Nightlife Options In THe Upper West Side

In recent years, the nightlife and restaurant scenes on the Upper West Side have exploded, adding to the list of benefits of living in the neighborhood

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While the Upper West Side is known for being a charming, family-friendly area, there are plenty of options for adults to go out with friends, grab a great meal or cocktail, or see a show.


The Upper West Side boasts several wine bars, all offering an impressive selection of wines and knowledgeable staff ready to help guide you through their wine lists and, often, a selection of small plates as well. Amelie Wine Bar, a French-style establishment, has overwhelmingly positive reviews, with patrons praising their wide range of wines, delicious food, and great happy hour deal (a wine flight of three glasses for $12–how can you beat that?).

Vanguard Wine Bar, located right by Lincoln Center, is cozy, has an approachable wine list, and is the perfect place for after-work drinks with friends, date night, or just people-watching by yourself. For more of a French-bistro style setting, Vin Sur Vingt offers wine and cheese pairings and wine flights. It also comes fully prepared to cater to virtually any tastes; with over 50 French wines by-the-glass on continuous rotation (and many more by the bottle), it’s impossible not to find a wine you love here.


Da Capo is one of the favorites of the Upper West Side, and it’s also open all day! Starting at 7 am on weekdays and 8 am on weekends, you can enjoy Italian espresso, pastries, and other delicious bites, and in the evening, grab a drink from their extensive cocktail list. On the unassuming side, The Dead Poet is a dimly-lit, tiny neighborhood bar that offers an assortment of literary-themed cocktails, such as the For Whom The Bell Tolls, the Ernest Hemingway, or The Raven.

The Owl’s Tail has a large selection of both specialty and classic cocktails, and reasonably priced as well. New as of July 2018, this casual cocktail bar and restaurant also offers brunch and live music on weekends. Perhaps the most niche and exclusive of the UWS cocktail scene, the Manhattan Cricket Club is just that–a cricket-themed speakeasy that offers a membership with incredible perks; members get priority seating, access to tastings, special events, and more. Their cocktail list is long and sophisticated, and the atmosphere could best be described as “elegant comfort.”


For an unpretentious atmosphere and great selection of beers, Dive Bar is a perfect option. With numerous televisions to watch the sports games of the day and aquariums of actual fish adding a quirky feel to the space, you can settle into the bar with one of their dozens of rotating beers on draft and easily become a regular here. True beer lovers will find a home at George Keeley, which offers some of the best domestic craft beers as well as international imports that you really can’t find anywhere else. Part of the same family as Dive Bar, Broadway Dive offers one of the largest beer selections of any bar on the Upper West Side.

With 20 beers on draft and a staggering 400+ beers in cans/bottles to choose from, you can be assured that you’ll find at least a few beers that you love from the largest array of beer in the neighborhood. They are also known for their excellent Scotch, bourbon, and tequilas. Gebhard’s Beer Culture also offers over 200 bottled beers, as well as 16 drafts and a selection of craft whiskey. People love this bar not only for the drink options that it offers, but also because of its pool table, dart boards, and foosball table. Bring friends and play a game or two!


The Upper West Side is home to some of the best restaurants in New York City. This includes the legendary Jean-Georges, with its white tablecloths, two Michelin stars, and beautiful views, perfect for splurging on a fantastic meal. In the same vein of world-famous chefs, Chef Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud have found their home in the neighborhood, right by Lincoln Center. The former is a French bistro-style wine bar, and the latter a Mediterranean eatery, both known for their high quality of food and service. The Mermaid Inn, a popular seafood spot whose oysters are highly recommended by patrons, is the perfect spot for a date or catching up with friends over a weekend brunch. Their small plates are ideal for mixing and matching, and they have great happy hour specials, too.

While New York City is rife with delis, one of the very best and most established institutions is Barney Greengrass, with over 100 years of history. Anthony Bourdain once called it the “best breakfast in the universe”, and it seems its patrons agree. It offers some of the most highly regarded bialys, Nova Scotia Salmon and Sturgeon, egg scrambles, etc. in the city.

On the Italian front, Celeste is a popular neighborhood eatery, offering traditional Italian fare and pizza, a cozy, warm atmosphere, extremely reasonable prices, and a charismatic owner. For vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free eats in the neighborhood, Candle Cafe West has become the hotspot. Indulge in their loaded sandwiches, healthy, delicious entrees, and guilt-free desserts in a beautiful space with friendly and engaging service.

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