New York City is known for its posh, upscale clubs and lounges full of all the glitz and glamour you would expect from the city that never sleeps. All of the chic urbanites frequent places like this for a swanky, but ultimately pricey, night out. But what about all of the really cool under-the-radar dive bars that no one gives enough credit to? These are the places with character where you can have just as much fun for way less cash. Here’s a list of the top NYC dive bars you should really consider hitting up on your next bar crawl.
Best Dive Bar in NYC: Mars Bar
25 E 1st Street
New York, NY 10003
Full of old-school punk rock charm with its graffitied walls and cool artwork, this tiny space full of mismatched stools is super down to earth. You’ll get only bottled beer and the shots, filled to the brim, truly give you a bang for your buck. A loud jukebox spilling out all the rock and roll you could ever want plays in the background as you meet some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. Nothing says New York more than this place.
Best Dive Bar in NYC: The Library
7 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
Don’t be fooled by the name. This spot is anything but a place to check out one of the great American classics, although you may meet your nerdy counterpart, college drop-outs, or a hipster or two. Actually you can meet anyone you want here amidst all of the old, yellowed books covering the walls and the two-for-one beers. This place brings a great crowd, has a great jukebox and even has a Photo Hunt and an old Ms. Pac-Man video game to challenge your friends to between shots. What’s not to love?
Best Dive Bar in NYC: Billy Mark’s West
332 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
It truly doesn’t matter who you are or what you wear at this corner bar. The only two employees at this place are brothers Billy and Mark so you’re sure to get some brotherly love. The king of dive bars, this place is darkly lit and has a pool table with your name on it, and everyone else’s for that matter because it’s so popular. The jukebox has music hand-selected by the owners with a great mix of blues, 80’s and classic rock. Have a beer and a chat with the regulars; come as early as you want, doors open at 8 a.m.
Best Dive Bar in NYC: Mona’s
224 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
Small, not too crowded and has no cover charge; this place is already dive-classified. Add to the fact that it could use a little elbow grease and their $3 Guinessess on Thursday’s and you’ve got yourself a great night. A punk-rock juke box adds to the darkly-lit mix of rockers, hipsters and oldies. The abundance of seats makes it easy to find a place to park it and the pool table will have you enjoying your brews well after twilight.
Best Dive Bar in NYC: Down the Hatch
179 W 4th Street
New York, NY 10014
A cramped underground bar with cheap pitchers and some of the best chicken wings in the West Village, need we say more? With half price food and beer from 10 am-8 pm, you can get full and frisky for less than $20 if you go for happy hour. Plus, there’s an all-you-can-eat and drink wings/beer combo on Saturday afternoons that should be enough of an incentive to get you in there. With beer pong tables and a room full of mostly guys, it’s a constant frat party of fun.