Weighing in at over 2,600 venues, New York City’s bar scene is colossal to say in the least. However, as much as we cherish the good, the bad, the bizarre and the copious selection in between, there are times when nothing hits the spot like a good old-fashioned gastropub. The no-frills older sibling to Manhattan nightlife, this breed of high-quality yet casual locales is revered for classic brews and quintessential bar food. While the search for a #1 tried-and-true, go-to gastropub in New York City is an endless one, there are a few that stand out among the rest in our book.
140 E 41st St xx 3rd & Lexington Ave
About as all-American as it gets, Public House serves up a heavy pour of red, white and booze. Outfitted in exposed brick, mahogany accents and plush banquette seating patriotically embellished in vintage American flag motifs, this upscale yet casual charm of this treasured locale’s ambiance and impeccably curated menu sets the stage for your next drinking outing, from after-work aperitifs to one of Public House’s highly anticipated weekly events such as their $45 prix fixe Tuesday Night Wine Dinner, Happy Hour from 4-7pm every weeknight or Mid Town Sips, your midweek pick-me-up, serving $4 draught beer on Wednesdays from 4-8pm. Regardless of what your reasons are for stopping by, no trip to Public House is complete without an order of their cheesesteak spring rolls and a hearty sampling from their extensive beer selection. If your idea of what makes America great includes free-flowing pints and phenomenal eats, we’d probably get along famously but furthermore, making Midtown East's Public House an absolute must.
127 4th Ave xx E 12th & 13th St
Albeit not sports fans by nature, we can still definitely manage to get into the spirit(s) at our favorite gastropub-meets-sports bar, The Royal. Situated on the outskirts of Gramercy, just below Union Square, this space’s HD screens, leather banquettes and high-top tables provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying pints, appetizers and a perhaps a live broadcast of the big game. We recommend taking advantage of Tuesday Wine Night’s half-off bottles and Happy Hour every weeknight from 4-8pm.
986 2nd Ave xx E 52nd & 53rd St
The ultimate hybrid of cocktail sophistication and gastropub charm, Atwood is our go-to for anything from after-work drinks to casual dates. A big fan of this premier venue's large format cocktails, the "Wilderness Tips" is a must-try. Impeccably muddled, this drink including lemon, Demerara, Bourbon, cider and all-spice is ideal for sharing with a couple friends but then again, there's wouldn't holding against you if you were to down this exceptional libation after "one of those days". Of course, their gargantuan cocktails are a crowd-pleaser but the indulgence does not stop there. Other noteworthy features include (but are not limited to) the rustic yet refined nouveau-Mediterranean decor and the mouthwatering Maple and Morita Chile Glazed Salmon. Fine wining and dining meets laidback indulgence in Midtown East at the incomparable Atwood Bar & Kitchen.
383 3rd Ave xx E 27th & 28th St
A jack-of-all-trades neighborhood favorite, what is to come from a night at Murray Hill’s Van Diemens is anyone’s guess. Primarily gastropub, the bi-level exposed-brick bar also dabbles in other nightlife ventures, hosting occasional parties under the guise of everything from live DJs and Ibiza-style dancing to wings and Sunday Night football. The cause for celebration may be ever-changing but their beer and bar fare selection is consistently outstanding. With nearly fifty brews to choose from and unbeatable eats like their namesake burger or booze-infused brunch, this is where the city's nightlife-loving twenty-somethings come to over-indulge and redefine the gastropub scene. Though we suggest visiting the Event Calendar before doing so, we highly recommend treating yourself to an unforgettable night out at the fickle yet fun-loving Van Diemens.
106 E 19th St xx Iriving & Park Ave South
Plunging into a medley of exceptional drinks and weekly events like karaoke nights, stand-up comedy, speed-dating and more, it’s no secret that you’re diving into The Watering Hole. Hidden in plain sight, don’t be fooled by its no-frills aesthetic as this bar is truly an oasis of pretension-free, action-packed encounters. For us, a night at The Watering Hole usually entails brazen indulgence highlighted by a countless number of laughs, ice-cold beer and the shameless belting of karaoke classic "Sweet Caroline". When it comes to cutting the edge off of a long day, venturing to the Flatiron District for good times, food and brews enjoyed in great company at The Watering Hole is just what the gastropub-ologist ordered.