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NYC's 5 Best Bars On The Upper West Side

The Dead Poet
(credit: The Dead Poet)

Whether you're looking for the perfect dive bar, a great date spot, or a fun happy hour, the Upper West Side has plenty of places to sit back and enjoy your afternoon or evening. By Carly Petrone.

e's BAR
(credit: e's BAR)

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e's BAR is the place you go to when you want to unwind with friends, listen to some classic jams and enjoy a few rounds of your favorite board games. This place has upgraded the standard bar bites with healthier options like Shishito Peppers, Burnt Broccoli, and the "you-can't-just'eat-one" Cup o' Crisp Green Beans. Of course they also offer staples that will help coat your stomach for a night of drinking. Favorites include chips and guacamole, e's burger with cheese and special sauce, mac & cheese, and crispy sharp NY cheddar balls. And it wouldn't be a bar without delicious cocktails. Sip on spring standouts like the Peach Mule, Strawberry Bourbon Sour, e's margarita, or Violet Collins. Stop by this Upper West Side hangout on Tuesday nights to play a few rounds of trivia from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. or hangout on Sunday afternoons from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. for Sunday Jams with a live DJ and plenty of rock and roll.

The Dead Poet
(credit: The Dead Poet)

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The Dead Poet may be small, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in character. If you're a literature nut then you'll adore all of this quaint bar's idiosyncrasies -- like the various quotations around the interior, as well as the poetic passages pertaining to the universal quandaries of life. You can sit down and curl up with a book from their classic works of literature or request a song from the jukebox. You'll find the bartender serves up one impressive pour of Guinness, making it easy to sign up for their 100 Pint Club. The Dead Poet will track your progress, so when you reach 100 pints of Guinness, you can get your name engraved on a special plaque up on the wall. Or,  you can go for the Guinness Wall of Fame when you reach 500 pints. More than 10,000 beer drinkers have already accepted the challenge. Don't worry, you can always opt for one of their signature cocktails if that sounds too heavy for you. The Walt Whitman (think a Long Island Iced Tea) or the Pablo Neruda (spiced rum sangria) are fun options. Make sure to check their website for their daily drink specials.

Dive 75

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If you're in the mood for some place mellow to kick back and enjoy a beer or two, Dive 75 is the perfect mellow spot. Sink into one of their cozy leather chairs by the aquarium and sip on one of their many beers on tap. Choose from any number of board games from the corner to keep you and your friends entertained or sign up for trivia night on Wednesdays starting at 7:30 p.m. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth at this joint – trays of candy frequent the bar so you can take your pick.

(credit: Prohibition)

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Itching to listen to some live music? Prohibition has got you covered. This upscale bar and lounge offers everything from jazz bands to incredible solo artist performances. Sit back and take it in while sipping on something with a kick like The Bootlegger, made with Angels Envy Bourbon, jalapeno-infused maple syrup, cherry liqueur, fresh lemon juice and bitters; or the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas – made with Tito's Vodka, Tabasco, olive juice, pepperoncini and black pepper. Stop in for happy hour and enjoy $6 beer/wine as well as eats like mini cheeseburgers, buffalo chicken wings ($6), and margherita pizza ($9).

Dakota Bar
(credit: The Dakota Bar)

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The Dakota Bar is a great date night spot with its low lighting, beautiful wine wall, and great shareable menu options. Start with one of their finger plates like the mini empanadas, portabella Mushroom Caps, or shrimp bruschetta before moving onto something heartier like one of their beautiful salads, crispy thin crust pizzas or decadent pasta bowls. Of course you can always share a cheese board and pair it with the perfect bottle of white or red wine. Test out one of their seasonal beers or end your evening with Chester's Anvil Mendocino Gewurztraminer, a sweet wine that is one of their Dakota Specials. Learn more here.

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Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.

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