Black Emperor is a Japanese-themed bar on 2nd Ave with exceptional cocktails and very little natural light. It’s a casual neighborhood spot, and it’s a great place to drink a beer or some Japanese whiskey while you catch up with a friend. If you get hungry, various pop-ups take turns serving food here, and you can expect things like truffle fries and double-patty burgers with kimchi mayo (although that particular pop-up is now a stand-alone spot called Nowon).
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V-Nam is a small Vietnamese spot in the East Village where you can pick up a very good bánh mì.
The neighborhood sushi joint of the East Village, Takahachi is affordable and filled with regulars.
Dream Baby is a little neighborhood cocktail bar in the East Village that draws a good crowd on weekends.
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Moca Bar and Lounge
Moca Bar is a laid-back cocktail lounge in Harlem. It’s a good spot to catch an open mic night, and it’s a great place to catch up with a few friends.
Alphabet City Beer Co.
Alphabet City Beer Co. looks like a general store you’d find upstate, but it’s actually an East Village bar with armchairs and lots of craft beer.
Sugar Monk is a tiny cocktail bar in Harlem with velvet furniture, tropical wallpaper, and some very good (and complex) drinks.
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Death & Co
Death & Co. feels like it was built just for us. The drink list is ridiculous…it’s nearly impossible to settle on something because each beverage is intriguing and awesome. And thankfully the food doesn’t suck either.
The Immigrant is a beer bar on one side and a wine bar on the other. As far as East Village bars go, this is one of the nicer, calmer ones.
The Lost Lady
The Lost Lady is a nautical-themed bar in Alphabet City from the people who own the Wayland. It has booths, frozen drinks, and pictures of old ships.
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