Look, sometimes life is hard and the light at the end of the tunnel is actually just a giant drink. And I’m not using that term generously like I do to the guy I’m seeing—I really mean “giant” here because the kind of beverage I’m talking about is usually served in what I can only imagine is a fish bowl. If sharing a huge cocktail with six friends isn’t your cup of tea, then you must like gross-tasting tea, because what could be more fun than creating pure Instagram gold? Nothing. So, if you live in New York and want to put your money towards something that isn’t rent for a change, check out these places that understand the delicate balance of crafting a cocktail using an entire bottle of liquor that won’t kill you if you finish it. Remember, sharing is caring, so do not attempt to down the drink on your own, or you will likely die of alcohol poisoning. Ya hate to see it. Anyway, if your interest is piqued, read on for our favorite local NYC bars serving up giant cocktails you can and should split with your friends.
It may be cold af outside, but that does not mean rooftop bars aren’t an option anymore. A.R.T. SoHo is on the roof of the Arlo SoHo, which is a hotel in, you guessed it, SoHo. It is, however, so far west that it doesn’t feel like you’re in the violently crowded, loud, touristy part of SoHo. Because this place is basically in the Hudson River, the views are truly amazing. I’m not usually ~moved~ by views of the city that’s taking all of my money, but being at eye-level with the Freedom Tower is really cool.
Anyway, let’s talk about the only drink you should order here, the passionfruit and pineapple punch. I am finally over my frat house-induced fear of anything with the word “punch” in it, so I can happily recommend this cocktail that is made with 62 ounces of Hennessy and 62 ounces of rum. All I gotta say is, challenge accepted. The ingredients that make it a punch—as opposed to a 124-ounce shot—include pineapple juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, triple berry shrub, passionfruit syrup, and lastly, hibiscus tea because it’s classy. It’s recommended for anywhere between two to six people, but you better be two giant people if you plan on finishing this bad boy on your own.
Hey, guess where this bar is? If you guessed on the rooftop of a hotel, you are correct! Tbh I am a fan of this place on top of the Moxy Hotel because it’s a good mix of a bar and a club, which means you can talk to people or dance, whatever you feel like. You can also sit back and relax with a drink that arrives in a disco ball and serves a minimum of 10 people. A minimum! So, if you have 10 friends (quit bragging), definitely get a table and order up. The drink is called Disco Ball for All, which sounds like a fun spin on socialism, but I’m into it! It’s a red wine sangria, fruit punch mix, so if you don’t like very sweet, fruity drinks, this guy may not be for you. But if you like having fun with a creative cocktail, bottoms up!
This is another downtown haunt that looks like it was designed with Instagram in mind—and I mean that in the best way. The interiors have a very Art Deco vibe and, unlike most downtown bars, there are plenty of places to sit, which is great for five people crowding around what looks like a serving bowl filled with alcohol. The Thundergun Express is a vodka-based drink that’s also made with…milk! Look, my mom used to make us have milk with dinner every night, so if I can drink it with tacos, you drink it in a cocktail. Truth be told, you don’t even taste the milk because five entire bottles of vodka are in the Thundergun Express. Yeah, you read that right. Five. Bottles. There’s also chartreuse, pisco, lime juice, pineapple juice and the bar’s homemade version of simple syrup. One more time: there are five bottles of vodka in this drink, so do not go it alone, people.
Ah, another rooftop bar. Can you tell this is my vibe? This one is on top of Dream Hotel’s Midtown location, and the Moscow Mule is no f*cking joke. There are two versions of the 10-pound drink and both are truly delicious. They’re called Mega Mules, and one is tequila-based and the other is vodka-based. As you can guess based on the weight of this thing, it’s $185, but think about it: if you share it with five of your friends (which you should because it is 10 pounds, again), you’re each only paying 30 bucks, which is actually pretty affordable. In true mule fashion, it’s served in a giant copper mug and impossible to lift, so you’ll want to get a bunch of long-ass straws and get really intimate with the people next to you.
This place is like the Lush of restaurants. You walk in, are hit with a tsunami of smells and sparkly things to look at, and right when your sensory overload-induced migraine arrives, you’re already sitting down and ordering one of the signature Goblets. You can get them with or without alcohol, but unless you’re underage, I don’t see why you wouldn’t get the alcoholic version. There are seven varieties of Goblet, but the one that spoke to me most was Berry Bliss, which is made with strawberry rum, blueberry vodka, fresh berries and, of course, gummy berries, because let’s not forget that this place is essentially a candy store. Tbh, if you have a sense of humor, this could be a really fun place to have birthday party. Just sayin’.
I thought the bougiest part of this place was its name, but then I visited their website and I stand corrected! If you can believe it, Clover Club is not in Midtown, but rather, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Just based on the way it looks, CC seems like the kind of place Trey MacDougal would hang out pre-Charlotte. The walls are cherrywood panels, the booths are burgundy tufted leather, and the lights are barely on. Contrary to how I’m making it seem, I actually really like this place because it has a very Old New York feel to it. The only element that feels very now are the punches, which is served in what I can only assume is an antique crystal bowl with scalloped edges. I mean, is this not the most beautiful way to drink punch? There are also slices of fruit floating atop the concoction, which just makes me want to photograph it instead of drink it, honestly. There are two kinds of punches here: the harvest punch, which is made with rum, cognac, mulled cider, Licor 43, Jamaican rum and lemon; and the nice pear punch, which is made with Pisco, pear eau de vie, pear liqueur, lemon, Moscato d’Asti, Aromatic bitters. Seriously, yum.
Images: A.R.T. SoHo courtesy of ArloSoHo; Clover Club photo by Daniel Krieger; thesugarfactory, phdterraceny, misterparadisenyc, magichourny / Instagram; Unsplash
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, finding a bar in a big city is hard. It’s especially hard if you’re looking for a date spot, and you want to
fool convince your date that you are a classy individual who does not choose establishments solely based on happy hour prices. Life is hard, but there is good news! If you’re based in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Miami, Nashville, Dallas, Washington DC, Phoenix-Scottsdale, Houston, Seattle, Orange County, or Toronto, there’s an app to help you out. Skorch is a new app that can help you pick bars, restaurants, lounges, and other hotspots in your city.
And the best part? Every locale is specifically curated to what you’re looking for. You can refine your results based on “hotness” and distance (which is, incidentally, how I choose my dating app matches), plus you can filter by category: bar, club, lounge, cafe, restaurant, event, attraction, and outdoor.
Basically, Skorch takes all the effort, difficulty, and indecision out of picking a place to eat and drink. So I decided to put Skorch to the test and see what classy date spots I could find in NYC using the app. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
When Gallow Green came up on Skorch I knew I had to include it, because it’s so classy I could only afford to go there when my cousin was the bartender. Excuse me, the mixologist. Thanks for the free drinks, Kev!
Gallow Green is a rooftop bar at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, and it makes you feel like you are in a secret tranquil garden atop this dirty trash city. You can order drinks or dinner, or drinks AND dinner. Plus, you can say things like, “I’ll have the Scottish Law. Do you only have Glenlivet 18-year, or can you substitute with Glenlivet 21-year?” and then throw a suggestive wink at my guy. Locked. It. Up.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Jack’s Wife Freda is located in my absolute favorite part of New York City, the West Village. You can’t get much classier than a neighborhood where I saw Liv Tyler every morning on the way to work, am I right?
Not only is Jack’s Wife Freda in a great spot, but it also has a menu that’s the bomb, relatively reasonable prices, and is in a small space, so you’ll be able to get pretty close to your date. So ideal! And when you’re finished, you can stroll down the quaint streets together, pointing out all the beautiful brownstones and pick out the one you’ll buy together once you’ve scraped together $12 million.
Oh HELLO, do my eyes deceive me or is this a still from a rom-com?
The Standard Biergarten
Just admit it, we all love to day drink. The sun is shining, the possibilities are endless, and you can get to bed at 9pm. I know you’re thinking that day drinking might not be all that elegant, but you’re wrong. Sure, maybe it’s not classy when you’re in the backyard of the Sigma Chi house doing keg stands, but at a luxury boutique hotel where you might find Solange assaulting Jay-Z in an elevator? Abso-f*cking-lutely.
At the Standard Biergarten you can get, you guessed it, beer, as well as the other traditional German fare. And if you like a little competitive element to your dates, you can pass the time at the ping-pong table, since every dude likes a girl that can hit a winner.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
Sure, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge is in Times Square, but some of us work in Midtown! And everyone likes a quick commute to their cocktail. Magic Hour is owned by the Tao Group, who also own Tao and Lavo, two of my favorite high-class places. The $19 dumplings are to
go broke for die for.
Magic Hour has expensive cocktails and a great view, but it also has cheeky elements that make it a perfect date spot. It’s got a mini golf course that is called Foreplay and features sexy animals in suggestive poses. Yes, I did just say “sexy animals.” And sure, a mini-golf course called Foreplay might not be coy, but sometimes you just have to be forward about what you want. Am I right, ladies?
And those are just a few of the many ideas that Skorch gave me for my classy date night! It’s available in a bunch of cities, so if you’re trying to snag husband material in say, Austin, you should definitely check it out. And you can use Skorch for way more than bars, like planning your next group dinner, finding a cute cafe to work at, or deciding where to go for your best night out.
Imags: Shutterstock; magichourny, standardbiergarten, jackswifefreda, gallowgreen / Instagram
When I was a young and naive college student, every post-grad made me swear to live it up because everything goes downhill after you graduate. I assumed they meant that I should party a lot, so that’s what I did from day one until the night before graduation. I mean, when I was in college, all I had to do was not die, and boom, I’ve had a successful night out. Fast-forward almost three years, and I’ve realized the
washed-up frat boys young adults who warned me about life after college were right. Adulthood sucks, especially in a city like New York, where everything is too small and too expensive. And what terrible excuse for a human being decided that paychecks will be given on the same day rent is due? Show yourself! Anyway, as much as being an adult has ~changed me for the better~, I still like to have a good time on a Saturday night, so here are five places in NYC for you to enjoy your hard-earned night out when you’re not 21 anymore. Blessed be the fruit.
1. Sweet & Vicious
Ok I know Sweet & Vicious like, can be kind of a college bar, but if you go before 3am, you can have a great time while avoiding the underage youths ripping shots and engaging in disgusting PDA. This place also has a great happy hour starting at 2pm daily that includes not one, not two, but seven flavors of margarita. If that’s not a hard sell, you need to reevaluate what’s important in life. It’s also in a truly perfect location, so you can either enjoy a delicious, cheap, après-work glass of wine or ball out on vodka crans at 2am. You do you. I like this place because the DJ seems to only play music from like, weird years in music (remember 2008? If not, that was the year “Love in This Club” came out), but I’m not mad about it. Admittedly, Sweet & Vicious is never the plan, but if we are in the East Village, it’s always where we end up. I like to think that happens for a reason, and that reason is I’ve never paid for a drink there. I don’t think it’s because I’m like, beer commercial hot, I think it’s just because there is always a crew standing near me and my friends with an extra few hundred bucks to burn and we are clearly okay with free drinks. Again, not mad about it. One of the most alluring qualities of this place is that it’s right in the heart of charming and sometimes gross Nolita, which means it’s like three blocks from Prince Street Pizza, Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and my booty call’s apartment.
I went to Pulqueria for a birthday party and when the Uber dropped me off in front of a nondescript red door on a random, lightless side street in Chinatown, I swore my days of UberPOOL were over because the driver clearly dropped me off lightyears away from the restaurant to keep my co-rider on a more direct route. LMK if you’d sign a petition to end that policy immediately. Anyway, plot twist: the weird, slightly creepy red door was the entrance to Pulqueria. (If my Uber driver is reading this, sorry for the bad rating.) Ok so, the inside of this place is not to be believed, as it is the exact opposite of its slightly terrifying surroundings. Not going to describe the interiors (you’re welcome), but this place is insanely chic and that is all I will say about the decor. Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, I was there for a birthday, so we had a Mexican feast of literally every item on the menu, several pitchers of margaritas, and the most incredible tres leches cake I’d ever tasted. Also, the only thing the birthday girl wanted on her special day was for everyone to get wasted and, because I’m such a good friend, I obliged. The margs were incredible and the tacos were…I honestly don’t remember, but I didn’t get food poisoning. So good thing everyone was sh*tfaced because after 10:30pm, half of the restaurant turns into a club complete with incredible music, dancing, a full-service bar, and beautiful people. I felt like I was in that Zoolander scene when Derek tells Hansel that he thinks he’s too cool for school, but news flash, he isn’t. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re too young. Go to bed.
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Ok I shamelessly love speakeasies. Judge me, I don’t give a sh*t because I have no shame in my game. They are always small, dimly lit, and filled with attractive strangers. What’s not to love? Plus, Soul is above a Five Guys in the West Village, which is a game changer if you ask me. If I can drink beautifully crafted cocktails on a velvet sectional all night and grab a burger on my way out—I think it’s safe to say I’ve struck gold. Here’s how I know Soul is a good time: I went there with my friend, her boyfriend, and another guy, who happened to be very attractive. It could have even been a double date, who knew at that point? However, he could not have been less interested in me and definitely made sure I knew that, and I still had a great time that night. We staked our claim in the back room, where they only played Kanye circa 2006 and didn’t let anyone else in after we sat down. If that isn’t good service, someone please tell me what is. Bottom line is Soul is fun and chic, so if you can hold your own in a swarm of Instagram models, whisper the password to the dude near the staircase and head on up.
Ok full disclosure, Feast is neither a bar nor a club. It’s a really small, posh restaurant on Third Avenue where the cocktails are overpriced and so small that they may as well be served in a thimble. But there’s something about this place that is just lovely, and that is the only way to describe it. Call me old
-fashioned but if having a delicious drink with a side of truffle mac and cheese is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Feast is where I go if I’m trying to impress a new boyfriend with my non-divebar taste (is anyone impressed? Text me back and LMK!) or if I’m done with dinner and am not ready to stop drinking/eating for the night. It’s right near Union Square, so if you don’t feel sophisticated enough to be here, there are a ton of sh*ttier options nearby to suit your plebeian needs. But back to Feast: the food is really good, the bartenders are all attractive and want to talk to you (but not in like an Uber driver kind of way), and the drinks are truly works of art. Did you know there are edible flowers out there? This place knows! If you want to have a late but chill and respectable evening, Feast is the game plan and I will meet you there.
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Just 2 more weeks of #nycrestaurantweek ! Bring a friend or come alone. Either way it’ll be a feast 🙂 . . . . . #nyc #restaurantweek #prixfixe #summerdishes #delicious #foodie #instafood #foodandwine #bar #wine #beer #liquor #cocktails #bourbon #rye #spirits #gin #tequila #mezcal #vodka #interiordesign #feast #feastnyc #goodtimes
5. Bathtub Gin
Honestly, the only reason I even went here was because it looked like a blast in Midnight in Paris and I wanted to party like Zelda Fitzgerald. To my surprise, it is actually really fun and there were no tourists in sight! There is always a line out the door and around the corner, so if you want to skip it, you better be wearing something that’s the equivalent of slipping the bouncer a $100 bill. I was legit in jeans and lingerie and, yes, I hate me too. Like Feast, Bathtub Gin is a scene, but like, a completely different scene. It’s a swanky bar whose specialty is gin cocktails. As an expert in all things alcohol, I can say that gin tastes like nail polish remover, but the cocktails have so much other, better tasting ingredients in them that you don’t even taste it. The only not-so-amazing thing about this place is that it’s like, so far on the West Side that if you get there and realize you’re not cool enough to be there, you’ll have to spend a bunch of time and money getting home. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Images: feastnyc, pulquerianyc / Instagram
Everyone knows getting through the winter in NYC is all about how much alcohol you can consume while still making everyone believe you’re a functioning adult. It’s hard to find cool cozy bars around the city, and if you’re still hitting up SideBar three Saturdays per month, it’s time to expand your horizons. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled our favorite speakeasies, bars, and lounges around the city that will make your winter dramatically better. Here are the coziest bars in different neighborhoods that will become your new favs.
Fig. 19, Lower East Side
Fig. 19 already earns the title of the coolest speakeasy in the city, because you can only access the bar through a secret entrance at the back of an art gallery. We can’t make this shit up. Once you get through the gallery and find the bouncer, the bar lives up to the hype. Think Great Gatsby vibes with dim lighting, tons of candles, and amazing cocktails.
The Library Bar At The NoMad Hotel, NoMad
The Library at the NoMad is truly a dope experience. I mean, the bar literally looks like a secret dark library with sexy lighting and a twirling old school staircase. The seating is a combination of cool couches and regular tables, so it’s perfect for going out with friends or on a date. Needless to say, every library you’ll see afterwards will be a huge letdown.
The Wren, Bowery
The Wren is one of those places that can totally pull off calling itself a “pub” but still be classy enough to pull in its downtown crowd. They always have good music and they have a solid dinner menu too, if you must insist on having fries with your cocktail. The actual place looks like a cute little white house from the outside, and the interior is super vintage and cozy. Plus, their cocktails are seasonal, so you won’t get bored going back more than once.
The Belfry, Union Square
This place is honestly smaller than my apartment, but any bar that serves all its drinks in mason jars and writes their menu on a Pinterest-esque chalkboard is worth a visit. The Belfry may not be as trendy as other bars in the area, but their drinks are low-key amazing and the vibe is so cute and retro. They’re known for their local craft beers and pickleback shots, so you can bring any guy here and he’ll love it too. They also play live music on the weekends, and it’s usually decent.
Bar Centrale, Hell’s Kitchen
Hell’s Kitchen is a tragedy and we wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for a bar on 46th street, but if you’re in the area anyway and need a drink (for obvious reasons), Bar Centrale is the coziest bar ever. It’s located in a vintage-looking brownstone so it’s pretty hidden, and the inside of the bar is just as cute with its brown-brick walls and dark leather couches. Definitely a hidden gem.
Raines Law Room, Chelsea
This spot opened after Raines’ original location at The William on 39th street, but obviously we’d rather get wasted in Chelsea than anywhere that close to Murray Hill. Raines Law Room has a small boutique vibe, and they totally kill the game with their old-timey candlesticks and fireplace. Keep in mind the space itself is small and v intimate, so if you’re coming with a big group you probably won’t get a seat. They take reservations from Sunday to Tuesday if you’re looking for a buzz to get you through the week.
Manhattan Cricket Club, Upper West Side
This speakeasy is pretty much the only cool spot on the Upper West Side, so if you live in the area and have never been, we’re sorry. You can find it by going upstairs in the restaurant Burke & Wills, and the whole lounge is totally cute and cricket-inspired. Think leather menus, marble counters, lots of gold accents, and really cool cocktails. It’s also super dark inside, which makes it even more ideal for hiding out until the temp rises again in the spring.
Procrastination is my best talent and my middle name at this point. Laundry? Packing? Paying rent? You’ll probably find me attempting to go on a run if it means getting out of doing any of those. On a real note, there’s nothing I delay more than figuring out WTF my New Year’s Eve plans are every fucking year. It doesn’t help that living in New York City makes this a million times harder. Like, nothing stresses me more—other than trying to figure out the exact date we’ll get a confirmation on Kardashian-Jenner pregnancies. NYE is honestly the most overhyped, extra AF, ridiculously overpriced holiday ever. Nothing rarely goes according to plan, and tbh, I’m always too drunk to remember when midnight even happened, so why the hell would I pay a shit ton of money anyway? Unfortunately, NYE is in just a few weeks, which means you better get the ball rolling on your plans. Ball reference very much intended. From New Yorker to New Yorker, here are five not-so-expensive NYE plans you can make with your best girlfriends to ring in 2018.
1. New Year’s Eve: Y2K At House Of Yes
Grab your 90s neon windbreaker and your boombox (JK, you probably can’t bring a boombox in there) and head over to House of Yes for a night of nostalgia mixed with futuristic chaos. No matter the theme, House of Yes knows how to throw a fucking party, and this will be one NYE you’ll never forget. Come in your best future or throwback outfit, because otherwise you won’t be allowed in—which just adds to the fun if you ask me. It’s like Hallowen mixed with NYE. “Which Fresh Prince did I make out with?” you may ask yourself. “Was that guy the Tin Man, or a robot?” you’ll wonder the next morning as you wipe silver paint off your face. Expect out-of-this-world costumes, live aerial performances, and more. Tickets start at $30, so buy now before they’re all gone. House of Yes events consistently sell out, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
2. New Year’s Eve at The Ditty
For those of you in Astoria who don’t feel like trekking it to Manhattan or going anywhere else because that’s just too much effort, one of the most popular bars is offering a three-hour open bar and, I quote, “big-ass champagne toast.” Tickets start at $75, where you can watch the countdown live on their TVs, drop it low, and eat tons of drunchies until it’s finally 12am. After midnight, the bar opens up to non-ticketholders for an “all night dance party” that supposedly goes until 8-fucking-am. WHO THE HELL IS STAYING OUT UNTIL 8am? I’m concerned.
3. Stage 48 NYC Times Square New Year’s Eve
Obviously, I was not going to include the Times Square ball drop on this savvy guide I’ve created, because I’m not a fucking martian. Anyone who lives in the vicinity of NYC knows to stay as far away as possible from that area or else get trampled, and don’t say we didn’t tell you so. If you’re still all about the craziness, you’ll def want to check out the epic celebration Stage 48 is bound to have in Hell’s Kitchen. The multi-floor club will provide five hours of open bar, four food stations, and hours of dancing on tables with your PICs. For tickets that start at $79, you’ll want to dress to impress, obvi.
4. Cielo New Year’s Eve 2018
Cielo is a banging nightclub known to host DJs we listen to on Spotify playlists, with some of the very best speakers in the city. So will you go deaf? Probably. But will you embarrassingly dance your ass off? Definitely. I say this as a fact, being that this is exactly what happened here on my birthday. This year’s NYE event will have a five hour open bar, champagne, and annoying party favors you’ll use when you’re drunk. General admission starts at $99, so obvs buy it ASAP before they sell out.
5. New Year’s Eve 2017 Meatpacking Party Pass
This is ~the~ official NYE party pass for club hopping in Meatpacking. There are three exclusive venues, which include The Chester, Common Ground, and The Lately, that offer five hour open bars, classy af prosecco, and top-notch live DJ performances of your favorite basic radio hits. Be sure to hop in each party for a variety of celebrations and of course, to sample the different tequila each place has to offer.
Listen up, people, because a dark force is about to descend upon New York City this weekend, and that force is Santacon. For those of you who don’t know what Santacon is, it’s an event that takes place once a year where people dress up like slutty elves and puke on the streets—all in the name of Christmas! Normally, I’m in full support of any and all events that encourage you to black out before noon and dress up in costume, but Santacon takes this shit to a whole new and terrifying level. How do I explain this in simple terms? It’s like when God decides to test humanity, and we fail so miserably that She thinks about smiting us all and starting anew. Kind of like that, ya know? And if you think I’m exaggerating about this abomination disguised as a bar crawl, then just you fucking wait, because I’m about to break it down stage by stage for you, sort of like how Dante was kind enough to indicate the different circles of Hell. You’re so welcome.
STAGE 1: HOPEFUL ENTHUSIASM
This is the first—and most important—stage of the event. You’ve prepped for this stage by only having one drink last night saving your strength. You feel good, your liver feels good like the one you started college with. You have the costume, your day drink of choice, and the Insta filters that best compliment your slutty photogenic side. Everything is as it should be. Now, do you feel that hope? That absolute optimism? Hold onto this. Cherish these memories for when you’re hysterically crying because the dude in the shirt that says, “You can slide down my chimney,” didn’t want to feel you up in the Uber at the end of the night.
STAGE 2: IMMEDIATE OUTFIT REGRET
This stage occurs about two minutes after walking into the pregame. The outfit you thought made you look like a reason your grandmother prays for you sexy but cute now looks like you cobbled together pieces of fabric from the garbage, especially when you stand next to that Instagram model in line for the cups. And, on second thought, you probs shouldn’t have left your coat at home just so everyone could see the festive bra you bought just for today. What does hypothermia look like again?
STAGE 3: FUCK, I’M NOT DRUNK ENOUGH FOR THIS SHIT
Oh, you want to bar hop now? Even though I just opened a tab and we waited 45 minutes to get into this shithole of an establishment in 35 degree weather? K. These are the thoughts that will run through your mind after you and your squad descend upon the first bar supporting this godforsaken event. It’s at this point that you’ll start to question why you’re like this. After walking into the bar, your immediate reaction will be to back away slowly from the crowd of Santas aggressively singing Mariah Carey Christmas tunes and guzzling Bud Light. You can’t tell if the guys here are hot or not and if the gut he’s sporting is part of his costume or if he just has a dad bod. The bar, you’ll soon realize, is like something out of The Hunger Games. There are people swarming the bar the same way the Careers swarmed the cornucopia for weapons. You realize if you don’t start pounding vodka sodas soon, you might be the first cannon fired have to soberly interact with the man leering at you behind his Santa beard. May the odds be ever in your favor.
STAGE 4: DUCK I’M NOT FRUNK ENOUGH FOR THIS SHIT
Look, I’m not gonna lie; your only shot at coming out of this thing alive with your sanity intact is to black out as fast as humanly possible. Once you’ve reached this stage in the day, you’ve achieved your goal of getting blackout. Suddenly, everything you hated about the bar—the Mariah Carey Christmas music, the Bud Light spillage, the fact that you’re out in public dressed like Santa’s little hoe hoe hoe—is completely forgotten. You’ve made out with at least three Santas now—or maybe they were the same Santa? Idk. Honestly, it’s too hard to tell. You’re acting like this bar is your own personal thot playground, and you’re loving life. It doesn’t even matter that you accidentally flashed a nipple too much holiday cheer because THIS IS SO MUCH FUCKING FUN!!!
STAGE 5: THE BEGINNINGS OF A BLADDER INFECTION
Ah, my favorite stage. The one where if you don’t pee soon, you might end up with a small bladder infection. That’s when you realize leaving the bar and running back to Brooklyn to use your own bathroom at home might be the faster option. The line for the bathroom is longer than the one you waited in to get into this literal trap house, and it’s filled with angry bitches in Target onesies timing peoples’ pees. You wait through, like, 10 seconds of this before the desperation kicks in. You’re at the point where you’d trade your first born child rose gold iPhone for a spot at the front of the line because you don’t even care anymore; you just have to pee so bad, SO WOULD YOU PLEASE HURRY THE FUCK UP, PEOPLE.
STAGE 6: WHY AM I LIKE THIS
Honestly, it’s best not to question yourself. The fact that for the last six hours, you’ve been grinding on some dude, who could be dressed as Rudolph or could just be someone who favors the color brown, is neither here nor there. Don’t think about how you almost pissed your leggings TWICE or that you drunk texted your hookup to see if he wanted you to “guide his sleigh tonight.” Nah. Don’t do that to yourself. Not now and definitely not tomorrow when you sober up and realize you spent $40 on pizza last night… for just you. In fact, it’s probably best if you try to black out the entire incident at least until next year’s Santacon rolls around, and then you can find new and interesting ways to hate yourself.
Until next year, betches.
One of the good things about Instagram (or the bad, depending on how you look at it) is the advent of doing things for the ‘Gram. Like, it’s great when you’re taking a photo of your hot dog legs on a beach and showing off to your 400 Instagram followers, but it’s annoying when anyone else who isn’t you does the same exact thing. Well, too fucking bad for everyone else, because I’m here to give you your Instagram bucket list: Miami edition. Whether you’re at Art Basel this weekend, planning your spring break, or just going because you want to live out your Will Smith tour of the U.S. (just me?), these are the places you need to go to—for the ‘Gram, of course.
All your friends’ basic avocado toast Instas have nothing on Leynia, the Argentinian grill located inside South Beach’s famed Delano hotel. First off, the seating is outside (because, hello, you’re in Miami), so the natural lighting cannot be beat. In the background of your Instas may be the Delano’s pool, where the famous Proviseur chairs, originally from Le Jardin St. Payl in Paris, sit. Second, and most importantly, you will not find these brunch foods on any menu anywhere else. They have an El Tucamano egg Benedict that sits on top of a fucking empanada. The smoked salmon Benedict rests on a potato pancake. The French toast comes with a guava dulce de leche, and will make you a believer in sweet breakfast foods, if you’re not already (aka me before I had this French toast). If you manage to take any pictures before you shove all the food in your mouth because it looks amazing, and tastes even more amazing, your pictures will get triple-digit likes, guaranteed.
^No filter needed on this.
Beaker & Gray
For your brunch Instas that are bougie but in a more rustic, hipster, less in-your-face way, head to Beaker & Gray in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. Once again, this is not your run-of-the-mill eggs Benedicts that you’ve eaten at every place in NYC. To quote the great Stefon, “This place has everything”—from spicy chilaquiles with chicken that practically disintegrates in your mouth to a sweet and savory waffle panini with pork belly rillette and maple mustard to a guava skillet cookie. I had a croque madame—a slab of crunchy yet chewy sourdough spread with oxtail, smothered with gruyère and topped with an egg. If I didn’t know any better, aka study abroad in Paris, I’d have thought Beaker & Gray invented it—and it was leagues better than any croque I ate in France. Je ne suis pas désolée.
This is where you and your friends will want to take those not-not candid group photos. This cute little spot has floor-to-ceiling wallpaper in that chic palm leaf print you’re seeing literally everywhere, plus a giant neon sign that says, “I’m never gonna dance again, the way I danced with you…” that’s just begging to be posed underneath of. The DJ booth also has a retro-looking neon sign in the shape of lips, which is another solid option. And you won’t even want to bother the DJ in between snaps to ask him to play the new Taylor Swift (please don’t be that person), because the music is on point. They play a mix of ’80s and ’90s throwbacks and current hits, and you really can’t argue with it. If all that’s not enough for you, they have a gif photo booth inside the bar for your Boomerangs.
Employees Only Miami
Employees Only has an outpost in New York, but if you’ve never in your life managed to get a seat there because it’s always so packed (same), the Miami location has a more spacious interior, plus outdoor seating. It’s a speakeasy, so the drinks taste and look incredible. They serve dinner, if you’re not a rager, but if you are, there’s an insane late-night food menu. Ever had a craving for buttery bone marrow poppers at three in the morning? Me either, but you can make it happen at Employees Only Miami. (They’re actually known for their post-3am chicken noodle soup. Don’t know why, it just is.) Not to mention, it’s located on the Washington Park Hotel property, so after getting (responsibly) drunk off fancy af drinks, you can stumble back to your room, mere steps away.
Step into Byblos, with its eye-catching artwork that depicts ancient mediterranean scenes, accordion-style fabric-wrapped panels, plush turquoise and yellow couches, and gold and silver mirrored statement bar, and you’ll feel like you’ve landed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Settle in with an earthy cocktail like the Ottoman Cartel, a melange of Avion silver, spiced barberry reduction and carbonated beet juice, decorated with edible marigold flowers. Or try their cold tea service—tea infused with spirits and served for two or four in a luxurious ritual reminiscent of a classic eastern mediterranean tea ceremony. The most difficult part of eating at Byblos is going to be putting down your phone long enough to take a bite. The food tastes as gorgeous as it looks—the canoe-shaped Wagyu Lameh Pide houses vibrant Turkish paste made in-house, creamy fior di latté, garlic-y toum, and basil cress. The melt-in-your-mouth, Spanish octopus is perfectly prepared with biber chili vinaigrette and a hint of lemon. Also, Drake eats here. That is all.
BRAVA by Brad Kilgore
It’s hailed as the best restaurant in Miami, and for good reason. Helmed by celebrity chef Brad Kilgore and located inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House, this locale will provide some of your most enviable Instas. Unlike other spots, the lighting in BRAVA is perfectly suited for your iPhone camera—and so is the food. The heavenly, marigold-colored lobster risotto is adorned with some sort of classy gold flake that I’m still trying to explain to people. The black-and-white pecorino cheese-filled gnudi are topped with an airy foam. And the pastry-encrusted short beef Wellington is served with a peppercorn demi-glace that the server pours gently over it. This is where you’ll want to break out your fanciest outfit and spend all your money, because you’ll feel sophisticated af. Again, doing it for the ‘Gram.
The Salty Donut
Sweet and savory food lovers alike will moon over The Salty Donut’s confections. Flavors run the gamut from tangy and creamy Guava and Cheese to rich Nutella and back again. These pillowy, small-batch craft donuts pack tons of flavor, and they look just as gorgeous as they taste. This place sells out before closing every day, and you’ll see why if you take just one bite.
Set in the courtyard of South Beach’s historic Hall Hotel, this open-air space reminiscent of an outdoor tiki bar boasts larger-than-life table games like giant Jenga and oversized Connect Four. Food items like mini empanadas and bite-size ceviche can provide a different perspective to your pics; cocktails like Batida de Maracuja offer a unique twist on your favorite go-tos.
I saved the best for (second-to) last, because the Wynwood Walls are your number one Instagram destination. I would say that they were basically invented for IG, except that there’s a really rich artistic history behind them, and I’m not a total idiot. A short history is that Wynwood used to be an unsafe area artists eventually moved into because housing was affordable—think like every New York City neighborhood on the cusp of gentrification. Different city, same story. In 2009, real estate developer Tony Goldman bought up a lot of Wynwood and created a series of open-air art murals that are today called the Wynwood Walls. Graffiti and street artists are invited to paint a mural at the walls, and there are new murals every year. So now you have this whole neighborhood that’s got graffiti art everywhere—and I’m not talking like, your shitty bubble letter graffiti. This shit is the real deal. Get a tour with Wynwood Art Walk before you go see the walls, so you actually know what you’re looking at and aren’t just an annoying tourist. Then go out and be basic and have a full-on photoshoot in front of your favorite murals—you’ll come out with one-of-a-kind pictures…except for everyone else who took the same photos in front of the same walls.
Washington Park Hotel
Located within a five-minute walk to the beach, Washington Park Hotel is an Insta-worthy hotel that even non-influencers can afford. The exterior of each of the hotel’s four buildings are done in the retro art deco style that’s been preserved since the early 20th century. Inside, the chic retro rooms are decorated in an updated art deco style with modern photographs by artists and influencers including Jason Peterson, Ryan Parrilla, Stephen Vanasco and 13thWitness. The hotel bar, Swizzle, makes oversize tropical drinks adorned with local flora, and the frontside pool is an ideal location for lounging and snapping.
Good morning, idiot hookers, and once again congratulations for making it to Thursday, which is basically Friday. It’s officially (almost) the end of another long AF week and I’ve spent the last few days avoiding answering work emails in favor of Googling “how to marry rich.” Classic. For those of you who aren’t living in the city that never sleeps with the same person twice, New York can be like, v hard to meet people. Especially if you’re aiming higher than a fuckboy on Bumble. NYC is supposed to be the land of possibilities and one of those possibilities should be landing your own wolf of Wall Street. You know, if your wolf looks less like Leo Dicaprio and more like Chuck Bass with a dad bod left over from college and a casual coke problem. A girl can dream.
Tbh finance bros aren’t really my type. My standard for guys is lower—more like drunkest guy at happy hour. Obviously, my mother is v proud. But because I
value my journalistic duty like to drink I still definitely hang out at bars where the finance bros gather to drink overpriced beer and whiskey. So here’s a list of the best bars to lock down a finance bro husband so you never have to pretend to love your job again.
1. Dorrian’s Red Hand
Location: Upper East Side
Type of Wealth: He probs has a trust fund
Contrary to what Gossip Girl led us to believe, the Upper East Side is not actually the be-all and end-all of the New York social scene. Sorry, B, but I’m gonna have to disagree with you on this. Because, yes, there are finance bros who Serena probs drunkenly slept with in the 10th grade that hang out there but those guys are probably also like, 40. Or they act 40. Either way, I did not sign up to get shitfaced and also talk about where I think the stock market is going this year. Jesus. Just tell me I’m pretty and buy me a drink. That’s literally all it takes. (Again, my mother is so proud.) In case you need me to paint a clearer picture for you, you know that guy with the dad bod and casual coke problem that I mentioned before? That’s the type that frequents Dorrian’s Red Hand. The type that’s posted up by the bar 3-4 days a week drinking over-priced whiskey sours and talking about his boarding school glory days. Hurry, girls, get him while he’s still single!
2. The Jane Hotel
Location: West Village
Type of Wealth: He could be related to Chuck Bass
The West Village/Chelsea is going to be the best hunting ground for rich AF husband material. Something about the low-key models running around in athleisure gear taking their damn time in the Starbucks line at 9am just screams money. Idk why. And the Jane Hotel is a staple among the rich and the kind of boring. You know it’s boujee AF because there’s a fucking dress code to get in and champagne is like, $12 a glass. Keeping with the Gossip Girl analogies here, the Chuck Basses of the world def frequent The Jane. But like, season one Chuck Bass who wore an unreasonable amount of Ralph Lauren polo shirts and tried to low-key rape high school freshmen. Charming.
Random Bar Bro:
3. The Ainsworth
Type of Wealth: He bought votes to win his frat’s presidential election
First of all, the vibe of this place is just confusing. There’s like, chandeliers and shit but also dudes in button downs aggressively drinking beer and watching Sports Center. I can honestly say I’ve only ever been to this bar once and it was on St. Patrick’s Day when I was
blackout celebrating the Irish spirit, which tbh are really the best circumstances for feeling out a crowd. For example, I watched a grown man in a nice suit wait in line for 15 minutes for the WOMEN’S BATHROOM. Which should speak to the intelligence of the bar’s clientele and also how much that crowd likes to drink. That being said, he also looked like the kind of guy who would offer to pay for more than just a shot of Fireball or the shittiest beer on tap so, like, I was here for it. I imagine this is the kind of bar where that 19-year-old with a really great fake that you met at Houston Hall one time goes when he grows up hits 25 and has a crisis of conscience. Hope to see ya soon, buddy!
4. PJ Clarke’s
Type of Wealth: He casually owns a boat
I had to include another outdoor bar because I so enjoy day drinking for the Insta. Not only does this bar guarantee you a new riverside profile pic, but it also guarantees you a lot of time spent in the company of men who wear shit like this:
Sadly, I’d probably hit that with the right amount of alcohol in my system. *laughs uncomfortably* Similar to The Frying Pan, there’s definitely a preppy Southern vibe here but unlike at The Frying Pan, these people aren’t fronting to be rich assholes because actually are rich assholes. Definitely hit this place up on summer Fridays and be sure to wear your sluttiest pastels. This crowd will eat that shit up.
5. Brother Jimmy’s
Location: Midtown East
Type of Wealth: He’ll offer to split the rent with you in Jersey
Andddd we’re back to this hell hole of an establishment. In a previous post I mentioned that this bar is a place where New Jersey commuting douchebags hang out and also maybe Trump supporters. Well, in a complete and totally expected turn of events, these Jersey commuting assholes and worshipers of a human Cheeto also work in finance. It’s really a special place. If you go there, prepare to spend a fuck ton of money on a very shitty vodka soda and have forced conversation with some guy trying to sell you on coming back to his place… in HOBOKEN. Look, I have nothing against Hoboken. I once
dated was in a Snapchat relationship with a guy who lived in Hoboken who was always saying stuff like “it’s not that far” but I’m pretty sure New Jersey Transit is involved and I do not fuck with that. Okay, so I may have made that last part up. I could be the PATH? Truthfully, I have no idea how you get to Hoboken but I assume it’s about as traumatic as the one time I did try to take New Jersey Transit and got lost by the TGI Friday’s in Penn Station. Regardless, there’s only so far I’m willing to take my hoe ass and I draw a hard line at the New York state border.
If all else fails you can just wander down Stone Street. It’s the mecca for after-hours finance dudes looking to forget the fact that their 200K+ salary won’t replace their personalities. You’ll know you’ve found the place when you see a group of sad looking guys in suits drinking tiny cocktails that cost the same amount of money as my share of the cable bill.