Traditional recipes

America's Oldest Bars: New York

America's Oldest Bars: New York

A look at New York's longest-living watering holes.

Pete's Tavern has stood the test of time amidst the bustling and ever-evolving nightlife of the Big Apple.

You belly up to the bar, put your hand on the old wood, or the worn metal, and order yourself a pint. It's a place you may have never been, and an action that's been done by many before you. There are names scratched into the wall. Scuffmarks on the floor. Nothing's fancy. Nothing's too too. The place, the drink, it's all the way it should be and it's going to continue that way for some time to come. Why? You're in a nexus for drink, space and time. You're visiting a classic, one of the oldest bars in the country.

Most of the oldest bars in New York that are still open for business happen to be located in New York City. Some of these establishments have become legendary outposts, such as Bohemian Hall and Fraunces Tavern. Others are so distinctively well-worn that it is easier to pass right by than notice them, such as Ulrich's Tavern. In any case, these bars have stood the test of time amidst the bustling and ever-evolving nightlife of the Big Apple.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.


The Best Bars in America, 2014

Our ninth annual celebration of America's best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we're guided by David Wondrich, Esquire's favorite drinking partner and America's foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We're thirsty.

You're having: A pint of&mdashwell, not of Blue Moon

When I walk into the ramshackle, Repeal-era Blue Moon, a Hot Tuna live album is playing. I'm 53 years old, and so I remember Hot Tuna. Couple guys from Jefferson Airplane riffing fuzzily and lengthily away on old blues and ragtime standards, electric guitars set to kill. Too grungy for hippie music, too meandering for rock 'n' roll. I haven't heard them in a bar since, like, 1979. As I sit there drinking my pints&mdash16 taps, mostly local&mdashthe whole album plays. I have to admit, it sounds kinda good, but maybe that's because I'm sitting in, as the sign says, "The David J. Olson Booth for the Study of Labor and Liquid Dynamics," with a picture of himself smiling down at me, and because there are books stacked up in the space behind the booth and dogs roaming around and the regulars are friendly and the bartender good at his job. Later there are bands and singers, some of them good. It's all too rock 'n' roll for a hippie bar, too mellow for a punk one. It's very Seattle.

712 Northeast 45th Street 206-675-9116

You're having: An Old Quartermaster

Precision rum drinks in a friendly, out-of-the-way corner of PDX. Eschews the classic two-bit-saloon decor but has all the two-bit-saloon skills.