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Best of New York Nightlife 2003

Best Drinks All Around

Name your poison, we’ve found the best bar to match.

  • On the Rack: Pravda's iced shot glasses. (Photo courtesy of Nikolas Koenig )
  • Best Beer Bar

    Puck Fair

    298 Lafayette Street, 212-431-1200

    There’s no shortage of bars to enjoy a cold one from, say, Liechtenstein, but how many establishments can claim that each of its 18 beers is poured at precisely the right temperature?

  • Best Wine Bar

    Punch & Judy

    26 Clinton Street, 212-982-1116

    At P&J, the bartenders come across more like surfing instructors than snooty sommeliers. More than 25 wines are available by the glass (but it's more fun to order a flight of three).

  • Best Tequila Bar

    The bar at Agave

    140 Seventh Avenue South, 212-989-2100

    This new southwestern fusion outpost offers a dizzying array of 39 tequilas. (And nary a worm in sight.) Order one of the cute margaritas—ranging from basic to prickly-pear cactus flavor—if you’re not into doing shots.

  • Best Vodka Bar


    281 Lafayette Street, 212-226-4944

    Gets props for outliving the Keith McNally–fueled hype of its early years. Start with a “rack”—a tray packed with ice into which six shot glasses are plunged. House infusions include black currant, fig, and horseradish-and-chili.

  • Best Whiskey Bar


    41 First Avenue, 212-475-5097

    For a truly impressive array of Scotch, bourbon, and Irish whiskeys (130-plus!), the East Village’s d.b.a. has no equal. It even hosts regular tastings as a sort of educational outreach for amateur drinkers of brown spirits.

  • Best Champagne Bar


    40 East 20th Street, 212-529-7870

    You would think that the very notion of a champagne bar would have lost its fizz with the passing of the go-go nineties. But with sparkling wines equitably priced at $7 to $16 a glass, Flute caters to all budgets.

From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).