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Whether you’re renting or buying real estate in New York City, searching for the neighborhood that caters to your lifestyle can be stressful. Scoping out the bars down the street from where you’ll be living is a great way to decide which one is right for you. You’ll get to know some of the people who already live in the neighborhood, and your friends will be more willing to tag along to help you in your quest for the perfect place. If you realize that the neighborhood isn’t the best fit for you, at least you’ll have a drink in your hand!
To discover the best bars to visit in NYC, this list is a great place to start. Each establishment attests to the unique flavor of its home neighborhood.

Harlem, Manhattan


Image courtesy of Mess Hall

Mess Hall: Their mission is “to create a relaxed, welcoming neighborhood bar that encourages community and gathering.” When you visit, you’ll be able to sit down and get to know your new neighbors. Mess Hall is known for craft beer and a great bourbon selection, and has awesome reviews on Yelp. This bar also has free cheese puffs!

Crown Heights, Brooklyn

The Crown Inn: This is a great establishment on Franklin Avenue, which is the epicenter of Crown Heights. Patrons consider the back patio a mini-oasis and rave about their happy hour. The Crown Inn is easy to get to because it’s near a lot of train lines—another perk of this neighborhood.

Lower East Side, Manhattan


Image courtesy of Nitecap

Nitecap: The speakeasy ambiance and basement area with plenty of room for friends make this is a unique place. Be on the lookout for the front door, because it’s easy to miss. If you walk past Schapiro’s, you’ve gone too far.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn


Image courtesy of The Moonlight Mile

The Moonlight Mile: Their slogan reads, “If you are looking for a place to connect with old friends or find new ones… Moonlight Mile is the place for you.” With a full five-star rating on Yelp, this is a favorite spot for the locals to hang out. One of the best things about it is the jukebox featuring a fabulous selection of music.

Tribeca, Manhattan


Image courtesy of Brandy Library

Brandy Library: With the classy ambiance and a sommelier to assist you with your spirit selections, this bar caters to your need to feel pampered. Brandy Library has been a favorite in the area since 2004, and Time Out New York endorsed it as one of the best bars in the neighborhood.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Image courtesy of Skinny Dennis

Skinny Dennis
: This honky-tonk bar has a resident band called The National Reserve. They let you throw peanuts on the floor while you enjoy live country music and inexpensive drinks. After dancing with some of your neighbors, you can try Skinny Dennis’ famous frozen coffee.

Washington Heights, Manhattan

Buddha Beer Bar: Thrillist has praised this bar, and with good reason. If you are apartment hunting while a game is on, you can stop in here to watch. With the casual vibe, you’ll feel at ease talking to the locals over sports-bar food with a unique twist


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