Address: 304 E. 6th St. (1st & 2nd Ave.)
Review: Though we have never sat down to enjoy a full meal, Mayahuel is worth the trip to the East Village for the cocktails alone. In the middle of the East Village, just off 2nd Ave., lies a mecca for fun and original tequila and mezcal cocktails. With a plethora of options to choose from it’s tough to go wrong. We have nibbled on snacks like spicy popcorn and chips and guac that were a nice treat to accompany our drinks. Those ordering full meals around us were waiving in sizzling plates of shrimp and succulent pork belly..looks like we are going to have to show up with the intention of sampling the fare and not just the libations! A dark and cozy bar with a couple side rooms lends itself to a great spot for a quiet conversation, though, like many of the cocktail establishments in the EV, there can be a wait (normally not TOO bad), but dont let it deter you from the chance to transport your palate to some place south of the boarder.
Address: 113 E. 29th St. (Park Ave. S. & Lexington Ave.)
Review: Continuing with the transformation of Murray Hill, this beacon of meat, cheese and beer has arrived on the scene. But Cannibal does not have the cold cuts and bud lights of college dorm days past, rather an array of salumi and aged hams, carefully selected cheese and a selection of craft beers from brewers worldwide. We ended our night here for some late night grub and some suds. We sat at the bar and were served by the very friendly and helpful barkeep who pointed us in the right direction for both our food and drink orders. So long as you don’t go crazy you can get your fill on a tasty selection with out feeling the pain in your wallet. Cannibal is a good option for a first date for sure – start with some small plates to see how things go, then move on to something bigger if all is well. Plus you can always judge a person by what drink they order from their massive selection!
Address: 712 3rd Ave. (44th & 45th St.)
Review: Located in Midtown East, not to far from Grand Central, is one of our favorite watering holes. Though the German food they make is authentic and generally pretty tasty, you come here for the beers, and lots of them, ranging from 1/2 liters all the way up to the sizeable 2 liter boot! You can come here with some buddies for a boozy night or some polka and hops. Bierhaus could be a fun date spot for the outgoing and beer swilling, but is better served for a large group of pals ready to gulp down some of Bavaria’s finest.
Address: 252 E. 51st St. (2nd & 3rd Ave.)
Review: The Stag’s Head is our new local watering hole. It’s a great place to go grab a craft beer from their impressive selection – they have 16 rotating beers on tap and 50+ in bottles that you won’t likely find elsewhere. Though we have yet to have dinner here, we have gotten a couple small plates which always go well with some tasty cold beers (who wouldn’t love truffle popcorn!) The staff is super helpful in breaking down the diverse selection so you can find what you’re looking for. This isn’t a sports bar per se, but TV’s dot the walls so you won’t miss the game while you’re trying out some new beers. Grab a spot in the back, upstairs or out in the garden if you’re looking to cozy up to that special someone away from the bar.
Address: 212 W. 79th St. (Broadway & Amsterdam)
Review: Blondies is worth the trip to the UWS for the wings alone. With varying degrees of heat, you can choose just how far you want to go on the Scoville scale. This is one of the best sports bars in NYC with TVs EVERYWHERE. There are plenty of other food options available, but not many for those counting calories. With a good beer selection and prices that don’t break the bank, this spot is a favorite for catching the game. If you and your date are both sports fanatics Blondies can be a ton of fun to check out, and of course it’s always good to get a group of buddies and head here for Sunday Funday. FYI – Get there early on Sundays and for big sporting events as it tends to fill up quick!
Address: 149 2nd Ave. 2nd Floor (9th & 10th St.)
Review: Kingston Hall is a nice break from the chaos that can be the East Village bar scene. This sudo speakeasy is a great place to bring a date or a group (though avoid Thursday through Saturday for a date as it can get pretty loud/rowdy on weekends). There’s comfy lounge seating, a pool table and a back room that’s great for groups. Fun cocktails give Kingston Hall a classier feel than the standard East Village bar catering to the beer swilling masses.
Address: 228 W. 4th St. (7th Ave. S. & W. 10th St.)
Review: Wilfie & Nell is a great local bar in the West Village. It’s got that old tavern look and feel which attracts hipsters and suits alike. It’s a great spot to meet a date or grab some drinks with your pals after work or on the weekends. They have a good selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails to choose from. We have yet to try the food here, which consists of somewhat upscale pub fare, but definitely want to make a trip back for their brunch ($5 bloody mary’s!) It can get pretty crowded/loud on weekends so only take a date here for drinks during the week if you want to be able to hear what they’re saying!
Address: 94 Orchard St. (Broome St. & Delancey St.)
Review: Top Hops is a relatively new spot in the LES with an insanely huge selection of beers. You can choose from over 20 rotating beers on tap and 700 bottles from around the world. Thankfully, there’s a friendly, knowledgeable bartender to help you navigate the many great offerings. Whether you are a beer connoisseur or you and your date want to try something new, this is an awesome spot. They have tons of off the run beers you aren’t likely to find in many other bars. They also have some small bar snacks/cheese plates and if you find a beer you absolutely love, they can fill up a growler for you to take home! Definitely a must try for all the beer drinkers out there.
Address: 152 W. 26th St. (6th & 7th Ave.)
*Location also in Chelsea
Review: The Rare View rooftop is a good spot to bring a date in the spring/summertime. Both locations have amazing, romantic views of the Manhattan skyline, though the Chelsea location has a little bigger space. It’s the perfect spot to have a cocktail in the summer, as long as it’s not 100 degrees out – there’s no shade at the Murray Hill location so it can get pretty hot when the sun is still out. The cocktails are pretty pricey – about $15 per cocktail, but you’ll always have to pay a premium at bars with great views of Manhattan. Be warned that Thursdays get pretty busy after work and late night, so it might be hard to snag a table.
Address: 89 South St. (South St. Seaport)
Review: The Beekman Beer Garden has amazing views and a decent craft beer selection. It’s a great place to grab a beer after a long day of work and watch the sunset with your date. There’s a mixed crowd of tourists and businessmen given the seaport location and it can get super packed in nice weather, but if you can get there early enough and grab a table or couch Beekman can be the perfect, romantic spot to have a few drinks before heading to dinner. Though later at night on the weekends it’s less of a romantic spot and more of a get drunk with your buddies type of place. Also when we went, even though it was fairly empty, the service was slow and not frienldy with one person manning the whole show and a manager helping at times. If I hadn’t been here before I would’ve thought this place was getting by on location and view alone.
Address: 24 W. 12th St. (5th Ave. & University Pl.)
Review: In the mood for some burgers and milkshakes? If you don’t want to wait on the crazy lines at Shake Shack and want some more variety when it comes to your burger toppings then head to Stand4 in Greenwich Village. You can create your own burger or choose from one of the 14 pre-made options. The milkshakes are fantastic, and the best part is, they have boozy options too! You can also catch the game on their big screen tv and they have some good craft beers on tap if you’re not in the mood for a boozy milkshake (but why would’t you be?) Stand4 is definitely a fun date spot if you’re not calorie counting.
Address: 45 E. 30th St. (Madison Ave. & Park Ave.)
Review: The Mason Jar falls flat on the brunch front. We came here to have some brunch while catching the football playoffs. The menu has your standard brunch items, some with a little southern flair. The food wasn’t terrible but it was nothing memorable. Also, the service was insanely slow for there only being 4 other tables occupied in the whole place. The Mason Jar is definitely better served as a sports bar, solely a spot to grab some beers, bourbon and wings with your bros while watching the game.
Address: 375 3rd Ave. (at 27th St.)
Review: If you’re in the mood to booze and eat bar food Rodeo Bar is a solid choice in Murray Hill. Good for a cheap margarita or beer and some nachos, quesadillas or cowboy kisses (shrimp and jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon). They also have a surprisingly decent brunch and usually have live music in the back room. Rodeo Bar is a throw your peanuts on the floor type of place so not an ideal spot to impress a date but a good spot to get drunk and pig out with a group of buddies.
Address: 13 E. 17th St. (Broadway & 5th Ave.)
Review: Initially we were headed to Rye House but waited WAY too long for drinks so we walked back down the block to Lillie’s. Lillie’s is a great spot to grab beers around Union Square. It’s a little nicer than your Brother Jimmy’s/13th Step with a decent, somewhat fratty crowd. Plus, they have really good bar food if you get the drunk munchies! Grab your significant other and all your buddies and head here after work on Thursday nights or over the weekend.
Address: 140 E. 27th St. (Lexington & 3rd Ave.)
Review: Stone Creek is a good spot to jump in, catch the game and have a beer. It’s a small neighborhood bar with pretty good food for how divey it seems. They also have a fun Wednesday night trivia night so definitely grab a group of your mutual friends and stop in on Wednesdays to get your trivia on and have a fun, atypical night out with your date and your friends.
Address: 505 W. 23rd St. (10th & 11th Ave.)
Review: The Half King is perfect for anything post- Chelsea Piers area. This is our drink spot after the boyfriend’s hockey games. It’s a great neighborhood bar with surprisingly awesome food for a bar – specifically great wings and mac and cheese. There’s a fun lively crowd most nights of the week, a decent beer selection and it’s a good spot for a big group/your sports teams. So after your date watches you tear up the ice, court or soccer field, bring them here for some good eats and to meet all your buddies.
Address: 354 3rd Ave. (25th & 26th St.)
Review: When you’re looking for a sports bar to watch the game with your buddies, Brewhouse is a good option. They have a good beer selection and decent bar food/appetizers – basically the kind of food you would expect from a bar. The bartender is always really nice and they have multiple big screen tvs. While its not a date spot, if you’re both into sports you can come here to catch the game with all your friends.
Address: 181 Lexington Ave. (at 31st St.)
*Locations also in Union Square, Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Midtown West
Review: Ahh Brother Jimmy’s. The boyfriend and I met here and it’s definitely not a date spot – we like to say we fell in love in a hopeless place. This is the type of bar you come to to chug cheap PBRs or down fishbowls with your buddies. It’s a sloppy mess of newly minted NY bros and chicks. Bro J’s is always a scene in the summer so get there early or the line will be around the block. Obviously it’s not a spot to bring a date but if you, your significant other and all your friends are looking to celebrate, Bro J’s is a good choice. So grab all your buddies, get sloshed and enjoy some awesome southern BBQ to soak up some of that alcohol.
Address: 450 Park Ave. S. (30th & 31st St.)
Review: Steer clear of PS450 unless you’re here for a party. There’s a good bar scene but not the greatest brunch food. The boyfriend got sick after eating here and while they have cheap prices for brunch, its not worth it – there are much better brunch places in the area. Never tried the dinner here but can’t imagine it’d be much better, plus if you can botch something as easy as brunch I wouldn’t trust the dinner menu. So unless you’re grabbing beers with friends, we do not recommend PS450.