There are many reasons to love the West Village. It’s “cute,” it’s charming, and it has cobblestone streets. Beyond those benefits, it’s also one of the best places to drink in the city. Its huge selection of bars means you can always have pretty much any kind of night – from quiet cocktails to divey hangouts to general sh*tshows. That being said, there are some that deserve your time and money way more than the rest. Here’s our guide to drinking right in the West Village – now get to it. And when you’re ready to plan your whole night, don’t forget to check out our list of the best restaurants in the West Village.
The Otherroom is not where you go when you want to party. It’s where you go on a low-key date, or with a friend who won’t be weirded out that everyone around you is on a low-key date. It’s not covered in rose petals or anything, but it is dark and candlelit. Also, there’s no hard liquor. In conclusion, if you want wine or beer or are going on a date or a non-date, this is a solid choice.
Stand up. Walk four steps to your left. You’ve now walked the entire width of Virgola, which may very well be the smallest bar in New York City. Don’t let its stature deceive you – this Italian wine bar deserves a spot on your roster. It’s dark and vibey, and has $1 oysters all day.
The sister bar to dell'anima, Anfora is another very good and very useful wine bar, with solid cocktails and small plates, and a great happy hour. At this point, you’re probably catching on to the fact that the West Village is full of spots that are perfect for dates. This is one of them.
Little Branch was an early pioneer of the speakeasy scene. Its underground space is limited to a strict capacity (first come, first served), which keeps the mood inside pretty intimate and perfect for a date or small groups. They also have live jazz sometimes, which either gives you another good reason to go or makes you want to head straight for whatever club in the Meatpacking is playing The Weeknd.
Given its extreme West location, Rusty Knot is either where you start your night, or where you end up late. Regardless of whether you can remember your experience the next morning, chances are you had a good time. The Rusty Knot’s nautical vibes, strong drinks, and fun crowd are its main draws, but it also serves a pretzel dog that has saved our life on several occasions.
The Happiest Hour is a place we’ve come to rely on for its winning combination of fantastic burgers and strong, good drinks. But if you’re looking to get into some Action At The Bar, this is an excellent place to find it. Both its front section and subterranean level are dedicated to bar space, and its throwback tiki vibes draw a crowd that always feels like it’s someone’s 25th birthday.
Highlands is a Scottish bar that serves – you guessed it – Scotch. But not in a sedate, sip from a tumbler in a leather chair way. The Highlands is more of a party, and it can often get crowded. Think of it as the West side version of The Wren.
Daddy-O’s is a true neighborhood bar – nicer than a dive, but not a fancy cocktail bar by any means. That middle ground can be pretty hard to find, and Daddy-O does it well. The cocktails are unexpectedly good, as is the bar food. You’d probably be pretty happy to hang out here any night of the week. Bring friends.
This is as straightforward a bar as you’ll find in the city. DGAF attitude, Dad rock, and beers & well drinks only are the key components here – it’s all familiar, and that’s a good thing. It’s the perfect place to take a break from the routinely expensive, sceney, and packed bars that you keep going back to. You’ll leave wishing you had this place on your corner.
The Blind Tiger is the West Village’s most popular beer bar, where people come to either geek out or bro out. If you can deal with crowds, you’ll be rewarded with an excellent selection of uncommon draft beers and very solid bar food.
Part coffeehouse, part craft beer bar, The Upright Brewhouse is a true utility spot that works for all times of day and all kinds of activities, from studying to group hangs. If you manage to get bored here, there are even pinball machines downstairs.
This is the bar where you go to watch sports on TV and drink a Stella. Because sometimes that’s all you need. This place can get packed on weekend nights, but few things in life are as depressing as an empty sports bar.