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Ruffian Wine Bar
Ruffian Wine Bar
Photo: Ruffian

22 Top Places to Drink Natural Wine in NYC

The standout interesting places to find natural wines

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Ruffian Wine Bar
| Photo: Ruffian

Natural wine, which is made without preservatives and chemicals, has changed the landscape. Tons of places in New York City now offer the increasingly popular style, so this list is a collection of go-to destinations where a wine director is consistently making a choice for natural wines.

Note: Restaurants are listed based on geography, starting south to north in Manhattan. This is an updated map originally published in 2015.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Racines

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94 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007
(646) 644-6255
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Among wine collectors and natural wine fans, Racines is well-known for its wine by the glass specials, often highlighting a grower with some hard-to-find-selections. Don’t miss the chance to speak with Racines co-owner David Lillie, long key supporter of natural wine in the States, during one of his semi-regular appearances behind the bar. Racines is also frequented by deep-pocketed Tribeca types, and in addition to the modestly marked up verticals from the Loire and the Jura, there are some heavy hitter wines sold there as well. Most of the choices are French, but there are plenty of Italian and American classics that round out the list. Plus, wine world legend Pascaline Lepeltier, formerly of Rouge Tomate, recently signed on as a partner, further upping Racines' status as a heavy hitter.

2. The Ten Bells

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247 Broome St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-4450
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The Ten Bells has always been successful at being three places at once: a neighborhood choice lit by candlelight, a go-to late night spot, and a natural wine shrine for those in the know. It was an early proponent of the style, and thus many sommeliers end up here to drink it.

The Ten Bells

3. La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

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249 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 343-3660
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There are hipster natural wine bars, and then there are hip wine bars that serve natural wine, and this swanky place is definitely the latter. Guests could come in here with friends or a date, sit down on an expensive, modish-looking chair, hoist their drink on a polished wood table, and never even realize that there are natural wines on the list. But those in the know know that Caleb Ganzer, who took up the wine program here after stints with Daniel Boulud’s group and with Eleven Madison Park, has built a standout list with wines from around the globe, with a particular focus on Burgundy and Champagne.

4. Wildair

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142 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 964-5624
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The Contra team specifically played down the idea of Wildair being a French wine bar when they opened it, yet Wildair is the closest approximation of the Paris natural wine spots that New York has, with its drop-in and drift-out, open-to-the-street arrangement. And although Spanish, Italian, and Slovenian wines are offered, French wines dominate the list. That only makes sense, as wine director Jorge Riera is a longtime habitué of Paris neo-bistros himself, and has friendships with many of the producers he represents on his lists. The vibe that the Contra team stoked at Wildair quickly caught fire, and the food media poured on the gas with multiple mentions, so this is a busy place to go and be seen.

5. Hemlock

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65 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 649-2503
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The Lower East Side features several natural wine hotspots, and this is the newest of them, recently brought to the attention of the faithful by Alice Feiring, New York’s doyenne of natural wine. The list at Hemlock is short and to the point: It carries natural wine, and a good percentage of that is orange. France and American options vie for most of the attention, but Austria, Italy, and Spain are also featured, and virtually everything is under $100 a bottle. This is a small program, with youthful vintages meant for approachable drinking.

6. Estela

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47 E Houston St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-7693
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Estela offers a well-chosen mix of the stylish and edgy wines, and many of those are natural. The extensive selection of European bottles highlights producers doing some of the best work in their respective appellations, and there is a notable fluency with some of the more interesting Spanish up-and-comers. Overall this is an accomplished list of exciting choices. Pricing is varied enough to accommodate different kinds of evenings out: the affordable or the extravagant.

7. Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef's Table

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125 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 777-0855
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The Ruffian list makes a conscious display of diversity, where guests will find Mead from Denmark, regular orange wine features, and plenty from Greece on offer. The list is also a testament to the inroads that Georgia, Hungary, and Croatia are making on wine programs around the city. It isn’t all natural, and the tiny place is more on the hip spectrum than on the natural spectrum. Ruffian is a good option for pre-gaming a night in the Village, where it’s easy to find something unusual to drink by the glass

Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef's Table

8. Anfora

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34 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014
(212) 518-2722
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Anfora is a name that alludes to a certain Italian orange wine, which can be found easily here, but this list has also featured biodynamic and natural wine from most everywhere since the beginning. The lineup is perhaps even more indebted to France than it was, with a vertical of Joly, listings from the likes of Henri Milan, and a whole clutch of natural Beaujolais. Current natural wine obsession Gut Oggau is also in the mix. In a place that is a blend of West Village watering hole and darkly chic lounge, there is a long list of wines available by the glass.

Anfora

9. Dirty Bird

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204 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011

The bar at Dirty Bird is an “overalls meets vinyl” aesthetic drawing young, natural wine aficionados — think of it as a more youthful Wildair when it comes to the crowd. It is also a good place to pregame and carbo-load for smashed potatoes and gravy or mac-n-cheese. But the real draw is Eben Lillie, who selects the wines for the place, and who has many friends within the natural wine community. Case in point: the “our friends” portion of the website reads like a collection of future natural wine breakout stars.

Verre de Terre

10. Rouge Tomate

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126 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
(646) 395-3978
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Now-departed beverage director Pascaline Lepeltier — now at Racines — brought worldwide attention to Rouge Tomate for its wine program, and though she is gone, many of her wine selections remain. The well-honed, adventurous list leans heavily on the Chenin Blanc grape and the Loire Valley in general, but there is plenty to be found from across wine regions.

11. Molyvos

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871 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-7500
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Greek restaurant Molyvos has the best selection of Greek wines in New York, curated by Kamal Kouiri, and many are natural. Over 50 different wines are available by the glass, making it a great place for anyone who wants to sample the country's wide variety of wines. The full list covers over 50 wineries in Greece including some, like Santorini’s Hatzidakis, that specialize in natural wines.

Molyvos Photo via Molyvos on Instagram

12. Achilles Heel

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180 West St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(347) 987-3666
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As with other Andrew Tarlow venues, natural wine is largely what is on offer for wine at Achilles Heel. And the pricing model emphasizes the affordable: Only a couple of well-known names, such as Clos Rougeard and Valette, stray past $100 for a normal sized bottle here. Everything else is under that dollar mark. It’s easy to find something to drink here.

Achilles Heel

13. St. Anselm

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355 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-5054
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St. Anselm has what might be called a drinker’s list. There are plenty of natural wines on the list, and plenty of just plain good wines as well. The selections range from across the globe (Mendoza, Canada, to New York State, in addition to France, Italy, and other European stalwarts). The St. Anselm list is extensive, offering plenty of chances to stretch a dollar: There are back vintages offered for current release pricing and there are magnums that don’t cost a lot. It’s an inviting and satisfying list even for those who don’t know about wine.

14. Have & Meyer Chatteria

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103 Havermeyer St
Brooklyn, NY

Have & Meyer offers a charming atmosphere, with an Italian rustico feel and several antique adornments. The wine list is wholly Italian, which is far from the norm among New York’s natural wine venues. And there is an immense amount of orange wine offered, both by the glass pour and by the bottle. Laudably, the markups are gentle on what can be an expensive orange wine category, with pours for $20 a glass or less, and over thirty options ringing in at under $100 a bottle.

Have & Meyer Chatteria

15. Maison Premiere

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298 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(347) 335-0446
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Maison Premiere is a good example of a restaurant whose wine program really complements the cuisine and the spirit of the place. The vibe of Maison Premiere is built upon old French Louisiana, elaborated with oyster shells and absinthe glasses. Suitably, the wine list features mostly French selections, with a long list of Muscadet, and several sparkling wines. Burgundy, Jura, and the Rhône Valley largely flesh out the rest of the options. The natural wine drinker will find all sorts of familiar names listed.

16. The Four Horsemen

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295 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 599-4900
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The Four Horsemen is co-owned by an experimental musician and DJ, and for that reason guests might expect it to be divey, loud, and sceney. Instead, it can be — if there at the right moment (think off-peak) — almost sedate. The list is longer than expected, given the size of the place, and ventures out past France into some other countries for natural wines. Prices are often south of $100 a bottle, but plenty of times they are above that mark. In a way The Four Horsemen represents a kind of gamble that the kids of Williamsburg have grown up some without losing their edge.

The Four Horsemen

17. Roberta's

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Read Review |
261 Moore St
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 417-1118
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Restaurants that cultivate an outsider attitude are often drawn to the aesthetics of natural wine, and Roberta’s does not disappoint on this front. There are plenty of well-established natural wine names within the selections offered. The markups on sparkling wine and orange wine are gentle, and those are two categories where prices can escalate at many other restaurants. While there are numerous pizza venues that have long wine lists in New York, this is the place to get natural with a pie.

18. Diner

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85 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 486-3077
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Diner, which was established in 1999, was one of the first to champion the neo-bistro mode in New York. Over the years the railcar dining room has been a quiet reminder that yes, the ideals of natural wine can survive and flourish within New York's restaurant business. Today the Diner list includes a couple more conventional wine names than one might expect at this O.G. restaurant address, but those are chock-a-block with plenty of natural wine stalwarts. Another point in its favor: Most bottles are under $100.

19. Vinegar Hill House

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72 Hudson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 522-1018
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Quietly, thoughtfully, and with no desire for attention, Bill Fitch has been crafting a subtly accented, astutely chosen wine list for Vinegar Hill House for many years now. Fitch, who divides his time between homes in Paris, Barcelona, and New York, stays deeply informed about wines, and he writes a list that keeps in mind his own personal taste rather than running with the pack. This is that rare wine list that speaks perfectly in its own cadence. For a wine that is beautiful rather than proper, go to Vinegar Hill House. There will be others like it, offered for a reasonable price.

20. June Wine Bar

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231 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(917) 909-0434
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The June wine program has grown significantly: The wide spacing that was once featured on the wine list is gone now that many new options have made the list. Wine guy Nick Gorevic deserves credit for growing the options while still maintaining the list's edge. This is not the spot for the same old, same old natural wines, or classics of any stripe. Instead, this is where multiple bottlings from up-and-coming producers like Martha Stoumen and Christian Tschida can be found. And where support is given to the hard sells: Gorevic doesn’t hesitate to list eight sparkling reds, for instance. 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.

June Wine Bar

21. Freek's Mill

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285 Nevins St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 852-3000
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The wine list at Freek’s Mill likes to focus the diner’s attention to Georgian Qvevri wine, Loire Chenin Blanc, and Beaujolais, with pages devoted to each. And each of these categories is natural wine heavy. If a fan of any of these very defined zones, Freek’s Mill is there to geek out with you.

22. Faun

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606 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 576-6120
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Vinegar Hill House’s Bill Fitch is also behind the wine list at Faun, which is similarly focused on natural wines. Italian and French offerings comprise the majority of the menu, but there are some standout Hungarian, Greek, and Czech options, including a Hungarian rosé. All bottles come in at under $100, and all by-the-glass options are just $9 at happy hour.

Faun Photo via Faun

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1. Racines

94 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007

Among wine collectors and natural wine fans, Racines is well-known for its wine by the glass specials, often highlighting a grower with some hard-to-find-selections. Don’t miss the chance to speak with Racines co-owner David Lillie, long key supporter of natural wine in the States, during one of his semi-regular appearances behind the bar. Racines is also frequented by deep-pocketed Tribeca types, and in addition to the modestly marked up verticals from the Loire and the Jura, there are some heavy hitter wines sold there as well. Most of the choices are French, but there are plenty of Italian and American classics that round out the list. Plus, wine world legend Pascaline Lepeltier, formerly of Rouge Tomate, recently signed on as a partner, further upping Racines' status as a heavy hitter.

94 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007

2. The Ten Bells

247 Broome St, New York, NY 10002
The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells has always been successful at being three places at once: a neighborhood choice lit by candlelight, a go-to late night spot, and a natural wine shrine for those in the know. It was an early proponent of the style, and thus many sommeliers end up here to drink it.

247 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

3. La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

249 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

There are hipster natural wine bars, and then there are hip wine bars that serve natural wine, and this swanky place is definitely the latter. Guests could come in here with friends or a date, sit down on an expensive, modish-looking chair, hoist their drink on a polished wood table, and never even realize that there are natural wines on the list. But those in the know know that Caleb Ganzer, who took up the wine program here after stints with Daniel Boulud’s group and with Eleven Madison Park, has built a standout list with wines from around the globe, with a particular focus on Burgundy and Champagne.

249 Centre St
New York, NY 10013

4. Wildair

142 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

The Contra team specifically played down the idea of Wildair being a French wine bar when they opened it, yet Wildair is the closest approximation of the Paris natural wine spots that New York has, with its drop-in and drift-out, open-to-the-street arrangement. And although Spanish, Italian, and Slovenian wines are offered, French wines dominate the list. That only makes sense, as wine director Jorge Riera is a longtime habitué of Paris neo-bistros himself, and has friendships with many of the producers he represents on his lists. The vibe that the Contra team stoked at Wildair quickly caught fire, and the food media poured on the gas with multiple mentions, so this is a busy place to go and be seen.

142 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

5. Hemlock

65 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

The Lower East Side features several natural wine hotspots, and this is the newest of them, recently brought to the attention of the faithful by Alice Feiring, New York’s doyenne of natural wine. The list at Hemlock is short and to the point: It carries natural wine, and a good percentage of that is orange. France and American options vie for most of the attention, but Austria, Italy, and Spain are also featured, and virtually everything is under $100 a bottle. This is a small program, with youthful vintages meant for approachable drinking.

65 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

6. Estela

47 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012

Estela offers a well-chosen mix of the stylish and edgy wines, and many of those are natural. The extensive selection of European bottles highlights producers doing some of the best work in their respective appellations, and there is a notable fluency with some of the more interesting Spanish up-and-comers. Overall this is an accomplished list of exciting choices. Pricing is varied enough to accommodate different kinds of evenings out: the affordable or the extravagant.

47 E Houston St
New York, NY 10012

7. Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef's Table

125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef's Table

The Ruffian list makes a conscious display of diversity, where guests will find Mead from Denmark, regular orange wine features, and plenty from Greece on offer. The list is also a testament to the inroads that Georgia, Hungary, and Croatia are making on wine programs around the city. It isn’t all natural, and the tiny place is more on the hip spectrum than on the natural spectrum. Ruffian is a good option for pre-gaming a night in the Village, where it’s easy to find something unusual to drink by the glass

125 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009

8. Anfora

34 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Anfora

Anfora is a name that alludes to a certain Italian orange wine, which can be found easily here, but this list has also featured biodynamic and natural wine from most everywhere since the beginning. The lineup is perhaps even more indebted to France than it was, with a vertical of Joly, listings from the likes of Henri Milan, and a whole clutch of natural Beaujolais. Current natural wine obsession Gut Oggau is also in the mix. In a place that is a blend of West Village watering hole and darkly chic lounge, there is a long list of wines available by the glass.

34 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014

9. Dirty Bird

204 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Verre de Terre

The bar at Dirty Bird is an “overalls meets vinyl” aesthetic drawing young, natural wine aficionados — think of it as a more youthful Wildair when it comes to the crowd. It is also a good place to pregame and carbo-load for smashed potatoes and gravy or mac-n-cheese. But the real draw is Eben Lillie, who selects the wines for the place, and who has many friends within the natural wine community. Case in point: the “our friends” portion of the website reads like a collection of future natural wine breakout stars.

204 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011

10. Rouge Tomate

126 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011

Now-departed beverage director Pascaline Lepeltier — now at Racines — brought worldwide attention to Rouge Tomate for its wine program, and though she is gone, many of her wine selections remain. The well-honed, adventurous list leans heavily on the Chenin Blanc grape and the Loire Valley in general, but there is plenty to be found from across wine regions.

126 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

11. Molyvos

871 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Molyvos Photo via Molyvos on Instagram

Greek restaurant Molyvos has the best selection of Greek wines in New York, curated by Kamal Kouiri, and many are natural. Over 50 different wines are available by the glass, making it a great place for anyone who wants to sample the country's wide variety of wines. The full list covers over 50 wineries in Greece including some, like Santorini’s Hatzidakis, that specialize in natural wines.

871 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019

12. Achilles Heel

180 West St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Achilles Heel

As with other Andrew Tarlow venues, natural wine is largely what is on offer for wine at Achilles Heel. And the pricing model emphasizes the affordable: Only a couple of well-known names, such as Clos Rougeard and Valette, stray past $100 for a normal sized bottle here. Everything else is under that dollar mark. It’s easy to find something to drink here.

180 West St
Brooklyn, NY 11222

13. St. Anselm

355 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

St. Anselm has what might be called a drinker’s list. There are plenty of natural wines on the list, and plenty of just plain good wines as well. The selections range from across the globe (Mendoza, Canada, to New York State, in addition to France, Italy, and other European stalwarts). The St. Anselm list is extensive, offering plenty of chances to stretch a dollar: There are back vintages offered for current release pricing and there are magnums that don’t cost a lot. It’s an inviting and satisfying list even for those who don’t know about wine.

355 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

14. Have & Meyer Chatteria

103 Havermeyer St, Brooklyn, NY
Have & Meyer Chatteria

Have & Meyer offers a charming atmosphere, with an Italian rustico feel and several antique adornments. The wine list is wholly Italian, which is far from the norm among New York’s natural wine venues. And there is an immense amount of orange wine offered, both by the glass pour and by the bottle. Laudably, the markups are gentle on what can be an expensive orange wine category, with pours for $20 a glass or less, and over thirty options ringing in at under $100 a bottle.

103 Havermeyer St
Brooklyn, NY

15. Maison Premiere

298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Maison Premiere is a good example of a restaurant whose wine program really complements the cuisine and the spirit of the place. The vibe of Maison Premiere is built upon old French Louisiana, elaborated with oyster shells and absinthe glasses. Suitably, the wine list features mostly French selections, with a long list of Muscadet, and several sparkling wines. Burgundy, Jura, and the Rhône Valley largely flesh out the rest of the options. The natural wine drinker will find all sorts of familiar names listed.

298 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249

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16. The Four Horsemen

295 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen is co-owned by an experimental musician and DJ, and for that reason guests might expect it to be divey, loud, and sceney. Instead, it can be — if there at the right moment (think off-peak) — almost sedate. The list is longer than expected, given the size of the place, and ventures out past France into some other countries for natural wines. Prices are often south of $100 a bottle, but plenty of times they are above that mark. In a way The Four Horsemen represents a kind of gamble that the kids of Williamsburg have grown up some without losing their edge.

295 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

17. Roberta's

261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Read Review |

Restaurants that cultivate an outsider attitude are often drawn to the aesthetics of natural wine, and Roberta’s does not disappoint on this front. There are plenty of well-established natural wine names within the selections offered. The markups on sparkling wine and orange wine are gentle, and those are two categories where prices can escalate at many other restaurants. While there are numerous pizza venues that have long wine lists in New York, this is the place to get natural with a pie.

261 Moore St
Brooklyn, NY 11206

18. Diner

85 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Diner, which was established in 1999, was one of the first to champion the neo-bistro mode in New York. Over the years the railcar dining room has been a quiet reminder that yes, the ideals of natural wine can survive and flourish within New York's restaurant business. Today the Diner list includes a couple more conventional wine names than one might expect at this O.G. restaurant address, but those are chock-a-block with plenty of natural wine stalwarts. Another point in its favor: Most bottles are under $100.

85 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11249

19. Vinegar Hill House

72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Quietly, thoughtfully, and with no desire for attention, Bill Fitch has been crafting a subtly accented, astutely chosen wine list for Vinegar Hill House for many years now. Fitch, who divides his time between homes in Paris, Barcelona, and New York, stays deeply informed about wines, and he writes a list that keeps in mind his own personal taste rather than running with the pack. This is that rare wine list that speaks perfectly in its own cadence. For a wine that is beautiful rather than proper, go to Vinegar Hill House. There will be others like it, offered for a reasonable price.

72 Hudson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201

20. June Wine Bar

231 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
June Wine Bar

The June wine program has grown significantly: The wide spacing that was once featured on the wine list is gone now that many new options have made the list. Wine guy Nick Gorevic deserves credit for growing the options while still maintaining the list's edge. This is not the spot for the same old, same old natural wines, or classics of any stripe. Instead, this is where multiple bottlings from up-and-coming producers like Martha Stoumen and Christian Tschida can be found. And where support is given to the hard sells: Gorevic doesn’t hesitate to list eight sparkling reds, for instance. 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.

231 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

21. Freek's Mill

285 Nevins St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

The wine list at Freek’s Mill likes to focus the diner’s attention to Georgian Qvevri wine, Loire Chenin Blanc, and Beaujolais, with pages devoted to each. And each of these categories is natural wine heavy. If a fan of any of these very defined zones, Freek’s Mill is there to geek out with you.

285 Nevins St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

22. Faun

606 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238