Bars & Clubs

  • Best Dive To Drink At Like You're A Member Of The CrÜE


    For all we know, Quakers and Krell was some brand of popular '80s hair mousse with heretofore-unheard-of volumizing powers. But we won't let that stop us from believing that, in addition to shouting at the devil, Nikki, Vince, and the boys were giving shout-outs to the cheap beer ($4 pints of Stella) and cheaper women at BELLEVUE BAR. And… More >>
  • Best Sloppy Drunk Upper East Side Girls Dancing On The Bar


    They twist, they turn, they wear the same Cosabella thong. Forget Hogs and Heifers up the street; AUTOMATIC SLIMS is far superior when it comes to the genuinely awkward moment a girl with no rhythm, a Scoop halter, and a lady Tag straddles a bar top to stare fish-eyed at the drooling sea of collars and thick necks below her… More >>
  • Best Bar To Relive Your Horny Sleep-Away-Camp Escapades


    Sneak icy Saranac Pale Ales ($5; two-for-one happy hour from 5 to 8) from the comfort of your outdoor Adirondack deck chair or canoodle in the secret junk room. Either way, the CABIN CLUB AT THE PINE TREE LODGE is like pulling tubes in some stoner cabin straight outta Camp Meatballs, with plenty of stuff to freak on—funky plastic deer… More >>
  • Best Photo Booth For Toplessness


    Factors, aside from general dissipation, that inspire toplessness in the old-fashioned black-and-white booth at the LAKESIDE LOUNGE: two-for-one happy hour, frequently gorgeous bartenders, like the so-called Jayne Mansfield of Avenue B (from whom you must ask for a $3 token), a conducive-to-sensuality jukebox (i.e., Sam Cooke's "Lost and Lookin' " or the Stooges' "Loose"), low lighting, long windows with a… More >>
  • Best Bar To Lick It, Slam It, Suck It


    With its neon "BAR" sign and unassuming facade, the COLLINS BAR looks like another Eighth Avenue tourist pub, not an atmospheric and cheap neighborhood hang with a capital happy hour (weekdays 4 to 7, $1 off all draft, wine, and well; Sundays, $3 pints of Brooklyn Lager; more). Best of all: a huge, unexpected list of tequilas (from Chinaco to… More >>
  • Best Suck And Slurp


    Landlubbers looking for high-end sea fare on sailor salaries need sing sad chanteys no more: Every day (except Monday) at AQUAGRILL from 4 to 6 p.m., they can slurp $1 bluepoint oysters (18 maximum per matey) and guzzle $3 Pilsner Urquells with tattoo-less Hamptons yachtsmen. The bartenders are super-nice; the decor—whitewashed walls, marble bar, outsized floral sprays—as seaworthy as the… More >>
  • Best Mermaid Decor


    Quite literally right under the Williamsburg Bridge, THE LOCAL, a/k/a the Ship's Mast, the Rock Star Bar, the Rock Bar, Mermaid Bar, Splash by the Water, 351 Inc., etc., used to be grottier and therefore, in my opinion, nicer. But in the middle of the bar, twining around a center pole, they've still got the fantastic, enormous (like, way bigger… More >>
  • Best Bar With A Bathtub


    Customers may feel like rinsing off after lounging in the skanky thrift-store furniture at ART LAND, but alas, barkeeps reserve the two old bear-claw tubs for chilling bottled beer in mounds of ice. Art Land wedges a relaxed bohemian atmosphere into the north side of dingy Grand Street—an outer leg of the Williamsburg sprawl. Friends can comfortably hang out and… More >>
  • Best Bathroom For Pervs


    Besides being host to the fabulously titled "Full Frontal Fridays," putting up a Web site with adorable, loving photos of the totally jacked "men of SBNY" (including cute ass shots), and having their own full store of Chelsea-style merchandise on the premises, SPLASH BAR NEW YORK features bathrooms where the urinals each have a tiny little screen, about at eye… More >>
  • Best Ethically Ambiguous Blatant Surveillance Bar


    Immediate impressions post-REMOTE: "wild-ly embarrassing," "good exercise in self-loath-ing," "Foucauldian panopticonism," "heinous idea." Remote, "a revolutionary new concept in nightlife entertainment," features live video feeds and 72 controllable cameras, so wherever patrons are in the bar, they can watch other people and be watched themselves. Festive voyeurs can also train their cameras on the street and watch you walk in… More >>
  • Best Bar In Which To Check If Date Washes Hands


    Nobody—and I mean nobody!—wants to take a date out to some wine bar or techno-blasting yupster lounge. Good people go to tiny, charming dives. But nobody wants to hold hands with some foul gutterpunk who just tinkled onto one or more of their fingers and didn't lather up afterward, either. Enter INTERNATIONAL BAR. Then sit down, wait for the person… More >>
  • Best Bar To Bring Your Dog


    At SPARKY'S ALE HOUSE on Court Street in Carroll Gardens, the clientele and their pups are as diverse as the startling selection of suds on tap. Nearly 30 drafts, a pool table, and a welcoming staff and crowd greet the dog lover; for Fido there's a free Milk-Bone biscuit and the opportunity to sniff at the chops of an unsuspecting… More >>
  • Best Bar Mascot


    It's the cheapo pitchers (MGD, $6.75) and free hot dogs that keep neighborhood hipsters and alcoholics alike flocking to RUDY'S. We'd hate to be so obvious, so we'll celebrate this dive institution for an altogether different reason: the giant pig (in a red suit jacket!) that stands outside like some sloppy sentry, scaring off potential patrons with his "Who you… More >>
  • Best Generically City-Themed Bar


    The Bowery's nowhere near as desolate or dangerous as downtown Detroit, but between the run-down buildings and ethnic enclaves the two locales definitely share a sensibility. Too bad then that MOTOR CITY BAR, the only New York drinking establishment to pursue that elusive Motown chic, comes up a little short: A Woodward Avenue sign and Ford logo are a nice… More >>
  • Best Vintage Lunchbox Collection


    Quoth a sloshed compatriot one recent evening, "I wonder how many of them still smell like bologna." Tough to say, but ACE BAR's kaleidoscopic rows of classic metal lunchboxes certainly reek of nostalgia—everybody from Nancy Drew to Bee Gee Barry Gibb has a place here, nestled among totems of Saturday morning's heyday. Highlights include Lidsville, Strawberry Shortcake, and Land of… More >>
  • Best Smoothie


    In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that when Doug Green, remarkably fit owner of LIQUITERIA AT LUCKY'S, noticed that I was taking notes for the purpose of this assignment, he offered—and I accepted—a Berry Powerful smoothie, $5.95 worth of delicious fruit, soy, and what in another era might've been called "life giving" ingredients, whipped into a sippable… More >>
  • Best Starbucks Of The Two At Astor Place


    Two thriving Starbucks roughly sandwich the black cube at Astor Place. The EASTERLY ONE is blatantly superior. It is better lit; it is cleaner; it has a potted plant. The interior paint job is more tasteful. Its architecture, though similar to that of its western brother, is ultimately more modern (with ramps and glass paneling). It is better in summertime… More >>
  • Best Bar In Which To Tipple From A Large Foam Cup


    Mere feet from the L's Bedford stop, the GREEN POINT TAVERN (a/k/a Rosemary's, but don't call it that—say "the GPT") serves Williamsburg's native, uh, immigrants by day, and hipsters who like to dance to the feel-good jukebox at night. What brings them all back? Why, the super-sized, Styrofoam-cradled Buds, of course ($3.50 apiece, if memory serves; of course, after five… More >>
  • Best $4 Tequila And Tecate Combo


    A little lime and salt help that five-dollar bill (tip your bartender) go a long way, especially on Fridays, when CHERRY TAVERN gets unusually rowdy 'round midnight. The room is already too small for the crowd it draws, and pool-table-watching newbies en route to the bathroom try to bob and weave around cues after four rounds. But the place hums… More >>
  • Best Tequila Trivia


    Tinsel, Elvis, and the Virgin Mary painted in glitter: There's nothing left to do but to knock back as many shots as possible at TORTILLA FLATS, even if just to help make sense of your surroundings. So on Monday morning the only thing dragging you out of bed is the knowledge that the smart aleck who knew the answer to… More >>
  • Best Place To Stock Up For A Bender


    I'm all for sticking up for the little guy, but most mom-and-pop liquor stores can't hold a candle to WAREHOUSE WINE & SPIRITS (which isn't really a warehouse, anyway—it's no bigger than a tiny Duane Reade). With a huge selection, highly informed staff, and rock-bottom prices—a rotating assortment of $4 wines, big-ass jugs of Jim Beam retailing for $18—it's the… More >>
  • Best Place To Go On A Bender


    Last winter I was working on a long-overdue paper or two about War and Peace, and as soon as I finished, I summoned my preferred drinking buddy and announced to him it was time to go on a bender. And what a bender it was. BLUE AND GOLD BAR was the obvious locale: It's a great bar during the week… More >>
  • Best Place To Get Water Dumped On Your Head

    BAR 81

    If you ever pour out of Blue and Gold Bar or the adjacent BAR 81 late some drunken eve, DO NOT sit on the beautiful cement stoop in between the two, no matter how persuasively she beckons. Do not, seated, loudly recap the night's funniest moments, or loudly make plans for future revelry, or laugh. Do not sing loudly, or… More >>
  • Best Inexpensive East Village Bar


    New York nightlife's all about tha Benjamins—not having any, in the case of yers truly. What to do? Head over to blessedly divey 9C, where a little scratch buys a lotta scotch, or bourbon, or tequila. Or even—they got professional bartenders—mixed drinks, which taste pretty darn good! You can juice the jukebox too, thanks to frequent buy-backs. Among the East… More >>
  • Best Bar To Impress Out-Of-Town Friends With


    Every NYU freshman living around the corner may know what lies behind DECIBEL's basement-level door, but your bosom buddies from Beantown don't. They can't even open the damn thing! (Press the buzzer, you rubes!) Once inside the cave-like sake emporium, be sure and act the suave mofo as you're shown your table—remember, you've seen it all before! Warm alcohol? Nothing… More >>
  • Best Bar In Which To Pretend That You're A Real Writer


    I only write for money, so it is the scribblers sitting at KGB BAR's tables—notepads open, eyes straining in the dark, their drinks, waiting to be sipped, sweating—who serve as my conduit to that wondrous world of authenticity, of feeling and motivation, of all that . . . jazz (dast I use such a word—such an irreverent word?) . .… More >>
  • Best Bar For Outcast Columbia Students


    With so many bars so close to campus (the West End, Amsterdam Café, the Heights, 1020, SoHa, Nacho Mama's, etc., etc., etc.), most Columbia students rarely venture very far from the library to do their drinking. Those who make the relatively lengthy trek to DING DONG LOUNGE tend to be the type that would rather beat on a sorority girl… More >>
  • Best Place To Avoid Reading


    Business success guides from the 1980s sit on inaccessibly high shelves in this dimly lit East Village bar. Despite the used and rejected pop-psychology books that line the shelves here, THE LIBRARY is indistinguishable from your average pub. Overly loud Velvet Underground blares from the jukebox as after-work types crowd into the bar's comfy booths. The library gimmick is more… More >>
  • Best Bar To Have A Party If You Don't Want Everyone To Turn Up


    You can book the whole cozy courtyard for a party at GOOD WORLD BAR & GRILL, drink white beers, eat fantastic meatballs, and hear what everyone is saying until at least midnight any night. There are tables in the front, tall stools around the bar, and reasonably friendly tenders to serve. There's a funky old barbershop theme and the bathrooms… More >>
  • Best Biergarten For A Hot-Dog-Eating Contest


    Four dogs has been my in-immediate-succession chow-down limit—but you will want to test yours at the wicked cheap and wicked meaty GOWANUS YACHT CLUB. Proprietor Alan Harding—referring to the Moby Dick- and Gilligan's Island-inspired decor—says his cozy Carroll Gardens outdoor joint has a "Captain Ahab mounts Ginger" vibe. Add a lot of grilled meat and $1 cans of Pabst to… More >>
  • Best Biergarten For Watching The Xxx U.S. Lose All Major Sporting Events


    If there's one thing we learned during the 2002 World Cup, it's the difference between an ale and a lager. Then again, were Manhattan a bustling metropolis of, say, Germany, actually winning at soccer would be a rite of passage, and we'd have less of an excuse to drink excessively for every goal (or lack thereof). Either way, ZUM SCHNEIDER… More >>
  • Best Teensy Irish Bar


    Dymphna, a martyr who died in A.D. 620 at the tender age of 15, is the patron saint of those suffering from nervous and mental disorders. So thank God for ST. DYMPHNA'S in the East Village—ideally itty-bitty, it's not claustrophobic but a cozy bar dotted with a few simple wooden tables. A calmness pervades: The lighting's low and the undecorated… More >>
  • Best Bar To Pretend Your Name Is Natasha Or Boris


    From the RUSSIAN VODKA ROOM with love: This smoky expat den offers giant heart-shaped flasks of herb/fruit-infused Smirnoff vodkas, from which you pour, then slug, cranberry shots, peach shots, horseradish shots! We like the shadowy, shabby booths off the bar area best, all the better to linger with our liaisons, seducing them with ample cleavage before predictably slipping off to… More >>
  • Best Hidden Hangout


    Hanging out in the dank, red-lit, artwork-adorned environs of SIBERIA is sort of like partying in a cave designed by a Hunter College student. The absence of any kind of sign outside keeps out the tourists and uninformed, but not journalists, beautiful hipsters, and freaks—you'll find 'em all here, along with owner Tracy Westmoreland, who's usually good for a bear… More >>
  • Best Place For What Ales You


    Yank jokes about warm English beer are nervous projection—real ale, as the Brits call it, is some strong, tasty shit. (In NYC, ask for "cask ale.") Drawn up manually with a "beer engine," ale has only two enemies: excessive cold and carbonation. In England, the varieties are almost infinite, but D.B.A. usually keeps two different brands in stock. Ale doesn't… More >>
  • Best Brewery Tour


    Located in the historic Williamsburg district of Brewers Row, the modest, yet profitable BROOKLYN BREWERY stands as the last great New York City brew house. With 37,000 barrels sold last year and over 25,000 visitors, the tour gives you insight into both the history of the neighborhood and the many steps needed to make 11 signature flavors. The short walk… More >>
  • Best Bargain On Beer Brewed Within The State


    New York is not much of a beer town. The Brooklyn Brewery rocks, especially its barley wine Monster, but beer is one domain where the city is outshone by upstate. The best beers made in the state are Hennepin and Ommegang, Belgian-style ales brewed in Cooperstown. And the best beer bargain in the five boroughs is to buy them by… More >>
  • Best New Bar That Harkens Back To Ye Olde Brooklyn


    Set within a cluster of frayed Civil War-era buildings, the 66 WATER STREET BAR may be an infant next to some of Brooklyn's aged watering holes, but this former spice warehouse in DUMBO effortlessly evokes the romance of a rough and noble borough. Visitors soak up the ghostly presence of days gone by, as well as fairly priced drinks. A… More >>