Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 18, 2009 04:53 PM


Im going up to NYC from Miami with a few friends and we were wondering what would be a good place to go get good drinks? We are looking for a nice place with a good crowd (as we are all in our 20s) that has decent priced drinks. Please help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What sort of drinks (cocktails, wine, beer?), and what area (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Lower East Side, Midtown?).

    2 Replies
    1. re: merrymc

      Cocktails and Beers is what we are looking for. We are staying at the HIlton NY Towers so anything around the area. Manhattan? Lower Eastside? not too familiar with the area! Def not in Brooklyn though. Thank you for your quick reply!

      1. re: pickyeater23

        In your immediate area there are three types of bars: 1) Classic circa 1920s Bars (e.g. The Oak Room at the Algonquin, The Oak Room at the Plaza, Campbell Apartment in Grand Central, Sir Harry's at the Waldorf Astoria) which are definitely a must see, but at $15 a drink, may be a tad pricey for a tourist on a budget; 2) after work bars which don't have much of a night life after 8 or 9pm; and 3) cookie cutter tourist-trap Irish Pubs/Sports Bars.

        If you want a taste of Manhattan nightlife, I recommend you venture downtown. If not, there's a decent beer bar called Gingerman on 36th street between 5th and Madison. Hopes this helps!

    2. What kind of cocktails do you like? Or beer? Do you want a place that specializes in either? There are cool beer bars with a zillion different kinds of beers on the menu, as well as fabulous cocktail bars that make their own syrups, bitters, squeeze fresh juice, make giant clear ice cubes, etc.

      What kind of atmosphere or crowd? Please be more specific. Trendy? Laid back? More fratty or businessy or hipstery or something else? A lot of bars in NYC tend to get crowded on the weekends so "a good crowd" is not really a good indicator...

      1. There are so many great bars in NYC, picking the best ones is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child! Each area basically offers a different scene in terms of nightlife...

        Upper East Side - This is more of a fun, post frat crowd. Lots of guys, casual laid back sports/irish bars. Some good ones are Jack Russells, Brother Jimmy's, Southern Hospitality (which J. Timberlake owns), Brother Jimmy's. Don't expect to see any celebs or a trendy scene, they are basically college bars for adults.

        Upper West Side: Same type scene as UES, but I think it skews a bit on the younger side. Honestly, if you do UES there really is no need to waste time going to the UWS. I don't hang out up there anymore, but when I was younger (i.e. very low 20's) I would go to Jake's Dilemma, Gin Mill, Bourbon Street, Brother Jimmy's

        Midtown East - Afterwork bar scene. Expect young suits hanging out with their co-workers after work. Redemption, Metro 53, Opal, Sutton Place (nice rooftop) are some popular spots. Age range skews 20's - 30's, but since it's work crowds there are some older people in the mix. Not trendy, although they did open a new place called Haven, which is supposed to be more on the trendy side, (something new and in my opinion, positive, for the area).

        Midtown West - Afterwork happy hour bars, same as midtown east. Tonic, Social, Latitudes. Also some middle eastern themed lounges Kemia, Zanzibar and dive bars Rudy's, Langsdowne Road

        Murray Hill - Similar scene to the UES, but more dancing oriented. While you would want to dress down for the UES, it's more acceptable to get dressier for these places. Tonic (nice roof), Banc, The Hill, Joshua Tree, Mercury Bar, 515, Vig 27. Not a velvet rope scene.

        Chelsea/Flatiron - All the mega clubs are in far Chelsea Home, Cain Luxe, Mansion. A new place that was getting some buzz openned up in the 20's bet. 5th and 6th called Citrine. Slate (which is a bar meets pool hall) and Taj are also decent places on that block. 230 Fifth (awesome roof) Expect a velvet rope for most of these places and lines / covers.

        Meatpacking - This is the more exclusive area. Hot places right now are Tenjune, Bijoux, Beatrice Inn, 1 OAK. All of these places are SUPER exclusive. Worth giving a try, but some nights they don't let anyone in who isn't connected so don't waste your night waiting the whole night on the line. Plunge at the top of the Gainesvort Hotel is an awesome view and not impossible to get in. G Spa is also a cool scene, it's a bar/lougne inside a spa. Revel is OK, overflow from people who couldn't get in to nearby Tenjune.

        West Village - NYU kids. Really young. Off the Wagon, Peculiar Pub, Wicked WIlly's. Think college town.

        East Village - hipster bars. These are not velvet rope, but celebs do hang out at these places randomly. Lit, Uncle Mings, St. Mark's Ale House, Alphabet Lounge (great 80's dancing), 7B, PDT (hidden bar, entrance is in the phone booth in Crif Dogs, great cocktails), Death & Co. (great cocktails, go early though bc they close early), Le Souk (fun middle eastern bar with a euro vibe).

        LES - Similar scene to the East Village with an overflow from the Murray Hill/UES crowd. Back Room (very cool place, set up like an old world speakeasy, drinks served in tea cups), Libation, Fat Baby, La Caverna (middle eastern themed club set up in a cave, very disney), Fontana's, Happy Ending.

        Wow, I go out too much! Hope this helps...

        3 Replies
          1. re: KTinNYC

            Really? It's been a while. Good to know.

        1. thank you guys for all the help!!! EAMEYER that was an AMAZING post! thank you so much.

          coming from miami we are trendy girls. not stuck up or snobby in anyway but prefer to be in a trendy place than a bar full of guys in suits. although some like beer, COCKTAILS is the way to go, for sure!

          any more info anyone would like to share?!

          5 Replies
          1. re: pickyeater23

            If this is your preference then you will not want to spend any time in the East Village and LES. Stick to Meat Packing District and the trendier hotel bars.

            1. re: pickyeater23

              good cocktails do not come cheap.....

              angel's share
              pegu club
              death & co
              little branch

                1. re: thew

                  Little Branch is trendy ("mixologists") but in a quieter, classier vein (it's quiet, they frown on lots of noise, and it's fairly dark inside). It's got a New York City feel, but it won't be trendy with the latest music or dancing or anything. It's also cash only (for planning ahead). Angel's Share is similar (dark, fairly quiet), but it takes credit cards. Neither of these is cheap, but they're not off the charts for the city either.

                2. re: pickyeater23

                  The basement bar @ Bond Street is always pretty fun. Good cocktails too. I'd second Angel's Share as well.
                  my foodie blog