Latest Best of NY

Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

August 18, 2010 5:01 PM

The majestic view from the Top Of The Strand. (credit:

The majestic view from the Top Of The Strand. (credit:

top strand Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

The majestic view from the Top Of The Strand. (credit:

As a local lady by the name of Lauper once put it, girls just wanna have fun; especially in Manhattan, where that motto still holds pretty true on a nightly basis. Don’t get me wrong, fellas. For us guys, hitting the NYC bar scene is always fun. It’s like falling off a bike. All you gotta do is give us a couple hundred bucks, a gallon of beer … maybe the odd bra twirled over our heads, and we’ll get our ya-yas out. Women, on the other hand … well, let’s just say “ladies’ night” can get complicated. A rendezvous point, for example, can’t just be “girly.” It has to have ambiance, attitude, color, cute lighting, kinky knick-knacky thingamajigs hanging from the ceilings, good food, great cocktails and maybe even a gay best friend in tow. And, of course, the setting has to either match their shoes, or make their ensemble look suitably “fabulous” (relax, ladies – this is all in good fun). That can be a tall order for anyone to fill. But that doesn’t mean some places don’t try or aren’t worthy of consideration, like the ones compiled for this list.
bond Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

The website of Building On Bond. (credit:

Building On Bond

112 Bond St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

If you’re a perceptive and chic enough lady to have spent any time inside this Boerum Hill haven, chances are you probably felt like you were in France. The crew behind this cool bar-café’s pleasant Parisian air is Hecho Inc., the same crew who put fresh (if less Gallic) indoor spins at both The Box and Stanton Social. But for Brooklynites, especially the sort who revel in the new aesthetic, it’s the perfect place to get a drink, grab a bite, or just enjoy a cup of java with female friends while taking in the scenery inside and out. Great food (try the Pistachio chicken), and the bar also hosts a Happy Hour offering $3 draft pints (get a load of the pipeline that snakes through the café to hook up the beer taps). Open Mon-Sun from 7a-1a.

littlebranch1 Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

Cockatils are the priority at Little Branch (credit:

Little Branch

20 Seventh Ave. South
New York, NY 10014

Reviews & more info

Conceived by another of the city’s celebrated concoctors, Sasha Petraske, this well-hidden hang is nowhere as haughty as that gal guru’s other hotspot, Milk & Honey. Warm and welcoming to all comers, especially the fairer sex, Little Branch is a cozy underground nook already known for its excellent array of cocktails (average price $12, including the custom-made kind), and astute observers who are lucky to grab a seat at the bar will be astounded by the skills of those who so vividly pour them. Among the most recommended drinks is a tart crimson treat called the Queens Park Swizzle, as well as their hot buttered rum, a delicious and more obvious choice during colder weather. Plenty of places to sit (though the bar is the main attraction for those who want to mingle amid the mixing), and aside from the odd jazz combo, there’s little in the way of din to distract a quiet conversation. As for how to get in: the front door is an oddly-out-of-place looking entryway jutting into the middle of the street, and can be easily missed during the daily rush, so keep an eye peeled. Cash only. And above all, tip well your talented tenders: they do deserve it! Open 7a-3a.

employeesonly Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

The booths inside Employees Only (credit:

Employees Only

510 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014

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Ladies looking for a soothing tonic, excellent eats and a nice night on the town with friends might think they’ve entered a time warp when setting foot inside this Cotton Club-styled drinkery. And given how the keeps all wear wax on their handlebars (mustaches, not motorbikes) and “white to the face,” one might even expect to see dapper dudes like Rhett Butler at the bar. But dressing like a flapper is hardly necessary to blend in here, as any well-heeled lady of taste will find this railroad’s cocktail menu (all drinks top off at $15) its biggest and most daring draw; try the West Side or The Quiet Storm, two delicious mixes for those with a respective love of either vodka or bourbon. But, a gentle warning to all ladies who like to walk-in on weekends: that’s the most crowded time to tip one, so come early.

strand1 Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

The Strand Hotel has a hidden pearl at the top. (credit:

Top Of The Strand

33 W. 37th St.
New York, NY 10018

Brought to sparkling reality by Lydia Marks (the same lady who helped design the sets for Sex and the City), Top of the Strand is one towering ode to urbane women who crave both a room with a view of Manhattan and a roster of high-end drinks by which to enjoy it. The Strand offers a widescreen view of the former and a bevy of the latter, plus cocktails that range from ready-made classics (martinis and bellinis) to more risqué creations (The Highlander and The Tropical are two of their very best). Some of the concoctions will run you as high as $18, with a minimum of $25 required for any tab. Gratuities are not included, unless you’re asking for bottle service or are with a party of 6 and up. No worries about weather at this great height either – the bar has a retractable glass roof that slides shut should the climes turn too cold or wet and wild. Open daily 5p-12a.

barcade1 Best Ladies Night Bars In New York

The website of Barcade in Brooklyn. (credit:


388 Union Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Reviews & more info

While some might consider this well-built Williamsburg nook a little low rent for a “lady who lunches,” female tech-heads and web geeks would beg to differ. First of all, not every gaggle of hens needs a high-gloss social scene. Second, it’s easy to see why clever twentysomething females flock there in droves: not just to toy with its array of vintage 80’s-era video games (Pac-Man! Centipede! Asteroids! Donkey Kong!), but to flirt with all the young boy patrons who belly up to their joysticks (I can only imagine the “Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket?” line is overheard here pretty often). Aside from its old-school style and 25 cent machines, Barcade also has a great jukebox, a roster of excellent beers (20 microbrews readily available) and a pool table, if you prefer face-to-face interaction. Plus, there’s an added bonus for gals who like entertainment that’s eco-friendly: Barcade is 100% wind-powered. Oh, and be sure to check out the mind-blowingly cool bottlecap mural on the wall outside, which (like the bar itself) is a handcrafted labor of love. Open 5p-4a Mon-Fri, 2p-4am weekends.

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