While other neighborhoods have gained popularity for their exciting cocktail programs (LES has Experimental Cocktail Club, Rochelle’s and , East Village touts Death & Co. and PDT as residents), imbibers can find a number of intimate and quirky bars in the West Village. Whether you favor wine, beer or cocktails, there’s a watering hole for you in this ‘hood.
239 West 4th Street (at West 10th)
This place has been around for years, but after it shut down in 2010, Gabe Stulman (Joseph Leonard, Little Owl) revamped this space and made it fresh and hip again. A few steps down from the street, Fedora offers the perfect setting for a delicious cocktail including the signature Pony Express with Spiced Pear Vodka, Green Tea and Ginger Beer, the gin-based San Sebastian and the AMAZINGLY named I Put My Sconnie Upon Your Hip When I Dip You Dip We Dip. (Yes, seriously) Plus, they have a solid food menu, including late night snacks.
510 Hudson Street (at West 10th)
This one is obvious. Since opening, Employees Only has been synonymous with inventive, creative cocktails prepared in a speakeasy-ish environment by a good looking staff. This place serves serious cocktails but the vibe is still fun and , even though it’s been open since 2004, it’s still nearly impossible to snag a bar stool on any night of the week. And while new cocktail trends have come and gone, Employees Only is still one of the top mixology destinations in NYC – for good reason.
The Spotted Pig
314 West 11th Street (at Greenwich Street)
When you think of the West Village, you think of cozy carriage houses with ivy and lots of wood. Right? Well, The Spotted Pig completely captures that essence, located in a 3-story building on a quintessential tree-lined street. With a mish-mosh of pig and vegetable themed artwork, The Pig has been the go-to watering hole for locals and celebrities (yes, Jay Z and Bono are involved) but the A-list sightings don’t take away from the quality. The drinks are simple (ask for a Cosmo and you might get shot; definitely a dirty look) and of course, the food – that burger! – is always a draw.
331 West 4th (at Jane Street)
Because sometimes you just want to go to a bar, order a cheap (albeit tiny) beer and chow down on one of the city’s top burgers. Corner Bistro has been serving up no-frills drinks since 1961 and is still the best place in the neighborhood to go for an authentic NYC dive bar experience. The lines can get crazy and it’s one of those annoying cash-only situations, but it’s Corner Bistro so you deal. And while a Long Island City outpost has opened, the West Village location is still the real deal.
34 8th Avenue
Looking for a great date spot, or a place to catch up with friends? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Anfora has the best of everything, with a fun bar and knowledgeable staff, comfy couches for cuddling and window seats for prime West Village people watching. It’s buzzy and fun but not too loud, and the wine selection is solid. There is also a legit small bites food menu and one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the city.
20 Seventh Avenue South
Milk and Honey’s mastermind Sasha Petraske is behind this operation, a lower-key version of the impenetrable original. It’s a true throwback cocktail lounge with a jazz piano and bartenders wearing suspenders and mustaches. And serious mixology. The drinks here are outstanding (as is expected from Petraske) and the staff are happy to prepare anything you’d like – just tell them your favorite liquor and prepare to be wowed by whatever they mix up. Plus, the vibe is always just right especially for a chill weekday night out.
The Other Room
143 Perry Street
The Other Room is like a dark, secret hideaway . The super sexy décor and plush seating makes for the perfect setting for a chill night out, where guests can relax with a glass of wine or a craft beer (no hard alcohol here) from the cash-only menu. And while The Other Room has been around for years, it doesn’t get too unbearably crowded, especially on weeknights.
425 West Street
Sure, it gets super crowded on weekend nights, but Sunday through Wednesday, the Rusty Knot is a great place to go for drinks with friends. It’s a “dive” bar (kind of: The Spotted Pig and Freeman’s crew is behind this place) with $3 cans of beer, on the Hudson River, with a pool table. And pretzel dogs. What more do you need?