Charming and historic, Manhattan’s South Street Seaport is an ideal summertime stop for drinks. Its variety of bars, from upscale oyster bars to dive bars with bras on the wall, means that there’s something for just about everyone, and it even includes a river view. We profile the ten best bars in the South Street Seaport.
Ambrose Beer and Lobster
Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
For lobster rolls, riverside seats, and a wide beer selection, Ambrose Beer and Lobster is the place to be. In warmer months, their seating spills out onto communal benches along the cobblestone-lined Fulton Street. The ambience is casual, and it makes for a great stop after work or for a weekend downtown while enjoying the river.
Fresh Salt is a great spot if you’re looking for some mac and cheese and thick cut bacon to go with your cocktails. Although it’s not in the bustling center of the Seaport, it’s quieter and hosts a moderate selection of beers on tap with a happy hour every weeknight from 5 to 8pm, and features a killer brunch on the weekends.
Welcoming a wilder bunch, The Iron Horse is known for allowing its patrons to dance on the bar, but you can dance anywhere you want inside. On the border of the Financial District and the Seaport, you’ll find inexpensive drinks and an unforgettable experience. The casual ambience is excellent for spectators and dancers alike, and it is certainly worth the short walk up Fulton Street.
While it’s a little hard to find, this dive bar is well worth the hunt. Characterized by bras hanging from the ceiling and cheap beer in giant Styrofoam cups, Jeremy’s Ale House is well known for some incredible fried bar food, from fries to tater tots, and fried calamari. Its open front is great for sunny Seaport days and breezy evenings, and the ample space inside is perfect for large groups.
Just across the way from Jeremy’s is Keg No. 229, a more upscale bar and dining establishment complete with a pressed tin ceiling. Although their menu is fairly standard, featuring wings, tater tots, and burgers, Keg No. 229’s most unique feature is its pour-your-own-beer station. You get a bracelet that measures how much you pour, and you pay at the end of the night by the ounce.
BIN No. 220, New York | Image Courtesy of Bin No. 220
For a more romantic ambiance, Keg No. 229’s sister restaurant, BIN No. 220, offers a full bar, but it is known for its wine flights. The intimate space is ideal for a date but can work equally well for a laid-back happy hour with friends. The menu manily features panini, but for an after-work snack, their bruschetta or cheese fondue are excellent aperitifs to complement a flight of rosé.
The Hideaway Seaport is an intimate gastropub with a cozy bar and dim lighting, although it has event space for up to 100 guests. Quiet and romantic with a full but seasonal lunch, dinner, and brunch menu, guests can choose from charred octopus and deviled eggs to a hanger steak entrée, with something for just about everyone. With a unique and changing cocktail menu, the Hideaway Seaport is a great spot for drinks or a dinner out.
Acqua, another Peck Slip stop, is an upscale Italian restaurant and wine bar with an ample menu prepared by Chef Ivan Beacco. More of a formal dinner spot, it features exciting seasonal menus and an extensive wine list.
Nelson Blue sits on the corner of Front Street and Peck Slip with outdoor seating and an open layout to let in the Seaport breeze. This New Zealand pub has both traditional New Zealand fare, such as the N.Z. Lollipop and American standards like wings and mac and cheese. The casual ambiance and great beer selection make it a perfect pub in which to spend the afternoon.
Out on Pier 15 is Watermark Bar, a 10,000 square foot, double-decker riverside bar perfect for unwinding. It frequently holds concerts and is popular for private events, but it’s also great for a casual drink after work. They offer margaritas, select cocktails, wine, and beer.