With all the speakeasy throwbacks, wine bars, and upscale lounges, finding a drink under $10 in New York seems nearly impossible. Well, we are here to tell you that you can throw back a couple without a breaking the bank! Whether you’re looking for a dive bar, historic pub, or cozy neighborhood tavern, here are the best bars in NYC for cheap drinks.
Rudy’s, 627 9th Ave
Now, here’s a dive bar with history. Rumor has it that in 1919, Rudy’s was a speakeasy whose patrons included Al Capone. As one of the first bars to get a liquor license after prohibition, this Hell’s Kitchen joint has since served Paul McCartney, James Gandolfini, Lauryn Hill, and Tommy Ramone just to name a few. Rudy’s illustrious past and friendly vibe keep the celebs coming. It’s certainly not a posh drink menu because here you’ll get $3 Budweiser bottles and a glass of Sutter Home red or white wine for $5. Oh, and you get a free hot dog with the purchase of a drink.
Art Bar, 52 8th Ave
Part dive bar, part art gallery, this West Village outpost has been a place to come and relax with a cheap martini for the last 20 years. Art Bar draws an eclectic, mixed-age crowd nightly. Laid out in a front room with circular booths and a back room with date-friendly lounge chairs, it has a chill, bohemian vibe rounded out by art-adorned walls and a well-stocked jukebox. A budget-minded drink menu lists $8.50 cocktails and $6.50 pints.
McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 E 7th St
It would be a crime to not include McSorley’s on our list. Established in 1854, McSorley’s is New York City’s oldest continuously operated saloon. As soon as you set foot inside, you can sense this bar’s historic and cultural importance. Hours could be spent just looking at the tchotchke and mementos that crowd the walls from floor to ceiling. Only two types of beer are served here – McSorley’s light and dark ale. Between the atmosphere and cheap prices, you won’t even notice the limited drink selection.
The Tempest Bar, 408 8th Ave
Despite a recent renovation, the Tempest Bar still insists on its status as an authentic old-school tavern. Here, you’ll find cheap drinks, the game playing on a large screen TV, and 1980s hair metal ballads blasting from the jukebox. The crowd is mixed with beer guzzling college kids, 9-to -5ers decompressing over a pint, and concert-goers looking to get their drink on before heading to nearby Madison Square Garden.
Iron Horse, 32 Cliff St
It gets wild, like Wild West wild at the Iron Horse. In between slinging cheap beers and cocktails in plastic cups, the female bartenders break to dance on the bar, hula-hoop, and swing from a suspended saddle. This isn’t the spot to grab a quiet drink. Rather, this is a place where memories are made only to be forgotten thanks to $2 cans of PBR. A pub menu offers solid options you will inevitably need to soak up all the alcohol.
Corner Bistro, 331 W 4th St
This beloved West Village watering hole hits all the right notes when it comes to defining a quintessential New York City bar – cheap beer (McSorley Ale is just $4.25), surly bartenders, and an amazing burger. In fact, the Bistro Burger draws such a crowd that people wait in line for the juicy 8 ounces of meat topped with American cheese and bacon on a sesame seed bun. Corner Bistro is marked with a timeless ambiance and even the most hardened New Yorkers fall victim to its charm.