Harlem is one of the city’s most well-known and beloved neighborhoods. Nestled at the top of Central Park in Manhattan and easy to get to via subway and Metro-North trains, it’s a favorite stomping ground for locals and tourists alike. When it comes to watering holes, Harlem has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for live music, a happy hour joint, a pub with good eats or just a laid-back place with great beer. Here are some of the best bars in Harlem worth checking out on your next trip to New York City.
Located on 7th Avenue, Harlem Nights is a laid-back lounge that’s perfect for the early evening thanks to live music and great food. They have a great rotation of bands, which means you can just wander in and stumble upon awesome jazz, blues and rock music any night of the week. Grab a seat at the bar or one of the tables and indulge in the Harlem Vibes – there’s a reason this place is one of the top local favorites.
Harlem Tavern, located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, is a tavern and beer garden that draws in a lively crowd around happy hour and on through the night. The place is massive so you won’t have to worry about finding a seat, and they serve 80 different types of beer. Plus, the food is to die for. Try the kielbasa, cedar-plank salmon or Moroccan spiced lamb burger along with your beer. Their weekend brunches are especially fun with live jazz and art shows from local galleries.
If you’re looking for a more upscale vibe, check out Mess Hall on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. It’s a cozy bar with a focus on craft beer and bourbon – you can choose from various local and international beers as well as their famous menu of both small-batch and big name bourbons. It’s a great place for a date or to hit up for a night cap after dinner.
Ginny’s Supper Club
This place is super hot. Ginny’s is a basement lounge in the vein of the speakeasies of the 1920s, and it features a menu of specialty cocktails from mixologist Eben Klemm along with delicious food and a steady lineup of live music. Their cocktails change up regularly so you’ll always find surprises on the menu. They pair drinks with amazing food from all over the world, including small plates and entrees like lobster Thermidor and baked Alaska. This is definitely a spot worth trying.
These are just a few of Harlem’s famous bars – do yourself a favor and check out a few of them while you’re visiting New York!