Best Cocktails in NYC

October 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Here are the top-rated bars in NYC with standout cocktails. 

TriBeCa · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Creativity at its peak” is in evidence at this tasting menu–only TriBeCa “delight” , where a “fun-loving” staff delivers chef Ronny Emborg’s “phenomenal” New American cuisine to diners seated at a kitchen-facing counter; the “unforgettable” experience is “as high as high-end gets” , but to most it’s “worth every dollar” – assuming “you can secure a reservation.”
Cocktail Bar · Lower East Side · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.4

A Tokyo native and Pegu Club vet is behind this “lovely” LES bar offering “divine” Japanese-inspired cocktails and “delicious” izakaya bites, including okonomiyaki pancakes that are “a true revolution starter” ; fans can also leave the “small but lovely” surrounds without having spent a fortune.
Breakfast · Lower East Side · $$$

At this chic eatery in the Hotel on Rivington, coastal Mediterranean fare (including seafood and vegan dishes) is served in an airy, skylit space designed with hand-painted tiles. A crudo bar, outdoor seating and cocktails by Allen Katz of New York Distilling Company are further draws.
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog
Cocktail Bar · Financial District · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

While this Irish-inspired FiDi duplex has a “well-deserved” rep as a “cocktail mecca” with a “Bible” of “enviable” craft drinks, its “well-prepared” pub fare is “not just an afterthought” ; manned by an “excellent” staff, the saloonish digs “get busy quickly” and “just need more elbow room” when it hops.
Chinese · West Village · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

The Peking duck “soars” at this underground West Village Chinese beneath RedFarm, where the “succulent” specialty is the star of “awe-inspiring” prix fixes enhanced by “craveable” sides and “crafty cocktails” ; the “cramped space” has just a single “long” communal table, but there’s also a bar for à la carte eating.
Grand Army
Seafood · Downtown Brooklyn
Food 3.9 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

This “lively” Downtown Brooklyn hangout from Noah Bernamoff (Mile End) and crew pairs an “imaginative” seafood-centric menu with “cocktail wizardry” and a “killer” wine list; “snagging a table” in the “cozy” space can be difficult but seats at the vintage bar provide another option.
American · Williamsburg · $$

This casual New American in Williamsburg’s McCarren Hotel offers modern twists on classic dishes and house-concocted cocktails (riffs on gimlets and Negronis). The breezy interior is lined with plants galore, including a wall of namesake shrubs, and faux Tiffany light fixtures.
Italian · Meatpacking District · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

Like “summer on Capri” , this “hot hot hot” Meatpacking Italian from the Torrisi team “evokes an island off Italy” with its “breezy atmosphere” , “flavorful” seafood-focused menu and “sexy drinks” ; “enchanting” Murano chandeliers decorate the glass-walled setting, where “tight” seating and “loud” conditions carry over to the popular brunch.
French · Greenpoint · $$

The Maison Premiere team is behind this Greenpoint American emphasizing seafood (including oysters, of course), seasonal vegetables and eclectic dishes with French accents, along with cocktails made with hand-chiseled ice. The space has a crisp look, with tiled floors, a swerving bar and banquettes.