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Jul 20, 2009 11:58 AM

Other Bars Like White Horse Tavern?

Hi All,

This coming weekend, my parents (aged late 50s) and sister (29) will be coming to visit me in the city. During their last visit, I received an almost uncomfortable amount of praise after bringing them to the White Horse Tavern. They loved it. Be it the storied history, the picturesque West Village setting, or the Anchor on tap, I can't exactly say. Regardless, I'd like to try and repeat that experience.

We may very well end up at White Horse again, but I'd like to poll the collective expertise of this board and ask what other bars/taverns fill that same niche? We'd like it to be laid back venue, with a good cross-section of people and (relatively) inexpensive beers on tap. Bonus point if the place is an institution and/or culturally significant.


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  1. What time of day will you and your family be in town? This is important because there are bars I'd suggest going to during the day and early evenings that I would not suggest going to later on.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KTinNYC


      I'd say that we'll probably be out and about most of the day, but will probably start looking for some drinks late in the afternoon or early in the evening.


    2. Two that would fit the bill are Walker's and the Old Town Bar. Each has that old well worn ambiance you're looking for although both of them are a lot cleaner than the White Horse. The burgers at both are very good and Walker's has a wider menu of good pub food.

      Pete's is another historic bar that would be worth a visit. The food, however, is sub par.

      16 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

      Old Town Bar & Restaurant
      45 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

      Pete's Tavern
      129 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bob Martinez


        the ear inn.
        mcsorley's ale house.
        the frying pan (pier / boat with drinks)
        the half king (only minorly culturally signif).

        1. re: thievery

          a) Bob's suggestions are great - I prefer Old Town
          b) Frying Pan is another excellent choice for a different type of place

        2. re: Bob Martinez

          its a shame that old town bar has such a douchey crowd...same with pete's tavern where my dad had his bachelor party back in the day.

          walkers rules of course...that is the perfect option for the OP...i also love tavern on jane.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            Old Town has one of the best burgers in NYC. Forget the expensive Spotted Pigs and crowded Corner Bistros of the burger world. Good burger and pickles plus great beers on tap-- Brooklyn Ale to Blue Point every time I have been there.

            Corner Bistro
            331 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

            Spotted Pig
            314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

            Blue Point
            662 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          2. mcsorley's is certainly an institution!

            1. I haven't been in a while, but Milady's would probably work also.


              And I second Walker's, Pete's & Old Town. Not a fan of McSorley's (too fratty).

              2 Replies
              1. re: small h

                McSorley's is way different on weekdays and early in the afternoon. Later on it's a frat party. I like Bob M's suggestions. Not much history involved but Blind Tiger is a great spot.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  Good point about McSoreley's - I'd avoid it in the evenings. Best to visit around 2:00PM on a weekday as the lunch crowd is leaving. Get some ham sandwiches with mild Bermuda onions.

              2. Was it the "vibe" or "Dylan Thomas" aspect that wow-ed your parents;-

                Was it the "vibe" or "Dylan Thomas" apect that wow-ed your parents;-) ?