New York City (NYC) is called the “city that never sleeps.” It is also well-known for its ever-evolving, fast-paced nightlife and hidden haunts. From the eclectic cuisine to the mosaic bar scene,”The Big Apple” offers a bit of something for everyone. In that vain, here is an insider’s guide to several haunts every traveler, NYC denizen, or commuter should be aware of and visit while in New York City.
1. Bushwick Country Club–This Williamsburg haunt is located on Grand St., in the borough of Brooklyn. Its name is deceiving as it is far from a country club, but it is a haven for those who enjoy cheap drink specials and hipster decor. The ambiance includes pin-up art, a photo booth, red-velour airplane seats, and a Jim Beam-and-Coke slushie machine. Moreover, the tavern offers a mini golf course and huge backyard for patrons to get their swing on. However, the Bushwick Country Club’s signature drink is its greatest claim to fame–the Pickleback Shot. This is definitely an experience not to be missed, whether someone is a tourist or New York City resident.
2. Dive 75–This Upper West Side tavern is located on W 75th St. and a Must-See for sports aficionados. This neighborhood sports bar offers board games, a wide variety of beers (including craft beer selections), and wall-to-wall TVs to tune into numerous events. If someone is a sports lover or they know a sports fan who loves to try new places, give Dive 75 a try.
3. Death & Co.–This East Village pub is located on E 6th St. and drives home the Prohibition Era vibe. It harkens back to days of old as it originated as a speakeasy. The bar’s 500-recipe cocktail book and rule breaker atmosphere make the wait outside worthwhile. It is an ultimate insider’s experience that all liquor lovers and history buffs must be a part of and visit while in New York City.
4. Ear Inn–This Soho haunt is located on Spring St. and considered one of the city’s most beloved and historic eating establishments. Its clientele is made up of people across the socioeconomic spectrum including wealthy Tribeca patrons, artists, and locals from the neighborhood. Not only is the ambiance inviting, but the food and drink menu is delightful.
5. King Cole Bar–This Upper East Side establishment is part of the iconic St. Regis Hotel and located on E 55th St. This upscale eatery is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary and has a dress code. Be forewarned, a visit to this New York City hotspot will not be cheap, but it will allow travelers or city dwellers the opportunity to feel like New York royalty, at least until the check arrives.
6. The Library–This East Village Rock & Roll joint is considered a local mainstay and located on 7 Avenue A. Its staff is mostly female and trends towards the rough & tumble variety. However, its patrons include hipsters, locals, the college-aged crowd who digs the vibe, and East Village upper class who know how to chill.
7. Whiskey Tavern–This Chinatown saloon is considered a hard liquor haven and located on Baxter St. The tavern specializes in Bourbon, Scotch, and Rye, as well as its signature Spicyback, which is a whiskey shot with a pepper-infused pickle juice chaser. As the cherry on top, its appetizer menu is out of this world.
Whether someone is traveling to New York City for a visit, a longtime NYC dweller, or a recent transplant to “Gotham,” there are several haunts that cannot be missed while in New York City. These New York City establishments will introduce newbies to the revered NYC mixed culture that has put the metropolis on the map, and educate longtime residents about the city’s hidden layers that only those who dare to venture outside of their comfort zone might discover.
Opinion Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
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