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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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EAST VILLAGE (Houston- 13th; East of 3rd Ave)
 
SECOND & THIRD AVE (Houston - 13th)
 

Finnerty’s: Irish Pub. 221 2nd Av @ 13th; 21/18/I; Fans rave about the incredible service here; Excellent bartenders who can pour a Guinness; San Francisco fans hang here- all sports; Happy hour is 4-8pm $3 drafts and $4 well; Own personal Keg at your table available.  Very popular

 
Professor Thom’s: Bar, Lounge, Sports Bar. 219 2nd Av @ 13th; 20/15/M; 41 foot bar; Great brew on tap; Cool décor; Singles scene or for groups and dates; 12+ TVs; Red Sox bar; Good grub; Game nights- Bingo Wednesdays; 2nd floor lounge; 20s, 30s crowd;  See website. Happy hour 11am-7pm. 
 

Penny Farthing: Irish Pub. 103 3rd Av @ 12th-13th; 19/20/E; Crowd is mostly post-grad and yuppies/ preppies; Great Irish pub food; Happy hour 4-7pm is best time to come; Have Brunch and Lunch available;  Usual great service but pricier than most Irish pubs. 

 

Schoolbred’s Pub. Lounge. 197 2nd Av @ 12th-13th; 20/18/M;  Love the dark, mysterious décor; Offer a cocktail menu together with drafts and wine; Happy hour 4-8pm with 2 for 1 drinks;  Super friendly bartenders; Good food for a bar. Fireplace; Outside seating in summer. 

 
Village Pourhouse: Beer bar. 64 3rd Av @ 11th St; 18/15/M; Endless homebrews; If you love exotic beer and sports and a wild, fun crowd, come here;  4 different themed rooms;  Private parties; Happy hours; 50 bottles, 24 draughts;  Very large space and ideal to meet a group. See website for beer list and specials. 
 
Thirsty Scholar: Irish Pub; 155 2nd Av @ 9-10th St; 17/14/M; Owners of Bull McCabes; Happy Hour daily until 8pm;  Cheap, stiff drinks; Good jukebox; Very small place- cozy; Great ‘pit-stop’ bar; 20 Oz Imperial pints; Chat up the bartenders over Guinness.  
 
Central BarIrish Pub / Sports Bar. 109 E 9th @ 3rd-4th Av; 22/19/M; 2 story huge place. Irish like Puck Fair. Tables, bar, dance floor. Upstairs is lounge. Mixed crowd. Singles & NYC Biz School crowd; Drink specials- 3-7pm Happy Hour ($4 drafts, well); $10 Bud pitchers daily til 9pm. Really good food too. Great spot. 
 
Solas: Lounge.  232 E 9th @ 2nd & 3rd;  20/17/M; 3 levels- upstairs is a DJ infused dance lounge;  House party feel.  Pool tables; Monday Karaoke; Main floor has an Irish pub feel so place cool for all types. 10 huge TVs for sports. Happy Hour is 4-8pm, $3 beers, $4 sangria. Great for a large group.  
 
Angel’s Share: Lounge. 8 Stuyvesant @ 3rd Av near 9th St.Formal, rule oriented lounge; Parties of 4 or less; You MUST sit down; Strict rules applied; BUT- insanely good reviews because of epic good cocktails; Amazing service and friendly, helpful bartenders; Perfect for parents or a date.Read reviews on link.
 
ContinentalSports Bar/ Pub. 25 3rd Av @ 8th; 17/9/I; Absolutely dirt cheap drinks; Every mixed drink $5 or under;  4-8pm, every drink in bar $2-$3; Dive feel; Former alternative rock spot; Five total shots of Anything is $10 all day long. One of the best jukes in the city. Laid back and cool. Downside is- kind of a dump. 
 
Grassroots Tavern: Dive Bar. 20 St. Mark’s @ 2nd-3rd; 18/12/I; Underground; Friendly neighborhood spot; Unpretentious crowd; Classic Dive; Good Jukebox, Darts; Cheap pitchers/ drinks. Popcorn available; Large space. Good beers. 
 
Sing Sing KaraokeKaraoke Bar. 9 St Mark Pl @ 2-3rd; 19/12/M; 15 rooms; Special deals; $5 per person per hour; 80,000 songs- see website for deals and song list;  Pricy on drinks - $18 pitchers; Can sing at bar too. Nothing fancy but fun and affordable. 
 

St. Mark’s Ale House: Irish Sports Bar. 2 St. Mark’s @ 3rd Av; 18/13/I; Inexpensive beers on tap including craft beers; Lots of TVs and friendly bartenders; Happy hour M-F from 5-7pm with $3 well & beer; Nice wood interior; Casual scene though not a big space. 

 
Blue & Gold TavernDive Bar. 79 E. 7th @ 2nd; 16/13/I; Can’t get kicked out here. Saloon feel. Dirt cheap drinks. Fairly Young crowd. Juke has songs from 60s-80s; Pool table; Booth seating; All beer & drinks $3-$4 or so. Beloved by regulars. Have beer and shot combos. 

McSorley’sSaloon. 15 E. 7th @ 2nd & 3rd; 23/17/M; Oldest bar in Manhattan; Classic NY institution; 2 for 1 always- light or dark beer – only thing they serve; Good bar food; Always crowded; History on the walls;  Pure drinking bar. Founded 1854.  NY nostalgia; You must come here at least once. Tourist central. 
 
StandingsSports Bar. 43 E 7th @ 2nd & 3rd;; 22/17/M; Microbrewer; New drinking selection & drink specials every day; Great for Sports w/ 15 large TVs; Can bring food from next door; Dark, cool setting.  Red Sox bar. Beers $5 or $6. Happy hour 5-7pm; Home to about a dozen university alumni groups. 
 
Burp CastleLounge / Dive Bar. 41 E. 7th @ 2nd & 3rd;; 21/17/M; Monk-themed- bartenders dressed as them;  Pretty much a beer only place w/ beers from around the world. Theme bar w/ outdoor seating;  Free pomme frites; Belgium, German beers. 

 

SwiftIrish Pub. 34 E 4th @ Layfayette-3rd; Cooper Square; 23/21/M; Puck Fair group. Awesome Irish pub. Fun place. Top After work place; Large space with good singles scene & huge beer selection. Friendly staff.  20 OZ pints - $6-$7. This bar is just cool. Great whiskey selection; Bartender – top notch. Massive drink menu

 

Queen Vic: British Pub. 69 2nd Av @ 4th; 23/20/M; Relatively inexpensive; Great pub food – try the fish and chips; Sangria $3 and well and pints $4; Old pub feel and charm- Victorian décor;  Large windows letting in light; Beatles décor on walls; Fun, friendly bartenders. 

 
Whiskey Town: Pub. 29 E 3rd St @ 2nd Av; 17/12/M; Owned by George & Justin Ruotolo- they personalize service; 6-9pm Happy hour daily with $2 off everything; Very inexpensive and friendly; Great DJ- 80s/ 90s;  More of a real/ service first American Pub. Huge choice of whiskey. 
 
dbaBeer Pub. 41 1st Av @ 2nd & 3rd; 22/15/M;150+ kinds of beer here; Beer drinkers heaven; 130+ Scotches; Bourbons, Whiskeys;  Oh yes, drink your butt off here; Large outdoor patio. Early night starter bar. Beer warehouse. Singles scene; Drafts are all $6 1-7:30pm & $7 after. See website for drink list. 
 

Madam Geneva: Gin Lounge. 4 Bleecker @ Bowery; 26/25/E; Victorian setting – gorgeous – with sofa and comfort; Most of the drink menu is Gin based and the bartenders are experts in making you whatever you like; Specialty is a dollup of jam in the drink.  


FIRST AVE & AVENUE A-B (Houston-13th St)
  

The Horse Box: Sports Bar. 218 Av A @ 14th; 17/16/I; Very highly regarded bartenders – super friendly – who double as the owners; Small bar, with lots of TVs; $1 ladies night on Wednesdays; $25 open bar; Have darts and bar games;

Drop Off Service: Pub. Beer Bar.  211 Av A @ 13-14th St; 19/18/I; Formerly a Laundromat, now a pub that focuses on excellent draughts and bottled beer; Also a great European wine list;  Happy hour- opening until 8pm;  Dog friendly bar. Have $3 pints until 8pm. Lots of seating. 
 

KeyBar: Lounge. 432 E 13th @ 1st-Av A; 21/16/M; This is a must for the East Village. Chelsea meets Village. Large place with singles galore; Great signature drinks – shots, martinis; Happy Hour 4-10pm, 2 for 1 on all. Attentive staff/ friendly. Has a fireplace; Not a huge place.

 

B-side: Watering Hole. 204 Av B @ 12-13th; 22/17/M; Extremely small neighborhood spot; Two small dimly lit rooms; $5 PBR with Whiskey; Happy Hour 3-8pm;  No pretension – just booze. Eclectic juke; Foosball; Friendly staff.

         

Terroir: Wine Bar. 413 E 12th @ 1st Av – Av A; 26/22/E; 3 locations and expanding; See website for what is one of the largest wines lists you’ll ever see- with wines described in a more hip, cool, and colorful way; Offer tasty delights as well; Cozy, small setting; TriBeCa location is bigger; Free sherry at Happy Hour. 

 

11th Street Bar: Irish Pub. 510 11th St @ Av A-B; 20/16/M; Liverpool soccer fans congregate here; Exposed brick décor; Nice back room; Great happy hour with $2 off all drinks until 9pm. Great pour of Guinness and a variety of events and occasional live music. 

 

Hi Fi: College/ Neighborhood Bar. 169 Av A @ 10th – 11th; 20/13/M; Large space; Good bar scene; Popular; Not a dive bar, but a bar. Great singles scene. Classic Rock music & Amazing Jukebox; Daily drink Specials- $4 smth; 4-8pm happy hour.  DJ later at night.   

 

Graffiti: Wine Bar. 224 E 10th St @ 1st-2nd Av; 22/20/M; Small intimate setting;  Features an outstanding wine list and delicious nibbles; All their bottles are $25 which is amazing; Service is friendly and helpful – everything is explained. Not a huge selection of wine in only drawback. 

 

The Immigrant: Wine Bar. 341 9th St @ 1st-2nd Av; 25/21/E; Under the radar wine bar; Extremely well reviewed; Intimate setting; Fairly small and dark – great date setting; Only about 40 wines available but outstanding quality; Tasty snacks. Wonderful new wine bar. 

 
Coyote Ugly SaloonDive Bar. 153 1st Av @ 9th; 15/12/M;  NYC Institution. Fun rowdy time; Sarcastic, usually hot bartenders dance on bar and demand you drink; Fun times always. Check website; More of a tourist trap these days. Fun for 1-2 hours. 
 

Louis 649: Cocktail Bar. 649 9th St @ Av B-C; 25/24/M; Receives rave reviews – this former live Jazz lounge is not mainly a perfect place to go for a romantic cocktail; Amazing mixologists and a casual setting with acceptable pricing; Super friendly bartenders who know how to make a drink. 

 
Doc Holliday’sDive Bar. 141 Av A @ 8th-9th; 18/13/I; Red Neck saloon feel. Ultra Dive Bar; Dirt cheap beer; Scantily clad female bar staff with Coyote –like attitudes; Frequented by locals;  Country Juke; Buck Hunter; Cheapo PBR.  Juke is mostly country. 
 

St. Dymphna’s: Irish Pub. 118 St. Mark’s @ Av A-1st Av; 22/16/M; Welcoming atmosphere; One of the better bars in the area; Female friendly; Lots of great draft pints to choose from; Patio in the back;  Happy hour noon-7pm daily with $3-$4 pints;  Serve Irish Breakfast as well.   

 

International Bar: Dive Bar. 120 1st Av @ 7th-St Mark’s; 19/12/I; Complete sh*thole that rewards its customers with dirt cheap drinks that are super strong;  Buy backs; Laid back East Village crowd;  Has a small backyard patio;  Dark, narrow bar. New ownership.

 

Lunasa: Irish Pub. 126 1st Av @ 7th-St Mark’s; 22/17/M; Top Irish Pub; Beer garden; Celtic Pub. Large dinner and brunch menu; HDTVs for the game; Ultra friendly crowd/ staff; Pure Irish pub. Well priced pints; Friendly Irish staff; Loyal regulars; Rave reviews for overall appeal. 

 

Big Bar: Bar. 75 E 7th @ 1st Av-2nd Av; 25/17/M; Actually – studio apartment sized small; All red lighting and décor; Super friendly and talented bartenders; Happy Hour 5-8:30pm, $3 well and draft; $4 Margaritas; Has the ‘it’ factor. 

 

Bourgeois Pig: Pub. 111 E 7th St @ 1st Av – Av A; 23/23/E; Fondue- perfect gastropub; Sleek new design – velvet couches and comfortable seating; Pricy - $10 sangria, $12 wine and champagne cocktails. Fondues are $25 but it is classy here. Victorian style. Champagne Punch. Great wine list. 

 

Niagara: Tiki Bar/ Lounge. 112 Av A @ 7th; 19/18/M; Bar upstairs, Lounge- downstairs. Tiki bar gone; Private nooks; Has great music. Fun place that gets packed; Singles scene;  DJ or live music; 20s-early 30s; Private Parties; 4-8pm Happy Hour. Photo Booth. Big Buck Hunter. 

 

7B / Horseshoe BarDive Bar. 108 Av A @ 7th; 19/12/I;  Reliable Dump. Cheap thrills. Jukebox is awesome- metal, alternative. U shaped Bar; Surprisingly good singles scene & upbeat feel;  Great mix of all types of people.  Noon- 7pm happy hour.  Photo Booth.  Can be a sketchy crowd but that’s what happens with ultra cheap drinks. 

 

Zum SchneiderGerman Bar. 107 Av C @ 7th: 22/21/M; Large Beer Garden. Huge Steins. Great German food- massive selection.  German beer at its best;  Outdoors seating.  Theme parties & a great Oktoberfest bash; $12 for 1 liter stein;  Very authentic atmosphere; Excellent, friendly bartenders and staff. 

 

Manitoba’sDive Bar. 99 Av B @ 6-7th St; 25/20/I; Happy Hour- Daily 2-8pm, $3 well, draft, wine;  Cool owner- former punk band front man, and a great, laid back after work scene;  Great Juke; Absolutely dirt cheap; Hang and chill place. Tribute to Punk Music scene. Endless memorabilia on wall. 

 

Death & Co: Lounge. 433 E 6th @ Av A-1st Av; 26/24/E; Expertly crafted cocktails; Amazingly tasty; Superb bartenders; Have a ‘no standing’ rule so often a wait; Speakeasy vibe; Food is great including truffle mac n cheese; Come for an amazing cocktail pre-dinner! See website.

 

Grape & Grain and Against the Grain: Bar. 620 E 6th St @ Av B-C; 28/26/E; Date-friendly, cool  scene; Extremely friendly service; Against the Grain (beer bar) is the annex to Grape and Grain (a wine bar); This bar features an amazing beer selection and 25+ wines by the glass; Classy and stylish; Ideal pre-dinner; Location keeps it uncrowded. Worth a look for sure. 

 

Ace BarDive Bar. 531 E 5th St @ Av A-B; 21/15/M; No pretense, no fuss – just fun is their motto; 12 beers on tap; Nostalgic feel; Opened in 1992; Happy Hour: Sunday-Friday 3-7pm with $3-$4 draughts and $5 large Bloody Marys.  Pool & dart leagues play here; $2 Pabst 3-10pm on Thursdays. Opens at 3pm daily. Skee ball. Really a beautiful interior – old wood floors;  

 

Karma: Eastern lounge. 51 1st Av @ 3rd-4th; 23/20/M; Sexy feel; Two levels – downstairs with sofas & room to dance; Booths & couches upstairs for Hooka smoking; Happy Hour; Artsy crowd. $4 drink specials most days. Nice date spot if you are looking for that Moroccan theme.

 

No Malice Palace:  Dive Lounge. 197 E 3rd @ Av A-B; 21/14/M; Cavernous interior; Good social scene;  DJ spins Hip Hop later; Earlier, great for couples; Good beer selection; Great furniture; Outdoor space. Private Parties.  Mobbed on weekends late; Pick-up scene. Dancing at night. 

 

Croxley AlesSports Bar. 28 Av B @ 2nd-3rd St; 18/15/I; Mostly microbrews on tap;  Tons of bottled beer; 10 cent wings Mon-Wed; Happy Hour 11am-7pm; Lots of TVs; Great for European Soccer games; Fun, down to earth pub. Also popular for football Sundays.   

 

Library: Dive Bar. 7 Av A @ Houston; 21/19/M; Very laid back with amazing cheap drinks and friendly staff; PacMan, 80s-90s Juke; Buy backs; True Village feel; Mixed crowd; Classic dive been around for years; Very cool scene…eclectic. Truly a Dive Bar that gets it. Happy Hour: 5-8pm.   

 

Parkside LoungeDive Bar. 317 E Houston @ Av B; 16/14/I; Happy Hour 2-8pm, $3 beers;  Back room with Live bands most nights; Front room has pool, Ms. Pacman; friendly bartenders; Buy backs frequent; Great Juke; Foosball. PBR on tap; Really cheap way to get drunk.