If you travel to New York, you’ll probably find yourself in Times Square at some point. After all, the heart of Midtown Manhattan is deemed the “center of the universe” and the “crossroads of the world.” Technically, Times Square is the area between 42nd Street and 47th Streets at Seventh Avenue and Broadway, which runs on a diagonal. Besides neon lights and pandemonium, though, Times Square offers a bevy of places to eat and drink. If you’re on the hunt for a different spot to imbibe, try any of these bars near Times Square.
Jimmy’s Corner, 144 W 44th St
If dive bars are your thing, then you must pop into this cozy tavern the next time you’re in the neighborhood. The truth is you won’t find a New York watering hole with more character or nostalgia than this one, which has walls plastered with boxing photos and memorabilia. Meanwhile, you might spot owner and boxing pro Jimmy Glenn sitting at the bar if you time it right. He’s down to earth just like his place, where drinks are cheap and times are good. Jimmy’s Corner doesn’t serve food so be sure to eat before you go.
What to order: Vodka tonic or whiskey and soda
The Playwright, 202 W 49th St
You might have come across one of the Playwright locations since there are several in Manhattan. My favorite happens to be the 49th Street outpost because I’ve made some great memories in this bar. Like that time Mike and I went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (before we lived in NYC) and headed to the bar to warm up after standing in the wind and cold for six hours! A bowl of soup and a pint never tasted so good.
What to order: Draft beer, (soup, of course), and golden-fried chicken fingers with homemade honey mustard
The Stinger NYC, 300 W 44th St
Yes, it’s one of those “fancy” bars, but the food and drink are solid (albeit pricey) at Todd English’s upscale cocktail lounge in the InterContinental Times Square. I like to think of of this hotel hotspot as a grownup bar – it’s hard not to feel sophisticated when you’re holding one of The Stinger’s expertly crafted cocktails in your hand. Drinks come in three sizes: 2 oz for $9, 6 oz for $18, and 12 oz for $28, or go with a tasting flight of 3 for $18. Be sure to sip slowly so you savor every drop.
What to order: The Stinger, Barbee Doll, or a Honeyed Rum Punch Bowl (for a group of 4 to 8 drinkers), the tuna poke and lobster guacamole
Hurley’s Saloon, 232 W 48th St
For a laid-back night of fun, opt for a beverage and a bite at this historic Irish pub that’s been pouring drinks since 1892. With over 20 beers on tap and even more choices by the bottle, you won’t run out of brews to sample. Hurley’s mixes classic cocktails like a Manhattan or Sidecar, too, and features a full menu for both lunch and dinner.
What to order: Guinness and Irish cheese fries
Sardi’s, 234 W 44th St
When I take in a Broadway matinee, you can probably find me here afterward. There are two bars at Sardi’s – the tiny room next to the entrance also, known as “The Little Bar,” and a larger bar on the second level. I prefer the first floor bar, which has about six to eight seats at the bar itself, then several tables and some standing room. The bartenders here are pros and make terrific drinks. Plus, there’s something to be said for a gentleman in a bow tie behind the bar. And, you might encounter a celebrity sighting here as well. Once I walked in only to find Alec Baldwin hanging out with some friends at one of the Little Bar’s tables.
What to order: Grey Goose Cosmopolitan and house-made cheese with Ritz crackers
Do you have any favorite bars near Times Square? Please share with us in the comments!