Bier International: Located in West Harlem. This bar is cash only, which goes hand in hand with my cash rant about NYC. This place seems so out of place in Harlem….a beer garden?!?! Well the drinks are ok and the food is downright quirky. I would also say the music seems like a wannabe Euro Hipster sound as well. This is positively one of the strangest bars I know. I recommend it if you have cash and a drink without a care in NYC, but it's not much.
PourHouse: Located in West Harlem. I love the pun in the name, but there's not much to see her. They do provide decent appetizers that can be available to a large amount of people. However, their bar doesn't accommodate as much as their appetizers do? Even though they had a second bar, they didn't do much with it so instead we all had to crowd around the bar with our large group. As such, you basically do the bar plant, where one person stays at the bar and takes drink request. This bar I simply recommend for a drink and decent appetizers, but you can do better in West Harlem.
Rogue: Located in Midtown. The beer selection here is pretty decent and it is one of the cheapest bars located in midtown. Moreover, it has some really great food options (try the burgers or the pulled pork). Rogue also has some TV screens were you can watch an occasional game. Overall, Rogue is standard fair, but because it's located in midtown it gets a high recommendation from me for having easy costs and enjoyment.
Babel: Located in Alphabet City. This was a strange journey with a strange woman on one of my many internet dating escapades of the first semester. Anyways, Babel is bit of a hookah bar/club with overpriced drinks. Though they do have one of my favorites El Presidente (straight from the DR), it seems to be trying to hard. Furthermore, they issues with my card and gave my date and I free drinks. However, I later thought they had charged me for them when I found that they hadn't. Lastly, the music is pretty good here and probably the biggest plus regardless of the fact that only my date and I were dancing. I don't know how I feel on a recommendation here as I think this is a your mileage may vary spot.
Cove: Located in Central Harlem. Can someone say price tag?!? This is one of the first bars I really got to see what people mean by drinking in NYC can be costly. The drinks here are double just about anywhere I've been and contain a lot of ice in a small fancy glass. While that is a complaint, everything else here is firing on all cylinders. The class level (snazzy brothers and sisters), the music (kicking 90s tunes), the decor (unique blend of colors and style), and while it is a bit older - 30s - crowd we all know how I am with that. Personally, I would grab drinks at my nearby favorite Corner Social and then hop over to Cove to dance and enjoy the people. I recommend Cove for everything but the drinks.
Madam X: Located in East Village. While there is a cover here (first bar on this list with one), it's only $5. Once you get over that small hurdle, everything else here is a lot of fun. The music is great, the people are great (most brothers and sisters besides BOB in the East Village!), and the whole red light mix is a change that grows on you. While it is fairly small, it is good for meeting people and getting some room to dance. Note: they serve the drinks pretty strong here, so be ready for that even though they're not too costly. To be honest, Madam X is one of my favorite bars in the whole city and with that I highly recommend Madam X.
Not sure what's next Facebook teens v. adults or another Top 10 (TV Shows). Stay tuned.