Alphabet City is one of New York City’s most eclectic neighborhoods, not just because of the diverse range of people who inhabit it, but because of the cultural attractions that are on every corner. Bars and restaurants of all different shapes, sizes, and cocktail prices have set up shop in Alphabet City for the young and outgoing customer base that it attracts, making this a fairly overwhelming part of town, but a fun one nonetheless. The Wayland, a cozy cocktail bar on Avenue C, boasts an incredible cocktail menu that is bringing in more and more of these outgoing people who may enjoy the cheap beers that reside on Third Avenue, but are also looking for something with a little more character.
While the neighborhood and the live music are reasons to stop by, the cocktail menu at The Wayland is what will keep you coming back time and time again. While several of the house favorites stay on the menu year-round, seasonal cocktails constantly rotate to keep things interesting, and keep people coming back to experience all of the creativity that the bartenders at The Wayland have to offer. The food offered here is fairly exquisite as well; all made right behind the bar, all prepared fresh every day. If you find that when exploring Manhattan, you rarely travel east of First Avenue, mix things up and head over to The Wayland. A change will do you good. Cheers!
What to Drink:
The Wayland updates their website every day with the new cocktails being featured on their menu, so if you are looking for a new tipple every time you stop by, be sure to check that out. However, their house cocktails are what have kept me coming back to The Wayland over and over. The I Hear Banjos — Encore! is one of the most amazing cocktails I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying, not just because of the taste, but because of the execution. Applewood smoke is prepared in a glass bowl over top of the cocktail, making for a smoky taste explosion, followed by the sweet and spicy flavors of apple pie moonshine and rye whiskey.
What to Eat:
The food menu, as with the cocktail menu, changes constantly, so again taking a look at their website is a good plan of attack. While their meat dishes are always fantastic, I am automatically drawn to the fresh oysters and rotating cheese selections. Daily East Coast oysters are always on the menu, and the cheese offerings change on a constant basis, giving you the opportunity to always try something new. If oysters and cheese aren’t exactly your bag, go for the BLT. The pork belly is slow-cooked in apple cider bourbon and maple syrup, making for a sweet and salty sandwich the likes of which you’ve never experienced before.
Where to Sit:
The Wayland isn’t a large place, and while it’s always nice to sit at a table, I am partial to sitting at the bar. The bartenders are always open to answering questions about the cocktails on the menu as well as their house made syrups and infusions (black fig-infused cognac, anyone?) and are more than happy to offer samples of whatever you may be unfamiliar with. Making nice with the bartenders here can only do you good, so do yourself a favor and sidle up to the bar to talk cocktail shop. You’ll be happy you did.
— Sara Kay, The Spir.it