Chefs, more often than not, know a thing or two about dive bars. They work hard, get off late, and when they want to unwind, those late night dives are sometimes the only option. Plus, there's cheap beer, and maybe even a pool table. With that in mind, Eater asked 13 of New York City's best chefs to name their favorite dive bar. There are dives of all shapes and sizes on this list, from old-school Irish pubs to dark and dirty punk bars, but all of them are chef-approved.Read More
The TK Best Piece of Shit Dive Bars in New York
On this list: the bar where Anita Lo learned to play darts, Nick Anderer's favorite place for cold beer and shrimp cocktail, and many more.
Jody Williams picks this historic West Village jazz club, which just so happens to be right up the block from her restaurant Buvette, and the soon-to-open Via Carota: "Arthur’s keeps late hours, has rowdy crowds, live music, [it's an] every man’s place." [Facebook]
Sushi whiz David Bouhadana, of Sushi Dojo and the soon-to-open Dojo Izakaya, says of this East Village classic: "It's a bar that is a real dive bar with men over 60 who smell terrible and are always there...hipsters get the shit eye if you're not known, and Molly the owner is a sweetheart and bad ass. OH! And it opens at 8:00 a.m. I've started my day there many times." And a bonus tip from Estela sommelier Thomas Carter: "You can go to Luke's lobster, grab a roll and take it there. Doesn't get much better." [Yelp]
The Four-Faced Liar
Jamie Bissonette, one half of the duo behind tapas hot spot Toro picks this old Irish pub: "Sean, the barman, plays awesome music and pours a mean shot. I always go there when I want one from the ice." [Foursquare/Tom S.]
Ken Oringer, chef and co-owner of Toro along with Jamie Bissonette, says of this Houston Street hole in the wall: "They have strong ass drinks and characters a plenty. Exactly what you want from a dive bar." [Foursquare/Adam P.]
Double Down Saloon
Richard Kuo, chef of Bowery small plates hot spot Pearl & Ash, is a fan of this punk rock dive: "It's kind of a dump, but in a good way. I really like the bartenders there and they have a pool table." [Yelp]
Ma Peche chef Paul Carmichael explains exactly why this uptown classic (recently rescued from closure) fits the bill: "As a cook, I think there is some specific criteria a bar must meet in order to achieve dive bar status. It must be close to work, reasonably priced, have an endearing level of grime, and the crowd has got be right as well (primarily industry). Also, the bartender has to be cool and remember the regulars. For Midtown, I would say that Subway Inn is the bar that really meets all of this set criteria. The bartenders know what they are doing and it is always filled with a cast of characters. I usually go for an ice cold beer." [Facebook]
Dale Talde, former cheftestapant and the chef behind Pork Slope, Thistle Hill Tavern, and Talde, picks this Times Square stalwart: " It’s my favorite dive bar because it is full of cool sports history, their beers are cold, and their drinks are stiff." [Facebook]
Nick Anderer, the Maialino chef who is also currently turning out some mighty fine pizzas at Marta, loves this LES dive: "Funky music, really loud kitschy decor, microwave popcorn, shrimp cocktail, and very cold canned beers (and a large selection of them) -- It always seems like there's a party going on in there. And I can always count on them being open when I get off of work." [Photo]
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Mexican-obsessed chef Alex Stupak, of Empellon Cocina, Empellon Taqueria, and the brand new Empellon Al Pastor: "In a city teeming with bars that pride themselves on keeping people out, there's nothing more welcoming than a place like Lucy's. And really, there's no place quite like it. Lucy's has everything you want from a dive bar: cheap drinks, pool tables, and a jukebox teeming with possibilities." [Nick Solares]
George Mendes, the chef behind the Flatiron's excellent Portuguese restaurant Aldea, says this West Village dive has long been a haunt of his: "I think I've been going there for 15 plus years. It's small, same bartender (Vania) for as long I've been going. Of course there are dirty walls and bathrooms, and a poster of Brooke Burke on the cover of Maxim mag stuck to the ceiling!"