Give All Your Fame for a Pot of Ale: 8 NYC Bars Shakespeare Would Definitely Enjoy a Drink or Two

“For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.” Truer words have never been written. 

W. S. really knew his way around words… and booze. Will himself had an affinity for ale, and incorporated wine as well in pretty much all of his plays. Alcohol was its own recurring character, often used for weapons, celebration, and our favorite- trickery. 

Hell, even the audience was usually drinking during performances. 

So why not pay homage to Shakespeare not just by talking like him, but drinking like him too? 

April 23rd just happens to be National Talk Like Shakespeare Day and New York City just happens to be home to various ye olde drinkeries that William would approve of; we’re pretty sure of it. 

Watering holes abound that you can head to and discuss things of importance; like buying your new swimming costume, and plans for the next fortnight.

Alas, here’s 8 drinkeries where you can down copious amounts of booze, you know, in honor of William. All that Shakespeare speak is bound to make you thirsty, and we’re big on parchedness prevention. Alloweth the drinking beginneth!

1. The Shakespeare (24 East 39th Street)


But, of course! Besides this being an obvious choice given it’s named after the guy; it’s a two for one deal in namesake world. This Murray Hill spot turned one address into two tributes to the man of the hour. 


The Shakespeare pub can be found in none other than the under carriage of The William Hotel. Not to mention the few other bar rooms that bring this classic British experience full circle.

2. Jones Wood Foundry (401 East 76th Street)

Wend forth to Yorkville, kind citizens! Owned by the same dude as The Shakespeare, this off-the-beaten-path gastropub does William justice. If spring weather decides to stick around, take your Shakespeare speaking selves out to the garden. 

Make sure to check out the authentic British fare as well. Just don’t talk with your mouthful of bangers and mash, we’re pretty sure Shakespeare wouldn’t do that.

3. Sir Harry’s at The Waldorf Astoria (301 Park Avenue)


Where you should just go ahead and refer to everyone as “Sir.” Will would approve of this classy establishment and it’s inviting leathery furniture. 


If he had a den, it would probably be this one. Also, fun fact- the Rob Roy cocktail was invented here, so there’s that.

4. Old Town Bar (45 East 18th Street)


This may not be a traditional British pub, but it’s super old, it even says so in the name. Seriously though, this vintage haunt hast been ‘round since the 1800s, and did survive the prohibition era. 

It boasts all the characteristics of a ye olde drinkery that Mr. S would relish in: mahogany, a tin ceiling, a dumbwaiter, and its famous large urinals. 

Besides its wise age, the ambiance here is a conversation cultivator. Perfect for 'Talk Like Shakespeare' day, don’t you think?


5. The Library at The Nomad Hotel (1170 Broadway)


Not only does this tick the literary box in the best way (uh, hello, LIBRARY), but we’re fairly certain that as soon as you walk in you start speaking with a British accent. 


It gives you all the fancy feelings which can only be enhanced with their unique cocktails.

6. McSorley's Old Ale House (15 East 7th Street)


As one of the city’s oldest watering holes, (we’re talking 1800’s kind of olde) this ancient Irish pub is a shoe in. The choices art simple: light ‘r dark beer? Sometimes simple is better. 

After all, in Shakespeare times there definitely weren’t 27 beers on tap. Leave the ornate to the conversation. Doth not beest thirsty any longer!

7. Bemelman’s Bar (35 East 76th Street)

Your inner five-year-old will love the illustrations that adorn the walls of the fine establishment, done by the famous illustrator from the Madeline books of our childhood. 


Housed in the wildly elegant Carlyle Hotel, your Shakespeare speak will match the level of high endery as well. Just don’t forget to raise your pinky with your pint.

8. Pound & Pence (55 Liberty Street)


Yes, you can converse like Shakespeare even in the Financial District. Libations abound in this authentic English pub. Just don’t spend all your pence in one place. 

And remember, “Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things…nose-painting, sleep, and urine." 

Check out 6 Outdoor Happy Hours You Absolutely Must Try in NYC.

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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