Everyone knows the New York City club scene is amazing, but for a casual drinks, residents know there are a plethora of awesome choices hiding around every corner. If you’re in a high energy dance party type of mood, check out our list of best dance clubs. For those looking for casual inspiration for their next beverage, scroll through our list of recommended dive bars below and find the perfect mix of casual, fun and low-key.
253 Conover St
This cash only bar holds onto its timeless music-inspired roots first developed around the 1890’s in Brooklyn. Many NYC residents say this is a timeless spot to hang out and grab a casual beer with friends. While this bar does attract a crowd during their live music nights, it’s also a viable bar to visit solo. If you’re in the mood for music, get ready for some jazz, because Sunny’s is known for it.
1112 Bedford Ave
Dynaco is a warm, easy going establishment that might soon be your new favorite neighborhood bar, even if you don’t live in the neighborhood. Dynaco has been described as “the darkest hipster bar in the hood”, so bring your night vision goggles. The only food served here is goldfish and chocolate cake, which is enough to make most patrons happy. One thing that many people enjoy about Dynaco is that the back room has a fireplace, which is perfect for the colder months and smells great too.
9. Montero’s Bar & Grill
73 Atlantic Ave
Montero’s has been around for more than 30 years and has a staff of bartenders that have been there for a long time. It’s an old place, but it has a nautical theme that has been very popular over the years. They have karaoke on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, which many people say are the best in the city.
8. Plug Uglies
257 3rd Ave
This is a great place to visit for those who are looking for an easy-going bar in the Gramercy Park area. Shuffleboard and pool tables add friendly competition to the typical drinking scene. This bar is open early in the afternoon and stays open late, attracting patrons during all times of the day. There’s a nice crowd of regulars that visit Plug Uglies, so be sure to say hi if you’re in the mood to swap stories.
7. Jimmy’s Corner
140 W 44th St
Jimmy’s is a colorful dive bar that features a boxing theme throughout the establishment. It’s more of an old-school type of NYC bar, with only four beers on tap. It’s mostly populated by locals, even though it’s right in Times Square. Also, the drink prices are cheaper here than they are in most other dive bars, which is why many locals love it.
6. Rudy’s Bar & Grill
627 9th Ave
Rudy’s is a popular spot because of their free hot dogs and convenient morning hours. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Rudy’s is an old dive bar that has been in business for many years and attracts a diverse group of guests including transit workers, Broadway actors, tourists, and many others.
5. Josie’s Bar
520 E 6th St
Josie’s is a sister bar to Mona’s and is similar in the fact that they both have friendly bartenders that pour excellent drinks. Many of the locals frequent this bar, because it has a low-key feel and an unpretentious atmosphere. They also have pool tables and a dark environment that many people enjoy after a long day at work.
4. East Village Social
126 St Marks Pl
EVS is an unapologetic dive bar that has a great atmosphere, partly because it designed by bartenders. They are fairly inexpensive when it comes to drink prices, but they are also well known for their food. The kitchen is also open until 4 AM so many people come here to get a late night snack.
224 Avenue B
Mona’s is a unique dive bar because they feature plenty of games, like skee-ball, along with a live band sporting clarinets, brass instruments, and banjos. Throughout the week, they offer $5 sandwiches or burgers. Unique decorations and pictures on exposed brick walls help complete the divey atmosphere.
2. Lucy’s Bar
135 Avenue A
Lucy’s features a jukebox for all your guilty pleasures, accompanied by pool for added entertainment. The inside of this bar is very dark and lit with red lights along the walls, which adds to the dive bar ambiance. The music is loud enough to hear, but not so loud that the you can’t have a conversation.
1. Milano’s Bar
51 E Houston St # B
Milano’s is an inexpensive dive bar located in Manhattan on E. Houston St. It’s a dark place that is known to have live jazz during the day. The drink and shot specials make this frugal dive popular. A common thing that people say about Milano’s is that all of the bartenders are very friendly and easy to talk to. This bar attracts people from all walks of life, so it definitely makes for an interesting evenings.