629 5th Avenue (Between 17th and 18th Street)
What it is: A local staple built around the idea of a perfect neighborhood dive, with a touch of Belgian-beer-obsessiveness thrown in.
Why we love it: Friendly is the key word to this bar. Buried in the unknown depths of South Slope, this bar doesn’t tend to get a lot of tourists or other-borough immigrants looking to party. Instead, think of a bar where everyone knows your name (including the owners). To top it all off, with over 70 different bottled options and 6 taps, the beer selection here makes you dream of tulips and prostitutes (two of the three things the Netherlands is known for).
Who to bring: This bar is definitely the Contra hack for anyone new to the area looking to meld in, but for any friendly person who loves beer, Buck Hunter, and drawing (the entire backyard wall is a blackboard patrons are encouraged to use), It’s a bar that could easily be called home.
What to order: While the draft list changes very frequently (thank the fact that one of the owners used to run Midtown beer sanctuary Ginger Man), the bartenders are always very friendly when it comes to guiding you through their unpronounceable beer list. They also frequent local American brews like Flying Dog, Victory, and Lagunitas. Drink beer, is what I’m trying to say, and try a grilled cheese to go with it.
South fun fact: The bar hosts frequent events like chili cook-offs to Super Bowl betting pools to sports nights for whatever team you can think of (recently the Rangers fans have claimed the bar as holy ground). All this plus a fantastic happy hour and perpetual $3 shots make this bar always worth the commute. If you are in the neighborhood, you’re probably reading this at South right now.