Post Overview: Roundup of the best bars in Chelsea NYC
It’s no secret that the night-life in New York City is electric, but what you may not know is that Chelsea is a local hot-spot. The quiet neighborhood is known for art galleries and markets, but the bars warrant praise too.
After years of visiting the neighborhood for boozy nights on the town I realized I’ve gone to far too many happy hours to let the hangovers go to waste. That’s why I opted to write this post and share the best bars in Chelsea.
From intimate cocktail bars perfect for a first date to spots you can dance your way well into the next morning, I’m confident you’ll find a place you’ll love on this list.
But hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere right? So why don’t we get to the good stuff and go over the best bars in Chelsea, NYC.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Best Bars In Chelsea NYC
Kicking off our list is one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea, Porchlight. The bar is brought to us by way of Danny Meyer, the restaurateur behind Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern and Daily Provisions.
Self described as a “New York bar with a southern accent”, Porchlight blends the flavors of the American south with the Big Apple. Even the look of the restaurant is a mixture of both aesthetics, both rustic and industrial.
The food menu is small, but offers a few can’t miss items (like the crispy chicken sliders). What you’re really visiting for are the drinks, which cement Porchlight as one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea.
Since Porchlight is constantly innovating there’s always something new to try. If you need a recommendation I suggest the Julep Du Monde, the vanilla undertones have me drooling just thinking about it.
Another reason Porchlight is one of the best bars in Chelsea is thanks to a can’t miss happy hour. Monday through Saturday from 3-7PM, and all day Sunday you can pick from a group of cocktails and enjoy them for $11!
Address: 271 11th Ave, New York, NY 10001
#11. Trailer Park Lounge
Stepping foot into the Trailer Park Lounge is like stepping into an old-school bar in the American south. It’s easy to forget you’re visiting one of the best bars in Chelsea, especially after a few drinks.
The walls are adorned with vintage signs and license-plates. And the yellow and red chairs give the joint a retro vibe. You can expect a typical dive bar aesthetic that’s laid-back and easygoing.
If you like margaritas the Trailer Park Lounge is one of the best bars in Chelsea, considering they’re strong and refreshing. I suggest getting the margarita frozen since it adds to the down-south aesthetic of the bar.
This is also one of the best bars in Chelsea thanks to the quintessential bar food. Burgers, wings, and the best tater tots I’ve ever had are reason alone to visit. Not to mention, an innocent buzz pairs nicely with the nachos.
Address: 271 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
Remember how in elementary school there was always something to do during recess? Kickball, the monkey bars and swings provided innocent fun. Well, in adulthood I go to Slate, one of the best bars in Chelsea.
The swanky hot-spot has pool tables, arcade games and a 20 ft. slide. You read that right, a slide! And the 16,000 square feet give ample space for lounge style seating, so you and your friends can get comfortable.
You can always expect entertainment at Slate too, this is one of the best bars in Chelsea at the end of the day. On Fridays and Saturdays there is a live DJ, essentially turning the bar into a nightclub (but you’ll need tickets).
There are also karaoke nights, comedy shows and live performances. Keep on eye on the online calendar to stay on top of the schedule, or just visit for kicks and giggles since this is one of the best bars in Chelsea.
Address: 54 W 21st St, New York, NY 10010
Named after owner Mathias Van Leyden’s rescue dog, LOULOU is a French restaurant that’s just as adorable as a puppy. Colorful flowers adorn the outside of the restaurant, stopping folks in their tracks to take pictures.
What makes this restaurant stand out (aside from the amazing food) is that the lower level of the bistro is a speakeasy, and just so happens to be one of the best bars in Chelsea.
The drinks are not only innovative and clever, but they’re presented in some of the cutest glasses I’ve ever seen. Just take a look at the menu and you’ll understand they hype behind this bar in Chelsea.
I can’t say enough good things about the “world is yours” cocktail (Gin, Sake, creme de peache & edible flowers served in an orb). The drink is so unique, which just proves Loulou is one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea.
Address: 176 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
#8. Peter McManus Cafe
One of the best and most historical bars in Chelsea is Peter McManus Cafe, the longest running family-owned bar in New York City.
A classic Irish pub establishment that’s been around since 1936 serving fantastic food and drinks. Even if you’re not a big beer drinker this historic bar has you covered and is worth the stop.
The pub has been a popular neighborhood staple for years and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon, so make sure to grab some food with ale and enjoy of the best bars in Chelsea.
Address: 152 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10011
#7. The Lobby Bar
Located inside The Hotel Chelsea you’ll find The Lobby Bar, one of the best bars in Chelsea. Specializing in craft cocktails and small plates the classy watering-hole is perfect for a date you’re trying to impress.
This is one of the best bars in Chelsea if you’re looking for an excuse to dress-up a little. Although there isn’t a mandatory dress code, you won’t be out of place if you choose to wear your Sunday best.
Flawlessly cozy and intimate the bar is the perfect addition to the iconic Hotel Chelsea. The hotel opened in 1884 and has been an neighborhood staple ever since. You can hear references to the hotel in songs by Bon Jovi and Bob Dylan and even see it in Japanese horror movie released in 2009.
The Lobby Bar is a hidden gem but it won’t be long before word gets out that it’s one of the best bars in Chelsea. I’d take advantage of the fact the bar is still under the radar since it operates on a first-come first-serve basis.
Address: 226 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
#6. The Tippler
The Tippler is one of the most enchanting bars in Chelsea, located in the cellar of the Chelsea Market. Don’t let the fact you’re underground fool you, the brick and reclaimed wood adds a rustic charm that’s hard to replicate.
In fact, some of the reclaimed wood used in the construction of the bar are railroad ties from the original High Line Park. There’s also repurposed antique light fixtures, vintage library decor and wood from a water-tower.
The cocktails served at The Tippler warrant a spot among the best cocktail bars in Chelsea. If you need a suggestion I recommend the Blue Bayou, which The Tippler describes as “a margarita and paloma having a baby”.
Although The Tippler is one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea, they don’t offer any reservations. That’s why I suggest showing up early and on a weekday whenever possible.
Finding the entrance to The Tippler can be difficult. Head to 15th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, and look for the illuminated “entrance”open” sign. The entrance is across the street from Live Nation.
Address: 425 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011
Storehouse is a friendly neighborhood bar that has everything you need in an after-work hangout or casual date-night. The joint is known for serving no-frills drinks in a laid-back setting and is one of the best bars in Chelsea.
There isn’t a big menu to choose from, but sometimes all you need is a beer and you’re set. The simplicity makes The Storehouse one of the best bars in Chelsea. It also makes the bar perfect for groups since ordering is straight-forward and quick.
There’s plenty of seating so finding a table isn’t an issue, especially on weeknights. It’s one of the best bars in Chelsea for casual sports games since they’re open late and the staff is easygoing.
Address: 757 6th Ave, New York, NY 10010
#4. Crompton Ale House
Crompton Ale House is my go-to sports bar, when I don’t want to go to a sports bar. Let me explain, while most sports bars are dingy, cheap and smell like a frat house, Crompton Ale House is a clean and classy establishment.
The Irish pub is one of the best bars in Chelsea, offering a medley of beer, wine and spirits in a posh setting. The copper accents, granite bar and bookshelf-lined walls create an air of (casual) sophistication.
But don’t let the classy look fool you, this joint gets just as thunderous as a college bar on game-day. During the World Cup the ale house was stuffed like a can of sardines with fans coming to cheer on their favorite teams.
The food at the Crompton Ale House is also worth writing home about, which makes it one of the best bars in Chelsea for casual get-togethers. If you need a suggestion I always say to go for the fish and chips!
Address: 159 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
#3. Cooper’s Craft & Cocktails
Cooper’s Craft & Cocktails is not only one of the best bars in Chelsea, it’s a fun hangout all-around. You can visit for lunch, happy hour or a late-night meal and always leave stuffed to the brim and thoroughly tipsy.
The gastropub is special in that both not only does it sell high-quality, local beer, it also makes cocktail-bar caliber mixed drinks. Cooper’s has a well curated menu of original cocktails ready to satiate any craving.
Another reason Cooper’s is one of the most popular bars in Chelsea is thanks to a great happy hour. Every weekday from 12-7PM you can enjoy select cocktails and beer for a fraction of the cost.
The deals don’t end at happy hour either, every day brings a new special. Here’s what you can expect:
- Mezcal Mondays
- Taco & Tequila Tuesday
- Old-Fashioned Wednesdays
- Tiny Tini Thursdays
Cooper’s Craft & Cocktails is one of the most convenient bars in Chelsea not only because of the deals, but because it’s open so late. Most days the bar is open until 2AM, so your midnight munchies may have met their match.
Address: 169 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011
#2. Raines Law Room
One of the best bars in Chelsea, this bar is named after Raines Law, which was a New York State liquor tax meant to curb alcohol consumption. The law also made it illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays, unless you’re a hotel.
Saloons began expanding, adding rooms to qualify for hotel status and take advantage of the loophole. These became known as Raines Law rooms, and paved the way for one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea.
Low lights and good drinks are just about all you need for a great date night, and Raines Law Room is looking to host. The intimate vibe helps conversation flow and makes it easy lose track of time.
If you’re looking for an engaging date night, consider taking a cocktail-making class. You’ll get to learn the history and technique necessary to make flavorsome drinks at one of the best bars in Chelsea.
Address: 48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011
#1. Bathtub Gin
There’s no need for a time machine when you visit Bathtub Gin, one of the best bars in Chelsea. The 1920’s themed speakeasy is hidden inside a coffee shop and is an intimate place to enjoy a fancy cocktail.
The name is a reference to a popular nickname for booze during the prohibition era. Gin was the most popular alcohol at the time, and since it was being brewed (illegally) at home folks called it bathtub gin.
Although the name is usually associated with low-quality, amateur-made alcohol the drinks at the Bathtub Gin are anything but. The mixologists have made Bathtub Gin one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea, and use more than just gin in the drinks.
As one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea the Bathtub Gin offers a wide array of drinks, both classic and innovative. If you’re in need of a recommendation I suggest the s’mores old fashioned, which adds a twist to a timeless drink.
Entertainment is never lacking at the Bathtub Gin, thanks a full schedule of performers ready to impress. The schedule is as follows:
- Sunday: Live burlesque
- Monday: Live Jazz
- Tuesday: Live burlesque
- Wednesday: Live music
- Thursday: Disco night
- Friday: Live DJ
- Saturday: Live DJ
Reservations are strongly encouraged since this is one of the best cocktail bars in Chelsea. Walk-ins are welcome, but only as capacity allows.
Address: 132 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Best Chelsea Bars (Post Summary)
- Bathtub Gin
- Raines Law Room
- Cooper’s Craft & Cocktails
- Crompton Ale House
- The Tippler
- The Lobby Bar
- Peter McManus Cafe
- Trailer Park Lounge
Best Bars in Chelsea NYC (Map)
And there you have it my friends, the best bars in Chelsea NYC.