If you live in NYC long enough, after a while you’ll begin to develop your “favorites” list. Favorite place to go for coffee, place for pizza, place for Thai and yes, your favorite bars. Put 169 Bar down as one of my all time favorite bars in NYC. Located deep in the Lower East Side (one could argue so deep that it’s actually in Chinatown), it is a local New Yorkers’ hang out for good times, great music and cheap booze. Would I call it a dive bar? Hmmm, borderline, but I won’t go that far.
First of all I love the lighting in the place. The blue, purple, red, and pink lighting make me feel like I’m in sort of alternate state of mind and non-stop party. If you go on the weekend, the place is packed, but not where you’re sandwiched against someone else. 169 Bar has a lot of seating and lots of groups of friends find their spots and hunker down for the night.
Another thing I love about it is that it serves food. Keep in mind this place is packed, and in no way shape or form does it resemble a sports bar where you can order a plate of nachos or hot wings. No, what 169 Bar heavily touts is their oysters. Yes, oysters! But I’ll let you in on a little secret. Their super inexpensive dumplings are the thing to get. For only $3 bucks, you’ll quickly get an order of a half dozen delicious dumplings served to you in a Chinese take out box and the chop sticks to go along with it. Let me tell you, they hit the spot with a cold PBR! Oh, and 169 Bar is the only place I’ve ever been to where if you have a table, you can text them your order from the table and WHAM, your food is out in a manner of minutes. It was so cool! I wonder why more bars haven’t tried this???
BTW, this place has one of the coolest pool tables in all of NYC. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a cheetah print pool table, but if you go towards the back of the bar, behold, a cheetah print pool table ready for your pool playing adventures.
The music is always top notch and I guarantee you they’ll be playing something that everyone will love. It’s only a matter of time before the whole bar is singing along with the hits from the 80’s and 90s. Oh, one more thing. They always play these awesome movies from the 60s on the two TVs above the bar. I can’t tell you the number of times where I’ve had a few too many and stopped paying attention to my friends and started watching a classic James Bond movie with Sean Connery up on their TVs. Fond memories indeed.
So hey, if you find yourself in the Lower East Side and want to experience something absolutely fun, then head on a little deeper to 169 Bar. You won’t regret it!
Do you have any favorite Lower East Side bars you’d love to share? Let us know in the comments!