4pm-8pm; $3 bottles and cans; $4 drafts; $5 sangria, margaritas, and well drinks; $6 wine
A at 181st St.; 1 at 181st St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
181 Cabrini is a no-frills spot popular with visitors to the Cloisters and staff from Columbia Presbyterian. From the outside, you barely know it’s there, and the rest of the establishment follows this low-key theme: The artwork on the walls (for sale) is neutral in color, the music (mostly indie rock) is soft and unobtrusive, and the lighting is by candle. The front functions as a bar space, while the back has full tables and a full menu, lovingly designed by owner James Lee, proprietor of Morningside Heights’s popular restaurant Zanny’s Café. The focus is definitely on the drinking, but the fare is eclectic and perfectly proportioned, and there’s a great selection of small plates. They also serve breakfast daily.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.