One of the great things about living and going out in New York City is that it's easy to hit up a handful of establishments in one evening. Still fired up after dinner? Go to a bar. That bar's crowded? Go to another one.
Avenue C takes that "bar hopping" status to the next level. Whenever we end up in the area, we find ourselves stopping in a minimum of four establishments. It's not that we're as noncommittal as the dude in a 90s romantic comedy, but that this is just a great strip to roll in and out of places eating, drinking, and drinking some more. Check out our favorite places to make a night of it.
The Summit Bar is our kind of spot - oyster happy hour, great drinks, and an outdoor area out back. You can actually hear the people next to you on the early side, but at midnight on a Saturday night, expect to be crammed in.
Much like Summit across the street, The Wayland turns into what is basically a refined frat party for adults on weekend evenings. The environment has a barn-like look, and is also a good spot for brunch.
The Wayland may be a nights and weekends spot, but if you find yourself in the area on a weekday between 11 and 5, the bar runs a little sandwich shop called Animals. They're filled with things like fried mortadella red wine-braised beef, so this is probably a day off kind of move.
If The Wayland and Summit Bar give you PTSD flashbacks to your morning subway commute, check out The Third Man. It similarly has great drinks and a fun vibe, but tends to be a little roomier.
There are a number of German beer bars and gardens in New York City, and great as they are in theory, most of them tend to attract a steady combination of guys in tight black t-shirts and Goldman Sachs summer interns (you know who you are, a certain outdoor space right under the Highline). Think of Zum Schneider as a more reasonable, but still occasionally rowdy place to drink a stein of beer.
Edi And The Wolf's decor could possibly be described as "overgrown urban garden/garage/greenhouse," and it serves some very good Austrian food. Don't miss it.
One of the best fried chicken sandwiches in town, served in a simple little space. That's all you need to know.
Royale has a few things going for it. 1) A perfect little backyard garden/patio. 2) A truly great burger.
Esperanto encompasses everything there is to enjoy about Avenue C: good, cheap food and drinks that will possibly result in bad decisions, plus a place to sit outside while enjoying both.
Big crew? Try ABC Beer. It's the ultimate utility spot: you can fill a growler of beer to take home, pick up a sandwich, or gather 30 of your closest friends and hang out in the surprisingly big space.
In addition to all the shenanigans going on up the block, Avenue C is also home to some of the best Puerto Rican food in the city. Hit up Casa Adela for some serious rotisserie chicken.
A new entry to the game, Virginia's is definitely the most serious, upscale restaurant on the block. It also happens to be excellent. The chefs worked at Per Se and a bunch of high end Chicago restaurants, so the cooking is the real deal, but it's still pretty relaxed. Go now, before the crowds discover it.