New York's Best Dive Bars - To be continue - NYC

Monday, February 09, 2015

New York is well known for its nightlife scenes: perhaps a little too well known since the city never sleeps. Everyone loves a decent bar, but it can be hard to define what a "decent" bar actually is. In fact there are so many bars in which to consume cheap alcohol during happy hours or midnight drunken phase and I spent the last year trying to answer that question, researching (aka drinking too many hardcore ciders and fireball shots) What I found? There is nothing better than a dive bar. Rather than getting all dressed up (or for someone who bailed from any sort of gala event) and spending extra money to journey across town, wouldn't you rather just walk to the corner looking however you want with the few bucks you already have in your pocket? It's often both the worst bar you can imagine and the best bar you go to. You might recognize all the people there, unpolished, loud, drunk shouting, imperfect people, just like us but "almost" everyone minds their own business.

From thousands of bar in NYC, here's six from my personal favorite to whet your whistle.

Whisky Tavern (my original regular to go bar when I used to work in downtown, A mystical find in the depths of Chinatown/Little Italy)

Food! Yes! They have food here! Gotta fall in love with this place, this is a superb location for all sort of party or a fun group outing. One of my favorite owner/bartender/entertainer was Rob; he was full of many amusing hijinks that he played on all his patrons. This may be cliche but Rob felt like family to me and my friends, not just a regular bartender, in fact, he is family :) Check out the photo booth and outdoor seating :)

79 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013
(212) 374-9119

God sister's birthday party in Whisky Tavern. I'm in the middle.

That's Rob!

Be ready to meet the dildo duos.

Jimmy's Corner (the main reason for non-tourists to visit Times Square)

Thanks to my friend Guy who took me there! If you're looking for a bar with history, come here! A well known boxing themed bar in the heart of Times Squares. Owner Jimmy Glenn, himself a former boxer and now a professional trainer, adorned this Times Square watering hole with all types of photos, posters and memorabilia dedicated to the “sweet science.” When there’s a match on the tube, there’s no better place in town to catch it than here. Do not come here with your empty stomach although there's a few "Halal" food truck nearby, perfect New York's drunken food.

140 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
(212) 221-9510

Art collector Guy Frazier and Owner Jimmy Glenn
It was a Michael Jackson kind a night.

It's like traveling back to the 70s.

Famous patron's photography - timeless

Peter Dillion's (a touch of Ireland near Grand Central)

I started to come here a lot since I work in midtown nowadays. Great happy hour specials  and decent bar selection. (although they don't have my favorite Stella cider) The owners and bartenders are great,  very friendly and make you feel comfortable. Thumbs up to my favorite bartenders Greg and Eifa. In weekdays they have live music and Karaoke night every Fri and Sat (get your dance shoes ready). Pool table available for pool lovers (they have some serious pool players in Dillion's). Atmosphere is clean and comfortable but no food, ordering in or make a stop down the block at Shake Shack might just be the solution for that if you decide to show up with empty stomach.

130 E 40th St ( between 3rd Ave & Lexington Ave ) New York, NY 10017
(212) 213-3998

$4 shots
A touch of vintage Irish. That's Eifa.

Who's the happy guy? That's Greg!

Serious pool players, I mean really really serious. ;)

International Bar (perfect example of a hole in the wall bar)

Perfect place to grab some low key drinks. The pours are generous and the bartenders are down to earth and attentive. It's a total local dive, don't expect much since the owners have banished TVs to promote friendly banter and there’s always the jukebox to keep you company, just grab a beer and enjoy the atmosphere and crowd. PS: they have a backyard :)

120-1/2 1st Ave New York, NY 10009
(212) 777-1643

Snafu (it's like a black hole, once you're there, you won't be able to leave)

Oh snafu, my first impression was like, what kind of bar would named Snafu? Sounds a bit like Japanese but opps, I was wrong, nothing oriental at all (Dainobu Japanese grocery store used to located next door but they closed recently). Snafu was my regular bar, I had my moments there, the good, the so so, the crazy and romance perhaps. Bartenders are attractive and friendly. Happy hour patrons are mostly bankers who works around the area, during weekend you'll see some tourists as well. Happy hour bud light special only $3 and free wifi access, laptop friendly before 4:30 pm! What I love about snafu are the jukebox and I can easily download an app to play song remotely from it or slipped in the dollar bills to play my favorite tunes. Popcorns on the house for everyone and pool table downstair, with other games too. Thumbs up to Arturo, Olga and Irene (find Arturo and Olga in Whisky Trader on Mon) - my favorite "Futenders" and Jose - the bodyguard :)

That's Jose on the left!

Halloween 2014, Zoran and I
Halloween 2014 - Right - Irene
Olga (middle) with friends, she is a fun person to have around :) 

Arturo - the awesome bartender

It's a bar thing. lmao

What sort of thing would happen to you in a dive bar? Anything might happen: a fight could break out, the beginning of a love story if you're lucky, make new friends that could last for a long time, on rare occasion you'll see a baby in stroller and doggy on leash, a raving lunatic could start preaching about the apocalypse or a sad old-timer could tell you his life story over a few tequila shots... Though, and you'll spend an afternoon or a sodden evening drinking away your troubles (or inventing some new ones).

127 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
(212) 317-9100

Whiskey Trader (spacious, friendly bartender and great music)

For folks who frequent midtown spot near Rockefeller Center, here is another awesome reasonable dive bar spot for you to cling on. If you like drinking for cheap and you enjoy a dive bar atmosphere then go here because this place is the place for you. This is my regular weekday to go bar (especially Monday night you'll find a sillydrunkfish here) Awesome dive bar environment and great bartenders, Arturo and Olga, they are the best you can ever asked for and all in all I had a great time with friends here!

The Whiskey Trader buddies
My favorite bartenders Arture (left), Olga (second left) and well, me in glasses (don't really look like me) and a friend. 

71 W 55th St. New York, NY 10019
212. 582.2223

The dive bar list goes on ...... TO BE CONTINUE

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  1. I love Peter Dillions, used to go down there every Friday night. Hah, fun time.


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