Post Overview: Best Bars in the East Village
The East Village has served as safe-haven for so many groups, it’s jaw-dropping. From boatloads of immigrants in the 1800’s to black-sheep punk rockers in the 1970’s, people from all over have visited the East Village and made it their home.
Do you know what brings folks from different backgrounds together? Booze! I’ve visited bars in the East Village and clinked glasses with folks who look nothing like me, and that’s what makes them the best!
Whether it’s pride month or St. Patrick’s Day, the best bars in the East Village are gathering places for regular joe’s like me to meet extraordinary folks, like you.
And there’s such a wide array of bars in the East Village too. Mexican cantinas and 70’s themed discos are the tip of the iceberg, there are so many places to visit (and so many drinks to be had!).
If you’re looking for the best bars in the East Village and are paralyzed by the sheer quantity, fret no more. As a local with a beer belly (I’m a certified beer drinking expert, baby) I’m going to tell you about all my favorite watering-holes.
Are you ready to get into it? Because I can’t wait! Let’s dive in.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide onWhere to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time?Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC,hands down.
On the same corner of Bowery and East 4th St. since 1968, Phebe’s has long been one of the best bars in the East Village. It’s been a popular watering-hole for decades thanks in large part to an unpretentious atmosphere and inexpensive booze.
There are two versions to Phebe’s, each suiting a different audience.
Before 9:30PM it’s essentially a local dive bar where you can swing by for after-work drinks or happy hour. The food is solid for a tavern, and the joint is well-suited for a casual hangout. After 9:30PM? It’s a whole different animal.
The bar swells with a young crowd (college-bar vibe) attracted by the smell of cheap beer and the hum of loud bass. This makes it one of the best bars in the East Village if you’re looking to meet people and party.
Address: 361 Bowery, New York, NY 10003
#24. Swift Hibernian Lounge
Hibernia is the classical Latin name for Ireland, so you shouldn’t be surprised that Swift Hibernian Lounge is an Irish pub! One of the best East Village bars, Swift’s is outfitted with well-worn wooden tables and floors that give off a rustic cabin feel.
There’s hearty meals (like the sausage roll) to pair along with your masterful pour of Guinness and the whole atmosphere just feels very homey. Add in live Irish music and a high-spirited crowd and you’re going to find it’s hard to leave (I play the “just one more round” game here a lot).
And if you choose to visit Swift be sure to bring a good friend in tow, because the pub makes a concerted effort to increase conversation. There are no TV’s playing sports or modern distractions. Therefore Swift Hibernian Lounge is one of the best bars in the East Village for a good ol’ fashioned heart-to-heart or otherwise fun conversation.
Address: 34 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
#23. The Wren
I went to the Wren for the first time to celebrate my friend’s birthday and it was love at first sight. The East Village bar has an undeniable charm, being quaint and cozy from the second you walk through the door.
I learned that night that it’s one of the best bars in the East Village to host a birthday party. You can rent the bar for about 50 people and when I went they had an open bar (in full transparency I don’t know how much that cost, we drank a lot).
But even if you don’t host a party at The Wren, you should still visit. The cozy vibe is only made more prevalent after a few rounds of drinks. It’s one of the best bars in the East Village for a casual, yet still impressive date-night (especially a first date).
The drinks are refreshing, especially the mixed drinks which are made with as much craftsmanship as a refined cocktail bar. There’s also beer and wine for those of us who like to keep things simple.
Address: 344 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
#22. The Garrett East
The Garrett East is one of the most exciting bars in the East Village. Why do I make such a bold claim? Well that’s because of the simple fact that you have to walk through a vending machine to get in.
Before you write me off and call me crazy, it’s true! New York City is home to many speakeasy’s (a speakeasy is a spot that illegally sold alcohol during the prohibition) so hidden pockets of real-estate is not uncommon.
But not all speakeasy’s are created equally and it’s not everyday that you get to walk through hidden doors in the wall!
What seems like a typical taco spot quickly turns into one of the best bars in the East Village once you find the vending machine towards the back of the restaurant.
Slide the door open and discover a Mexican food spot tucked behind an assuming machine. The innovative cocktails, delicious tacos and secretive entrance makes this one of the more memorable bars in the East Village.
Address: 206 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
#21. The Belfry
Fair warning – The Belfry is one of the best bars in the East Village for happy hour, so the place can get pretty packed. I can’t blame anyone who wants to visit though, the bar is charming, lively and serves great drinks.
This East Village happy hour spot has $2 off wine by the glass and craft beer, as well as $10 margaritas and penicillins (the drink, not the antibiotics).
Have you ever heard of a pickleback shot? Because I hadn’t until I visited The Belfry. Basically – you take a shot of liquor and follow it with a chaser of pickle brine. I don’t even like pickles, but the shots go down like butter.
The retro atmosphere adds to the aesthetic and helps making The Belfry one of the best bars in the East Village. I recommend ordering the Belfry old fashioned and my wife is partial to the pickle martini (weird, I know but my wife swears by it!).
Address: 222 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003
Further reading: Need more HH spots? Check out 12 Epic Happy Hours in the East Village!
#20. Drop Off Service
Before Drop Off Service was named one of the best bars in the East Village, it was a laundromat. So the name is both fitting and cute. Sometimes when I want to get out of the house I ask my wife, “hey want to do laundry” and before you know it we’re out the door.
Our favorite reason to visit Drop Off Service is for the insane happy hour special. The bar is small and casual with brick lined walls and a mellow crowd which makes it perfect for an impromptu date night.
It’s not the fanciest place, but hey if you say $3 beer I come running. Sometimes all you need is a friendly face and a good pour, and that’s exactly what Drop Off Service provides.
Although Drop Off Service is one of the best bars in the East Village for happy hours, the joint rarely feels crowded. I’d go as far as to call the joint a hidden gem, heck it doesn’t even have a website (but they do have anInstagram).
As far as discounts go, they change often but are consistently some of the best happy hour prices in the East Village. Don’t visit Drop Off Service expecting artisanal cocktails, but if you want a beer and a subtle dive-bar vibe you can’t find much better.
Address: 211 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
#19. The Winslow
The next East Village bar recommendation goes out to all my friends who love gin, especially gin & tonics.
The Winslow is a gin bar, with a fullginventory(see what I did there?) of delicious spirits for you to enjoy. If you visit this East Village bar during happy hour you can expect $8 gin and tonics, as well as discounts on select wines and beers.
The gin bar is classy and cute. Inspired by British style bars, the space feels upscale but far from pretentious.
My suggestion is to visit The Winslow on a Tuesday afternoon. Happy hour ends at 7PM, but don’t be so quick to leave. Stick around and try your hand at trivia at 7:30pm. The place can get loud but if you like lively energy there’s nowhere better East Village bar to hang out at.
Address: 243 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003
#18. McSorely’s Old Ale House
Opened sometime between 1854 and 1862 (the exact year is debated), McSorley’s Old Ale House is one of the most historic bars in New York City and easily one of the best bars in the East Village. Indeed, it’s the oldest Irish Salon in New York City and has hosted notable patrons throughout the years. Famous names include Abraham Lincoln, Ulyssess S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Houdini and E.E. Cummings.
The bar boasts two mottos: “We were here before you were born” and “Be Good or Be Gone.” However, before women were allowed in bars in the 1970’s, McSorely’s motto was: “Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies.”
Everything about this iconic bar in the East Village oozes with old-world charm. In fact, not a single item has been removed from the walls since 1910. You can find Houdini’s handcuffs on a bar rail and wishbones hung by young men going off to World War I.
The menu at this famous Manhattan bar is limited to two options: dark and light ale. Some things never change, and (frankly) shouldn’t.
Address: 15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
#17. Ace Bar
Established in 1993, the Ace Bar has been a neighborhood escape for quite some time now. With 12 beers on tap, sports games projected in the background and the nostalgic decorations it’s no surprise Ace Bar is featured on a list of best bars in the East Village.
Where this East Village bar stands out against its competitors is the fact that Ace Bar offers more than just drinks to keep you busy. Expect to find classic bar games like darts, pool, pinball and skeeball to keep you entertained!
The unfussy atmosphere and relaxed staff make for a pleasant experience. I recommend this East Village bar to anyone looking to meet up with friends for a chill night out. That’s not to say you can’t get rowdy, trust me the drinks go down a little too easy here.
This New York City staple has hosted locals, visitors and even celebrities. Not many East Village bars can say the same!
Address: 531 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009
Are you a dog owner attached to your pooch at the hip? Because if you are d.b.a. doesn’t mind hosting the both of you.
One of the best dog-friendly bars in the East Village d.b.a. is unpretentious, fun and welcoming. There’s a selection of draft beers poured by friendly barkeeps who make for pleasant small talk in-between rounds.
The bar also hosts trivia on Sundays at 8PM, so if you or your pup are well versed in random facts you’re sure to do well. Prefer games on a screen? d.b.a. has TV’s and video games so geeks (like me) can enjoy a brew and a game.
Something to know: In case you were curious, d.b.a. stands for Double Barrel Ale.
Address: 41 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003
#15. Tile Bar
Tile Bar has dubbed themselves the “best dive bar in the East Village” and I’m inclined to agree with them. The bar is small, friendly and straight to the point (which is all you truly need when searching for the best bars in the East Village).
They also have a happy hour that is too good to pass up on, offering beer for as little as $3. I don’t want to mention specifics though, because the deals rotate constantly. Just know that Tile Bar is a great spot for inexpensive drinks.
Also worth noting,Tile Bar is a cash only establishment.Be sure to stop by an ATM before swinging by one of the best bars in the East Village.
There are no Instagrammable floral motifs, neon quotes, or espresso martinis. There is cold beer, strong drinks, and a bartender that most likely knows your name.Tile bar
Address: 115 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
#14. Whiskey Town
Dim lit but full of life, Whiskey Town is a bar that knows how to party. The lively bar frequently has a DJ, which attracts a rowdy crowd with a contagious energy.
What makes Whiskey Town one of the best bars in the East Village is the fact that happy hour goes until 8PM. Meaning it’s easy to see how the crowd can get so loud with such a great deal. I’ve had more than one visit where I accidentally stay too late and end up dancing the night away (I blame the disco ball, it’s too hard to resist).
Whiskey Town has a dive-bar vibe in all the right ways. The bartenders are friendly, the drinks are simple and the music is right. As far as drinks go this East Village bart has a beer/shot combo, wine and well drinks all for $7 (during happy hour).
The bar also offers a Narragansett beer and a slice of margherita pizza for only $10, which is a perfect post-work meal.
Address: 29 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003
#13. The Library Bar
The Library is one of the best dive bars in the East Village. I’m talking grunge and rock vibes with the most laid-back, chill bartenders. This is the spot you go to when you want a good deal on beer in a relaxed setting.
The bathroom is covered in graffiti and the bar is constantly playing B-movies in the background. Even with all the excitement going on, you’re still able to carry a conversation and not have to shout. The music is some of the best for a bar in the East Village — don’t expect any of that pop stuff to be playing here!
The atmosphere is unmatched serving beers, ciders and wine letting your hair down at the Library Bar should be high on everyone’s to-do list.
Address: 7 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Joyface is a 70’s themed bar in the East Village that you’re not going to want to miss. But it’s not the kind of bar where you sit at the counter or in a booth to chat, no, this is the place you come to dance!
The beloved watering-hole has become a destination for locals looking to let loose, get jiggy with it and throw a couple drinks back. The spinning disco ball emits sparkling lights that can’t help but wind the crowd up.
The music will have you dancing like John Travolta on Saturday Night Fever and if you’re too nervous to bust a move, a few shots or drinks will take care of that.
There are also themed nights at Joyface making it one of the most fun bars in the East Village. They’ve hosted pajama parties (I missed the last one, but I’m keeping a diligent eye on their Instagram for the next) space themed parties, and pride events that help give the party a unique ice breaker.
Address: 104 Loisaida Ave, New York, NY 10009
#11. Goodnight Sonny’s
If you’re searching for thoughtfully crafted cocktails, one of the best bars in the East Village for craft drinks is Goodnight Sonny.
Goodnight Sonny’s is brought to us by the Endless Hospitality Group (the same group that created The Wayland which #5 on our list of best bars in the East Village). The atmosphere is bright, lively and constantly buzzing with cheery folks.
Cocktails will run you about $16 a drink, which is an insanely great price for New York City! The quality and care put into each drink can not only be tasted, but seen. The presentation of the cocktails will inevitably fill up your camera roll. 😉
The best part about this East Village bar is that they host a generous happy hour during the week. Monday through Friday from 4 to 6pm, you can enjoy some high-quality seafood steals at one of the best bars in the East Village.
Address: 134 1st Ave., New York, NY 10009
#10. Juke Bar
Juke Bar is one of my personal favorite dive bars in the East Village because it’s inexpensive and there’s rarely a wait. Not to mention, unlike other dive bars in the East Village, Juke Bar doesn’t feel dirty.
The crowd is easygoing and unless you visit on the weekend after 10PM (when it turns into an impromptu nightclub) you shouldn’t have trouble finding a table.
If you do want to party though, Juke Bar is ready to host you. Like aforementioned, on the weekends the place swells with young locals looking to have a great time.
And the amusement doesn’t stop there: Juke Bar is one of the best bars in the East Village for live entertainment. Every Monday there’s trivia from 7 – 9PM and every Wednesday there is a free comedy show from 8 – 10PM.
Address: 196 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Bua (not to be confused with Bua Thai in the Upper East Side) is one of the best bars in the East Village for casual drinks.
If you can make it for happy hour (Monday through Friday until 7PM) you’ll get a steal of a deal with select $10 cocktails and $2 off draft beers. I don’t know about you – but when people say discounts I come running (I’m a New Yorker, every penny counts!).
The interior is narrow and cozy, lined by bricked walls that tell tales of an older yet captivating neighborhood. And if the weather is nice, you should consider sitting outside. The people watching and sun rays make Bua one of the best bars in the East Village on a sunny afternoon.
There’s also a decent food menu that will be happy to fill your belly with tasty bar food. If you need a suggestion – I recommend the cheese curds (they pair beautifully with a beer!).
Address: 122 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
#8. Bibi Wine Bar
Bibi, you beautiful thing you. The popular East Village wine bar serves a can’t-miss happy hour deal and is one of the best spots for a date.
The biggest reason I’m so enamored with Bibi is thanks to the bar’s charm. I’ve spent countless nights chatting with my wife as the sun sets, simply enjoying tasty wine. I wouldn’t even call myself a wine drinker, but the staff is always so helpful in recommending something I’ll enjoy.
As one of the best wine bars in the East Village, we frequent Bibi more often than we’d like to admit. For only $8 a glass or $28 a bottle it’s easy to play the “one more drink” game as we sit under the string lights in their outdoor seating.
There isn’t much in the way of food, mostly small bites and charcuterie. My suggestion is to stop by before dinner and allow yourself to loosen up a little bit, it’s always easy to do with a good glass of wine.
Address: 211 E 4th St, New York, NY 10009
#7. The Copper Still
What happens when you mix an Irish pub with upscaled bar food? My happy place, AKA The Copper Still. While the food served here is classic American-styled fare, the vibes are that of an authentic pub.
The laid-back atmosphere and kind staff make for not only one of the best bars in the East Village, but one of the best experiences, too. If you visit during happy hour and down a couple of the $10 cocktails or $6 draft beer — you’ll be on a first name basis in no time.
In true Irish pub fashion, The Copper Still is one of the best bars in the East Village for Whiskey lovers. I thoroughly enjoy picking the bartenders brain about whiskey and constantly ask for recommendations. But if you’re curious and enjoy doing research you can find the complete whiskey guide here.
Address: 151 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
#6. Pineapple Club
Odds are if you ask any local what their favorite bars in the East Village are, Pineapple Club will make a reoccurring appearance.
The Pineapple Club is a tropical themed East Village bar that has two floors full of plants, bright lights and brimming with beautiful seating areas. Pineapple wallpaper adorns the walls and the charming pink velvet booths welcome both locals and visitors alike.
Not only is this one of the best bars in the East Village for drinks, but grabbing brunch here is very popular. At Pineapple Club you’ll find an eclectic menu featuring both unique and classic brunch fare options. Whether you want something sweet or savory, the Pineapple Club will scratch any itch.
Address: 509 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
#5. The Wayland
The Wayland is my personal go-to date night spot. In fact, this is the spot I recommend the most when folks ask where to take someone for drinks and dinner.
It’s no easy feat to wear such a heavy crown. But as one of the best bars in the East Village, The Wayland proves time and time again that good drinks and good food can be had under one roof.
Grabbing drinks at The Wayland feels like dining in a treehouse. Wood paneling and the rustic vibe add to the appeal of the East Village bar.
Offering live music and a killer happy hour during the week, The Wayland is one of the best bars in the East Village for oysters. From 4 to 7pm (Monday – Friday) select cocktails, beers and wine will cost you $4-10 and oysters will run you $10/half or $18/dozen.
Address: 700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
One of the best bars in the East Village is making our list strangely enough for the brunch deal. At Jackdaw, you and your friends can enjoy a 2-for-1 deal on brunch cocktails. Or even better, order a carafe that serves five people for less than $25.
And allow me to reiterate, these are cocktails. Not just orange juice and champagne, real drinks that take time to make and you’re getting them at a fraction of the cost. Need I say more?
The pub-like restaurant is the perfect watering hole for a weekend brunch in the East Village, and even if you’re not looking to drink the food is worth the stop.
There’s a decent array of options to choose from, including a breakfast burrito that always leaves me saying “I need to visit Jackdaw more often”.
Aside from the killer brunch special, the reason Jackdaw makes our list of the best bars in the East Village is because it’s a fun hangout all around. There’s music that helps keep energy levels high and the staff is kind and welcoming.
Address: 213 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
#3. Amor Y Amargo
In 2022 Amor Y Amargo was ranked the 23rdbest bar in North Americawhich is sure to only boost their already booming cult-like following.
At it’s entrance you’ll find a storefront selling bitters and mixology tools, but in the back room you’ll find one of the best bars in East Village.
It’s an intimate, standing-only space manned by knowledgeable and talented mixologists. Since it’s so small it’s not uncommon for strangers to jump into each other’s small talk, which can make for a memorable experience.
I consider Amor Y Amargo among the can’t-miss bars in the East Village that everyone should try to swing by, at least once.
Address: 95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
#2. Death & Company
Getting into Death & Company is nothing short of a miracle. As one of the best bars in the East Village that doesn’t take reservations, long lines are all but guaranteed.
The dimly lit speakeasy is charming and timeless. The bartenders are the backbone of this establishment and their craft along with their skills deserves all the recognition.
Death & Company offers one of the most extensive cocktail menus. Breaking down the drinks into categories like “light & playful” and “boozy & honest” folks have a better understanding of what they’re getting themselves into.
With a menu as great as this one and all the awards that follow it’s not hard to see why Death & Company sits high on our list of best bars in the East Village.
Address: 433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
#1. Please Don’t Tell
One of my personal favorite East Village bars to bring out-of-town guests to is Please Don’t Tell. It’s another speakeasy that has a hidden pathway to some of the tastiest cocktails I’ve ever had.
What seems to be a typical hotdog shop called Crif Dogs, secretly turns out to be on the best bars in the East Village.
As soon as you step foot into the shop there is a phone booth to the left of the entrance. You step into the phone booth and call a specific number. The phone booth triggers a doorbell to ring and a door will open up for you to enter into.
You’ll walk into a small and intimate set up where you can spend the nightordering cocktails (or hotdogs) from the spot you originally came from. The atmosphere is dark and moody making it a fun way to end the night with friends or just to escape the city for the day.
Address: 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
East Village Bars (Post Summary)
- Please Don’t Tell
- Death & Company
- Amor Y Amargo
- The Wayland
- Pineapple Club
- The Copper Still
- Bibi Wine Bar
- Juke Bar
- Goodnight Sonny’s
- The Library
- Whiskey Town
- Tile Bar
- Ace Bar
- McSorely’s Old Ale House
- The Winslow
- Drop Off Service
- The Belfry
- The Garrett East
- The Wren
- Swift Hibernian Lounge
Best Bars in the East Village (Map)
And there you have it folks! The 25 best bars in the East Village according to yours truly. Let us know if you think we missed a spot.