Lower Manhattan • Nightlife, Bar
If you’ve got a thing for old men who sing karaoke or have been searching for a place to show off that one Chinese ballad now that Winnie’s is closed, this upstairs dive is for you. Order up their Hennessy and green tea “cocktail” and if you get bad-decision drunk, give into the egg rolls. Sing “My Heart Will Go On” as a dedication to Winnie’s, and don’t forget to tip your bartender.
Williamsburg • Bar, Nightlife
The last great dive bar in NYC if you are a Broadly staffer. This laid back neighborhood bar boasts simple creative cocktails—like a margarita served with a big watermelon ice cube—and tasty, basic bar snacks. You might score a free round of nachos if you mention that you’re the Dardy band's #1 fan.
Greenpoint • Bar, Guys night
Come for the $1 Jell-O shots, leave because of the Yankee Candles that burn behind the bar. The drinks are cheap, and the bartenders are nice here. Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve probably seen Capri Social Club before because so many movies and TV shows film their bar scenes here. But if you think that means the bar is somehow glamorous, you are seriously mistaken. Have another shot and stop being such an asshole.
Greenpoint • Nightlife, Bar
Dead flowers, stained glass, and inverted crosses make up the decor at this Greenpoint bar that many describe as a “metalhead” hangout. But order a tall boy and get in line for weekend karaoke, or come see one of the shows that takes place throughout the week. Either way, this place allows you to be whatever and whomever you’d like to be—and it’s too dark in here for anyone to remember your face tomorrow.
Lower Manhattan • Dive bar, Nightlife
The greatest living room-type of bar in the East Village, free of fuck boys and Santa-Con types. This true neighborhood gathering place is no-frills and non-judgmental, but too well-appointed to be just another hole to get drunk in. International is the most pleasant and least obnoxious bar for blocks in every direction—except for maybe Blue and Gold. The pours are massive and beers are cheap.
Lower Manhattan • Nightlife, Bar
Blue and Gold is tied with International Bar for the title of least obnoxious bars in the East Village. It feels like a real old Manhattan dive of the sort that are becoming dinosaurs. If Santa-con came through here, they would not be welcome, and for that reason and many others, we wish more bars were like Blue and Gold.
Lower Manhattan • Bar, Big groups
This Bowery bar almost has too many craft beers to still count as a dive bar. There’s free bar snacks—usually oriental mix—and the end of the wooden bar and a decent Pimms cups. Grab some and a pint of beer and sit beneath the taxidermy moose head and wonder what it would say if it could talk after all the crazy shit its seen take place in here.
Lower Manhattan • Bar, Nightlife
Beers arrive in 32 ounce styrofoam cups and bras hang from the rafters around here. Basically, it’s Gary Busey’s fever dream. A stone’s throw from Wall Street, come for the buckets of ice-cold beer and the fried clams. God bless America.
Lower Manhattan • Gay bar, Nightlife
Opened in 1864, this historic West Village gay bar and flashpoint for gay rights civil disobedience should be a place of pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in LGBT history. And anyone who loves hamburgers. Order a beer and a bacon cheeseburger from the food station. We shouldn’t be writing this, but this burger might be just as good as Corner Bistro’s without that bullshit line that wraps around the block.
East Williamsburg • Bar, Nightlife
Always a great spot if you want to drink near old Polish men who won’t talk to you, but the Call Box’s real appeal is that you can’t rent it for free (!) as long as you bring some music. They provide a dance floor laser light show, and 7 beers in a bucket are just $20. For a party, just add friends.
Williamsburg • Nightlife, Bar
This one time illegal Latino booze den is now is one of the neighborhood’s most welcoming dives with all the important signifiers: Buck Hunter, a pool table, a patio for smokers, and lighting low enough you can get guiltlessly trashed before dinnertime.
Red Hook • Bar, Nightlife
Sunny may be dead, but his legacy lives on in his Red Hook dive bar. Hot coffee, strong drinks, eccentric characters, and a great backyard make up are the lasting reasons to come this 120-year-old something bar. Sunny’s is the kind of place where, after just enough shots of Fernet and Maker’s, you are almost guaranteed to see the blurred and inebriated specter of Ernest Hemingway or Marlon Brando sitting on the stool next to you. Hell, you would probably have a hard time convincing us that a shot or two of Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront wasn’t secretly filmed there.
Williamsburg • Bar, Nightlife
With $1 beers from 6-9 PM everyday, and one of the best jukeboxes around—everything from Pantera to Black Sabbath—come to this metal bar to get drunk. Take the giant Wheel of Fortune-esque wheel for a spin to win a prize. Don’t wear anything that requires dry cleaning, or that you don’t mind being torn to shreds.
Bedford-Stuyvesant • Dive bar, Impressing out of towners
You’ve probably walked by this Bed-Stuy neighborhood spot multiple times without noticing it but inside there is always something cheap on the grill, bottomless party mix on the bar counter, and bottled beer or strong well drinks in your hand.
Lower Manhattan • Gay bar, Impressing out of towners
Marie’s Crisis is a legendary historic gay West Village haunt and the greatest piano bar in NYC where you can get tipsy enough to belt out some show tunes in the presence of people that are much more talented than you. Like craft cocktails? Go elsewhere.
Walk inside the narrowest bar in Nolita, which often feels like you’re drinking inside a subway car, and order a pint from the place that’s seen more change in New York than you ever will. The 120-year-old Lower Manhattan veteran knows what people do best at bars, no matter the decade: getting fucked up on basic well drinks, draft beer, and potentially accidentally locking yourself into the tiny restroom hidden behind swinging saloon doors. Either way, it will make for a night you won’t forget or remember.