Follow us
Top five Monday

Top 5 NYC Dive Bars

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

When it comes to Dive bars, New York City is the only place in world that could pull off the feat of glorifying the grotesque. Not that all bars are sullen pits of decay and danger. Here’s a short list of some of the finest (and filthiest) that New York has to offer.

Image by Lina Ines

1. Port 41
Port 41 manages the incredible trick of greeting you with the nauseating smell of vomit and urine and bidding you farewell with a sense of accomplishment. The bar itself is nothing to write home about but the charm and character imposed upon it by the regulars leaves you with a defiant sense that you should have been going there for a long, long time already and standing outside giving the stink-eye to anyone bold enough to cross your field of view.

2. Jackie’s 5th Amendment
With its eclectic mix of dusty seats, music best left in the past and the promise of six whole bottles of beer served lovingly into a nine buck bucket (that’s right, beer in a bucket), Jackie’s 5th amendment somehow manages to make you feel more out of place than Port 41. Maybe this was just me being unable to engage in conversation after the third bucket but there you go.  

3. International Bar
A punk-rock bar recently(ish) brought back to life after being shut for nearly three years. This bar is dedicated to the art of getting dead drunk with the beauty of being dead cheap to boot. All the usual paraphernalia is present including an exceptionally inexpensive jukebox and a wonderful 4a.m closing time.

4. Billymark’s West
Billymark’s west sits in a lonely back block of North Chelsea. Having been present in this area since 1956, the clientele flips and flops between blue collar working Joe’s and a younger crowd who appear purely for the happy hour deals.  The décor looks musty and the neon signs are numerous giving the bar a juxtaposed environment within which the space itself seems to repel any natural light that dares enter. Paper plates are provided if you want to order in food but nothing will be served to the number of booths dotted around. It’s all on you. The pricing sticks to a fairly standard level but the overall tone of the bar takes precedent over mere quibbles regarding price.

5. Tip Top Bar & Grill
With deep regret, you will eventually stagger uncertainly to your feet and totter out of this wonderful basement bar.  The owner and his partner share the burden of running the bar and providing food to its meagre selection of patrons. The unnerving sense of entering another person’s personal space is dissipated by the owner’s thin, but constant smile. Smoking is permitted out the back under a covered porch and inside the Christmas lights that make up the most striking decoration really push you into feeling as though you have entered a little bubble that just refuses to pop.

Hotels in New York City

Park Central New York Hotel - Room Park Central New York Hotel
Average Price: € 120.66
Average Rating: 7.9

The Milford NYC - Room The Milford NYC
Average Price: €86.52
Average rating:7.2

The New York Palace- Room The New York Palace
Average Price: €242.18
Average Rating:9.1

Hotel Double Tree by Hilton Metropolitan - Room Hotel Double Tree by Hilton Metropolitan
Average Price: €242.18
Average Rating:9.1

The Roosevelt Hotel- Room The Roosevelt Hotel
Average Price: €120.69
Average Rating:7.1

Park South Hotel - Room Park South Hotel
Average Price: €161.16
Average Rating:8

Share this article:


About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer anita choudhary

Anita Choudhary is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in New Delhi, India. She loves to travel and has traveled extensively in India. Exploring new places, reading and writing are her hobbies.


Leave a comment

 (required)
 (will not be published) (required)


destination