Bar Crawl: New York City's East Village

A boozy tour of the best bars in New York City's East Village
Arthur Bovino


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New Yorkers know that when it comes to finding the city's greatest bars, the East Village is one of the best places to be. But while the streets in this neighborhood are thick with drinking hot spots, our crawl provides booze seekers with the hidden gems that only well-versed drinkers know about. Begin your journey at with a glass of wine at Terroir and make your way down to Lucy's, a true New York dive bar. 

For Enjoying a Glass or Two of Quality Vino. 

Where: Terroir, 413 East 12th Street, (646) 602 - 1300

Branding itself as the "elitist wine bar for everyone," Terroir is one of those rare finds in the wine world that doesn't forsake cool-kid attitude for pedigree. Both are done effortlessly with the same smoothness you might find in a glass there. To be sure, their big, fat binder of a wine list could easily intimidate were it not for the charmingly disarming presentation (think cartoon illustrations and snarky anecdotes) and an on-top-of-its-game staff available to guide you through it all.


For Taking In a Pint at One of the City's Oldest Pubs

Where: McSorley's, 15 East 7th Street, (212) 474 - 9148

This legendary Irish pub in New York’s East Village is also the city’s oldest continuously operating bar. And you need but look around at the dust-caked chandeliers, sawdust on the floor, and walls stacked with memories to believe it hasn’t changed much since 1854 — though, fortunately for the male-heavy crowd, McSorley's did abandon its no-women policy in 1970.


For Rubbing Elbows with Burgeoning Literary Talent

Where: KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, (212) 505 - 3360

This East Village watering hole is a regular hangout for New York’s literary elite. The drinks are cheap, so sip along as you listen to a poetry slam.


For Sipping Tequila, Not Slamming It

Where: Mayahuel, 304 East 6th Street, (212) 555 - 1212

The brainchild of tequila guru and Death & Co alum Philip Ward, Mayahuel offers an extensive list of tequilas, mezcals, and cocktails like The Pale Rider made with fino Sherry, jalapeño tequila, sugarcane, and lime.


For Throwing Back Cheap Drinks

Where: Lucy's, 135 Avenue A, (212) 673-3824

Best dive bar, best East Village bar, best New York bar, best end-of- night bar — Lucy's is all these, and a great jukebox bar too. Also in the mix, formica tables, cheap (and strong) rail drinks, a lone pool table, bathroom scrawl to rival that at the Raven in D.C., classic overheard New York conversations, and red fluorescent lights that make you feel like you're about to do something illegal. And of course, there's Lucy herself behind the bar with her Polish accent and amazing hair.


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