If anything, 2015 reinforces an idea that’s been gaining momentum for a handful of years now: If you’re going to open a bar in NYC, you better have your kitchen bring its A-game.
The line between great cocktail den and neighborhood restaurant is becoming muddier with each new opening. A joint like El Cortez—which serves top-shelf burritos, chicken sandwiches, and other satisfyingly drunken fare, along with Polynesian cocktails—could just as easily appeared on this list rather than our best new restaurants round-up. Classification isn’t any easier when this year’s crop of notable bars had a tendency to straddle that line, too.
While Wassail may have sparked a cider revolution on the LES, its under-appreciated veggie-centric menu made great strides in the meatless genre, rivaling Superiority Burger’s alchemy. Meanwhile, The Four Horsemen quickly silenced haters who cast doubt on its gimmicky celeb status with impressive natural wines and NY strips alike.
And that’s to say nothing of new-and-improved tiki havens, or uptown craft-beer bars that are making waves. To satisfy your drinking (and eating) needs, here are New York’s best new bars of 2015.