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Food & Drink NYC Guides

5 Favorite Bars

Over the years I’ve seen many bars come and go. Some you miss more than others and thankfully some come back. Like New York beloved Pastis. I’ve listed 5 favorites, very different from each other for your convenience, that have stood the test of time and are an experience in themselves. All of them are popular with locals and several of them also serve some of the best food in the city! 

1. PASTIS

Pastis is the iconic Parisian-style bistro of Keith McNally. Back in the day Pastis was the place to go, popular with A-listers to locals. It still is. It was my go to back in its heyday and still a favorite as it reopened in 2019. Some things are even better. Like the food. The bar is the original one and is as wonderful as cool, as it ever was with great service. Meatpacking is in most cases a tourist packed destination, but Pastis remains that cool place preferred by locals with that very special New York feeling. Pastis is located on 52 Gansevoort St in Meatpacking District. 

Back in the day Pastis was the place to go, popular with A-listers to locals. It still is.

2. ROSE BAR

The Rose Bar located inside the Gramercy Park Hotel, has always attracted the glitterati and a variety of locals from trust fund babies and musicians to investment bankers. Its a beautiful and glamorous bar that turns into a notorious nightclub around 9 p.m. I love this bar not only for its chic decor but the low key aura it has. Rose Bar is located at 2 Lexington Avenue.

3. NOUGATINE

The bar at Nougatine by Columbus Circle, is a elegant yet lively bar attracting an upscale crowd of A-listers to rockstars as well as locals. Somehow Nougatine has remained a great secret in the city with attentive service and attractive decor. I have to admit, I’ve developed somewhat of a special liking to Jean-George’s own rosé champagne here. Make sure to try the excellent bar food, this is after all the bar to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s flagship restaurant Jean Georges. Nougatine is located in the Trump hotel by Columbus Circle.

4. PEGU CLUB

Whenever in SoHo in need of a good bar, ever since McNally’s Pravda closed, I find myself heading to Pegu. It’s a little difficult to find the door on Houston, think speak-easy, but once upstairs you are transported in time to Victorian-era Burma. I happily discovered the Gin-Gin Mule here, so fantastic I’ve said goodbye to Mojitos ever since! Pegu Club is located on Houston by Broadway.

5. DEL FRISCO

Del Frisco has a popular bar with great a after work buzz. Often referred to as a power bar, here you can rub shoulders with high powered executives and investment bankers to chess masters and visitors from neighboring Rockefeller Center with studios. It’s a great time every time, with friendly bartenders and lots of New York Midtown feeling. If you are in the area or heading to any shows on Broadway, be sure to stop by. Del Frisco is located on 6th Avenue at 49th Street.

SPECIAL MENTIONING

The bar in the photo is The Campbell bar, formerly The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal. This breathtaking bar is usually packed with commuters and worth a visit just to see its beautiful decor. For a glamorous spot in Midtown, head to The Polo Bar along with another luxurious option Baccarat Hotel. Ophelia is another great choice. A great speak-easy bar if you are located in LES, is Attaboy. In the Financial District head to Dead Rabbit or The Beekman Hotel. In Flatiron, head to the new NoMad Bar. In West Village, head to The Jane Hotel, in Greenwich to Dante and in East Village, Mace. On the UES, Bemelmans in The Carlyle hotel, close by is the Mark’s Bar as well as Surrey’s Bar Pleiades. The Library in the Hudson, might not draw the same crowds as it used to, but is still a great option near Columbus Circle. The Aviary located in the Mandarin, deserves special mentioning for its great cocktails and sweeping views over Central Park.

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