Upper West Side
More than just wine bars.
1900 Broadway, at 63rd St.; 212-496-5700
Ease into the night slowly at this East Village institution’s second uptown location, where a jovial postwork, pretheater crowd gathers around a slick 50-foot zinc bar.
Drink this: the Sonata No. 5 ($13), made with elderflower cordial, sparkling wine, and local honey.
53 W. 72nd St., at Columbus Ave.; 212-787-0700
Put away a stiff cocktail beneath a chandelier fashioned from brass instruments at this moody retreat owned by former Jordache model Jennifer Klein.
Drink this: the ginny, lemon-juiced, jasmine-infused Love Potion Number Wine ($14).
380 Columbus Ave., nr. 78th St.; 212-724-7800
Drown out the rest of the evening with a 10 p.m. jazz, blues, or funk set at this breezy subterranean tavern.
Drink this: Goose Island IPA on tap ($6).
As hungry as it is thirsty.
67 S. 6th St., nr. Berry St.; 718-388-0908
The cavernous Vietnamese restobar has a Williamsburg Bridge–hugging rooftop and the kind of stick-to-your-ribs food (pork buns, chicken-curry soup) that’ll serve you well during a long night of boozing.
Drink this: the Bia Bloody Mary, made with V8, wasabi, and Sriracha ($10).
141 Broadway, nr. Bedford Ave.; No phone
This racetrack-themed brasserie from the Post Office crew tempts the young and lively with comfy booths and unusual bar fare like escargot and frogs’ legs (turned out by a former Brooklyn Star chef).
Drink this: a classic Bee’s Knees, amped up with Dorothy Parker gin ($10).
Rosamunde Sausage Grill
285 Bedford Ave., nr. S. 1st St.; 718-388-2170
When the late-night munchies strike, a grilled wild-boar sausage on a French roll from the first New York outpost of San Francisco’s mightily celebrated, open–till–4 a.m.-Thursday-through-Saturday sausage hut hits the spot.
Drink this: rum with housemade cola ($5).
Lower East Side
221 E. Broadway, at Clinton St.; 917-284-4514
Start off with a friendly game of backgammon at this Middle Eastern– and Scottish-inspired beer, wine, falafel, and fish-and-chip bar—the neighborhood’s prettiest new drinking spot.
Drink this: a glass of Hans & Franz Grüner Veltliner ($8).
Two Bit’s Retro Arcade
153 Essex St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-477-8161
Nearly 40 classic games—Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, a foosball table, and pinball among them—inspire flirtatious ribbing at this Barcade-esque beer-and-wine parlor.
Drink this: a Colt 45 ($9.75), just for kicks.
134 Eldridge St., nr. Delancey St.; no phone
There’s far less worry of being turned away in front of a date at Milk & Honey’s chiller, more democratic, walk-ins-only cousin, founded by two M&H vets. Just find the door marked “AB” and you’re in.
Drink this: Tell your bartender what you’re in the mood for, and he’ll create a cocktail ($16) on the spot.
Upper East Side
Bring your friends.
339 E. 75th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-288-8033
Get a communal vibe going over a large-format, shareable cocktail, designed by Death & Co.’s Jason Littrell and author-barman Marshall Altier, at the Upper East Side’s most downtown watering hole, open since last January.
Drink this: rummy Tiki Oasis Punch ($26).
1590 Second Ave., nr. 83rd St.; 212-203-2751.
Mingle with neighborhood millennials at this 2,500-square-foot gastropub, heavy on the wood, brick, and nineteenth-century salvaged décor. Two bars and numerous tables are ideal for large groups.
Drink this: housemade Earl Grey lemonade splashed with gin or vodka ($9).
The Pony Bar
1444 First Ave., at 75th St.; 212-288-0090
The menu is composed exclusively of American craft beer and, save for Budweiser, all are available on tap. Beer barrels serve as tables, and every glass costs $6, simplifying the 4 a.m. drunken check-splitting debate.
Drink this: Carton’s G.O.R.P., Sixpoint’s Mad Scientist Gruitbeer, or whatever looks good on the rotating drafts.
Patios, pinball, and Mad Men.
545 Fifth Ave., nr. 14th St.; 347-599-1087
Whiskey and American craft beers are the focus at this 2,900-square-foot bar. Prepare to be seduced into an alfresco tipple by the sprawling bilevel patio.
Drink this: Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Local 1 ($18) or Southern Tier’s Hop Sun ($6).
The Owl Farm
297 9th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 718-499-4988
Think of this as the twentysomething version of dog-friendly Slope staple Mission Dolores (they share the same owners, after all). Grab a pint (from $4) and make a beeline to the pinball machines in back.
Drink this: Nebraska Brewing’s Menage à Trois ($12).
481 Fifth Ave., at 11th St.; 718-499-2005
A nautical theme, taxidermied animals, nineties jams, and Mad Men on Sundays keep this classic Irish pub young.
Drink this: a can of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout ($6) or the Blue Monday ($8), a combination of vodka, blue Curaçao, and peach schnapps.
Say no to sports bars.
439 Third Ave., nr. 30th St.; 212-481-1920
Marco Canora and Paul Grieco’s wine-bar mini-empire is fun for two big reasons: terrific yet toned-down wine-geek service and a cheekily wrought, deceptively comprehensive wine list, presented in a grade-school binder.
Drink this: by-the-glass sherries, two of which are free (yes, free) before 7 p.m.
Pod 39 Hotel, 145 E. 39th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-865-5700Head to the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, Salvation Taco, or its Instagram-perfect rooftop bar, complete with views of the Empire State Building, for Mexican cocktails, beer, and snacks.
Drink this: a Michelada with house chipotle sauce ($10).
154 E. 33rd St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-213-1350
Never mind the queue. The comically crotchety doorman will keep you entertained while you wait for a seat in the refined townhouse turned bar.
Drink this: It’s Sasha Petraske—let his bartenders do as they please ($12).
A million miles from NYU.
225 Ave. B, nr. 14th St., second fl.; 917-656-6788
Chat up co-owner Joaquín Simó, one of the friendliest guys in the business, at the retro-cool bar reminiscent of an eighties-television kitchen.
Drink this: Choosing the perfect libation ($14) is easy when the menu is a “cocktail matrix”—scales are spiritous, adventurous, comforting, and refreshing.
The Third Man
116 Ave. C, nr. 7th St.; 212-598-1040
Exposed brick and wooden beams give this cavernous, dark-lit bar a sexy vibe. The owners are behind nearby Austrian eatery Edi & the Wolf, so the charcuterie and bar snacks, like pumpkinseed ricotta served with toasted bread, are top-notch.
Drink this: a purist Old-Fashioned or Manhattan ($12).
162 Ave. B, nr. 10th St. dreambabybar.com
Regulars of Lakeside Lounge (the bar here previously) will be surprised by the classy makeover: black and white leather seating, pretty tiled floors. Co-owner Maria Devitt’s background as a CBGBer should hint at the scene.
Drink this: a Warsteiner pilsner or other draft ($6).
Cocktail’s kingdom come.
542 W. 27th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-564-1662
The McKittrick Hotel’s lush outdoor roof deck has a fairy-tale-like, phantasmagorical feel and a punch menu by David Wondrich. Make reservations—the bar may feel clandestine, but the secret’s out.
Drink this: Claret Cup punch ($75 for six servings), made with sherry, Cognac, and lemon shrub.
158 Eighth Ave., nr. 18th St.; 646-596-8838
The din of food obsessives talking up the grub at Tien Ho’s French bistro is loud, but don’t forget the drinks; the staff at the tiny, seven-seat bar serve some of the area’s best cocktails.
Drink this: Thass It! ($13), sherry and aged tequila sweetened with floral syrup and topped with an edible flower.
Milk & Honey
30 E. 23rd St., nr. Madison Ave.; firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail in advance to gain access to the notoriously haughty bar’s still dignified but far roomier uptown digs.
Drink this: Bartender’s choice ($16) is your only choice, but rest assured you’re in good jigger-wielding hands.
Respite from the tourists.
Macy’s Herald Square, sixth fl. (enter at 35th St. and Broadway); 212-967-9251
Drinking in a department store won’t sound so odd when you get a load of this bar: pretty, white-walled, streaked with sunlight, and surprisingly peaceful given its perch over Herald Square.
Drink this: the house Negroni, made with zesty Aperol ($12).
132 W. 31st St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-727-3666
This spot aims to best other Penn Station–adjacent options with a thoughtful libations list and an attractive, two-story room (marble bar, red leather bar stools). Were it not for the TVs on the wall, you wouldn’t recognize it as a sports bar.
Drink this: Empire’s White Aphro ($7).
Bar at the Lamb’s Club
Chatwal Hotel, 132 W. 44th St., nr. Seventh Ave., second fl.; 212-997-5262
Geoffrey Zakarian’s two-and-a-half-years-old but still under-the-radar theater bar boasts a large room with table seating and comfortable loungers.
Drink this: the hard-to-find Hemingway Daiquiri ($16), made with 10 Cane rum, grapefruit, and Maraschino.
Long Island City
Where families get friendly.
10-09 50th Ave., nr. Vernon Blvd.; 718-361-8589
This spacious pub is kid-friendly and convivial, just a block from the subway, and feels so neighborhoody suburban that it’s easy to forget you’re in New York.
Drink this: Goose Island’s refreshing Sofie ale ($6).
47-18 Vernon Blvd., nr. 47th Rd.; 718-606-6500
For kids: high chairs and a special menu; for you: the same Bistro burger that they serve at the West Village original, sans the line out the door.
Drink this: McSorley’s ale on draft ($4.50).
46-15 Center Blvd.; 347-527-1038
A big, airy coffee store–bar hybrid with cozy couches, terrific espressos, and serious cocktails (from Dutch Kills partner Richard Boccato).
Drink this: a cocktail made with the house coffee liqueur ($14), like the Castaway, which blends rum and fresh pineapple juice, or the Dominicana, with aged rum and fresh cream.