If you’re looking for a place to meet a big group in Chelsea or The Meatpacking District, The Tippler might be your least-worst option. We aren’t saying it’s a bad bar. It isn’t. But it can get pretty busy, and you might wind up talking to a group of drunk people in matching Vineyard Vines vests. The place is beneath Chelsea Market (you use a side entrance and go down some stairs), and it’s a somewhat upscale pub/lounge with some tables along the walls and lots of space to stand around, mingle, and take birthday shots.
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Chama Mama is a Georgian restaurant in Chelsea where you can get a good stew and some excellent khachapuri. Bring a group, and order a lot.
Socarrat Paella Bar
No bigger than a subway car, Socarrat packs the majority of their patrons on bar stools around a communal table. The idea here is that they do paella the way it's done in Spain, as one big family. In such a small space, keeping the drool inside your mouth while you wait for your food is no easy task.
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The Spaniard is a big West Village gastropub that’s a fun place to get drinks with a group, and a less enjoyable spot to eat elevated bar food.
Brooklyn Cider House
Brooklyn Cider House is a bar, brewery, and prix-fixe restaurant in Bushwick that’s a great place to spend a night eating and drinking with a group.
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The NoMad Bar
Thanks to the prices, this casual(ish) bar in The NoMad hotel probably isn’t a place that you can afford to visit often. But when you do, eat dessert.
These days, Employees Only is not the hotspot it once was. But while the crowd might have lost a step, the cocktails have not, and it’s still packed with people every time we stop by.
Your requisite Prohibition-inspired speakeasy in Chelsea with a quirky name and a secret door? That’d be Bathtub Gin.
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