If you’ve ever been on the Internet before (which, judging by the fact that you’re reading this, you have) then you’ve definitely read at least a handful of guides which insist they know the “Best Bars in Manhattan.” There’s two things wrong with that claim:

  1. New York is a lot more than just Manhattan. What about LIC? Astoria? Brooklyn!? (Jay Z is disappointed)
  2. They can’t possibly list the best bars, because we’ve just done that and that would be plagiarism. Did you learn nothing in college?

Here at Vimbly, we know our bars and liquor a little too well, and have perfected a system for judging their general awesomeness (guess and test) in what might have been the funnest instance of field work ever recorded. And now, we’re here to impart that wisdom onto you, young grasshopper.

Here are New York’s Best 50 Bars for 20somethings as classified by ‘hood, vibe, and proximity to drunk food — just like your mom would have wanted. Use it wisely.

This isn’t amateur hour, this is happy hour. Respect that.

 

Chill Bars for 20somethings in NYC

chill-pub-vimbly

Chill: These bars don’t pretend to be anything they’re not. You don’t come here looking for glitz and glam. You just want a comfortable place to hang out with your friends and a good beer selection, and the bar delivers both. The music is good, but not invasive, since you mostly just came here to talk. Chill bars are great for mid-week meetups and your less intense weekends.

 

The Belfry East Village

$5 Picklebacks. Every day. All. The. Time.

Highlight: The cheap drinks

Drunk Food: Halal Guys

 

Spin | Flatiron District

Can’t tell if ping pong is fun or I’m just drunk.

Highlight: The ping pong

Drunk Food: Shake Shack

 

Pig ‘N’ Whistle | Midtown East

A great place to drink away work day stress and be among a crowd of people doing the exact same thing.

Highlight: The culture

Drunk Food: Ray’s Pizza

 

Frying Pan West Side

You just can’t beat drinking on a docked boat on the Hudson in the middle of the summer.

Highlight: The sunshine

Drunk Food: Rin Thai

 

The Whiskey Brooklyn | Williamsburg

The epicenter of all hipster-B&T crowd relations. Here there is no war between these two species; hey, they peacefully coexist.

Highlight: The music and games

Drunk Food: El Diablo Taco Truck

 

Drop Off Service | Alphabet City

Cash only or Amex, but with $3 20 oz pours from 12-8 daily, cash is an extremely viable option.

Highlight: The craft beer selection

Drunk Food: Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

 

Croxley Ale House Alphabet City

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday; $0.20 cent classic wings. Seriously.

Highlight: The cheap wings

Drunk Food: Snack Dragon Taco Shack

*Our Stand Out Sunday Bar: $0.10 boneless and $0.20 classic buffalo wings (all day and night)

 

The Strand Smokehouse Astoria

A great place to kick back with some brews and BBQ.

Highlight: The brunch

Drunk Food: El Rey Del Taco Truck

 

Whiskey TavernChinatown

ProTip: Jenga gets 10x more fun and 100x harder when you add whiskey.

Highlight: The boardgames 

Drunk Food: 69 Chinese Restaurant

 

McSorleys East Village

The floor is covered in sawdust, because authenticity.

Highlight: The history

Drunk Food: Pommes Frites

 

LIC BarLIC

Great craft beer and a little backyard section provide the perfect escape from the concrete jungle.

Highlight: The live music

Drunk Food: Corner Bistro

 

Pioneers | Midtown West

Giant board games to satisfy the GIANT kid in you. Great happy hour prices to satisfy the lack of money in your wallet.

Highlight: The games

Drunk Food: Famous Amadeus Pizza

*Our Stand Out Tuesday Bar: Karaoke Night 9pm-1am

 

The Dead Poet | Upper West Side

The specialty drinks are all named after dead poets, and are strong enough to leave you feeling ahem inspired.

Highlight: The signature drinks

Drunk Food: Pizza by La Grolla

 

Art Bar | West Village

A wonderfully less-than-pretentious lounge to hang out at with close friends.

Highlight: The specialty drinks

Drunk Food: Rocky’s Brick Oven Pizza

 

Crown VictoriaWilliamsburg

Satisfy your city cravings for a real backyard BBQ.

Highlight: The backyard

Drunk Food: Just eat here, BBQ is great!

 

Trendy Bars for 20somethings in NYC

Trendy: These bars may be flashes in the pan, but oh, will they burn bright. Spend your night dancing to tunes spun by the hottest DJs, drinking expensive, top-shelf cocktails, and trying to slyly snap pics of celebrities. You’re not sure which is more fun: the bar itself, or name dropping all the elbows you rub.

 

The Park | Chelsea

A lot of different rooms with a LOT of different dance floors guarantee an interesting night.

Highlight: The options

Drunk Food: Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Bar

 

Gallow GreenChelsea

An enchanting rooftop with an even more enchanting cocktail list.

Highlight: The rooftop

Drunk Food: Ovest Pizzoteca

 

Dead RabbitFinancial District

A REALLY cool bar with an authentic 1920’s speakeasy vibe.

Highlight: The cocktail selection

Drunk Food: Shorty’s

 

230 Fifth | Flatiron District

Do it for the Instagram.

Highlight: The rooftop

Drunk Food: 28th & Madison Halal Stand

 

Press Lounge | Hell’s Kitchen

Take any first time NYC visitor here. The awestruck look on your friend’s face will almost be better than the view…almost.

Highlight: The view

Drunk Food: Empanada Mama

 

No Fun | LES

Whoever named this place sits on a throne of lies. A more apt title would have been SO Fun.

Highlight: The dancing

Drunk Food: Los Perros Locos

 

Beauty & Essex | LES

This drunch turns into an all day dance party. Prepare yourself. This place is classsssic. 

Highlight: The brunch

Drunk Food: The Meatball Shop

 

Hotel Chantelle | LES

A nice boozy rooftop brunch with a classy touch of jazz.

Highlight: The food

Drunk Food: Lucky’s Famous Burgers

*Our Stand Out Saturday Bar: Rooftop brunch with $3 Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, Bellinis

 

Penthouse 808 | LIC

A rooftop without a guestlist and sushi that will have you saying de-lish. That look on your face is priceless. 

Highlight: The view of the bridge

Drunk Food: Corner Bistro

 

Employees Only | West Village

Any place voted the World’s Best Cocktail Bar deserves a try.

Highlight: The mysterious ambiance

Drunk Food: Bleecker Street Pizza

 

Preppy Bars for 20somethings in NYC

Preppy: Button downs, khakis, and sperrys — yuppies unite! If you’re interested in spending a night out raging with these thriving members of society, get ready ’cause these rich guys and gals know how to party. Drink high quality draft beer, interesting cocktails, and mingle with the elites of the elite at these preppy bars. Encounter drinking bets based on who had the highest stock dividends this week as you dance to today’s Top 100 hits. So bourgeoise!

 

Galway PubMidtown East

An ever so perfect place for post-work happy hours.

Highlight: The secret backroom

Drunk Food: Pocha 32

 

The Gin MillUpper West Side

A little part of you never wanted to leave college. And here? That’s A-okay.

Highlight: The cheap beer

Drunk Food: Famous Original Ray’s Pizza

*Our Stand Out Wednesday Bar: 1/2 Price Bar

 

Jake’s Dillema | Upper West Side

Every once and a while you need to let out your inner frat star. This is just the place to do it.

Highlight: The feeling of let go

Drunk Food: Pizza by La Grolla

*Our Stand Out Monday Bar: $1 Domestic Drafts

 

Houston HallWest Village

Save the air fare to Munich and just celebrate Oktoberfest here. Prost!

Highlight: The feeling of community

Drunk Food: Masala Times

 

 Divey Bars for 20somethings in NYC

Divey: Dive bars are an ever growing, ever changing breed. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the original dive: $2 PBRs, $3 shots of an unidentified whisky, cash only. Then there’s the new dive bar: All of the ambiance (or lack thereof) of a neon-signed underpass-covered hole in the wall, but with higher caliber alcohol. You’ll usually find a well priced, high quality range of whiskies, a decent beer selection, and some experimental cocktails, all probably served in plastic cups. Pass the night away in eclectic surroundings with eccentric people. You might find the walls lined with vintage erotica, or stumble upon a celebrity-themed pinball machine. Drink easy knowing that your dollars are working hard.

 

Mama’s Bar Alphabet City

Cheap drinks, cool bartenders, good music. Oh, and there’s giant brass boobs hanging in the bathrooms

Highlight: The PBR and shot special

Drunk Food: Snack Dragon Taco Shack

 

Crocodile Lounge East Village

Come for the pizza, stay for the skee ball (and more pizza).

Highlight: The skeeball and photobooth

Drunk Food: Free pizza with literally every drink purchase.

*Our Stand Out Thursday Bar: Bingo Night @ 8:30

 

Rudy’s Bar & GrillHell’s Kitchen

A favorite bar amongst Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest enthusiasts.

Highlight: The free hot dog

Drunk Food: The FREE hot dogs

 

169 Bar | LES

This jazzy production brings a Big Easy vibe to the Big Apple.

Highlight: The culture

Drunk Food: Congee Village

 

Fat CatWest Village

“Everything you need in one epic fun filled night with your group of awesomeness-spewing friends.” – A wise, accurate, and anonymous Yelp User

Highlight: The board games

Drunk Food: Wogies

 

Greenpoint Tavern | Williamsburg

Styrofoam cups for $4 bucks, to keep the mind at ease while lungs can breathe.

Highlight: The styrofoam cups

Drunk Food: Two Boots

 

Hipster Bars for 20somethings in NYC

kare

 

Hipster: Take it all in through your non-perscription, thick rimmed glasses. I know it’s hard to believe, but EVERY person in here knew about this bar before it was cool. Crack open a local craft brew, or two, to a soundtrack that’s deeper underground than magma, and unite with a cool crowd through your mutual conformity to non-conformity. Go ahead and rage, as long as it’s against the machine.

 

Washington CommonsCrown Heights

Outdoor seating + Bring Your Own Food = an alcohol serving picnic that we’d love to attend.

Highlight: The outdoor feel

Drunk Food: Mayfield

 

TorstGreenpoint

This hipster haven has a TON of beers on tap (but you’ve probably never heard of them before).

Highlight: The tap beers

Drunk Food: God Bless Deli

 

Good Company Williamsburg

Corn-hole and ping-pong and darts, OH MY.

Highlight: The drinks and the games

Drunk Food: Pies-n-Thighs

 

Brookyln BowlWilliamsburg

Great music, bowling, fantastic live shows. Oh, and ?uestlove DJs here. This is NYC nightlife. 

Highlight: The bowling and the feeling of letting loose

Drunk Food: Carmine’s Original Pizza

 

 Romantic Bars for 20somethings in NYC

Romantic: What’s the hardest part about being at a bar with someone you’re dating? The music. The loud, perpetually obnoxious music. Fortunately, there are romantic bars that actually take your level of enjoyment into account. Here, no loud Katy Perry songs will roar into your ear and ruin your wooing. On the contrary, sweet and romantic music will elevate the mood, deepen the ambiance, and delicious cocktails will help to keep your minds and hearts in sync.

 

Please Don’t Tell | Alphabet City

You enter through a secret phonebooth inside of Criff Dogs. Do you really need more incentive to go?

Highlight: The speakeasy feel

Drunk Food: Crif Dogs

 

Death and CoAlphabet City 

Swanky, candle-lit, and intimate, a real first date triple threat.

Highlight: The experience

Drunk Food: Veselka

 

The Crow’s Nest | East Side

Views, booze, and mellow tunes? Check.

Highlight: The breeze

Drunk Food: Ali Baba

 

Raines Law RoomFlatiron District

Feels like being in your own living room, if you had more money and could make better drinks.

Highlight: The cocktails and ambiance

Drunk Food: 2 Bros Pizza Plus

 

Rose BarFlatiron District

The epitome of high class ambiance.

Highlight: The chance to wander aimlessly

Drunk Food: Maoz Vegetarian

 

Dutch Kills | LIC

An awesome speakeasy vibe, minus any pretensions. 

Highlight: The bartenders 

Drunk Food: Kitchen Door

 

The Rum HouseMidtown West

A comfortingly nostalgic reminder that it’s okay that you’re not okay with being a part of this lesser generation, Mr. Caulfield. 

Highlight: The happy hour

Drunk Food: Carve

 

Hype Bars for 20somethings in NYC

Hype: Every now and then, when dancing in front of the mirror just isn’t enough to satisfy your desire to “turn up,” there are hype bars that help get the best — or worst — of you. You dance uncontrollably, rage your face off, accidentally leave your bar tab open, and wake up with a gruesome hangover and an insurmountable amount of drunk texts, obnoxious (confusing, sweaty) Instagram pictures, and an overwhelming feeling of relief that you made it back home safely. Here’s to you!

 

M1-5 LoungeTriBeCa

Leave your cutesy dance moves at home, it’s time to get ugly.

Highlight: The dancing

Drunk Food: Hot Fresh Pizza 99c

 

Bowery ElectricEast Village

CAUTION: Dancing and debauchery lie ahead.

Highlight: The club downstairs

Drunk Food: Mamoun’s Falafel

 

Fat BabyLES

Waking up in the morning feeling like you need a Tetnus shot has never been so worth it.

Highlight: The dancing

Drunk Food: La Margarita

 

Studio Square NYC | LIC

One of the only sports bars you’ll come across where solid enthusiasm is a valid replacement for knowledge of the game.

Highlight: The sport events

Drunk Food: Boston Pizza & Subs

 

With great power comes great responsibility. Now that you know the absolute best bars in New York, it is your responsibility — nay, your duty — to bequeath this knowledge to your friends and engage in some drunken debauchery and/or shenanigans. Have fun! But not too much fun. Definitely have too much fun.

 

For thousands of other fun things to do in NYC for 20somethings, click here and start exploring!