The Penrose is a piece of Williamsburg transported uptown to 2nd Avenue. With a great drink menu and delicious beer battered fried-pickles, The Penrose is an obvious choice for this list. Add the fact that all of their food is locally sourced, the crowd here is impressively attractive in that uptown-hipster kind of way, and they make an amazing brunch. Check out this bar for a great time with a fun crowd.
The Penrose, 1590 2nd Avenue, New York, New York, +1 212 203 2751
Caledonia Scottish Pub
Caledonia Scottish Pub’s scotch list is almost as long as the line at Halal Guys. Stepping through the black curtain at the entrance, you are greeted by a long bar stocked with enough scotch and whiskey to serve the entire Upper East Side, taxidermy deer heads on the wall, leather couches in the back, and low lights to set the chill mood of this pub. The house rules support this atmosphere, offering all Tinder dates a discount (but only if you show your initial and subsequently very awkward messages as proof).
Caledonia Scottish Pub, 1609 2nd Avenue, New York, New York, +1 212 734 4300
Located on the ground floor of The Carlyle Hotel, Bemelmans Bar is old New York. Containing Ludwig Bemelmans‘ (creator of the Madeline books and namesake of the bar) famous murals and art deco design, the physical bar itself is reason enough to don your nice evening clothes, pretend you can afford to live on Madison Avenue, and visit Bemelmans for an evening. Also known as the spot where you can listen to Woody Allen play jazz, Bemelmans has live music every night that will transport you to a time when you still thought New York was purely glamorous.
The Carlyle Hotel, 35 E 76th St, New York, New York, +1 212 744 1600
Seamstress’ cocktail menu stays true to the theme of textiles and the art of sewing. This bar is fun and comfortable without being overly cute or kitschy. Wine is available by the glass, which adds nice variety, but the main event at Seamstress is without a doubt the mixed drinks. They can make a cocktail you definitely do not want to miss out on.
Seamstress, 339 East 75th Street, New York, New York, +1 212 288 8033
Some of the best bars on the Upper East Side cultivate the feeling of “Old New York.” Guthrie Inn on the other hand perfectly captures how living on the Upper East Side feels in reality; a bit isolated and quiet at times, a haven from downtown at other times, comfortable yet on the rise, and full of an interesting cast of characters. The bartenders know what they’re doing, so come check out Guthrie Inn tonight.
With a regularly rotating draft and whiskey list filled with small batch distilleries, Bondurants is the place to take your alcohol aficionado friends. The atmosphere, people, and food are all notable, but the carefully crafted craft beer and whiskey selection is what makes Bondurants stand out.
Bondurants, 303 East 85th Street, New York, New York, +1 212 249 1509
If you want the aesthetic and cocktails of Upper West Side bars without the crowd and noise, head to The Milton. Located in a quieter portion of the Upper East Side, The Milton pulls a great crowd each night, but always has room for more. Perfect for grabbing a drink with a friend you want to be able to hear, a nightcap, or a drink by yourself.
The Milton, 1754 2nd Avenue, New York, New York, +1 212 369 1900
The Supply House
The Supply House serves a delicious salmon with black bean and mango salsa tacos. Conveniently located near the 86th street subway stop, The Supply House is great for large groups (booths and tons of standing space) who are looking for food to go along with good beer.
The Supply House, 1647 2nd Avenue, New York, New York +1 646 861 3585
Bar Felice is an extension of Felice 83, the exceptional Upper East Side Italian restaurant. For wine drinkers, Bar Felice is the place to go on the Upper East Side. Go on Mondays and Tuesdays to get a deal on bottles of wine or on Wednesday to enjoy some classy live jazz.
Bar Felice, 1591 1st Avenue, New York, New York, +1 212 249 4080
Jones Wood Foundry
A bar with a beer menu containing amazing cask ale, large format bottles, and bottles doesn’t really need anything else to prove itself as a worthy establishment in our opinion. Jones Wood Foundry becomes incomparable with its extensive beer menu, along with an impressive wine list, respectable cocktails, and unbelievable food. Top that off with a toast menu, proving the authenticity of this British taproom, and it’s obvious why Jones Wood Foundry is an Upper East Side favorite.
Jones Wood Foundry, 401 East 76th Street, New York, New York, +1 212 249 2700