New York is bursting with brilliant drinking spots, from dive bars and high-end cocktail spots, to bars with photo-worthy skyline views. The food and drink scene in NYC can seem overwhelming at times. If you’re there for work or doing the city in a weekend, it’s hard to know how best to make the most of a flying visit. So we’ve raised our glass to eight of the best – perfect for work or play:
It doesn’t get much better than the World’s Best Bar, which just so happens to be in New York. Dante won the accolade last year, scooping the award from the previous winner – former London bar Dandelyan. Dante’s drinks certainly live up to its title. The menu is creative yet classic, with interesting twists on traditional cocktails. The venue is known for its Negroni sessions – where drinks are $10 between 3:00-6:00pm – which started in tribute to the European aperitivo hour. In terms of the cocktails themselves, the Brilliant Gimlet is one for gin lovers and the Negroni Coffee Swizzle is great for those who love a caffeine kick. The bar’s understated-yet-stylish decor creates the perfect ambiance for a relaxing drink.
Over in Brooklyn, this horse-shoe shaped bar may be small but its drinks are mighty. This venue is not for the faint-hearted as it specialises in absinthe, with a selection of inventive cocktails as well as drips featuring the spirit, a sugar cube and chilled water. Drinks perfectly complement the seafood menu, which is predominantly oysters. The decor pays homage to the French heritage of New Orleans – it even has a replica of the 150-year old absinthe drip that lives at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street in the Louisiana city. It’s cleverly stripped back, which lets the food and drink speak for itself. This Williamsburg spot is intimate and charming – a real must-visit.
The Four Horsemen
Brooklyn is home to a selection of brilliant wine bars, but there’s something special about this spot on Grand Street. If the all-natural wine list – which focuses on lesser-known, alternative regions – isn’t enough of a talking point, it’s also owned by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Inside, the greyish-white walls, natural woods and playful prints create a mellow Scandi vibe. The hefty wine list is broken up into creative sections such as “last call” and “new additions” and is dripping with quality drinks. Plates are a little on the pricier side, but are well worth it.
Literature lovers should descend on this Victorian-style whisky bar which, as the name suggests, is dedicated to literary legend Oscar Wilde. If that wasn’t unique enough, it also boasts the city’s longest bar top – stretching to an enormous 118.5 feet. It has all the turn-of-the century decadence you could wish for with roaring fireplaces and marble statues – including one outside, which you can sit next to. What’s more, all the clocks are set to 1.50pm – the time of the writer’s death. The opulent bar boasts whisky, absinthe, gin, agave and rum cocktails which pay homage to both the Victorian and Prohibition eras.
Summerly at The Hoxton
There’s a bar for every season at this Brooklyn hotel. Summerly is the rooftop bar which is – despite sitting in the middle of a city – inspired by New England’s coastal dining. It boasts a fabulous view of the New York skyline and is great for getting those Insta-worthy snaps. For a more low-key drink, Backyard is the hotel’s outdoor terrace located on the second floor. There’s ping pong tables too, if you’re looking for a break from conversation. If you’re dining out then Klein’s is the hotel restaurant from Jud Mongell of Five Leaves and Zeb Stewart of Cafe Colette. Expect all-American classics that pack a punch.
This underground bar is subtle – in fact, you’ll probably walk past it the first time you visit. It’s practically an optical illusion with regards to how far it goes back underneath Houston Street. There’s a nautical theme throughout and this stretches to the menu, too, with rum cocktails and seafood plates. Not only does it offers savvy happy hour deals on beers and wine but it also has music at weekends, making it a great choice for a date night.
Like Dante, this Japanese-American whisky bar made it onto the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars last year. At weekends, it’s buzzy and welcoming, with everything from its classic rock playlist to vintage movie posters on the walls. In terms of drinks, it’s all about fusion – so think Shiso Gin and Tonics made with homemade shiso-quinine syrup and a toki highball made with Japanese whisky. There’s something for everyone on the menu and it’s likely you’ll have never tasted anything like it before.
The Fleur Room
Located in the Moxy Chelsea hotel, 35 floors above the city’s Flower District, The Fleur Room has 360-degree views of the city, including an unrivalled view of The Empire State Building. In the warmer months the glass walls retract, making Manhattan’s highest rooftop bar one for all seasons. For the drinks, think botanical, and try their signature cocktail, Fleur of the Valley, made with Grey Goose, prosecco, fresh strawberries and basil.