Where to find your tour guide on her day off
So you’ve been to all of the rooftop bars, spent more than you wanted on a NYC helicopter ride, eaten a 5 course tasting menu in midtown, but you still don’t feel like you’ve seen the real New York. Well that’s because you haven’t! Don’t be scared to explore the outer avenues of Hell’s Kitchen or to journey through the artsy alleyways of Greenwich Village. There you will find the real New York, the dive bars where the creatives and out of the box thinkers gather to sip on 5 dollar wells and revel in the sweat and grime that comes from everyday hustlin’ in the big city. If you need a place to start your adventure into the real New York, these 5 historical dive bars are a great place to start. They are all unofficial landmarks in their own right, in a city that is constantly changing these establishments have stood the test of time all while keeping their cheap prices and chill attitudes.
(Hell’s Kitchen-627 9th Ave)
Rudy’s is the home of 7 dollar pitchers of beer and free hot dogs. Legally around since 1933, but is rumored to have a been speakeasy frequented by Al Capone in the 20s. On the weekends expect this place to be filled to the brim with finance workers and young artists alike either enjoying cheap beer, scarfing down the hot dogs, or lounging in the backyard. This no frills, New York staple is a perfect place to go when you want to feel like a local.
(Hell’s Kitchen-373 W 46th)
Located above the Hourglass Tavern on Restaurant Row, this cozy apartment converted into a bar sports an all night happy hour and amazing mashed potatoes. Bettibar has been a local hot spot for over 30 years due to its skilled bartenders and homey charm. If you were curious as to where Broadway casts and crews go on their night off, Bettibar is it.
(Greenwich Village-331 W 4th St)
Further down the island, there is an unassuming bar tucked into the corner of West 4th and Jane called Corner Bistro that claims to be “the last of the bohemian bars” in this area. Upon entering you’ll be hit with a Cheers-like atmosphere where everyone is a regular and the bartender is as integral as the building itself. Known for their cheeseburgers and wood paneling, this West Village standard will have you feeling like a real New Yorker in no time.
(Greenwich Village-52 8th Ave)
A few blocks down the road from Corner Bistro is the infamous Art Bar, which has been getting West Village natives “drunk for cheap” for over 20 years. Decorated with graffiti and plush booths, this is the place to be to spot local celebrities and enjoy the works of up and coming artists all while sipping a tasty cocktail from a comfy couch near the fireplace. There is also a kitchen that serves a wide variety of delicious food (including vegetarian options) all night long.
(Alphabet City-7 Ave A)
If you fancy hitting up the Lower East Side during your visit, The Library is a must. Not to be confused with the Library bar at the NoMad Hotel, this Alphabet City dive is home to grungy tattooed bartenders, raucous punk rock blasting from the jukebox, and a projector that plays a different B-Movie every night. If you are looking for a truly hole in the wall experience, The Library should be on the top of your list.