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NYC's 5 Best Hipster Bars

Put on your foam-mesh trucker's cap and dust off the monogrammed slim-fitting t-shirt. It's time get in touch with your inner-hipster. If you're looking for indie music, oddly named drinks and a consistently artsy crowd, these are the New York bars for you. 
Nightlife & Music Hipster Bars, 675 Bar
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675 Bar
675 Hudson Street at 13th St.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 699-2410

More: The 5 Best Cocktail Bars In Soho

Walk one step too far and you'll miss the well-concealed entrance to this hipster haven that harkens back to an era of elite speakeasies. Descend down the narrow staircase into a brick-lined hallway defined by a series of rounded nooks, each one featuring a different type of game (like "dirty" Jenga) where you and your group can drink and socialize in quasi-seclusion. Leave at any time to mix and mingle with an exceptionally diverse crowd ranging in age and profession. The drinks are expensive, but exotic (the Macchu Fizz stings, in a good way) while the food (definitely check out the chocolate covered bacon) is a step-up from the standard pub menu. A perfect destination for large groups, just make sure to get there early as a gigantic line begins to form on weekends.


Nightlife & Music Hipster Bars, Happy Ending
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Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 334-9676

More: NYC's Best Bars for Group Drinks

A former massage parlor, Happy Ending Lounge is situated in a trendy neighborhood and garners the quintessential hipster, making for a consistently interesting crowd. Stay on the main floor for dim lighting and good conversation, or maneuver to the basement, complete with DJ and tiled booths that were once massage rooms. While the drink menu is fairly original and ambitious, it's still somewhat experimental, so stay in your comfort zone to avoid disappointment.

Lit Lounge

Lit Lounge
93 2nd Ave.
East Village
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-7987

More: NYC's 5 Best Bars For Musicians

With DJs and live bands playing on most nights, and an actual art gallery in the back, you'll find yourself tapping into your creative side. The setting, intentionally "raw" and gritty, draws in a who's who list of hipster archetypes: the tortured poet; the politically savvy college student; the offbeat artist; the musically inclined guy who wears that knitted cap no matter how hot it is outside. While Lit will allow you to relive your college days, doing so will cost you, as drinks are anything but cheap.

The Gibson
(Photo by Konstantin Sergeyev)

The Gibson
108 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 387-6296

Recently highlighted as "a hipster bar without hipsters," this Brooklyn-based bar poses as a local watering hole, but betrays fashionable cornerstones. Do not expect a raucous crowd or mind-bending riffs from a live band, as the clientele is tame--maybe even lethargic--making it a great setting for a conversation with that old friend you've been meaning to see for weeks. With a solid beer selection and a surprisingly eclectic cocktail menu, The Gibson serves as the ideal retreat for the aging hipster.

Nightlife & Music Hipster Bars,  pianos
Photo Credit: Pianos

158 Ludlow St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 777-7987

More: NYC's 4 Best Concert Venues For $10 Or Less

Featuring a steady line-up of NYC's best up-and-coming indie acts, Pianos has become a staple of hipster culture. While the long lines and large crowds get tiresome over weekends, it makes for an excellent happy hour locale during the week and provides an intimate setting for live shows that is unmatched by a majority of Manhattan venues. While it may not become a staple in the routine, it's an interesting alternative that is sure to provide a story or two.

Related:  The 6 Best Live Music Venues in New York City

Matt Thomas is a freelance writer who has published articles and stories in The Village Voice,, The Worcester Review, The Journal of American Culture, and many others. His work can be found at

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