Bars of New York - The Globehunters Top 5
POSTED BY Adam | June 25, 2014
Label: City Breaks, New York City
From clandestine speakeasies dating back to before prohibition, to innovative takes on the traditional cocktail bar, New York has hosts of fascinating bars to visit. At Globehunters, we’ve gone for a blend of history and quirkiness to hand-pick five of our favourite New York watering holes for your visit to The Big Apple – see if any of them take your fancy!
The mixologists at Ward III pride themselves in being able to concoct a dizzying array of bespoke cocktails from a long list of available ‘flavour profiles’ based on texture (‘effervescent’ anyone?), flavour and spice. Patrons are encouraged to discuss their cocktail requirements with the bartender, with any particularly memorable concoctions christened and then immortalised in Ward III’s drinks archive.
Of course, beer drinkers are also well-catered for; Belgium’s Duvel lager is a popular choice. There are also some interesting nibbles to line the stomach between beverages - try the duck nachos or bacon-wrapped dates. Ward III serves food and drink until 4am every night - check out the specific house rules before you go.
What to order: The ‘Ward III’ - Bourbon, Fresh Strawberry, Lime, Egg White, Angostura Bitters & Nutmeg
Location: 111 Reade St, Tribeca
McSorleys Old Ale House
Unsurprisingly for a pub with the motto ‘We were here before you were born’, McSorley’s is a favourite with fans of traditional pubs. Established in 1854, McSorley’s is a veritable time capsule to a bygone era; an impressive array of antiques adorns the walls, none of which have been removed since 1910. It’s recognised as New York’s oldest continuously operated saloon and is steeped in history. Legend has it that even Abe Lincoln once drank here.
McSorley’s was a men-only bar until 1970 and only installed a female bathroom in 1986! Of course, no such restrictions are in place today – check out McSorley's website for more information.
What to order: Two McSorley’s Ales – the beers come in pairs
Location: 15 East 7th Street in the East Village
The Ear Inn
Formerly a rough-around-the-edges bar for sailors and wharf workers, now an uber-trendy hub for Manhattan’s arts crowd, The Ear Inn has been around since 1817. The walls are covered in trinkets and art, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied if you’re waiting at the bar.
From the end of Prohibition until 1977 the bar had no official name and was usually known to its clientele as ‘The Green Door’. If you’re wondering what the story is behind the Ear Inn’s current moniker, it was named after the musical Ear magazine which was once published upstairs. The burgers, which come served with roasted potatoes, come highly recommended.
What to order: A Guinness and a back-to-basics burger
Location: 326 Spring Street – between Greenwich and Washington
Boasting an interesting décor that includes its medicine-influenced coat of arms, Apotheke serves over 250 innovative cocktails on the site of a former opium den! Spirits are displayed in antique medicine bottles behind the striking marble bar, an impressive collection sourced from around the world. Keeping with the medical theme, cocktails are listed as ‘prescriptions’.
All Apotheke’s cocktails are made using local and organic produce from local greenmarket or picked fresh from the rooftop herb garden. If you fancy mixing some cocktails yourself, one day mixology classes are available on-site. There is live music and DJs to enjoy on selected nights, including live jazz on ‘Prohibition Wednesdays’.
What to order: A Mayan Summer - Mezcal, cucumber, cilantro, habanero bitters and lime
Location: 9 Doyers Street, on the edge of China town
The Campbell Apartment
Once the private office of John W Campbell – a 1920’s tycoon – The Campbell Apartment was once voted one of the best bars in the whole of the USA. Tucked away on the second floor of New York’s bustling Grand Central Station above thousands of scurrying commuters, it was fully restored in 1999 as a chic cocktail lounge.
New Yorkers on the go can drop in and enjoy the ornate Prohibition décor. Remember to dress smart: trainers and t-shirts are not allowed.
What to order: The Prohibition Punch
Location: Above Grand Central Station
Which one of these bars would you visit first?