Good Books 'n Stiff Drinks: 7 Best Book Bars to Throw Back a Few Drinks in NYC

A good book and a strong drink go hand-in-hand, but you don’t have to stay tucked away in your apartment drinking scotch and reading Vladimir Nabokov alone.

New York boasts some of the most unique literary-inspired watering holes that publicly welcomes the intoxicated reader.

We’ve rounded up the 7 best book bars in New York City, from high-end hot spots to low-key hidden gems.

Now all you need to do is throw back a few drinks and several pages of your favorite book inside of 'em, right?

1. Lexington Bar & Books (1020 Lexington Avenue)


One of five locations (three in NYC and two in Czech Republic), this outpost is homey yet sophisticated.


It has book-lined walls, cozy leather seats, and dim lighting... all which give off a sleek, modern day library feel.

2. Sir Harry’s at Waldorf Astoria New York (301 Park Avenue)


This sophisticated spot tucked inside the Waldorf is ideal for the refined bookworms.

Thanks to its intimate wooden bar with plush high top stools and small checkerboard side tables, this spot has comfy yet stylish reading nooks.

3. Bearded Lady (686 Washington Avenue - Brooklyn)


 Exposed brick walls, colorful wraparound bar and fashionable retro decor gives this space a welcoming feel for its diverse Brooklyn crowd.

This spot is especially for readers looking for a fun and inexpensive hangout to re-read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, all the while sipping on a Town Destroyer.

4. Blue Bar at The Algonquin (59 West 44th Street)


 Years ago, writers like Dorothy Parker flocked to this bar to discuss literature.

After its major renovation in 2012, this space is still popular with intellects sipping drinks like "The Benchley Buck" while enjoying an intimate mingling scene.

 5. The Old Town Bar (45 East 18th Street)


 A New York City icon, this historic gem is known for its relaxed ambiance and notable literary customers like the late Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt.

It's a city staple for an afternoon read and cold beer (or Augustiner Brau, Munich 1380 if you’re feeling fancy).

6. The Dead Poet (450 Amsterdam Avenue, #1)

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A popular watering hole with exposed ceiling and dark woods give an industrial feel.


This bar also has an impressive menu of beers from around the world and cocktails, named after some of the best late writers in history like Edgar Allan Poe.

7. Gotham City Lounge (1293 Myrtle Avenue - Brooklyn)


A funky Brooklyn bar with a comic book theme, this spot is ideal for those who prefer superheroes to poets, with drinks named after classic comic characters like Mr. Freeze, Green Lantern, and Iron Man.

Check out New Yorkers Prove Their Love for Reading Old-Fashioned Books

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