Best Pool Hall
Fat Cat Billiards
75 Christopher Street

It’s easy to say the great pool halls are the ones with lots of brass, oak, and tables with those frilly leather pockets—the kind of joint where you introduce yourself as Mad Dog Sharky the Cat and no one bats an eye. But nowadays, such places tend to feel tired or contrived, as the gruff hearts of most old-time pool sharks have likely stopped beating. Which is what makes the un-saloon-ish Fat Cat Billiards the ideal place to hang out, drink beer, and talk plenty of shit over a few rounds of eight ball at a bargain $3.75 per hour. Located underground and illuminated primarily by black lights, it has the ratty psychedelic feel of a saltwater aquarium circa 1976. The pool tables, though, are all kept in top shape. As for background tunes, the jukebox spins something for everyone, from Frank Sinatra to the Smashing Pumpkins.