The best bars in New York, as chosen by bar experts

NYC’s top bar brass (bartenders, sommeliers, tastemakers) voted on the city’s best bars—and here are the gilded winners

 

The Dead Rabbit

Winner: Bartender/Team

At this summer’s Spirited Awards in New Orleans—essentially the Oscars of the cocktail scene—this Financial District drinks den from U.K. expats Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon took home the coveted World’s Best Bar Award. So, yeah, pretty big deal—not that it’s going to the crew’s heads. “The bartending team is remarkable simply because they completely lack in pretense,” says Aaron Goldfarb, an author and Dead Rabbit regular. “The dock workers ordering pints of Guinness or vodka sodas are given the same deference as cocktail-bar scenesters wondering what vermouth is used in the house Tipperary,” he says, adding, “and the dock workers might not even realize they’re in the so-called ‘World’s Best Bar.’ ” The bi-level watering hole comprises two arenas. The first is a street-level saloon boasting a rough-and-tumble, sawdust-speckled vibe with working- and upper-class sippers standing shoulder to shoulder, knocking back whiskey slugs, pints of pilsner and Pop-Inns, which are a sort of 17th-century boilermaker with beer and liquor in the same glass. The second is the upstairs parlor, an all-around classier affair with a handsome curved bar and tucked-away booths, where patrons can try all manner of pre-Prohibition tipples—slings, toddies, flips, follies, scaffas, punches, nogs and juleps—from vintage China teacups or exquisite, period-proper stemware. Activity on both levels is conducted under the no-detail-left-unchecked care of the staff. A much-deserved win, indeed.

Ryan CrownTIME OUT NEW YORK