It's Almost Summertime: 7 Bars You Should Definitely Check Out This May in NYC

Rain, rain go away…. but until it does, why not kick up your feet and order a cocktail?

No matter what the weather is like, New York City offers some of the best spots to take some shelter and sip until its summer.

Here are a few choice places where you can find a little liquid sunshine until spring decides to get its act together.

169 Bar (169 East Broadway)


In the mood for a retro night out? Then head down to one of the oldest bars in the Lower East Side, 169. Originally opened in 1916 as the Bloody Bucket, this kitschy dive immerses you in a world of color and cocktails.


Surrounded by Christmas lights, palm trees, and exposed brick, hunker down in a funky red booth or take a shot at their extra retro leopard-print pool table. 

If you make it for their Happy Hour, make sure you grab a $3 beer.

Duckduck (161 Montrose Avenue - Brooklyn)


Set in a converted garage, what you’ll find inside Duckduck is exactly what you’d think. Lots of ducks. 

But the East Williamsburg birds flock here for their wide selection of craft beers and seasonal cocktails, like Kentucky Derby-appropriate Mint Juleps.

On the weekends, flap your feathers to a live DJ comes in to spin the house down till 4 a.m. Take on one of their infamous beer & shot combos, like the Dirty Sanchez, a can of Modelo Especial with a shot of tequila. 

What the duck?

Diamond Dogs (34-04 31st Avenue - Queens)


Aside from being a beloved neighborhood bar, this Astoria watering hole allows its guests to do something that may be otherwise unheard of in the NYC bar scene. 

Here you can BYOF, or Bring Your Own Food, while you chug down one of their beers in their extensive tap selection.

The lighting is dim, the ambiance is chill and it’s a great place to come in from the rain and stay a while. If the sky is being kind, head out to their back outdoor area and soak up some spring. 

Your chances of going back? Fair with a chance of meatballs!

The Wayland (700 East 9th Street) 

Sometimes you want a little more than just booze, and The Wayland has you more than covered. Not only do they offer up live music on multiple nights a week, but they have a kitchen serving some creations you wouldn’t expect a humble downtown dig to dish out.


From cheese plates and oysters to BLTs with pulled pork, this is definitely a place to drink and dine. 

Their craft cocktails also use equally interesting ingredients, like in their “stirred and smoked” I Hear Banjos, which uses apple pie moonshine, apple-spice bitters and apple-cinnamon bark smoke.


Neir’s Tavern (87-48 78th Street - Queens)


Known as “The Most Famous Bar You Never Heard Of,” this Woodhaven gem has been serving up pub-style food and cocktails for more than 180 years. 

It’s also been featured on the big screen in the movies Tower Heist and Goodfellas.


The beer and burgers are what keeps people coming back for more, although each day of the week features a special. 

Pop in on Monday for 50-cent wings all day, Wednesday for their extended Hump Day Happy Hour or score $3 shots on Fireball Friday.

Whiskey Tavern (79 Baxter Street)

This sleek Chinatown saloon is dedicated to all things, well, whiskey. 

Bottles of bourbon, Scotch and rye litter the bar shelves and make for some very interesting cocktail creations to put some hair on your chest.

They also specialize in picklebacks, which use pickle juice as either a back or a chaser to go with their wide array of whiskey. See if you can handle their signature Spicyback, a whiskey shot chased with pepper-infused pickle juice.

Rocka Rolla (486 Metropolitan Avenue - Brooklyn)

Sometimes bigger IS better, and there are few examples better than the drinks at Rocka Rolla. 

This industrial space kicks it old school with vintage signs, pinball machine, classic red leather stools and an actually working jukebox.


Beer and margaritas are served in glass goblets that, as the bar likes to say, “are as big as your head.” And they’re not exaggerating either. 

True to the Williamsburg scene, the crowd is an eclectic mix of hipsters, bikers and neighborhood locals. It’s a great place to mix and mingle with your big ass marg.

Check out Where Have All of NYC's Dive Bars Gone?

[Feature Image Courtesy The New York Times] 

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