HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Good Bar Food / Pub Grub?

We'll be visiting NYC the second weekend in May (actually 4 nights total). I've managed to score Babbo reservations for Friday night, and want to hit Gramercy Tavern (the Tavern Room) another night, but want to keep it casual for the rest of the dining. What are some places with great burgers, wings, sandwiches and other traditional bar food? A solid craft beer selection is a big plus (much of our touring while we're in NYC will be to beer-centric establishments). We're staying in Midtown (44th St. befween Ave. of the Americas and Park Ave.), but will certainly be out and about while we're there.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Waterfront Ale House would be a good choice. Good pub food and a great beer selection.

    2nd Ave. and 30th St.


    1. If you want to go less traditional bar food but more special and interesting, try The Breslin, Spotted Pig or the Butterfly.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mla19

        I think cost might be an issue. What do you think a meal for two would cost in those places?

        1. re: Bob Martinez

          Look up any restaurant's menu with prices on menupages.com, here is the one for spotted pig- depends a lot on how much you drink and what it is you order....

          1. re: Ttrockwood

            Based on the OP's post it appeared that he was looking for a low key/lower cost option. Based on that I asked a fair question. How much will the ticket be? You and I know that the Breslin is pricey - he wouldn't.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              Ah- sorry i meant to reply to the OP so he could see menus with prices. Just a burger and beer should stay within budget but its also easy to ring a high tab quickly...

      2. Having worked in the area for more than twelve years, I can say that Mulligans Pub on Madison & 39th makes a superb burger, has a large selection of beers and is very close to where you are staying. Rare in the thirties on Lexington Avenue would also be a good and more upscale option.

        1. You should also check out the Ginger Man [http://www.gingerman-ny.com/] on 36th just east of Fifth Ave.
          I think its beer selection is better than the Waterfront's, although its food, while quite fine as 'pub grub', probably less creative. It's also close to where you're staying, although you may want to narrow down your coordinates: there are three pretty long crosstown blocks between Sixth (as the Ave. of the A's is called locally) & Park.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Phil Ogelos

            Yes, I think The Ginger Man is on the agenda for at least a beer or two. As for a more exact location, our hotel is between 6th and 5th Ave (was previously looking at a fairly zoomed out Google Maps view).

            1. re: boingo2000

              That's a great block to be on, boingo: the lobby of the Algonquin; Lantern's Keep at the Iroquois (a darling of cocktail-loving 'hounds); the DB Bistro Moderne; (whatever excuse you can employ to crash) the Harvard Club's main dining room; Kellari; the Strip House; -and that's only covering the north side of the street.
              If you want to live life like a real New Yorker, just hang out abed for the whole of your stay like John & Yoko did, and order everything in. Have a great trip!

          2. If you're on the les stop into tiny's giant sandwiches (they really are!!) open til 10pm, very reasonable prices

            Linen hall in the e village has 12 craft beers on tap and specials through the week, my foodie friend loves the patty melt, the mushroom crostini were very good. Draft beer menu here: http://www.linenhallnyc.com/menus/lh-...

              1. Not traditional bar food but great for beer, pickles, and comfort food on the Upper West Side: http://jacobspickles.com/. Nice atmosphere too!

                1. Thanks to everybody for the suggestions so far...definitely a couple places that I've put on the radar. :)

                    1. If your into craft beer I highly suggest the following spots which are some of the best beer bars in the city:

                      Ginger Man (in your neighborhood)
                      The Jeffrey- outdoor patio in the back, great Reuben sandwiches
                      Rattle and Hum- sports bar with good beer
                      The Cannibal- really great Steak tartare, great beer list but incredibly overpriced.

                      West Village
                      Blind Tiger- can be really crowded so daytime is the best time to go. Pilsner wings and grilled cheese with tomato soup are awesome.
                      Vol de Nuit- all Belgian beers, outdoor seating in the front, great frites

                      LES/East Village
                      Top Hops- beer store and bar
                      Good Beer- Beer store and bar
                      One Mile House- outdoor seating in back, decent bar food

                      You should also make the trek out to Torst if you have time. Jeppe and Daniel Burns are doing some amazing stuff out there. I highly suggest the meat plate with Danish Rye if you go and on Sundays they do a traditional Roast Beef dish.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: roze

                        How would you rate those places by ambiance? I ask because Rattle N Hum has a reputation for attracting a frat boy crowd. Loud mouthed jerks. Sure enough, I was there about a month ago and that's what I found on a Sunday afternoon when I thought I'd be safe.

                        I've heard the same thing about Gingerman although I haven't been so I can't personally confirm it.

                        Which of the places that you recommended have the best ambiance? (I'm sure some of them are great.)

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          Roze gives a good list.

                          Rattle N Hum is a tight space so it obviously can vary. I meet friends there for after work beers and if you can get a spot at the bar its fine. Personally I have always found the crowd at Gingerman to be more insufferable but who knows.

                          The Jeffrey has some potential. I have been there a couple of times since they opened and the tap list is very strong. Food wise the sandwiches and oysters are good. It has been low key when I have been there but the set up is a bit weird so I can see it getting annoying.

                          One mile house is good for a saturday/sunday afternoon beer. Usually low key

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            It's funny because I almost didn't include Rattle and Hum because of the frat boy atmosphere but it was so close to the OP's location I felt I had to. Of all the ones I listed I like it the least. However I will put up with it once in a while for their tap takeovers like the most recent one with Allagash.

                            I concur with MVNYC- The Jeffrey has great potential. The bar on the side is a bit too narrow but the back space is great. I've always found the crowd to be pretty chill every time I've gone except on Thursday nights when it gets overrun with after work happy hour crowds. Plus the small patio out back makes it ideal for the weather we will hopefully be having next month.

                            I absolutely love the atmosphere of The Gingerman. I tend to go early afternoon on Fridays or Saturday/Sunday afternoon when it's usually nice and calm. The bar is gorgeous and I love sitting in front of the big windows up front and watching the world go by. You should definitely check it out if you haven't.

                            One Mile House is great...if there's a big concert going on at Bowery Ballroom it can get a little crowded but otherwise they have great beers and really fantastic staff. It's not as pretty as the Gingerman but it's comfortable.

                            Good Beer doesn't really have an atmosphere- much more bottle shop than bar. Top Hops has a long bar with a TV on each end and tables up front for sitting.

                            It's tough because on any given day/night of course a rowdy crowd could come in and change the entire atmosphere. I was at Torst the weekend before last and couldn't believe how loud and crowded it was on Saturday afternoon. Usually My husband and I find it quite empty. Hope this helps.

                            1. re: roze

                              That's a great answer. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

                        2. If you are looking for good local breweries to select from be on the lookout for beers from Single Cut, Barrier, Carton. those are some of the newer ones and of course Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint and Defiant have been around for a while and make some solid brews.