Black Emperor is a Japanese-themed bar on 2nd Ave with exceptional cocktails and very little natural light. It’s a casual neighborhood spot, and it’s a great place to drink a beer or some Japanese whiskey while you catch up with a friend. If you get hungry, various pop-ups take turns serving food here, and you can expect things like truffle fries and double-patty burgers with kimchi mayo (although that particular pop-up is now a stand-alone spot called Nowon).
Black Emperor is permanently closed.
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The neighborhood sushi joint of the East Village, Takahachi is affordable and filled with regulars.
Mokyo is a Korean restaurant in the East Village that serves affordable small plates and alcoholic light-up Capri Suns.
Sake Bar Decibel
Sake Bar Decibel is a very cool sake bar in the East Village that’s good for a drink with one or two friends.
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The Red Lion
The Red Lion is a big bar in Greenwich Village that’s a good spot to watch soccer on TV during the day, and listen to live music every night.
Corner Social is a popular neighborhood bar in Harlem where you can grab a full meal or just hang out, drink, and meet some people.
Suggested by our writers
Death & Co
Death & Co. feels like it was built just for us. The drink list is ridiculous…it’s nearly impossible to settle on something because each beverage is intriguing and awesome. And thankfully the food doesn’t suck either.
The Immigrant is a beer bar on one side and a wine bar on the other. As far as East Village bars go, this is one of the nicer, calmer ones.
Boilermaker is a casual cocktail bar just above the Lower East Side where you can get a well-made drink and some above-average bar food.
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