There probably are as many types of bars in New York as there are New Yorkers. With scores of bars opening every day, it’s a challenge to winnow down a short list of the essential ones. Still, we like to think these 23 bars represent the current best of New York’s many facets. Some are iconic, as much for the establishment as the drinks served. Others represent “new classics” that have shepherded the cocktail revolution forward and still offer an unmatched drinking experience today. There are also nods to great joints for beer or cider, plus a handful of newer bars where the drinks delight or surprise. Every spot on this list represents a place where you’d be glad to spend an evening bending elbows.—Robert Haynes-Peterson and Kara Newman
*Bars are listed alphabetically.