5 funky bars on the Lower East Side in New York

1) Home Sweet Home

Taxidermy enthusiasts will get their fill here in this space outfitted almost like a curiosity shop. If you like to dance, you’ve come to the right dive bar. They’ve got a lounge with a dance floor and the DJs play a quirky mix of 50s-90s-swing. Dancing usually starts after 10 pm.

interior of Home Sweet Home bar

131 Chrystie Street (between Broome and Delancey Street)

+1 212 226 5709


2) Marshall Stack

A true LES gem that has an extra long bar with a great selection of decently priced bottled beers. A mishmash interior of painted white brick mixes with exposed plaster and painted tin ceilings, with a 1950s-style jukebox (!) full of righteous rock tunes. Bar food, like Sliders and Tilapia Po’ Boys can be had too.

beer taps at Marshall Stack

66 Rivington Street (at Allen Street)

+1 212 228 4667

IG: @marshallstacknyc

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3) Welcome to the Johnson's

A dive in every sense of the word, from its sticker-covered old brown refrigerator holding 2-dollar Pabst Blue Ribbons and plastic-covered sofas. Imagine the 1970s basement of heroin addicts, complete with layers of graffiti covering every inch of the bathroom walls. They boast killer Bloody Marys and a pool table too.

image of a alcoholic beverage

123 Rivington Street (between Norfolk and Essex Street)

+1 212 420 9911

IG: @jholetv

4) Back Room

One of only two remaining operating speakeasies in Manhattan, whose clientele included mobsters from the 1920s, retains its original vintage vibe. Walk through the gate, down the stairs and through a long covered walkway to reach the entrance. Their artisanal cocktails are served in teacups, as was done in the past. Bottle service available.

cozy interior of Back Room bar

102 Norfolk Street (between Delancey and Rivington Street)

+1 212 228 5098


5) Subject

Here’s a relaxed, welcoming place that produces totally creative cocktails. They are passionate about making their own sodas, bitters, and syrups, so you know you’ll be getting quality libations. When hunger hits, they offer a couple sandwiches (one vegan), snacks, and boozy cupcakes to complete the picture. Colorful outdoor seating. Reservations are encouraged.

waitress pouring a cocktail at Subject bar NYC

188 Suffolk Street (between East Houston and Stanton Street)

+1 646 422 7898


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