The following taverns are must do in New York: The White Horse Taver, McSorley’s, Old Town Bar, Pete’s Tavern and Ear inn.
The White Horse Tavern located at Hudson St and 11th Ave is known as a bohemian culture spot in New York back in the 50s and 60s, when many writers and artits moved around Greenwich Village, people like Dylan Thomas were spotted drunk many times, also Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan. The bar opened in 1880.
McSorley’s is the oldest Irish tavern in New York City, located at 15 E. 7th St. in the East Village. It was one of the last of the “Men Only” pubs, only welcoming women after legally being forced to do so in 1970. McSorley’s has long claimed that it opened its doors in 1854, however historical research has shown that this is not possible. Researcher Richard McDermott has determined that the site was a vacant lot in 1861.Many notable people have visited McSorley’s, including Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Literary figures like Paul Blackburn, LeRoi Jones and Gilbert Sorrentino have been cited as regulars.
The Old Town Bar and restaurant located between Park and Broadway on 18th Street in continuous operation since 1892. Most of the furnishings and decor are original, including New York’s oldest dumbwaiter that ferries food orders from the upstairs kitchen down to the bar.
Several artists and Hollywood directors have used the Old Town as a backdrop for their productions and movie scenes.
Pete’s Tavern claims to be the oldest continuously operating tavern in New York City, and is located at 129 East 18th Street near Gramercy Park. It has been operating as a bar since 1864. During prohibition, when selling alcohol was illegal, Pete’s continued to operate disguised as a flower shop.
It has been often featured on TV appearing on Seinfeld, Law and Order or Sex and the City, and O. Henry wrote the classic Gift of The Magi here at his favorite booth by the front doors, in 1902.
The Ear Inn is one of the oldest existing taverns in New York City, located at James Brown House, a historic building in the Lower Manhattan (Spring Street btw. Greenwich and Washington) since 1870.
Ear Inn is a serious contender for oldest bar in New York. In superchic SoHo, this pub is a welcome cranky relief. They pull an excellent draft of Guinness and respect the no-cellphone policy or suffer the consequences.