Manhattan is full of exciting bars, clubs, lounges, and restaurants…basically any sort of combination of the above. Though, despite the unlimited amount of options on a Tuesday night, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and even easier to stumble into a place that looks fun from the outside but actually turns out to be an 115 degree hell hole (shout out to Rivington R+B.)
In order to avoid all that noise, I’ve compiled a list of bars you can go to when you’ve been appointed social planner for the night or just don’t want to disappoint yourself. I’m a Downtown girl, so I am super biased, but the best bars are there. Step up your downtown game with this list:
For those warmer nights, when you’re downtown or in the Bowery area:
When it’s warm outside and you’re trying to catch some breeze, definitely go to B Bar & Grill. It’s huge — outdoor seating, indoor seating, dance floor area, and enough bar seating for everyone and their mother huge.
But, if you’re looking to break a sweat, I would highly suggest Phebe’s. It’s also big enough to get lost in with fantastic music and a low creep factor.
When you’re a little further downtown or on the Lower East Side: This is for my lower east side crowd. I know that there are a thousand bars here and it’s hard to choose just one, but there a couple I’ve been known to frequent: Lucky Jacks, The Fat Black Pussycat, Prohibition, The DL, Dark Room, BUT– I have my main piece that I cannot get enough of: 200 Orchard. The music is so good, not just like, “Oh hey, I can sing-along-to-this-good.” But like, “Let-me-take-out-my-phone-and-shazam-this-good.”
If you’re a little further uptown but not above 14th street:
I’ve been to this place twice in the past month, which means it’s basically my new hot spot – Bar None. Every once in a awhile you’ll get together with some old friends and start reminiscing about the good old days, when you’d all go out, dance until 4 a.m., order drunk pizza together and watch re-runs of “Intervention” until you passed out on the sofa. That is what Bar None is to me, a reminder of the good old days. The DJ is great, I think the drinks are cheap, (I’ve never actually bought one) and the location is prime. I can always get my Upper West Side friends down here. Plus, if you go and happen to not like it, there are 375 other bars within a one mile radius.
When you try to be bourgeoisie in the West Village: Besides fancy restaurants and clubs in the West Village (some of which I love) you have to search for a good bar. One of my favorites is Fiddlestick. It’s super chill, the music is good, and it’s normally not too crowded. If you’re more of a club person, head on over to the Meatpacking district and prepare to break your ankles on the cobblestone.
When you’re kind of in that weird area in-between Tribeca and Soho:
This area is kind of expensive and not really going-out friendly, but there is one place I go to for a good time. M1-5 Lounge is the kind of place where you can dance all night to 90’s throwbacks or bop out to some top 40. They have a really big dance floor, a huge private area in case you’re trying to have a birthday party for somebody and plenty of bar seating.
Fun fact: the bathroom line always moves super quickly thanks to the abundance of stalls.