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Where to drink in New York City right now

A photo of Red logo
by Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Updated December 15, 2023

Bar hopping is never boring in New York City. Whether you’re in the mood to taste a trending cocktail, sip through a well-curated wine menu, or hang with a paperback in the corner of a moody dive, there are hundreds of drinking spots to choose from all over NYC.

Head to a Theater District rooftop for playful cocktails and unobstructed Empire State building views. Share a bottle of wine from an extensive Italian selection at a neighborhood gem in Williamsburg. In the East Village, a century-old hangout is a go-to for umbrella-topped daiquiris.

Skip the sidewalk waits by reaching for a reservation instead. Read on for a guide to 9 beloved NYC bars to grab a drink at right now.

A photo of Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge restaurant
4.1 (3387)
$30 and under
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Midtown West
About the restaurant

Every hour feels magical atop this lofty bar and lounge. With unobstructed Empire State Building views and plenty of space to spread out, the Magic Hour is a rarity this close to Times Square. Pink furniture and seasonal decor—colorful flowers, fairy lights—make this indoor and outdoor space an influencer hotspot, but anyone can have a good time here. Drinks and bites are extra playful, such as curly fries, sliders on Hawaiian rolls, and an 18-ounce party punch made with grapefruit vodka, yuzu, and a hint of pomegranate.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Our first experience was great, had a fun time. We went for date night. Kinda wished they had more of a selection for appetizers because they aren’t sharing as appetizers would. Mind you the fries with param cheese, sliders were amazing!! But 3 sliders for $22 is kinda a stretch lol. The drinks are $15+ but they were worth it because they were also yummmm. I wasn’t sure what to get but i’m into sweet so i tried the Moira Rose and loved! very good. smooth. will be going back soon <3
A photo of Broken Shaker - New York restaurant
4.6 (27)
$30 and under
Cocktail Bar
Kips Bay
About the restaurant

Broken Shaker brings tropical flare, bright interiors, and easy-to-sip cocktails to buttoned-up Gramercy. Drinks are intricate and balanced and often feature housemade infusions, syrups, and bitters. Case in point: the Cafe Con Fuego is made with pepper-infused golden rum, cold brew, coffee liqueur, and macadamia orgeat. For the ultimate getaway vibes, pair your beverage with Mediterranean-accented dips or a punchy Cubano sandwich. It all goes down on a rooftop oasis with equally delicious views.

Top review
Dined on Sep 15, 2022
The food was amazing and the drinks were excellent. We had a great time and the DJ was so good. We loved the entire vibe and will go back for sure.
A photo of Julius' Bar restaurant
4.8 (67)
$30 and under
West Village
About the restaurant

As New York’s oldest gay bar, Julius presides over a corner of the West Village and earned historical landmark status in 2022. The no-frills dive—the location of an important 1960s protest—beckons anyone eager to drink in a safe space. Regulars are fans of its faithful burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s always a vibrant ambiance in the colorfully decorated bar, welcoming solo visitors and groups.

Top review
Dined on Oct 21, 2022
The server Chad was one of the most attentive servers I’ve ever come across. And he shared the lovely history of the bar which gave us chills. The burger was fantastic. Good, chill music. Not super loud. Very affordable.
A photo of Grand Central Oyster Bar restaurant
4.2 (7549)
$31 to $50
Midtown East
About the restaurant

This basement-level oyster bar is nestled in the depths of Grand Central Terminal and known for its rotund ceilings and spacious interiors, welcoming both tourists and commuters. Sit at a dining table or sidle up to a stool at the bar for top-notch martinis, ice-cold oysters, and historic ambiance unlike anywhere else in the city.

Top review
Dined on Apr 1, 2024
Fantastic oyster and fish restaurant. The food was delicious
A photo of Holiday Cocktail Lounge restaurant
4.6 (13)
$30 and under
Cocktail Bar
East Village
About the restaurant

Holiday is a century-old East Village haunt that was revitalized in the 2010s. Its extensive and excellent cocktail list includes paper umbrella-topped daiquiris, an ever-popular espresso martini with cold brew and maple-infused syrup, and plenty of beer and wine by the glass. The U-shaped bar at the center of the kitschy but classy space is especially well-suited for catching up with friends—or making brand-new ones.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
This place was a gem. The food was excellent and the vibe was something to experience
A photo of Ophelia restaurant
4.1 (1328)
$30 and under
Midtown East
About the restaurant

Ophelia is an Art Deco-inspired cocktail lounge on the 26th floor of the historic Beekman Tower with stunning East River views. The bar feels nostalgic yet contemporary, serving creative spins on classics such as a martini smoked with palo santo wood and a Caribbean take on an Old Fashioned. A chic snack menu features bites such as truffle fries, duck confit spring rolls, and burrata and dragon fruit salad.

Top review
Dined 1 day ago
Personal very Good Ambiente very Good When you visit NYC you Need to Go there ! Its expesive but soooo tasty
A photo of D.O.C. Wine Bar restaurant
4.8 (233)
$31 to $50
About the restaurant

D.O.C. is a neighborhood gem that achieved Williamsburg classic status in 2002—long before tourists flocked to Brooklyn. Crowds now come for its rustic interiors and perpetually buzzing patio. Enjoy a romantic candlelit evening at a cafe table and linger over a bottle of wine from the extensive Italian list. It pairs well with D.O.C 's standout Sardinian fare, such as grilled octopus with roasted sweet baby peppers and cannellini bean puree or pasta with pistachio pesto and mascarpone cheese.

Top review
Dined on Apr 4, 2024
Fabio is a very attentive, engaging and informative waiter. Food was great, ambience made you feel you were in the Italian countryside
A photo of As You Are restaurant
4.4 (219)
$31 to $50
Boerum Hill
About the restaurant

As You Are is part-bar, part-cafe, part-restaurant, and an all-around good time in the Ace Hotel Brooklyn. The focal point is undoubtedly a kaleidoscopic Isaiah Zagar mosaic, dotted with food motifs. Cocktails are elevated but deceptively simple, such as the Apple Seed Sour, a blend of Cognac, aged rum, applejack, cinnamon, lemon, and egg white. Grab a seat at one of the comfy green banquettes and stretch your evening with a dish from the globally inspired food menu, including celery root latkes and baked brie with strawberries, rhubarb, and pistachios. Or skip right to dessert for sumptuous Earl Grey creme brulee. The Ace’s lobby turns into a major scene come weekend evenings, making for a seriously fun way to continue the evening.

Top review
Dined 3 days ago
Really nice experience! Would definitely visit again. Food was great! Service and just all round was excellent!
A photo of Harlem Tavern restaurant
4.1 (245)
$30 and under
About the restaurant

This easygoing beer garden and sports bar sits in the heart of Harlem and makes an ideal spot to meet up with a group, catch a game, or simply drink in the sun. Gather over cocktails, punches, and over a dozen beers on tap (many are local). Stretch the hangout a little longer with the tavern’s solid comfort food lineup, which includes wings, barbecue spareribs, and mac and cheese that can be customized with toppings such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or jalapeños.

Top review
Dined on Mar 2, 2024
The staff are nice and are quick. The food was really good. I’d definitely go back!
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