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Best bars and Sips in LIC

Best bars and Sips in LIC

Let's take a look at some of the best after work dining and drinking bars in the colorful and vibrant community of Long Island City, NY

Sweet Leaf Cocktail Bar - Long Island City

Sweet Leaf has made quite a name for themselves in Long Island City as the place to go for pastries and all manner of teas, coffees and espresso drinks, both hot and cold. In an already super crowded marketplace, the folks at Sweet Leaf managed to separate themselves from the competition.
 
But the management team here are not content to merely rest on their laurels. There is always an inventive new challenge ahead. That kind of out of the box thinking is what inspired the creation of their third location on Center Blvd. It has everything that you cannot do without from the original Sweet Leaf and a great deal more.
 
On your way to work or during your lunch break you can still grab a great cup of coffee or tea as well as one of their addicting pastries. But here's the fun part; after five, Sweet Leaf turns into a cocktail bar, just in time for when you are getting home from work.
 
On the bottom floor of one of the new, luxury high-rise buildings that dot the waterfront landscape, Sweet Leaf hasn't gone corporate or avant-garde at all. The interior of reclaimed wood, antiques and lots of comfy and inviting sofas and leather couches has stayed the same. Sweet Leaf is still a place that feels like home.
Sweetleaf Cocktails
The only difference is that now you can order adult beverages as well as a variety of bar bites, including savory meat and cheese boards, guacamole with chips and juicy burgers.
 
Sweet Leaf may be relatively new to the cocktail game but they do know how to put on a Happy Hour. From 5 to 8 PM, Monday through Sunday you can grab a beer for $5, a glass of wine for only six singles and one of their signature cocktails for the this can't be real price of $8.
 
It seems as though every bar in LIC claims to make the best Mojito. But try to reserve judgment as to which bar mixes the very best version of this drink until you've sampled Sweet Leaf's Chilean Mojito with Pisco, simple syrup, mint and muddled lime.
 
The mixologists here have created a cocktail that is poised for stardom on the New York nightlife scene in Phoenix Rising. Once you sip this audacious blend of bourbon, honey, ginger syrup, lemon juice, egg white and Angostura bitters, this drink will become your new go-to.
One of their more popular drinks is the Wine and Roses, a simple mix of vodka, honey, rose water and a red wine float.
 
By no means has Sweet Leaf turned their back on coffee and all things related. They have many coffee-based cocktails for you.
The LIC Special consists of Black Strap rum, coffee liqueur, agave, lime juice and soda water.
 
You get the picture. The pleasures here for coffee and cocktail lovers are never-ending. 

Location and Hours

 4615 Center Blvd.
 Long Island City, NY 11101
 (347) 527-1038
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Hours
Monday to Thursday    7 AM to 12 AM
Friday                7 AM to 2 AM
Saturday            8 AM to 2 AM
Sunday                8 AM to 12 AM  

Maiella - Long Island City

This beautiful restaurant has made a huge impact on the trendy long Island City nightlife scene. Located at the base of the iconic Pepsi sign in Gantry State Park, Maiella provides its' guests with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline as well as some of the best food in the entire city.
 
But, perhaps you didn't know that, along with a delicious menu that is filled with signature dishes that are unique to Maiella, the restaurant has a cocktail list that is both inspired and very creative. The mixologists behind the bar are just as talented, in their own right, as is the culinary team. And that is really saying something.
 
Just minutes away from Manhattan, by subway, (the #7 Vernon-Jackson station is but a few blocks away), Maiella is the perfect destination to unwind with a couple of cocktails and a great meal or even some appetizers. Do as the Italians do and make a complete dinner out of a selection of antipasti.
And, if you happen to be lucky enough to live in Long Island City; stop by on your way home. Treat yourself. After a seemingly endless day at the office, you deserve something special. You will be joined at the bar by other young professionals and locals who have discovered what Maiella is all about. And, they can't get enough of it.
Maelia
Antipasti that goes well with just about any cocktail are the grilled octopus with grape tomatoes, chick peas and black olives and the eggplant that's stuffed with spinach and Mozzarella.
 
If you are meeting your love after work then the two of you might be interested in the Fettuccine Maiella., along with a relaxing glass of wine. This excellent dish consists of house-made, wine infused fettuccine noodles with fresh seasonal truffles. A wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is brought to the table and your server tosses the fettuccine with the cheese, right before your eyes....with more than a little flair we might add.
Another must-try is Maiella's signature risotto, The delectable saffron rice is blended with a generous portion of Maine lobster and shellfish. The dish is finished with a touch of garlic, white wine and fresh tomatoes.
 
The bar provides a bountiful array of liquid refreshment. Some of the cocktails change with the seasons while others are mainstays.  One drink that is always available is the Maiella, a blend of Stolichnaya vodka, strawberry, and fig infused car pano Bianco, fresh lemon and club soda.
 
One of their most innovative cocktails is the Frizzantino 75. This is a buzz-worthy cocktail in more ways than one. The ingredients, Ketel one vodka, Vecchia Romagna, thyme, fresh citrus, Strega and prosecco all come together in a very nice way. Your palate will be pleased. And your mood elevated to the top floor, to be sure.
 
A couple of other drinks that will do the trick are the Italian Old Fashioned (whiskey, Amaro Montenegro and bitters), and the Vagabondo. This is one strong drink, so be prepared. The ingredients are Peli Grosso Blanco tequila, fresh pressed pineapple juice, ginger, lime, mezcal, a hint of spice and a dash of red sea salt.

Location and Hours

4610 Center Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 606-1770
www.maiellalic.com
 
Hours
Monday to Thursday        5 PM to 10 PM
Friday                    5 PM to 11 PM
Saturday                11:30 AM to 11 PM
Sunday                    11:30 AM to 10 PM

Alobar  -  Long Island City

The business district that runs along Vernon Avenue is always buzzing, been welcomingboth on weekday evenings and on weekends when the brunch crowd is out in full force.
There is a wide array of intriguing restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from. One of the most popular is Alobar, which has been a favorite of local residents for many years now.
 
Now better than ever, Alobar has re-invented itself, adding more spirits to their already sensational drink list. But the biggest chabeen welcoming new executive chef Reagan Angelle to the fold. Chef Reagan has introduced an eclectic menu that emphasizes fresh, farm to table ingredients as well as an inventive spin on traditional comfort dishes.
 
The cool, rustic ambiance that you've come to know and love are still there. The wood tables, curved banquette seating, antique furnishings and framed drawings and photos of how Long Island City looked in the past, still serve to give this welcoming gastropub its' distinctive character.
 
Happy Hour is new and improved, as well. On Tuesday through Friday, from 5 to 7 PM, Oysters for just one dollar will elevate anybody's mood as will $5 draft beers and wines. Six bucks for a shot and a Genesee isn't bad either.
You can now enjoy a robust selection of Bourbon, Scotch, and Rye, as well.
alobar
The house cocktail here is the sexy Midnight Runner, which consists of Zafra 21 rum, Lime, Tamarind syrup and an egg white. Brad' Old fashioned, with High West double rye, citrus syrup and Angostura will also provide a rather potent kick.
A blend of rye, sweet vermouth and orange bitters are the featured ingredients of the O'Neil.
 
Probably the most popular dish on the menu, especially during the warm Summer months, is the chilled asparagus salad with sunchokes, cress, garlic, lemon and anchovy oil. That is so good.
Chef Reagan turns what can sometimes be rather dull and bland pork tenderloins into a taste sensation. The tender medallions of pork are accompanied by haricot vert, black beans, radish, avocado, cilantro and green tomatoes.
 
Another winner is the roasted half chicken with fingerling potatoes, arugula and caramelized onions.

Location and Hours 

46-42 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 752-6000
www.alobarnyc.com
 
Hours
Monday                closed
Tuesday-Wednesday    5 PM to 9:30 PM
Thursday                    5 PM to 10 PM
Friday                         5 PM to 11 PM
Saturday                    11 AM to 11 PM
Sunday                      11 AM to 9 PM 

Domaine Bar a Vins  -  Long Island  City

This charming wine bar brings a stylish touch of Paris to Vernon Blvd.  A favorite haunt of local hipsters, artists and young professionals, Domaine bar a Vins is also  frequented by chefs and sommeliers from all over the city.
When industry professionals go to a bar or restaurant to unwind after their shift, then you the place has to be worth your while.
 
Owners Pascal Ecriout and Robert Goncalves have curated a list of over forty delicious wines, mostly from the South of  France.
These guys certainly know what they are doing. In fact, Pascal's family has owned and operated a vineyard (domaine)  in France for several generations.
 
Pull up a stool at the beautiful zinc bar and indulge your senses with some of the best wine that you'll drink anywhere in Queens. A nice date place, Domaine bar has vintage, chic European fixtures and furnishings throughout including  19th century Parisian street lanterns that cast a very romantic glow on the scene.
 
The menu here is short and sweet but very, very delicious. Captivate your taste buds with bar bites such as their Prosciutto plate, a delectable grilled cheese tartine, a way above average shrimp cocktail and a terrine of Foie Gras.
 
The ultimate wine and cheese bar, Domaine offers the very best selections that you could want. French cheeses are, of course well represented with a soft and buttery Camembert.
Cheese plates also include Vermont cheddar, Spanish Manchego and a little known but delicious and tangy Crotin cheese from Italy.
 
Several nights per week, Domaine also hosts live jazz after 9 PM. Many of the musicians are from the Long Island City area. So, that's yet another thing to get excited about when you spend an evening here. 

Location and Hours

5004 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 784-2350
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Hours    
Monday to Sunday    5 PM to 1 AM

Anable Basin Bar and Grill - Long Island City

This unpretentious bar is truly one of the undiscovered gems in the trendy neighborhood of Long Island City. Overlooking the boat basin, right on the East River, Anable bar and grill provides an escape from your hectic day.
 
Just bring your specialty cocktail, craft beer or glass of wine over to one of the long, wooden, umbrella bedecked tables on the pier and you can sip away with the twinkling lights of Manhattan as a backdrop. In seconds, you'll feel a whole lot of positive energy flow through your body.
It's no wonder that Anable Basin Bar and grill has received great reviews from such noteworthy publications as Conde' Nast Traveler.
 
The wine selection is limited, but what they do offer is absolutely delicious and just what the doctor ordered to relieve the stress of a busy New York day. They have more bountiful options when it comes to craft beers as well as the canned and bottled variety.
 
Their menu is quite interesting, drawing as it does from a multitude of International cuisines.

In addition to Brazilian style boiled corn, the kitchen has a succulent Pikanya on the menu, which is flank steak with farofa and pita bread.
You can also "travel" to the Balkans for some chevapi, a dish that consists of sausage with ajvar and grilled onions. They also do some hearty platters that feature German Bratwurst and authentic Spanish chorizo.
 
If you're not into meat, that's fine. Just order the seasonal greens and veggie plate. It's filling and healthy. You can't argue with that.
 
The folks at Anable run a simply magnificent event space that you will want to look into if you have a wedding or corporate gathering coming up in your future.
 
They have restored an old warehouse and gallery building, turning it into something that is beautiful to behold. The 8,000 square foot space retains an industrial feel but with a very modern vibe.

Location and Hours 

4-40 44th Drive
Long Island City, NY 11101
(646) 207-1333
 
Hours
Monday to Friday    4:30 PM to 2 AM
Saturday and Sunday    11:30 AM to 2 AM

LIC Bar  -  Long Island City

Now, this is a dive bar that has some character to it. Housed in a building that is over one hundred years old, LIC BAR has an antique wood bar, original tin ceiling and exposed brick walls. A casual cool ambiance pervades the place.

Although the bar has been renovated a time or two, over the last little while, it's amazing to think that, through its various identities, generations of Long Island city workers and residents have been coming here. That's the very definition of a neighborhood local, as the British like to say.
LIC Bar
Everyone who comes here loves the gorgeous backyard. Just sit in the shade of the blooming willow trees and enjoy good conversation with your friends as well as a draft beer, single-malt Scotch, a glass of cider or a mixed drink. Buy, be forewarned. Don't look for any artsy cocktails with ingredients whose name you can't pronounce. That's not what they do here at LIC Bar. The bartenders, though, are known for mixing one of the best Moscow Mules in town. So if that's your sipping jam, you're in luck!
 
You can catch some great live music as well as poetry and book readings from local authors in the bars front room. Simply call or check the LIC Bars website for details on upcoming shows.

Location and Hours 

45-58 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 786-5400
www.licbar.com
 
Hours
Monday to Friday   4 PM to 4 AM
Saturday              1 PM to 4 AM
Sunday                1 PM to 12 AM
 

The Cellar Bar at the Z NYC Hotel  -  Long Island City

After leaving the  #7 train at Court Square or the Vernon-Jackson station, do yourself a really big favor. Skip the usual Chinese takeout or pizza delivery, for one night. And, while you're at it, put the TV binge watching on hold.
 
For a really nice evening head straight over to the Cellar Bar in the sexy and sleek Z NYC Hotel. The atmosphere here is game-changing. There's nothing wrong with being pampered while you enjoy a delicious cocktail, sink into a comfortable lounge chair and decide what looks good on the menu.
 
If you're lucky and the weather co-operates, you can go upstairs to the Z Hotels' rooftop and enjoy that cocktail, while feeling like you are on top of the world. What a view!
 
The Bar features an incredible and thirst quenching line-up of local New York craft beers including Six Point, out of Brooklyn and  Long Island's Blue Point lagers.
 
The bar turns out some nifty drinks with cute names. They are great conversation starters, by the way. if you want to bond with that good looking guy or gal sitting a couple of stools away from you at the bar.
The Bad Idea Sangria is actually the perfect way to toast the upcoming weekend. This mouth-watering red sangria is a refreshing blend of fresh fruit, blackberry brandy and "Q" organic grapefruit soda.
 
The Guilty as Gin concoction consists of Hendrick's gin, St. Germaine, fresh cucumbers and  Chandon Brut Champagne.
Don't ever tell a Little White Lie to your date for the evening. Just sip and enjoy this marvelous blend of fig vodka, fresh limes and white cranberry juice.
      
The chefs here have some serious culinary chops going for them. This is NOT just basic bar food.
You will find it next to impossible to choose between the Truffle fries with pickles or the Artichoke dip fritters. Making your decision even more difficult are the light but filling roasted chicken lettuce wraps with Jasmine rice, water chestnuts and shaved carrots.
 
Entree options include pan seared salmon with grilled asparagus and their signature Penne New Orleans style with Andouille sausage, roasted red and green peppers, onions, all in a ranchero cream sauce.
 
At the Cellar Bar, just as with the entire Z Hotel, service always exceeds expectations. 

Location and Hours 

11-01 43rd Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
(347) 338-6100
 
 
Hours
Bar Hours:
Sunday to Thursday    3 PM to 12 AM
Friday and Saturday    3 PM to 1 AM
 
Dinner:
Monday-Thursday    5 PM to 11 PM
Friday                     5 PM to 1 AM
Saturday                 2 PM to 1 AM
Sunday                   2 PM to 11 PM 

Penthouse 808 - Long Island City

There is always something new and exciting happening at Penthouse 808, a bistro and lounge that is located inside the celebrated Ravel Hotel.
 
Penthouse 808 is famous for some really breathtaking views of Manhattan and the Queens borough bridge from their rooftop garden and enclosed, all weather lounge.
The place attracts a sexy Saturday night crowd who flock here, not just from the surrounding neighborhood but from the city as well.
During the week, many local residents bring their friends from the office here and introduce them to the delights that Penthouse 808 has to offer.
 
Chef Seth Levine, who appeared on season 5 of Hell's Kitchen, has earned rave reviews for his Hawaiian and Asian inspired Pacific Rim fare. The dishes that come out of Seth's kitchen are sexy and out of the box. But you will enjoy each and every one.
     
From Thai roasted salmon and miso-truffle chicken to soba noodle stir fry with Asian greens, your mouth will start to water as soon as you peruse the menu. But, the dish that foodies all over town are talking about is Chef Levine's coconut curry bouillabaisse. This dish brings all of the elements that you could want in a meal.
It's sweet, spicy and, at the same time, savory. Jumbo shrimp, clams, scallops, sweet curry, chili threads and coconut milk are all served inside of a hollowed out coconut shell. And, oh yes, you get a nice helping of jasmine rice with this dish, too.
808 Penthhouse
Over the Summer, Penthouse 808 will be hosting a weekly lobster bake. For $38, you get a whole lobster with all of the trimmings including steamed clams, a baked potato and corn on the cob. You won't go home hungry after you finish off this feast... if, indeed, you can!
 
Their weeknight happy hour offers some juicy bar bite deals like veggie spring rolls, dragon sliders, a kani salad or samurai chicken wings for $7.
Select wines and specialty cocktails also come in at a very reasonable seven bucks.
 
The cocktail list is quite extensive. There's some serious mixing going on here, sake particularly with the Pacific Sangria which highligsake, peach juice and sparkling rose'. A little bit of cinnamon clove syrup adds something very special to the rye and cider ingredients in the soon to be classic Traveler's nectar cocktail.
 
On the more refreshing side are the Sweet Escape with Stoli raspberry, a balsamic reduction and strawberry juice and the very popular Cook's Punch. The blend of pineapple juice with Port and Anejo rum is interesting. 

Location and Hours 

8-08 Queens Plaza South
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 289-6118
 
Hours
Monday                      Closed
Tuesday to Thursday   5 PM to 10 PM
Friday and Saturday     5 PM to 11:30 PM
Sunday                       5 PM to 10 PM
 
Extended Bar hours on Friday and Saturday    11 PM to 4 AM

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