like the Hero of Little Venice, an ‘elevated rum-spiked root-beer float capped with fluffy egg whites and a sprinkling of nutmeg.’ Ultimately, the drinks are strong, the names are clever, and the menu and atmosphere are quite impressive.
Promenade Bar and Grill
Promenade’s 3,400-square-foot location is a game-watching paradise. The walls of this high-ceilinged sports bar are lined with over forty 60-inch HD flat-screen televisions and iconic photographs of memorable sports moments. A 60-foot bar sits at the center of this huge space where sports fans can choose from 14 beers on tap, 15 bottled selections, and a wide variety of kosher wine and specialty drinks. Happy Hour is celebrated every day between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. During this time, customers can enjoy a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal for select drinks and dishes. An expansive menu includes classic American cuisine like buffalo wings, sweet potato fries and burger sliders, all reasonably priced. Kosher sushi is also served here, making this bar all the more noteworthy. Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of Promenade’s special phone charging stations.
Promenade Bar and Grill, 344 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA + 1 646 918 7220
This rustic East Side retreat is the most authentic and traditional Irish pub in New York City. Thickly-accented bartenders, Celtic crosses, a sawdust-covered floor and a log-burning fireplace all make this bar feel like it’s been transplanted from Ireland’s countryside. The low ceilings and dark walls create a warm and welcoming ambiance as well as an intimate environment for lone drinkers who prefer to not be disturbed. Molly’s is renowned for its shepherd’s pie, delicious hamburgers and mouth-watering steaks, all for reasonable prices. Moreover, it offers over a dozen whiskey options and four Irish beers. Overall, this is an ideal place to enjoy tradition and culture, as well as a pint and some classics like corned beef and cabbage or fish and chips.
Molly’s, 287 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 889 3361
Hidden within a pizzeria, this speakeasy is accessed via an inconspicuous wall covered with pizza peels. Behind the wall, a doorway leads into an effervescent bar and lounge that booms with pop and hip hop music. Visana sports a modern and trendy vibe as rotating colored backlights illuminate the venue. The bar serves craft cocktails made with organic liquors and fresh, local ingredients. Visana’s name is derived from two Italian words, ‘vita’ and ‘sana,’ which translate to ‘healthy life.’ To honor their name, Visana proudly embraces healthier consumption, they supply purified water, filtered air, non-toxic building materials and essential oil fragrances.
Visana, 321 1st Avenue, New York, NY, USA + 1 917 639 3453
Gramercy Ale House
Gramercy Ale House has all the features of a great, local bar. The food is good, the staff is friendly, the atmosphere is fun and the prices cannot be beaten. This Irish-inspired pub takes pride in sports and streams a variety of games, from football and soccer to lacrosse and baseball, to Irish rugby, basketball and hockey. Customers can relish in a relaxed vibe underneath frosted globe lanterns which hang from a tin ceiling. The brick walls and sleek bar provides a cozy charm not commonly found in New York sports bars. Gramercy Ale House supplies 24 beers on tap. Their expansive menu includes salads, burgers, pasta, beans and rice, and potato nachos which are a customer favorite.
Gramercy Ale House, 272 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 260 1129
Gramercy Park Bar
This is a great spot to watch a game, hangout with friends after brunch or grab drinks with coworkers after a long workday. Gramercy Park Bar is staffed with many friendly workers and creative mixologists who put in their best effort to make your bar experience personal and fun. It usually has a quiet, comforting and cozy ambiance during off-peak hours, but it quickly gets crowded in the evening. Gramercy Park Bar boasts an extensive list of booze options. It displays a rather modern aesthetic, making it a very trendy option for local socialites.
Gramercy Park Bar, 322 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, USA + 1 646 484 6948
Located in the basement of the posh Inn at Irving Place, Cibar displays unique décor that distinguishes it from the other bars noted in this list. Its ultra-plush aesthetic includes pink walls, Victorian banquettes, marble tables and cushioned armchairs. Amber lights spill from modern chandeliers and a working fireplace sheds a warm glow on the elegantly curved bar. Everything is elaborate and ornate with a blend of gold and other shocking colors. When the weather warms up, an outdoor, smoking-permitted seating area is opened. Bamboo plants, colorful carpets and decorative throw pillows adorn the space, making it ideal for intimate group outings. Cibar offers more than 20 martinis and glasses of Scotch. Its specialty is elegant cocktails like the elderflower lychee martini. A live disc jockey spins loud and eccentric beats every night except on Monday.
Cibar Lounge, 56 Irving Place, New York, NY, USA + 1 212 460 5656