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Best Bloody Mary in Manhattan (serious research)

  • s

Where can I find it? Why is it so good?
Thanks in advance,

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  1. I am by no means a connoisseur, so I haven't scoured the city to find out...but East 4th Street Bar (at 2nd Ave) makes a good one.

    The heat is just right, nice balance of ingredients, fresh celery (for a bar), etc.

    Been to Prune, but not for brunch. Have heard from those who have that the bloodies are solid.

    1. My favorite is Great Jones, the Cajun place on Great Jones (3rd Street, really) between Bowery and Lafayette: the right mix of lime flavor, horseradish, tomato juice, etc. A runner-up would be the Cubby Hole, the bar on 4th Street and, I think, 11th Street or Bank or something like that.

      If you expand your inquiry to the boroughs, Madiba, the South African restaurant in Fort Greene on DeKalb and Carlton, has a nice brunch with tasty Bloody Marys.

      1. The Blarney Rock 137 Wesst 33rd (between 7th and Broadway ), makes a great Bloody Mary, either vodka or tequila.

        1. If you like them spicy, go to Nirvana on Central Park South.
          It is an Indian restaurant located in a penthouse of a residential building. Hence, stellar views.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TOny

            Oh no! Stay away from Nirvana! Way overpriced, mediocre food. Though I must admit I haven't had the bloody mary. I highly recommend the wonderful, spicy Masala Mary at Tabla--another overpriced restaurant, but the downstairs bread bar is cheaper and the food is very good, too.

          2. 7B has an excellent one, depending on the bartender. Don't know his name, but one guy in particular makes them differently - he uses wasabi instead of horseradish, which gives them creamy taste. The others are good as well - it's the same mix, just no wasabi; good heat level and a nice brownish dark red.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ADB

              You have highlighted one of my pet peeves as both a bar manager and a bar customer: places that don't standardize their drink recipes.

              When I walk into a bar the second time I should know EXACTLY what my drink should taste like (assumming I have the same thing I had the first time) because every bartender in the place should be using the same ingredients and the same recipe.

              There are probably thousands of Bloody Mary recipes, and they all have their fans. All a bar has to do is pick one, teach it to their staff, and make sure they follow it. A bartender wants to be creative? Let him invent a new drink, with a new name, not digress from what the rest of the staff is doing. And if his recipe for a Bloody Mary is really better he should take it up with management and convince them that everyone should do it HIS way.

              1. re: Deven Black

                Thanks, Deven. I have to totally agree. Inconsistency in a bar/restaurant is inexcusable.

              2. re: ADB

                If you like them made with wasabi, I like the one at AZ, on west 17th street which has wasabi and a japanese sho-chu instead of vodka.

              3. i'm a big fan of the bloody mary at the cupping room in soho. it's the spicy standard with lots of horseradish & coarse ground black pepper. i used to go in fridays after work and the bartender was mixing up the weekend's batch. he added all the regular stuff - worchestershire, dijon mustard, tomato juice etc. apparently they make up big buckets of the mix every friday night and it gets better after a few days.
                it's really all about making the standard bloody mary and making it well. generally bloody mary's are weak, too little horseradish. too much tabasco. commerical yucky mixes. or that horrific clamato stuff.
                the cupping room's is perfect. give it a shot.

                1 Reply
                1. re: beegirlny

                  Did you put the word "horrific" next to "Clamato"? Well, I guess that just leaves more for the rest of us Clamato lovers.

                  And gin.

                  Not bad.

                2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. My intent was to glean the best and then map out a route for the First Annual Bloody Mary Marathon to be held sometime in the spring. Nothing special, just a handful of like-minded folk walking (staggering?) from place to place trying the best bloodies in Manhattan.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Steve

                    Hey are we all invited????

                    1. re: jag

                      Absolutely! I'll post the date sometime in May.

                    2. re: Steve

                      anything ever happen with the Bloody Mary Marathon?

                      1. re: D

                        Shouldn't that be "The Bloody Marython"? :)

                        1. re: Striver

                          Heh – I'd like to think it's still going strong, three years later, and the Mary-thoners haven't put down their glasses long enough to report back.

                    3. I've posted before about the winning Bloody Marys at the Oak Bar in the Plaza Hotel. The proportions seem ideal --texture not too thick, not ridiculously alcoholic, not overspiced. Perhaps the winning move is the garnish: An olive (not usual to me in a Bloody Mary but a perfect match) and a boiled shrimp.

                      1. Gin seems to win every time, even in a bloody.

                        Until the next morning.

                        1. Clamdaddy and Gin Rummy, pardon the interruption for a quick request: we ask users not to frequently change subject titles. Doing so screws up the many chowhounds who read these boards via HotPosts (check it out, it's great, via link atop our home page), which are unthreaded.

                          It's best for everyone if we keep the subject titles descriptive of the thread as a whole, and only change them if the discussion has substantially digressed.

                          Thanks a lot!

                          1. My favorite Bloody Mary destination is a place in D.C. I believe it was Sign of the Whale, that has a special on the weekends - something like all-you-can-drink Bloody's for $10. You get (refills of) a pint glass with vodka and ice and they have a table with just about every ingredient you could ever think of putting in a Bloody Mary, so you make your own according to your tastes. I would love to find something like that in New York.

                            1. Hands down (imho) the best bloody mary in Manhattan is found at Pravda (Lafayette and Prince).

                              1. It's all about PRUNE. too many varieties. My fav is the chicago boxcar, comes with pickled veggies. amazing.

                                1. The best bloody mary is at JG Mellon 74th and 3rd. The burgers there are also very, very good.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: nodiane

                                    Ah! An old post but this was going to be my response. Many a happy afternoon was spent at JG Mellon with a cheeseburger and several Bloody Marys.

                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                      That's a great suggestion. Might as well throw in PJ Clarke's or the back room at Smith & Wollensky if we're going down this road. Guenther in the back room at Patroon's makes killer Bloody Mary's. Killer.


                                      Smith & Wollensky
                                      797 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022

                                  2. alias on clinton st at rivington makes a great bloody mary. the brunch is quite good, too! they have these kinds:

                                    Classic Mary vodka, tomato juice, spices, celery
                                    Crustacean Mary vodka, horseradish, old bay, shrimp
                                    Hair of Mary either of above with double shot vodka
                                    Mary Mary either of above with no vodka

                                    1. my favorite non-fussy bloody marys are from the grassroots tavern (they make their own mix and it's always consistent) and pastis (they use bloody bold mix, which is excellent). not too thick, not overloaded with spices, and not swimming with chunks of horseradish that clog the straw. while celery and carrot curls and the like look nice, all i really need is a fat lemon wedge.

                                      1. Clem's in Williamsburg has a good one as well. Only on sundays when the bartender who makes them works.

                                        1. Melon's on 74th street has a greatt bloody bull, usual bloody mix, booze and a splash of beef consumme and it goes perfectly with their burger

                                          1. Noho Star has a house special made with a dash of aged balsamic vinegar and diced jalapenos amongst other ingredients - it's all your food groups in an alcoholic beverage - Gotta Love It!

                                            1. The Bloody Mary was originally known as a "Red Snapper" and was created at the King Cole bar in the Saint Regis. Theirs is still the best I've had. Pure, with no "wasabi" gimmics.

                                              2 Replies
                                                1. re: RiversideDrive

                                                  Steve's Bloody Marys
                                                  by Lucas Everidge

                                                  "Fernand Petiot, an American bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris, first invented the drink in the 1920's. He mixed up equal parts of tomato juice and vodka. He had no idea that his concoction would become world famous when he agreed with the guy in the bar who suggested he call the drink "Bloody Mary." The patron said it reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and a girl he knew there named Mary.

                                                  In 1934, Petiot moved to the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, and brought the recipe with him. The hotel managers tried to change the name to Red Snapper, but it didn't stick."

                                                  1. The Blind Tiger makes a decent one. Pasti's is good too.

                                                    1. Great Jones Diner on Great Jones btwn Bowery and Lafayette makes a wicked Bloody Mary. It's the female bartender- I'm not sure about the rest.

                                                      1. Lotus on Clinton and Stanton makes quite a good bloody mary. They used to be 5 bucks for a pint, but as the trendy factor of the area has gone up, so has the price. Still a great bloody mary though, and a nice calm atmosphere.

                                                        1. I like the Bloody Mary menu at Prune -
                                                          I actually love Prune's brunch overall, but have heard rough stories lately about their dinner service.

                                                          1. So report on your research's finding please!

                                                            1. This is an old thread but would love to revive it and find out where to get a rockin' bloody in NYC, since there must be new places for the list. I have to agree with those who like the ones served at Great Jones - I think they call it a Cajun Bloody Mary.

                                                              I would also like to know if it's possible that someplace serves blood caesars (yay Clamato)!

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: brooklyngirl

                                                                Gosh this thread is OLD! Started in 2003, then more discussion in 2006, last updated in 2008.

                                                                Have you tried Prune (long bloody marys list, and quite inventive), Five Points (classic), Devin Tavern (classic, freshly squeezed tomato juice, fresh horseradish)? Have to disagree with the Pastis recommendation from back in the day -- theirs are too thick (too much mix).

                                                                Unfortunately, I still haven't made it out to the King Cole Bar at the St Regis, where the Bloody Mary of today came to be. (It wasn't invented there per se, but that's where they first started adding all the spices.)

                                                                Tasting Room also used to have a great red-wine based one but they closed down. :(

                                                                1. re: brooklyngirl

                                                                  I'm a fan of the "Bloody Maria" at Miracle Bar & Grill in the Village. It's got a Spanish twist to it (as evidenced by the name) and goes great with their breakfast burrito. Yummy combination.

                                                                  1. re: brooklyngirl

                                                                    Bloody ceasars seem to be a Canadian cocktail because I have not found them in New York but in Quebec it is one of the most popular before dinner drinks. Almost no one drinks bloody marys in Quebec anymore. It is all about the Bloody ceasars now. You serve it with celery salt around the rim and tabasco sauce, mixed of course with Clamato juice.

                                                                    I asked a couple of bartenders in NY about it and no one knew about that cocktail. Maybe some bartenders could answer us about this particular question!

                                                                    Last question....is the Bloody mary at the St Regis hotel worth the detour? I stopped by once and my intention was to stop and have one but the bar was full so I left without having tasted it. Is it really worth it?

                                                                    1. re: cricri7

                                                                      IMHO: Go to the St. Regis for their bloody mary. I really do think it's good.

                                                                      If you're into a more bizarre bloody, I had one at brunch at Rosa Mexicano last weekend. I think they called it a Rosa Maria....something to that effect. They did a number on their own version of bloody mary mix with some funky tropical stuff....like aloe. Honestly....I'm more of a purist -- wasn't a big fan.

                                                                  2. I again, am just wondering if there are any new updates to add to this list? I'll be going into the city for a day trip and have made it a requirement to try and find the best bloody mary in the area. right now, it sounds like Prune comes up as pretty solid, just wondering if there are any new comers? Thanks!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Maverik007

                                                                      The ones at Minetta Tavern are excellent.

                                                                      Minetta Tavern
                                                                      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                      1. re: kathryn

                                                                        My favorites are at five points, locanda verde, and the smith. Also, the bloody bull at jg melon's is excellent.

                                                                    2. King Cole Bar or Patroon's. King Cole alleges that they introduced it to the USA, but who knows?
                                                                      It is good. Unbelievably expensive, but good.


                                                                      King Cole Bar
                                                                      2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

                                                                      1. How did horseradish make its way into a Bloody Mary? I remember the days of pre-horseradish. Very hard to find these days. When I make them at home, my key ingredient is celery seeds.

                                                                        1. Since this thread has been revived: Whiskey Tavern has a nice bloody -- horseradish is included, which I prefer. Pair it with a spicy pickleback, and you've got a nice meal.

                                                                          Whiskey Tavern
                                                                          79 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ejswanso

                                                                            I have since made it to the King Cole bar in the St Regis hotel and came away ver disappointed with their Bloody mary. It was 20$ and not worth it. The bartender was rude on top of it.

                                                                            Since then, I have tasted quite a few.....Fanelli's is very good. At the Blue ribbon sushi bar and grill, they do one with a different twist and it is also very good. At Pete's tavern, it was the only good thing because their cheeseburger and fries were way ordinary. I also liked the one at L'Express even if the waitress wanted to sell me an "organic one" for 2$ more. I stayed with the traditional one and it was excellent.

                                                                            249 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003

                                                                            King Cole Bar
                                                                            2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022