Manhattan’s Lower East Side is an ever-changing area with an eclectic mix of people. It’s trendy without being too pretentious, and a great place to hang out if you’re looking to enjoy NYC’s less-touristy nightlife. If you haven’t fully explored the neighborhood, check out these awesome Lower East Side bars.
Cocoa Bar, 21 Clinton St
As a coffee shop by day and a wine bar by night, Cocoa Bar is a favorite amongst Lower East Side locals. It combines the feeling of an upscale wine tasting joint, with a rustic and relaxed atmosphere. Cocoa is also known for its delicious versions of rich, hot chocolate, with flavors such as Almond Joy, peanut butter, and banana.
Hotel Chantelle, 92 Ludlow St
Located in an unassuming part of the LES, you’d never know that the stairs in Hotel Chantelle lead to a fantastic rooftop bar with downtown views. With a French-based food menu, the Parisian-inspired rooftop garden is the perfect place to spend a summer evening with friends and enjoy pitchers of specialty cocktails.
Nitecap, Downstairs, 120 Rivington St
If you’re looking for a no-frills drinking den, then visit Nitecap – a basement speakeasy, located under Schapiro’s restaurant. The space is dark, relatively small, and effortlessly cool. It’s the cocktails, however, that really stand out, with talented bartenders mixing up custom drinks that also look like mini works of art. Trendy bloggers and Instagrammers would love this Lower East Side bar.
Attaboy, 134 Eldridge St
Attaboy is one of those bars that locals don’t like telling anyone about because they don’t want it to become overrun by tourists (it’s busy enough as it is). The bartenders specialize in custom mixology, so have a liquor and general flavor in mind when you order, as there’s no menu.
Nurse Bettie, 106 Norfolk St
Want to try something different? Check out Nurse Bettie – a bar inspired by Bettie Page and the pinup girls of the 1950s. Their drinks are fantastic, such as “The Nurse that Loved Me,” with green tea vodka, fresh citrus syrup, lime juice, club soda, and fresh mint served over ice. And yes – there are actual live burlesque shows every Wednesday and Thursday night.
Also, cool cocktail bars in Williamsburg.