Love ’em or hate ’em, fresh-faced college kids have returned to NYC for the new school year. For local bars, this means an influx of customers that can barely hold their booze but know how to party. Whether you’re a student looking to kick back after class or you’re a local looking for college-priced deals, we know where to send you. When you’re at one of these Greenwich Village or Upper West Side haunts, chances are you’ll be mingling with the new class at New York University and Columbia University. By Selena Ricks-Good.

See Also: NYC’s 7 Best Hole-In-The-Wall Bars

Black and White

(file photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

86 E. 10th St.
New York, NY
(212) 253-0246

Dark and divey – yet warm and welcoming – Black and White has been an NYU hangout for years. The combination of no-nonsense bartenders, cheap drinks and a nightly DJ after 10 p.m. keep the party vibe in full effect. On weekends, the bar gets packed and turns into more of a meat market.

West 3rd Common

Credit: Amp3 PR

1 W. 3rd St.
New York, NY
(212) 529-2059

For a more mature NYU scene, head to this gastropub featuring comfort food and a full bar in a trendy setting. Chandeliers, red banquettes and a “library” wall  create a sophisticated atmosphere while 8 tvs at the bar keep sports fans entertained. Happy hour is every day from 4 to 8 p.m. featuring student-friendly deals such as $3 draft beers, $4 wines and $5 Appletinis and Cosmos.

Le Poisson Rouge


158 Bleecker St.
New York, NY
(212) 228-4854

This chic concert hall opened by a group of young musicians makes for one jazzed up drinking experience. Music and performing arts majors should find plenty of inspiration here as the bookings range from indie rock to classical. On Friday nights, a regular rotation of DJs give the crowd an excuse to let loose. A daily happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. features $5 draft beers, well drinks and house wines.


(file photo/Clipart)

1020 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY
(212) 531-3468

Cheap beer, darts, pool table–this unpretentious dive has everything a college bar calls for. Columbia coeds flock here for a place to unwind and drink $2-$3 beers during the daily happy hour between 4 and 7 p.m. Come early to snag one of the booths or vintage dentist chairs, as the bar gets packed every night. Skip the high tuition and test your knowledge at weekly trivia nights, with prizes including bar tabs.


Lion’s Head Tavern

995 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY
(212) 866-1030

Although this divey sports bar is named after Columbia’s mascot, the TVs at Lion’s Head tend to show other school’s games, as Columbia is not known for its athletics.  Weekly specials such as $7 pitchers of beer, 25-cent wings and $1 drafts help students from stressing about their next exam. Video games such as Ms. Pac-Man keep the rec room vibe alive.

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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.