New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Cocktail chronicles: A guide to Midtown bars and nightclubs for every day of the week

Let’s go above 14th Street!

By popular demand — literally no one asked — we are back with another rendition of cocktail chronicles, but this time we are going above 14th Street, specifically, to Midtown. We know most of us avoid it like the plague, but tourist neighborhoods are popular for a reason. Let’s be real, most of us are transplants anyway. Though most are quite expensive, these bars are the perfect place to grab a drink after a long day at work or your internship, splurge on a cocktail with your friends or, if you’re on a date, make their pockets hurt.


On Mondays: Pebble Bar 

67 W. 49th St

Front of a bar with a black facade and orange signage that says “PEBBLE BAR.”
Pebble Bar on 67 W. 49th St. (Simon Tan for WSN)

Pebble Bar offers a cozy and intimate experience — the perfect place to start your week. The bar is definitely on the pricier side with drinks ranging from $20 to $24, but its cocktails commemorate popular New York City references. 

We ordered the “Ginny Fallon” cocktail, which is made with Citadelle gin, Luxardo maraschino, grapefruit and lime juice. The cocktail had hints of citrus, which were refreshing and had a very smooth finish. If you’re a fan of fruity and zesty cocktails, this one is definitely worth a try.

Pebble Bar also has two cocktails that reference the popular Taylor Swift songs “Getaway Car” and “State of Grace.” We tried the “State of Grace” cocktail, which is a drink with Jack Daniel’s Bonded, Aperol, mango juice, cinnamon, lemon and orange bitters. It had a robust taste profile with sweet notes from the mango juice.

We loved the vibes of the bar, but it does have an older crowd. If you are looking to meet people or just want to be surrounded by college students, visiting Pebble Bar on a Monday night is not the best idea, but it is a great place to cosplay as a rich Upper East Side mother. 


On Tuesdays: The Rum House

228 W. 47th St.

Window of a bar with the sign that says “THE RUM HOUSE: HEY FOLKS!” in black, orange and yellow calligraphy font.
Rum House on 228 W. 47th St. (Matt Petres for WSN)

If you want to get drunk on jazz and rum, The Rum House in Hotel Edison is the spot. Live music is played every night, which makes the vibes of this dimly lit bar intimate and cozy. It also has a happy hour deal every day from 4-6 p.m. 

We ordered an old-fashioned mojito, and though strong, the drink was refreshing, and you could really taste the hints of lime and mint. We also got the “Hotel Nacional” drink, which includes rum, pineapple juice, lime, Giffard Abricot du Roussilon and angostura bitters. 


On Wednesdays: Valerie

45th W. 45th St.

Black and green facade of a bar with a red flower installation and a yellow sign that says “VALERIE.”
Valerie on 45 W. 45th St. (Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Valerie’s website boasts that its love language is cocktails, and that is not wrong. The bar provides a vast menu that features around 40 classic drinks with innovative, unique mixes that vary throughout the year depending on the season. The happy hour is from Monday to Friday from 4-7 p.m. The bar pays homage to New York City’s golden age, and the drinks are reminiscent of that through its elegant and sexy ambiance. 

This is one of our favorite bars in the city, and we recommend the “Speed Slowly” cocktail, which tastes very homey and comforting. Made with a Beefeater London Dry gin base mixed with strawberries, bitter fortified wines, lemon, London essence bitter orange and elderflower tonic, the cocktail has a warm feeling. 

We also ordered the “Boujee Bee,” which is made with gin, apple juice, white porto, Bénédictine, antique amaro, house apple bitters and saline. The cocktail was super refreshing but be warned — it was very strong. 


On Thursdays: Snafu 

127 E. 47th St.

Wooden exterior of a bar with a red sign that says “SNAFU” in yellow font.
Snafu on 127 E. 47th St. Rum Rum House on (Matt Petres for WSN)

A vibrant dive bar, Snafu offers its drinks for purchase on the first floor, a lounge on the lower level and a game room. The bar is pretty dark, but it’s lit with candles and lamps that surround the bar. 

What makes Snafu a feature on our list is that they offer a happy hour — all day and all night. They offer a wide range of drinks including $10 wines like cabernet and pinot noir, $12 margaritas, Moscow mules, Aperol spritzes and espresso martinis, $8 shots and a pint of Bud Light for $5. We took advantage of the endless happy hour deal and ordered a glass of cabernet and an Aperol spritz, then sat on a couch next to a fireplace. The bar was loud and it kind of felt like a college house party, which makes it a perfect place to kick off your weekend. 


On Fridays: Madame George 

45th W. 45th St

White tile and green entrance in the style of a subway with a blue sign that says “MADAME GEORGE” and above it “45TH STREET NEW YORK CITY.”
Madame George on 45 W. 45th St. (Simon Tan for WSN)

Located right next to Valerie, Madame George is going to be your new dedicated after-work spot. Its slogan is “escape the everyday,” which is exactly how you feel while visiting. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is a live band that covers music ranging from “Closer” by Ne-Yo and “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison. We got the “Across the Hudson” drink, which is served in a teacup and saucer, which makes you feel elegant and classy while sipping on an unsuspecting alcoholic drink. 

We also ordered the “Lookin’ at Luna Park” cocktail, which literally hits you like a truck. Our bartender described it as a strawberry daiquiri and a piña colada combined, and while it only tastes like straight alcohol, it’s made from coconut and pineapple rums, pineapple juice, clarified strawberry and Baijiu. Baijiu, also known as white liquor, is a Chinese liquor that usually comes in between 35% to 60% ABV and makes up the main component of the beverage, so keep that in mind before ordering this drink. You will be stumbling up those stairs on your way out.


On Saturdays: Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge 

485 Seventh Ave.

From the different events and photo-op displays throughout the year — as well as an amazing view of the Empire State Building — Magic Hour Rooftop Bar is the best place to spend your Saturday. Until the end of April, it has a Pink Winter Lodge pop-up, which is the perfect Instagram photoshoot location while you sip on its themed cocktails. In the lounge, photographer Bryant Eslava has his iconic photo booth. Tall people be warned though, because the seat in the photo booth is not adjustable, so your head might get cut off in the photo. 

Located on the 18th floor of the Moxy Times Square, this bar is also the best place to spend a warm spring day. Though the happy hour only happens on Monday to Friday from 3-6:30 p.m., this rooftop bar is still worth visiting on a weekend, but we recommend making a reservation. 

The “Moira Rose” cocktail, Hendricks Gin, raspberry tea, lemon and prosecco, is the perfect summer drink. The combination of the gin, lemon and the sweetness from the raspberry tea created a delicious balance of flavors and it was super refreshing and fruity. We also recommend trying “The Diplomat,” which is made with Coconut Cartel Rum, spiced pear liqueur and passion fruit. The drink is light and refreshing, making it a perfect drink to have in hand while enjoying the views of New York City. If you come with a group of friends, there is also a variety of shot platters, pitchers and appetizers for sharing. 


On Sundays: Polly’s NYC 

204 W. 55th St.

Facade of a bar lit up by theater stage lights.
Polly’s NYC on 204 W. 55th St. (Matt Petres for WSN)

Polly’s is the perfect place to end your week full of drinking. This elegant speakeasy resembles scenes from The Great Gatsby, and is decorated with colored lights and fun, vintage photos. The bar is named after and pays homage to Polly Adler, who was known as the queen of the jazz era. The menu highlights the life of Adler and divulges her success during the 1920s prohibition era. 

After looking at the long drink menu, we settled on the “First Thirst,” which is a shared cocktail for two. Given to us in a large teapot that serves three cups of the drink, the “First Thirst” was a fruity, lovely and delicious cocktail that genuinely tasted like juice. 

Out of all the bars on this listicle, Polly’s prices are fairly reasonable. Cocktails average to about $18 each and our teapot was $30 total, but it easily made us tipsy by the end of our visit.


Contact Liz Lindain and Leila Anderson at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Matt Petres
Matt Petres, Photo Editor
Matt Petres is a first-year studying Economics. He is from Chicago, Illinois and likes to bike and kayak. You can contact him on Instagram @matt.petres

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