The 50 Best Drink Spots in Westchester
50 Great Places to drink in Westchester
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970 Main St, Peekskill
(914) 930-1880; birdsallhouse.net
John Sharp and Tim Reinke’s perfect little beer bar offers 20 taps devoted to craft beers sourced mostly within a day’s drive. Look for oddball and special brews, tap takeovers, and visits from brewing celebrities.Plus, when the weather is fine, there’s a pretty beer garden lined with live, climbing hops.
The Peekskill Brewery
PB Taste Test
55 Hudson Ave, Peekskill
Brew pubs as a restaurant genre often suffer from a lack of specialization. Straddling two different challenges (making food, and beer), few excel at either. The great news for Westchesterites is that Jeff O’Neill, former brewmaster of Ithaca Beer Company, is now heading up Peekskill’s tanks, elevating this cozy tavern-brew pub into a serious beer player.
237 Market St, Yonkers
(914) 375-9273; yardhouse.com
Democratic in every way, the Yard House chain is like the Applebee’s of beer. Each outlet boasts between 100 and 300+ taps pouring both popular and esoteric beers. Look for a classic rock playlist and a wide-ranging menu that spans from pizza and burgers to Hawaiian poke. The bar gets five deep (even though it’s the length of a football field).
Captain Lawrence Tasting Room
444 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford
Listen up all you broke people: we are talking free beer. If you fork over $2 for a small tasting glass, no one will stop you from standing in Captain Lawrence’s palatial, 24-tap Elmsford tasting room drinking beers all day long. Don’t say we didn’t tell you. Plus, you’ll find cheese and charcuterie from Murray’s Cheese shop for when you get hungry. Outside, you might even find the odd visit from local food trucks, like Ladle of Love’s all-electric van. (Tasting room sample hours run from 4 to 7 pm Tuesday to Friday and noon to 6 pm on Saturday.)
Growlers Beer Bistro
25 Main St, Tuckahoe
This low-key Tuckahoe beer bar slings no spirits, but it does offer 17 taps. Look for cask wines and hard-to-find Euro-brews, plus plenty of delicious, non-alcoholic sodas from Fentiman’s and Wisconsin’s-own Sprecher Brewing Company.
226 Beekman Ave, Sleepy Hollow
Eighteen taps in a barroom that’s decorated with hundreds of tap pulls make this cozy, under-the-radar spot the perfect place in which to hoist brews. Look for a constantly changing draught selection, growlers, brewery takeovers, and more—like $4 pints on Tuesday and Wednesday, and, on Monday, 50¢ wings.
Lazy Boy Saloon
154 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
(914) 761-0272; lazyboysaloon.com
Do you crave a beer from Costa Rica or pine for a pint from the Philippines? This iconic White Plains tavern was the first in the county to offer an esoteric beer list (and, arguably, the one to put the Mamaroneck Avenue bar strip on the map way back in the ’90s).
The Craftsman Ale House
235 Harrison Ave, Harrison
(914) 630-7484; the-craftsman-ale-house.com
This cute neighborhood bar and grill offers eight taps and plenty of beer-geek pleasure. Look for flights, home-brewer meetings, Saturday-night “Kill the Keg” parties (with $3 draughts), and frequent “meet the brewer” events.
18 Mill St, Port Chester
(914) 939-3111; tarrylodge.com
Do you remember recently in mixology when the whole world went barmy for bitters? As with most things, it turns out that the Italians did it first and, arguably, better. Cult amaros—like Fernet Branca, Averna, and China Martini—have long united exotic botanical flavorings in cool-looking bottles. To sample a wide variety—maybe to compare the alpine herbs of Amaro Braulio with the artichoke notes in Cynar—duck into always-packed Tarry Lodge, where you can take a flight: three full glasses for $20. Prego.
(With No Throbbing Beats)
The Dylan Lounge at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson
71 Water Grant St, Yonkers
This chic, clubby bar overlooks the Hudson shoreline with views to Manhattan and up to the Tappan Zee. There is no better place in Westchester in which to share a quiet drink—and the view is only improved by delicious wines chosen by Xaviars Restaurant Group Wine Director Billy Rattner. If you’re lucky, he’ll also offer his witty, sake-based cocktail, a sophisticated take on the degraded Kamikaze.
The Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester
3 Renaissance Sq
No TVs, no throbbing beats, plush upholstery, and a peninsular fireplace make this a quiet retreat from the street throngs of downtown White Plains. Drop your keys with the valet (along with all your troubles), and snuggle up with a martini to enjoy our idea of a pause that refreshes.
Equus at Castle
on the Hudson
400 Benedict Ave, Tarrytown
The snug bar of this historic Westchester estate makes one feel like the lord of the castle. You can play out your Downton Abbey fantasies while posing around the giant fireplace, or, in fine weather, you can take your sips outside and overlook a vast view.
Sip While You Shop
179 N Main Street, Port Chester
(914) 253-5680; tarrymarket.com
Let’s just say that the bar scene isn’t where you’re at; you much prefer the cleaner air of a boutique shopping experience. You can get the best of both worlds at Tarry Market, where you can shop holding a $60 glass of Sassicaia, dispensed by an Enomatic wine vending machine.
DeCicco’s Family Market
50 Independent Way, Brewster, NY
(845) 278-0836; deciccos.com
Unlike the other growler-fill grocers in Westchester (we’re looking at you, Yonkers Whole Foods), the Brewster DeCicco’s Market is licensed to sell beers for drinking on-premise. You can sip; you can sample; you can sit down and watch the game. Be warned: buzzed shoppers have reported a sharp increase in impulse buys.
Comb Spirits Made by StilltheOne Distillery
This quartet of liquors (gin, vodka, brandy, and “white spirit”) is proudly distilled in Port Chester by Mount Vernon residents.
Ralph Erenzo’s trailblazing brewery is located just up the Hudson in Gardiner, New York, right outside of Poughkeepsie.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
It debuted in Pleasantville, and Captain Lawrence’s Scott Vaccaro recently opted for larger digs just down the road in Elmsford.
The Peekskill Brewery
Along with Birdsall House, Peekskill Brewery makes Peekskill a beer drinker’s heaven.
The Defiant Brewing Company
This collaborator with Blue Hill at Stone Barns is just over the border in Rockland County.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
On any given day, you’ll find Comb, Tuthilltown, Captain Lawrence, and Defiant Brewing Company products behind this chic, world-class bar.
Gay-Friendly Party at The Cookery
When other restaurants have locked their doors for the night, The Cookery is just getting started. At 10:30, on alternate Thursday nights (after the last diner has left), The Cookery throws Hump Thursday: Gay Hangout at The Cookery with $5 drinks and $6 beers. Chef DiBari’s fans know that his humor studs his menu (with desserts like PB&J on Acid and Stickabutta Pie), but his wit also can be found behind the bar in drinks like the Tea Bagger and the Master Cleanse. Spiked with citron vodka, the latter takes its distinctive flavor profile (maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne pepper) from a cult fasting regimen of the same name. After that, things get serious. Look for a Carpano Antica Manhattan made with Michter’s Rye, Peychaud’s bitters, and house-made brandied cherries courtesy of The Cookery’s GM, Ralph Rubino.
39 Chestnut St, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 305-2336; thecookeryrestaurant.com
South of The Border
Caipirinhas, Mojitos, and More…
La Bella Havana (Caipirinha)
35 Main St, Yonkers
Under new management since its French-Cuban fusion days as Belle Havana, the newly all-Cuban La Bella Havana is still an intimate downtown Yonkers restaurant with live music and mean Mojitos—but, call us contrarian, we prefer the sweet-tart cachaça in their minty caipirinha. Sabroso.
Sonora (Pisco Sour)
179 Rectory St, Port Chester
Pisco, a grape-derived spirit developed in the 16th century by Spanish colonists in the wine-producing regions of Peru and Chile, was virtually unknown in this country until the advent of the Pisco Sour. The classic cocktail, which unites Pisco with egg white, lemon juice or lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters, is the national drink of Peru—and just one more reason to visit Chef Rafael Palomino’s chic, Nueva Latino landmark.
175 Main St, White Plains
This White Plains offshoot of a Manhattan original offers glitz and throbbing salsa along with mofongo. Check out a killer sound system and a loungey, downstairs club; it’s perfect for kicking back with a Mojito between turns on the floor.
Don Coqui (Sangria)
115 Cedar St, New Rochelle
(914) 637-3737; doncoqui.com
Don Coqui is a Westchester nightlife icon. When other clubs are all swept out and dark, this Puerto Rican restaurant/dance club is still packing them in. But dancing and drinking pose serious hydration quandaries; that’s why smart partiers here go for the light, thirst-quenching fruitiness of Don Coqui’s signature sangria.
Down and Dirty
The Blazer Pub
440 Rte 22, North Salem
This bare-bones roadhouse snuggled off Route 22 slings cheap Captain Lawrence pints, great burgers, and tasty wings. It’s the sweet sort of place where the word mixologist is never spoken. Admit it: sometimes, isn’t that exactly what you’re looking for?
533 Warburton Ave
Look for a pool table and dartboard at this plywood-floored Hastings drinker’s bar. Its low-key vibe, dirt-cheap tabs, and friendly barflies earn it the loyalty of many locals—some of whom (like Yonkers resident Chef David DiBari of The Cookery and many of the crew from Harvest on Hudson) think of bartenders Thalia and Clark as local legends. PS: When Clark is not making his own vermouth or alternately tending bar at Brute on 9 or Harper’s, he pursues his hobby of being a college English professor.
Dudley’s Parkview Restaurant
94 Hudson Park Rd
Located right next door to a bait-and-tackle shop, it’s a slightly grungy sailor bar with a nasty, pitted parking lot. But Dudley’s holds a secret weapon: in fine weather, it opens a long deck overlooking the New Rochelle Municipal Marina. Come summer, look for crowds hitting its outdoor bar (which is made from a repurposed shipping container). NB: you may want to stick to the basics, like adorable mini-pitchers of not-particularly-craft-brewed beer.
Farm-to-Table goes POP
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
(914) 366-9600; bluehillfarm.com
Look for sodas made from ingredients like currant leaf, juiced cardamom leaves, purple shiso leaves, and Hawaiian ginger from Stone Barn Center’s greenhouse. Mixed with watermelon (when in season), cucumber, and lime, the shiso juice is topped with sparkling water to make a soda. Also, look for an herbal nod to Coca-Cola, which, like Coke’s modern recipe, does not actually contain kola nut. Blue Hill’s Cherry Coke comprises preserves made in Blue Hill’s kitchen, blending them into a sugary syrup with cinnamon, star anise, and orange and lemon zests. The cherry cola syrup is fizzed with sparkling water and then served with ice and a straw.
A Clean, Well Lighted Place
417 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson
(914) 478-7200; antoinettespatisserie.com
The unshakable morning habit of many rivertowns residents, it serves only organic, fair-trade, and locally roasted coffees.
237 Market St, Yonkers
You need to be at least 21 years old to be served a sweet beer float at Yard House, which has its origins in John Steinbeck’s novel, Cannery Row. It pairs either nutty Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with vanilla ice cream, or Lindemans Framboise with vanilla ice cream. Take it from us—it’s delicious.
472 Bedford Rd, Pleasantville
Made with Captain Lawrence’s root beer (whenever it’s available), this basic, non-alcoholic root beer float has the elevating properties of strong herbal notes.
386 Main St, Armonk
North’s version of grape soda is made with locally raised Blooming Hill Farm Concord grapes, which are crushed by hand and then steeped with their skin for two days. For fizz, Stephen Paul Mancini puts the juice in a “corny” keg (a Cornelius keg: a five-gallon keg that works in conjunction with a CO2 gas line), which he sourced from his friend, Scott Vaccaro of Elmsford’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. In summer, look for other seasonal sodas, including peach/honey and smoked watermelon/basil.
China White Noodle Bar
578 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase
(914) 437 9700
2490 Railroad Ave, Greenwich, CT (203) 422-5232
The team behind the two local China White Noodle Bars worked with Bittersweet Syrups (an organic flavoring company in New Jersey) to create these sister restaurants’ quartet of signature sodas flavored with ginger, green tea, pink grapefruit, and mandarin orange. Laura Saynay, Bittersweet’s owner, personally demonstrated to China White’s staff the correct proportions for each made-to-order drink, which dilute her syrups with triple-filtered club soda.
Hip Coffee (Etc.) Bars
Aroma Coffee Roast
1932 Palmer Ave, Larchmont
Founded in 1992, this small roaster and coffee bar has such loyal fans that it even survived a Starbucks setting up shop right across the street. It’s the preferred stop for locals looking for some gossip and joe.
Slave to the Grind
58 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville
This 18-year-old coffee bar and roaster predates Starbucks’s carpet-bombing. Students and residents loiter all day and into the night for chai, live music, and night-crawler closing hours.
Coffee Labs Roasters
7 Main St, Tarrytown
(914) 332-1479; coffeelabs.com
One of Westchester’s favorites, it roasts its own beans—plus, it offers live music on the weekends.
193 Main St, Ossining
This strictly Colombian coffee bar is located in a cute, historic building. Expect brawny roasts, elite beans, delicious churros, and cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate.
102 Fisher Ave, Eastchester
(914) 961-0061; polpettina.com
Look for Brooklyn’s cultish Blue Bottle Coffee, brewed in tweaky (and trendy) “pour over” style. It doesn’t hurt that, at Polpettina, you’ll also find Balthazar Bakery pastries.
Riverside Patios, Roofs, and Decks
Red Hat on the River
1 Bridge St # 150, Irvington
(914) 591-5888; redhatbistro.com
The loungey rooftop bar at Red Hat is a revelation. At sunset, you’ll find yourself snuggled into cushy outdoor sofas, gazing at the glowing Hudson and Palisades, while the memories of roads, trains, and ground-hovering mosquitoes disappear. Sip something serious—perhaps a gin martini—as you feel your worries dissipating with the sunlight.
1 High St, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 693-4130; harvest2000.com
Not only is Half Moon’s wide, riverside deck ideal for drinkers, but it offers, among all the riverside spots, the closest thing to toes-in-the-water drinking. While we love sophisticated sippers like Half Moon’s Jacques Sidecar (JC Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice) or the Bitter Breeze (muddled citrus, mango rum, Aperol, and fresh grapefruit), Half Moon is made for groups so look for pitchers of sangria including our favorite: cool rosé wine amped with tequila and Triple Sec.