Published on June 24th, 2012 | by Dipsology


Best Cocktails in the East Village

The East Village may be the most prolific cocktail neighborhood in Manhattan – home to 16 Dipsology bars, 4 of them in the same 1/2 block.  As such, there are many more noteworthy spots to drink around here, but if forced to choose our absolute favorites, these five top the list.  To see all bars in the neighborhood, go to our East Village Venues page.  We’ve also got a list of best cocktails in Alphabet City coming soon!

As always, leave us your comments below!

We are not alone in our love for Death & Co – if you aren’t there when they open at 6, you may have to wait an hour or two for a table, but it is worth the time.

Who: A romantic date or a few friends.  If you’re willing to wait, the larger tables for 7 are fun for a group.

What: Sunset Gun with kaffir lime leaf, velvet falernum (a sweet syrup with flavors of almond, clove and lime), housemade orgeat (syrup made with almonds), lime juice and Dorothy Parker gin from the New York Distilling Company in Brooklyn.

When: Early! Be there at 6, or be prepared to wait

Where: 433 East 6th St between 1st & Ave A, East Village

Know before you go: Max group size is 7

Pro tip: If you do have to wait, Gin Palace or Cienfuegos on the corner are often less packed, or hit up the Cherry Tavern, which is basically a divey holding pen for Death & Co.  Also, the blue cheese friends and mac ‘n’ cheese are amazing.

View Death & Co’s full profile and menu

Mayahuel is a mezcal and tequila bar.  Minus the college kids, shots and Mariachi band.  Make no mistake, Mayahuel serves real, serious cocktails, and every single one (of about 40) includes a mezcal or tequila.  They also make great Mexican food so you can dine as well as imbibe.

Who: Group of fun friends.  We recommend no more than 4-5 to avoid really long waits.

What: It’s tough to go wrong with anything on this menu, but for something refreshing on the palette, try the Selena Fizz. Need something more potent? Any of the drinks with jalepeno-infused tequila will do the trick.

When: It gets super packed on weekends so go early or be prepared to wait. It’s also fun mid-week, and a great choice for dinner.  If you’re a pro, you’ll pop in late night for a nightcap and order the churros with chocolate.

Where: 304 East 6th Street, corner of 2nd Ave, East Village 

View Mayahuel’s full profile and menu

Please Don’t Tell.  The irony is that PDT is one of the best known bars in New York.  Part of its notoriety stems, no doubt, from the fact that you have to walk through a phone booth in a hot dog joint to get there.  Speakeasy at its finest.  Belied by the well-heeled loitering around the entrance at most times of night.  It’s difficult to snag a reservation, but if you can it’s well worth it.

Who: A date or small group of friends, or alone for a solo nightcap

What: It’s hard to go wrong, but we like to ask our waiter to pair one of their fantastic tipples with whatever Criff Dog we’re ordering

When: Any time you can score a ressy (they start taking same day reservations at 3pm every day)

Where: 113 St Mark’s Place, between 1st Avenue and Ave A, East Village

Pro tip: The Tsunami Dog is our favorite – wrapped in bacon with teriyaki pineapple and green onions

PDT’s full profile and menu are coming soon

Booker and Dax is bringing cocktails into the 21st Century, complete with liquid nitrogen to cool the glasses, red hot pokers to heat drinks in winter and centrifuges to clarify juices, among other things.  Bring your imagination and sense of adventure with you.

Who: A fun date or small group of friends

What: BDX Marg – basically a high class frozen margarita with mezcal and chartreuse, made with a schmancy Japanese ice machine (imported courtesy of Dax, bar manager Dave Arnold’s seven year old son, in his suitcase)

When: It’s pretty packed even on off nights, but we like to stop by for a nightcap after dinner at Momofuku Noodle or Ssäm Bar (which is located right next door)

Where: 207 2nd Avenue, entrance on 13th Street, East Village

View Booker and Dax’s full profile and menu

Amor y Amargo.  Love and bitters.  That’s the literal translation of this hole-in-the-wall bar located below Cienfuegos and next door to the newly-opened Gin Palace.  Not for the faint of heart, all the cocktails here focus on bitters with a heavy dose of vermouth. Probably not the best place for your first cocktail experience, but a great one to explore and educate your palate.

Who: An advanced dipsologist friend or date (really not a good spot for a group larger than 3)

What: 8 Amaro Sazerac.  Made with, yes, eight (8) kinds of bitters. Intense, delicious, very complex.  Made for sipping.

When: Great for an after dinner night cap (bitters are a great digestive aid) during the week or on weekends.  The bar is open 7 days from 5pm-11pm Sunday-Wednesday, until 12am on Thursday, and until 1am Friday and Saturday.

Where: 443 East 6th Street, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, East Village

View Amor y Amargo’s full profile and menu


Photo credit: Claudine Rico 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Your local NYC guide for where to go and what to drink. We spotlight noteworthy cocktail destinations with the goal of inspiring education, discovery and community around great drink experiences. Subscribe to stay in the know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑