Best Bars West Village AND Greenwich Village Have to Offer a Poor Student
Let’s dive into the best bars of West Village in NYC and the adjacent Greenwich Village. While both neighborhoods are flowing to the brim with all types of various nightlife options, here at Anton’s Dumplings we are fairly biased. We know most of us are not independently wealthy and can’t afford to have fun every weekend if going out involves $20 cocktails and $10 beers. NYC may be the greatest city to live in, but the drink prices are insane. And unless you’re the type of person who does not pay for their drinks (like ever), these 10 bars are the best West Village/Greenwich Village has for your “baller on a budget” night.
Full disclosure: while we give all the bars below our seal of approval, your experience may vary. Every cheap joint is tradeoff and if you can’t handle a bathroom covered in writing and stickers, perhaps the divey spots on this list aren’t for you. However, if you’re game for the below fun/cheap spots, we like you. And odds are, you’ll like us too. Anton’s Russian dumplings are the perfect meal/snack that’s located right by all these bars and won’t break the bank. If you’re going out in West Village or Greenwich Village, you MUST make Anton’s Dumplings cart part of your night. And since we’re open when the bars are on the weekend, our dumplings are the best decision you can make at 3 AM on a Saturday. As a reminder, we’re always on 6th Avenue and West 3rd Street and this is the kind of food we serve:
So withdraw some cash in advance to avoid hefty ATM fees at “cash only” establishments, get your weekend attire ready, charge your phone, and prepare to hit up the best Village spots. In no particular order, here our top picks for best bars of West Village and Greenwich Village.
Described as the neighborhood sports bar, Triona’s is certainly the place to go to watch the big game. But of course it wouldn’t be complete without some pitchers of cheap beer, right? Their specials include $10 pitchers of Bud Light and Miller Lite from 1-8 Monday through Friday. Same special runs Saturday/Sunday 12-7. If you’re not too pretentious to order a non-craft beer, then this is the place to be to get wasted (responsibly) and watch The Rangers try and break the 20+ year drought of Stanley Cups. Also, there’s a pool table for those nights you just don’t care about the teams playing. Something for everyone…
2. MacDougal Street Ale House
Don’t be fooled by MacDougal’s underground setting. This dive is not just a shady speakeasy serving overpriced drinks. Instead, it’s a fun spot to spend your night or part of the night if you barhop without breaking the bank. Waiting on a show at Comedy Cellar? MacDougal Street Ale House. Wanna play darts or shoot pool? MacDougal Street Ale House. Having a Tinder date and don’t want to get your credit card declined and make a terrible first impression? MacDougal Street Ale House. Want to catch a game? MacDougal Street Ale House. NYU student? MacDougal Street Ale House. Walking on MacDougal street on a Friday night and you’re sober for no good reason? Well, you get the idea. As the name would suggest, go for the brews here. The cold drafts will only set you back $4 during happy hour. Make sure to take full advantage of their jukebox if you’re a music snob and refuse to hear others’ tunes.
3. 3 Sheets Saloon
Anton’s Dumplings really runs the risk of losing business by listing this spot as one of our favorites because they actually have good food here. It’s unusual for a bar of its caliber to put any effort into their non-alcoholic menu items, but this place hits the spot if you need that immediate greasy snack (if not an emergency, your best bet is still to come out, walk ¼ a block and get Russian dumplings). Other than the snacks, you’ll be thrilled to know that they run daily specials on their booze and even have a beer pong table. If you are not too bourgeois to enjoy the frat house environment, you’ll have a blast downing half price beers and shots all night until you’re ready to eat some Russian dumplings (we hope the product placement was obvious enough here).
4. The Fat Black Pussycat
The Fat Black Pussycat prides itself on being a groovy lounge full of great music and a lot of famous performers that played there in the ‘60s. While virtually any Greenwich Village bar can claim to have had celebrities make appearances on occasion, Pussycat stands by the claim that musicians and famous comedians love them. Whether that’s the case or not, there is definitely something special about the decor and the fact that there’s live music. As to be expected, with fancy decor and history, come slightly higher prices. While you won’t be forced to pay overdraft fees for getting 2 drinks, this is by no means a dive. Be prepared to be slightly disappointed by the absense of dirt cheap options if you miss happy hour and don’t make ½ off drink reservations online (http://thefatblackpussycat.com/drink-reservations/). Definitely hold off on ordering food if you’re reading this. Obviously there’s a great Russian dumpling cart half a block away which will be more than happy to leave you and your wallet a little fuller.
5. The Four-Faced Liar
If you like to drink on the cheap in the West Village but hate everyone else who likes to drink on the cheap in the West Village, The Four-Faced Liar might be a good spot for you. While there will be none of the dancing, beer pong, live music, or “partying”, there are other pros. For example, the floors look clean, the frat bros are nowhere to be found, there is no underage girl vomiting by the entrance, and the lights aren’t so low that the 10 you take home becomes a 4 when you flip the light switch. But maybe you’re into that. We won’t judge. Regardless of your ulterior motives to going out in West Village, The Four-Faced Liar is an Irish pub worth hopping into for at least one drink (and hopping out of for at least one order of dumplings).
6. Vol de Nuit
Full disclaimer: we’re big fans of the Vol de Nuit staff and they are also keen on Anton’s Dumplings. That being said, the bar holds a special place in our hearts because we love the people who work there. We’re more than certain that you’ll love them too even though it’s not the traditional dive bar in Greenwich Village. But we digress. Let’s address the fact that this is a godsend for anyone who wants to drink real beer (read: beer that isn’t served in a twist-off bottle). They have a plethora of good import beers on on draft. You can go with the Belgian bar vibe and order their Belgian fries with sauces. But between you and us, we think Russian dumplings are slightly better. But that’s just us…
7. Off the Wagon
And we’re back with the college bars of West Village. Big screens playing the biggest games and beer pong galore. Remember the frat boys from before? Well, they didn’t go to Four-Faced Liar because they’re all here. And unfortunately the macho atmosphere often attracts fewer members of the fairer sex. One Yelp review bluntly puts it: “If your trying to get girls don’t come here. Atleast when I came the ratio was really bad..” Obviously, every night is different and this is just one review but many others describe the ratio being 4:1 or 3:1. And of the 4, about 50% may or may not be complete frat bros. But hey, the drinks are cheap, the music is nice, the spot is unpretentious, and Anton’s Dumplings is next door. That’s a recipe for a fun night in West Village if you ask us.
8. Down the Hatch
Down the Hatch is a close relative of Off the Wagon and is run by the same people (as well as Three Sheets Saloon from earlier on the list). It’s basically the Greenwich Village counterpart to the West Village bar. So everything you can expect from one, you can find in the other. Not to repeat ourselves, but this is a great place for a. cheap drinks b. young patrons of the fratty variety c. loud music d. high male:female ratio. You can definitely have a great time here if you aren’t too old for this place. What’s too old you ask? Well, that’s all a matter of personality. But if you would rather pay more to avoid rubbing elbows with guys wearing button downs and jeans all night, this may not be the place for you.
9. 124 Old Rabbit Club
For a bar so divey, Old Rabbit Club (or The Rabbit as they call themselves) isn’t as low price as one would expect. Blame the hipsters putting on a facade of poverty despite being able to afford $16 craft beers or anyone else you want, but this hole in the wall will set you back a little more than the rest of the spots on this list. That being said, it’s still cheap and worth a look if you are in Greenwich Village and can spot their door (not as easy as it sounds). This is a lovely little hole-in-the-wall full of interesting beers you probably never heard of. It’s very dark and lowkey, so do not come here with the same expectations as you would have for the bars targeting the crowds of frat boys looking to get wasted and lucky on the cheap.
10. Wicked Willy’s
Last, but certainly not least, comes Wicked Willy’s of Greenwich Village. At first glance, Willy’s is just another cheap spot with the college crowd piling in with desires for booze and booty. But in reality, there’s much more than meets the eye here. While we can’t promise live music every night, there are karaoke nights every week. If you are in the mood to get wasted and do your best impression of Michael Jackson on stage for the whole bar to enjoy, this is the spot to be. Also, hats off to Willy’s for their marketing. They do a good job promoting themselves on social media, and they even have a guy riding around the area on a bike to promote this pirate-themed destination. The hard work pays off, as Willy’s rounds out our 10 best bars list.
This concludes of our list of best bars in West Village and Greenwich Village. Obviously there are many more bars in the area than the 10 we listed. Most of them might be a little more pretentious and pricey, though. We recommend these spots to anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and can enjoy something simple yet wonderful. In a way, these bars are much like Anton’s Dumplings—down to earth and offering a wonderful product everyone can afford and enjoy. So if you find yourself in the Village, both West and Greenwich, make sure to check out some of these bars and to finish off your night with some Russian dumplings. We’ll be waiting for you!