Prince St. btw Elizabeth and Mott St.
More of a cafe with a bar, but since the bar is the focal point for the crowd in here, aside from brunch hours, bar it is! Quiet spot with pretty good bar apps, about a half dozen bar stools with seating along the wall that can feel a little small when all of the tables are rolled out and packed, friendly service. Above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.
Lafayette St. btw Grand and Hester St.
Nice after work spot that is good for that crowd, because if you don’t get here right after work, you’re not going to be comfortable in here. There is a lot of seating, but little to no standing room, and the bar area is too tight to linger. Crowd is young, there can be lines outside due to aforementioned overcrowding, cocktails are the specialty here, cocktail prices, taste pretty good.
(Broome St. btw Bowery and Elizabeth St.)
Latest (well, newer) in a line of gastropubs to make it’s way downtown. This bar does not lack for square footage, but it constantly packed. The crowd ranges from right out of college, to Hipster, to people there right after work or meeting for a date…you know, its a big ole mix of people. Beers are above average, above average prices, taste fine.
Grand St. and Thompson St.
Rooftop bar that pretty much has what most others do: great view (even though they’re all different of course), pool you can’t go in unless you’re a hotel guest, and pricey drinks that aren’t any different from ground floor bars or different enough to justify the high price. It’s smaller than most roof bars, and the crowd is a mix of hotel guests and people who like taking elevators to be seen. Staff is friendly, cocktails at cocktail prices (~13), taste alright.
Mulberry Street btw Grand and Hester St.
If you can find this place on the first try, you’re my hero. On the second or fifth pass, you walk down a few steps, passed the bright red door, and you have a small bar with a decent sized backyard. This nicely polished spot is a cocktail joint that has jumped on the “we don’t have a set cocktail list, but tell me what you’re in the mood for” band wagon. There’s room for about 20 inside, much more out back, service is fine, crowd is 20’s and 30’s, along with those who like the “next hot thing”. Cocktails, above average prices (~$15), taste fine.
Elizabeth St. btw Spring and Prince St.
Cocktail bar in SoHo. It’s wedged to the left of a restaurant, and while it has a decent amount of space and a front patio, it has the vibe of a business meeting place or a stopover spot before heading elsewhere. All cocktails, all written on the back wall because they change daily (get it?), all are average prices for cocktails (`$11-$12) and taste alright.
Grand St. and Baxter St.
The best bet to get in here is to come on an off night, like a Wednesday. Come on any Friday night or weekend end night and you will be swamped. I’ve seen it get really crazy in here, to the point where there’s a velvety roped line to get in (minus points), but on other nights you can actually grab a bar seat. Once inside, it’s just ok, I don’t get all the fuss. Kind of nothing to it, a decent amount of space, music on, sort of ordinary actually. Average and above average beers, average prices, taste alright.
Spring St. btw Mott and Elizabeth St.
Used to be Room 18, and has undergone a pleasant makeover. Big, bright bar that can get a little crowded, but the servers are pretty good about keeping the drinks moving. The foods good, some tables up front next to the open windows, tables also in the back, gets a little bottlenecked at the bar area. Above average beers at average prices, taste fine.
Broome St. and Centre St.
Big space in a good location for foot traffic. The only downfall is that it’s usually packed and hard to get a bar seat. It’s also packed by all of the tables as well. So if you feel like standing around, packed in with others, want a late 20’s/early 30’s crowd of local workers and B&T’s, and some pretty good drinks, here’s your place. Above average drinks at above average prices, taste fine.
Mercer St. btw Prince and Houston St
A “snow lodge” in the middle of Soho that takes itself a little too seriously. It has some couches up front, bar in the back with a couple of tables, no need for a hostess and no need for “reservation” signs on every table, especially with an after work crowd in there on a weekday night. Above average drinks, slightly above average prices, taps were a little off.
Mulberry St. and Kenmare St.
I went in around happy hour, as I’m wont to do, and all I saw was a lot of business types swarming around and filling the small bar area, with a few branching out to the tables. After getting my pint, I noticed that the empty table area is actually kind of a restaurant and there is brick oven pizza on the menu. Now, I would say this is a good example of getting fooled by the name of a place, but no one was eating (though the pizza did look and smell pretty good), everyone was drinking/carousing/watching sports on tv, so I’m going to go with the “bar” label unless I see people eating in there. Above average pints at above average prices, taste fine, good service.
Sullivan St. btw Prince and Houston St.
Very easy to walk by this bar and not even realize it’s here…speaking from experience here. Once I went in, it’s a nice space with two rooms, friendly, not too crowded but not dead. Bartenders are nice, chatty, and the crowd is mostly a mix of young area workers, sprinkled in with hipsters. Above average taps with a good wine list, average prices, all taste fine.
Sullivan St. btw Prince and Spring St.
Tiny bar/lounge tucked away in the quite of SoHo. A few seats at the bar, some seating/couches in the back, maybe fits about 30-40 people tops. If you’re here right after work, the crowd is light, but after dinner time, this place is always packed. On a side note, I have no issue with mood-lighting, but the whole red light décor that makes me feel like a pretzel doesn’t do it for me. No taps, bottles taste alright, average prices.
Elizabeth St. btw Broome and Grand St.
I did not expect this. I thought I was in a theme park bar and half expected a log flume to be out back. No log flume, but lots of pool tables. A good amount of space, average to below average price beers, good service, young crowd.
Mercer Ave. and Prince St.
I’m glad that places like this still exist while everything around it changes monthly. One bartender, bar space, some tables, and even a TV in the back corner. Feels like it’s been here forever (sort of smells like it too but I blame the summer humidity), but the taps taste good, average prices, nice mix of locals (who clearly are rent controlled and have been here since the 50’s), some tourists, and few shoppers.
Spring St. btw Elizabeth and Mott St.
Stopped in here when I was in the neighborhood…empty. The only people in there were the bartender, I’m guessing two friends, and perhaps his nephew. No draft beer, just bottles, average prices, tastes as bottled beer should. The place is set up like a lounge/small place to eat, but since I didn’t see silverware, I’ll go for lounge. Also, get your orders in before the bartender steps outside because it takes it little waving to get them back in.
Spring St. and Elizabeth St.
I’ve been in here when it’s packed, I’ve been in here when it’s dead, and this place is better empty. It gets really crowded with B&T’s and leftovers from the Bowery bars on the weekends, and the small service does what it can and serve quickly. Come in on a weekday night, it’s me and the bartender, maybe one other loner. This leads to some awkwardly put forth conversation, but it’s quiet, average prices for beers (that apparently come in 16oz glass bottles now) and they taste fine. No taps or TV, so be prepared to talk.
Grand St. btw W. Broadway and Wooster St.
Definitely one of the older feeling bars in the neighborhood. It’s still a pretty good place to go and watch a game, lots of good space and draws a young to slightly older crowd that keeps out the rich kids. Pints taste good, average prices, and friendly bartender.
Spring St. btw Elizabeth St. and Bowery
Big lounge/bar on the fringe of Soho, I’ve never seen an overly large crowd here, but half of the crowd that shows up, dear lord. Nothing like having drunk B&T’s stumble around the bar and not take a hint, though I guess that’s redundant. Thankfully most people cram into the back part of the bar. There’s basically a couple of lounge seats in the front, bar in the back, nothing spectacular, average price beers, taste fine.
Spring St. and Mulberry St.
This bar is very night and day. You can walk in here and grab a seat and actually have a conversation while you drown out the people at the one large table. Or you can be here as you’re all packed in like sardines, most of those sardines being newly graduated business B&T’s thinking they’re hep by coming to this neighborhood…is hep still a hep word? Whether it’s empty or packed, the place still houses a fun crowd and its beers are average prices, taste fine, with plenty of TV’s.
Spring St. and Sullivan St.
Holy expensive Bud Light Batman! This part bar, part dark lounge served up a nice slice of $26 for three Bud Lights. Now, when you first walk in, you see a small bar. In the back room, the much larger back room I might add, couches line the walls that seem to serve the sole purpose of having “trendy” people stare at you as you head to the bathroom. If you stick to the front room and don’t mind almost $8 for a Bud Light bottle, go here.
Lafayette St. between Jersey and Houston St.
Okay, so you have to reserve a table ahead of time or take your chances upon arrival. Otherwise, one of my favorite bars in the city. They have plenty of taps, from average American to obscure hipster brews to foreign brews. And they are by no means expensive. There is an upstairs and downstairs, so there’s plenty of room even though the bar looks narrow when you walk in. The bouncers can be a bit annoying, but that’s sort of expected from them isn’t it? As said before, average prices, tall glasses, taste good.
Lafayette St. btw Prince and Jersey St.
This had potential to be a disaster but it turned out to be pretty cool. Starting with a velvet rope and bouncer, there is hardly any hassle to get in. However, that could be a detriment because it can get crowded inside. There are lots of tables with people who never leave but still plenty of standing room. For such a swanky looking bar, the drinks were pretty reasonably priced and still tasted good. Hot eastern European girls roaming around doesn’t hurt either.
Lafayette St. btw Kenmare and Broome St.
Hmm, I…hmm. So they had Russ Meyer films/B movies on TV, though having two on at once separated our attention spans even further. If I’m starting off with that sentence, it’s not the best sign. The crowd was yuppie…you know what, I didn’t like the place. Be sure to enunciate when you order, the beers were average prices, tasted fine, and don’t get tangled in any of the beads that are hanging over every square inch of the place.
Mulberry St. btw Broome and Grand St.
So, I swung by Mulberry and tried this small bar and got to sit outside. The staff was very friendly and the beers were your average prices and tasted fine. They were very good about getting rid of people who were being dummies (definite bonus points for that), but it totally lived up to every stereotype I would have for a Little Italy bar, including people in headlocks and gold chains…but hey, it’s the fashion, so let boys be boys…whew, that should save my skin…
Houston St. btw Mott and Mulberry St.
Excellent hole in the wall bar. It’s a dive and you never want to leave. The bartender is very chatty, you’ve got the old guy in the back that never leaves, and you usually have a good crowd in there. The space is a little small, I needed to sterilize myself after using the bathroom, and they had Cleopatra on TV with no closed captioning, but otherwise it’s good. The beers are average prices and taste fine.
Thompson St. and Prince St.
Talk about an out of place bar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a snob, in any way, who thinks that there should only be trendy places in Soho…but maybe this time those snobs have it right. So this “renovated” diner just feels weird. The average priced beers tasted fine, they had two small TV’s which apparently is a huge inconvenience to change (especially if you’re a Mets fan and there is a game on and it’s not being shown even though they have a big Neon Mets light outside) and the people in the bar kind of sucked.
Spring St. btw Lafayette and Mulberry St.
A very polished pub in the Soho/Little Italy area. Now, if you suffer from claustrophobia, this might not be the best place for you as it feels very tight in here with headroom and width. Though, if you’re not a 6’-1” gigantor like me, you might find it only mildly restraining. Very friendly crowd, average priced beers and extreme awesome bonus points for showing Braveheart while I was in there. Granted, I don’t like movies in bars, but the volume was up and the whole place was just hanging out and reciting lines along with me. One major drawback is that after ten, it turns into Club Gatsby’s (I made that name up) and this you definitely want to avoid.
Spring St. btw Lafayette and Mulberry St.)
First off, tons of space in this bar. Secondly, you wonder where the surgery is taking place in this sterile bar. Okay, they seemed to have just opened so that would explain the cleanliness, but it lacks feeling as well as lights in the back. Tons of TV’s, lots of sitting space in the back, and your run of the mill average priced beers that taste fine.
W. Broadway and Broome St.
I could probably say this is the worst Guinness I have ever had. The other taps tasted alright but man was that Guinness bad. I hope it was an off day because the place was nice. Most of the people in the front room are for drinks and some light pub grub, while the back is for meals. The bartenders are really cool too, which is another factor that might get me to go back. Pints were average prices, and re-read this paragraph for my views on the tastes of the pints.
Houston St. btw Mulberry and Mott St.
With the look of a bar which has seen the neighborhood transform around it, I can respect that they stuck to their guns and haven’t upgraded. Not yet a dive bar but definitely had the dark “I want to sit alone with my group and not be bothered” feeling. Lots of room to sit and drink your average priced beers, though the mixed drinks didn’t taste so great, bartenders are nice for a chat, and not a TV in sight.