New York City has long been considered an epicenter of the global wine scene, and in recent years, it’s taken some interesting turns. Natural wine has taken over lists left and right, and large-format bottles are widely embraced beyond celebratory settings. Restaurant wine lists are more dynamic and experimental than ever, and it’s giving us lots to toast to. Here, find 22 places to drink wine in the city right now in restaurants and bars, from more traditional lists to natural selections from California, France, Italy, Spain, and Eastern Europe.Read More
The Best Places to Drink Wine Right Now
Go-to restaurants and bars for drinking wines by the glass or bottle in New York City
Musette Wine Bar
An offshoot of Pompette Wines, Musette offers an interesting menu of wines by the glass and the bottle — with a handful of the latter around the $50 mark. Try an orange Trebbiano Spoletino, Grechetto; dry Weingut Neiss Riesling; or a fizzy pét-nat from Spain, France, or Slovenia. Happy hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. with a selection of $10 wines by the glass. The food menu includes a handful of seasonal small plates: charcuterie and cheese boards, olives, seafood, and the like.
Vin Sur Vingt Wine Bar
There’s indoor and outdoor dining at this no-reservations wine bar with an expansive collection and a 5 to 6 p.m. happy hour with $10 glasses as well as a late-night happy hour from 10 p.m. to closing with 25 percent off bottles. Food includes French-leaning options including tartines and charcuterie boards.
Eli’s Table, Eli Zabar’s ambitious American restaurant, is back after a pandemic hiatus. Expect dishes made with greens grown on nearby rooftops (owned by Zabar); white asparagus with egg and a vinaigrette; veal sweetbreads; or tagliatelle with peekytoe crab. The wine list includes selections from one of the largest collections of Old World wines in the city — more than 50,000 bottles in the cellar.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
Sibling to the acclaimed Le Bernardin, sommelier Aldo Sohm’s temple to wine is a grand place for a drink — with 40 pours by the glass and 200 by the bottle — and bites such as charcuterie and cheese, grilled avocado, or braised short ribs. Try and make it for the 9 p.m. hour, when Sohm often parades the room with a magnum (or larger bottle) pouring glasses for a very festive group toast.
Mercado Little Spain
A bright, colorful, flavorful bite of the world of José Andrés hums inside Hudson Yards in the form of a Spanish food hall. Mercado Little Spain is home to three different restaurants (Leña, Mar, and Spanish Diner) along with a handful of bars and kiosks. All wine lists are Spanish, its expansive cellar a representation of the country’s diverse offerings. Rioja, Catalunya, Galicia, Castilla y Leon, Jerez, Ribeiro, and the islands are just some of the pins on the map here, so for serious Spanish wine lovers — or even those looking to expand their Spanish wine knowledge — this is a place teeming with opportunity.
Koloman is co-owned by chef Markus Glocker who emphasizes pared-down fine dining with dishes like celery root tartare, sweet corn soup with cured scallops, and salmon en croûte for example, along with outstanding pastries. The upstairs bar is stocked with a collection of Austrian schnapps assembled by beverage director Katja Scharnagl, who previously worked with Aldo Sohm at Le Bernardin and the nearby Aldo Sohm wine bar. Hailing from Austria, she has invested in an old-world eclectic wine list with an emphasis on Champagnes.
The team behind Jersey City restaurant Frankie crossed the water to debut this Bohemian ode to the West Village. If you’re looking for a window into what the trendiest indie producers are right now, Moonflower will give you a kaleidoscopic view that matches the equally colorful interiors. The bar does not take reservations.
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Hidden downstairs in a commercial strip on 10th Street in the East Village, the food is so good it nearly overshadows the wine. The menu is short with around a dozen dishes, the majority of them small plates. Glasses of wine, half of them French, are in the $13 to $32 range and change periodically, boasting a cellar of up to 1000 bottles.
This tight space East Village space packs in plenty of atmosphere. The wine list here traverses but places emphasis on Eastern and Central Europe. These days the menu is vegetarian and sometimes vegan and gluten-free — something harder to find in top-tier wine bars.
Sure you can have a tomato-cucumber srpska, cevapi, or spinach pie, but Kafana is an exciting place to explore wines from Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. The selection includes sparkling, whites, orange, reds, and large-format wines: The majority of bottles on the menu are less than $60. There’s also an orange, white, or red liter and half-liter available.
Wildair, from the chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra, helped codify the wine bar genre when it opened years ago on the Lower East Side. If you’re looking for a special occasion night out in the neighborhood, this should be on your list, especially for the desserts.
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This sibling to Gem that’s around the corner from the restaurant from Flynn McGarry, the guy who opened a tasting menu spot in 2018, when he was 19, specializes in low-intervention winemakers and small dishes like gouda with pears and lamb tartare with greens. You can go even more minimalist with an order of bread and butter or a larger plate of mackerel with rhubarb ponzu. The wine menu has glasses and bottles that rotate regularly. No reservations.
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Le Dive, which describes itself as a natural wine bar in the tabac tradition, is anything but a dive. The corner storefront has spawned a lively street scene, though the interior is tiny, with round pedestal tables, little lampshade chandeliers, and a general feeling of being in Paris. With bottles in the $50 to $70 range and glasses around $15, half the wines are from France, and the balance is from Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
An urbane place to drink wine in Tribeca that holds its own as a solid neighborhood restaurant, Chambers offers “a maze of contrasting styles” of wine, says critic Robert Sietsema, including more tradition-bound vintners as well as a selection of skin-contact-, natural-, and organic wines. Glasses of wine start at $9 each, and seats at the bar and at a communal table are reserved for walk-ins after 6:45 p.m.
When the weather permits, communal tables outside make Parcelle a see-and-be-seen spot. Inside the emerald green door is the dining room, which feels cozy and somewhat secretive, with just a few portholes looking to the outside. Consider the extensive selection of bottles, while a by-the-glass mostly French list runs $15 to $20 a pop.
The Four Horsemen
The one thing basically everyone who knows the Michelin-starred Four Horsemen is that yes, it’s backed by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. But the restaurant is more than just a celebrity’s pet project. It’s one of the best restaurants in the city with a dedicated wine list, with food menus that change frequently. Stop by its next-door night club Night Moves after dinner.
If Champagne guns shooting $70-plus wine into your mouth underneath a disco ball sounds like your thing, then Sauced could be your nighttime move. The wine list here lacks pretension often synonymous with wine culture in the city, but that doesn’t come at the cost of a well-curated natural wine list that can back up the flirty fun of being here.
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The Ten Bells Brooklyn
The Ten Bells has been successful at being three places at once: a neighborhood bar lit by candlelight, a go-to late-night spot, and a natural wine shrine for those in the know. Look for a daily happy hour until 7 p.m. which includes $5 pours or $15 carafes as well as $1 oysters.
Place des Fêtes
The team at Oxalis, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Prospect Heights, is behind Place des Fêtes. The Spanish wine bar with a French name serves a full food menu that leans heavily on grilled and raw seafood. The wine list includes a dozen glasses that pull from Spain and the Americas, most priced between $15 and $20.
This is not the spot for the same old natural wines or classics of any stripe. Instead, this is where you can find multiple bottles from up-and-coming producers. It would be doing June an injustice to not mention how much fun can be had for under $100. Most of the wine list is below that bottle price.
Franks Wine Bar
This neighborhood wine bar offers an impressive bottle selection from Spain, France, Italy, and California, and a handful by the glass that run between $14 and $18. Pair a pour with a small plate like a 24-month prosciutto, or a pizza with calamari or zucchini blossoms.
Bar Vinazo is focused on the world of Spanish wines, with a list includes 15 wines by the glass — $11 to $16 — and 150 bottles: white, pink, orange, pet nat, and red, using natural and biodynamic organic methods of production. Food includes “pica pica,” conservas, cheeses, cured meats, tapas, and mains like fideuà.