In this guide, you will find the best places to drink in NYC.
The places on this list are truly special and hard to find, spanning wine (both natural and conventional) and beer (mostly lambics and sours). The natural wine scene has made some progress, though still slow and relatively undeveloped. We found 6 places worth your visit (Ten Bells, Contra, Wildair, Four Horsemen, Frenchette and Roberta’s Pizza). More and more restaurants are starting to list natural wines, including some that we honor on this list for their conventional wines (Momofuku Ko, Racines). We have five places to drink great beer (Tørst, Spuyten Duyvil and Proletariat). And the rest are honored for their excellent wine lists.
That isn’t to say there are no other respectable drinks to be imbibed in the city. There are tons of craft beers that are worth drinking, but that trend so widespread that you can probably get a pretty good IPA at the local convenience store. Hard alcohol? Most restaurants on this list probably have what you’re looking for. Cocktails are another story, and this list misses them. But if you like some of the places on this list, you will likely enjoy the adjacencies - natural wine and conventional wines are two sides of the same coin, and you will appreciate the similarities with lambics.
Value is a big and important selection criteria on this list. There are enough fancy restaurants in the city where you can pretty much get great wines you want if you’re willing to pay for it. The places on this list are thoughtful and curated. They don’t just put every expensive wine they can find on the menu, they actively manage their lists. That isn’t to say that the restaurants and bars here are losing any money selling these drinks to you. They are charging 2-3x the retail price, which in this city, is a bargain. To avoid paying up for a well curated experience, go to our NYC BYOB guide. The most accessible places on this list will be the beer and natural wine locations. That’s partly why we love natural wine and lambics so much - they’re high quality drinks at a discount. Hope you drink well!