10 Best Bars in New York City

At last count, New York City has somewhere between 1500 - 1800 bars in operation at any given time. With statistics of that caliber, it's incredibly difficult - natch, pretty much impossible - to declare a top 10 list of the best watering holes in the five boroughs. We're even doubtful that someone could identify the top 10 bars in Manhattan, let alone Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens.

With that in mind, we here at 10Best took a crack at identifying a list of haunts that have earned a special spot in the hearts of New Yorkers. From dive bars like Bar 169 in Chinatown and American Trash on the Upper East Side, to swanky hotspots like Mulberry Project in Little Italy and The Wren on Bowery, this list attempts to provide you with a guiding light to explore a particular neighborhood by way of a well-respected bar that's earned its stripes. 

While in no way inclusive of all of the bars deserving of this title, these 10 stand out for their ability to hold a crowd, dazzle with delicious cocktails, or simply to keep us entertained with bar games when we grow tired of chatting with our friends.

Without further ado, we present to you 10 of the best bars in the city.



This spacious Noho bar is a good place to get the night started. Spend some time on the billiards tables in the back, steady your hand on one of the three dart boards, and tip the bartenders on your way out – with a bit of luck, they might...  Read More

Lower East Side


What is there to say about Bar 169 that hasn't already been said? A dive in the truest sense of the word, this Chinatown haunt practically beckons you in off the streets to make bad decisions – tequila shots and oysters, anyone? A leopard...  Read More

Upper East Side


Located on the Upper East Side, American Trash is sandwiched between enough Baby Bjorn-wearing parents and subpar Italian restaurants to make just about anyone crave a Jack and Coke at a run-down watering hole. Dive bar critics – as if such a...  Read More

Lower East Side
Mr. Purple


Positioned high above the city on the Indigo Hotel's 15th floor, Mr. Purple is the Lower East Side's newest darling. Spanning 6,000 square feet and a rooftop pool, the space is reminiscent of an artist's loft, with low-hanging lights and...  Read More



Positioned across the street from the semi-famous Bavarian beer hall in Astoria, The Sparrow Tavern is a good place to get sauced before heading over to drink beer out of a boot. Along with a healthy collection of cocktails, including a fine...  Read More

East Village


It's no secret that the majority of New York bars can barely fit the clientele in without inducing mild-to-severe claustrophobia in half of the patrons. The overabundance of these teeny tiny watering holes makes the ones with space even more...  Read More

East Village


Not everyone loves d.b.a., but that shouldn't stop you from going. The bartenders are grouchy, the menu is inconsistent, and the weekends are impossibly crowded. That said, there's something about this East Village gem that keeps regulars coming...  Read More

East Village


The Wren is where you envision yourself drinking when you finally "grow up." Reminiscent of a country cottage, the Wren turns out drinks that are delicious, inventive, and yes, pricy. Unless you're a finance "mogul" or PR "maven," this certainly...  Read More

West Village


Jazz, board games, billiards, ping pong, tabletop shuffleboard – is there anything that Fat Cat doesn't offer? Not really, unless you're a stickler for windows. After waiting in the inevitable line that's queued up at the front, pay the...  Read More



Walking into The Mulberry Project, you can almost picture Frank Sinatra schmoozing with a beautiful lady in the corner booth. Hidden in plain view, this bespoke cocktail joint is easy to miss - keep an eye out for the unmarked red door and don't...  Read More


Meet Andrea Wien

Andrea Wien was bitten by the travel bug from an early age, and has lived in New York, Seattle, Cleveland and Sydney, Australia since 2007.

When she's not traveling or planning a trip, you'll...  More About Andrea