After you’ve walked the High Line, grabbed a Magnolia cupcake, and tried to figure out which brownstone Carrie Bradshaw lived in, you are without a doubt gonna need a drink. We are here to bring your attention to some of the best bars in the West Village so that you can accomplish this task. The West Village tends to confuse most, tourists and residents alike. South of 14th street, the easy to navigate grid of Manhattan starts to wind and shift as you enter this neighborhood of “little Bohemia”. Do not be alarmed, it’s not because you’ve had too many, the streets of the village will all start to make better sense once you familiarize yourself with the West Village bars. Here are some of our faves.
Tucked into a treelined street just off the bustle of Seventh Avenue, you may walk right by this West Village local if you don’t know it’s there. That is however, depending on the time and day. If it’s a weekend night, you’re interests might be piqued at the 20-somethings showing proof of age to the man at the door. Don’t let this turn you off. Once inside Wilfie and Nell, this neighborhood bar encourages the masses to mingle and make yourself at home. A cozy, lived-in atmosphere lends to this easily. Cocktails are well made and stem from classics with a modern twist. Try their Cucumber Gimlet with gin, cracked black pepper and lemon. YUM. You can also grab a bite for brunch or even late night, from their traditional Irish fare menu that is locally sourced. 228 west 4th st., wilfieandnell.com
Not only is Daddy-O one of the staple bars in the West Village, but Esquire magazine recently added it to their list of Best Bars in America 2014. The perfect crafting and all of the right ingredients make this corner spot a balanced blend of sports bar (Steelers fans unite), neighborhood bar (there is always a regular to be found), industry bar (never closes before 4am, can usually find a fellow bartender unwinding post-shift), and cocktail bar (featured on Food Network, “The Best Thing I Ever Drank” for the Herbacious Mojito). Aside from the delicious, mindfully created cocktails to choose from, they had to assemble a book just to have enough room to list the grand selection of spirits, both rare and familiar. Pick your poison, you are guaranteed a good time. 44 Bedford St., daddyonyc.com
The Other Room is the perfect place to escape. It is always cool and dark and candlelit. It is the bar that you walk into and feel like you’ve been let in on a secret. The extremely intimate space has a mellow vibe with an undercurrent of energy, aided by the eclectic music (bartenders choice) to enhance the subdued ambience. Bring a date and get romantic in a corner high top table (keep it respectable people!), or bring a friend to chat and sip through their diverse list of wines, or bring yourself, meet a new friend and let them buy you a beer! You won’t want to keep this wine and beer bar a secret. 143 Perry St., theotherroom.com
If you’ve ever inquired about where to get a burger in Manhattan, chances are good that you’ve heard about the Corner Bistro. And though it is a juicy, delicious, cheap and messy burger (all of the things we look for), we are here to talk about bars. The Corner B is a classic, that boasts being “the last of the bohemian bars in West Greenwich Village”. It is a no frills, what you see is what you get, order what you want, get into a heated conversation with the bartender about something deep and controversial, or not, read your paper and talk to no one, kind of bar. From the neon sign, sports on the TV, to the whiskey and beer, this is a no brainer. 331 W 4th st., cornerbistrony.com
If you are familiar with the Blue Ribbon Restaurants scattered throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, you may already know of this quaint addition that is very welcome in the West Village bar scene. Come here early to get a seat at the intimate bar. Come here when you want a taste for the finer things. Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar offers quite an extensive wine list, both by the glass, bottle, or 2oz taste. They have an appealing and diverse cocktail list made from artisanal spirits and the dime size kitchen offers superior bites to enhance your experience (we consider the Caviar Creme Fresh deviled eggs to be mighty fine, $12.50). The staff is always super friendly and very knowledgeable. And if it’s your first time, don’t forget to play, “Where’s The Bathroom?” 34 Downing Street., blueribbonrestaurants.com
Let’s talk about dive bars. And since we’re on the subject of best bars in the West Village, let’s talk about the best dive bar. Johnny’s, until recently, didn’t even have it’s name on the door, other than to alert you in big red neon that it is a bar. The narrow space filled with music from the rockin (despite modern) juke box and plastered with lived in memorabilia on walls and ceiling, is always filled with characters, be them locals or not. The fun bartenders and cheap drinks will make you feel like you’ve found your CHEERS, even if you want no one to know your name. They always have a shot of the day (even though some days they may be questionable), and are open noon til 4am, as every excellent dive bar should be! 90 Greenwich Ave., johnnysbarnyc.com
More of a neighborhood bar than a dive bar, WXOU Radio, or just Radio Bar if you live in the hood, is always a good time. They too house a juke box (old school style), which is a reminder of the days of yore, so get nostalgic and play some tunes from your past. This place is cash only, but offers an ATM in case you choose not to read the sign. Conveniently located amidst popular restaurants, a great space to meet with friends before or after dinner. There is always a great crowd and a traditional selection of booze behind the bar, as well as a good beer list (and open till 4am). 558 Hudson St., yelp.com/wxou-radio-bar-new-york We hope that you enjoy these West Village bars as much as we do. Combined, they offer a little something for everyone, but each spot will uniquely make you feel at home and welcome, while serving you some tasty adult only beverages. In our opinion, that is what makes them the best. We raise our glass to them and toast to you! Let us know if we missed any that you love!
David is the resident nerd around these parts. Running a popular tech blog (TheUnlockr.com) for the past 6 years, he’s taken his over-analytical mind and made the transition to food.