Lower Manhattan, SoHo, and TriBeCa
This bi-level lounge has the most entertaining bathrooms in town; the high-tech doors of unoccupied stalls are transparent, and (ideally) turn opaque as you lock the door.
Address: 89 Mercer St., between Spring and Broome Sts.
Just a hop away from South Street Seaport, this busy little restaurant flanking the Brooklyn Bridge is a world apart from that touristy district. The bar is one of the oldest in Manhattan, and though it's small, its inventory is huge: you can choose from a list of 80 domestic wines and about 50 single-malt scotches.
Address: 279 Water St., at Dover St.
Broome Street Bar
A classic hangout, this SoHo standard attracts artsy types from Manhattan on weekdays and from the other boroughs on weekends.
Address: 363 W. Broadway, at Broome St.
You can't miss the gigantic Lady Liberty crown out front, and the "Judy Jetson goes to art camp" decor at this former mob haunt. The margaritas (straight up, por favor) sit this enduring TriBeCa bar are phenomenal.
Address: 219 W. Broadway, between White and Franklin Str.
On Sunday, many carry the fat New York Times under their arms when they come to this casual SoHo neighborhood bar. The food's good, too.
Address: 94 Prince St., at Mercer St.
Now that the supermodels party elsewhere, this ultra-cool SoHo bistro has quieted down. Young Euro types pose at the cozy back tables; DJs play funky tunes at crowded weekend parties.
Address: 59 Grand St., between Broadway and Wooster St.
One of TriBeCa's hottest lounges, this modern-looking space has a cool banquette running the length of its loftlike room, as well a couple of round chambers in the rear where the celebrities retire.
Address: 110 Duane St., between Church St. and Broadway
A chic European crowd and New Yorkers in the know come to this dark, rather nondescript bar for the wonderful martinis. Its street number is barely visible-look for the French doors, which stay open in summer.
Address: 151 Mercer St., between Prince and Houston Sts.
Dazzlingly popular, this William Burroughs-inspired, earth-tone SoHo haunt is frequented by celebrities and other beautiful people.
Address: 17 Thompson St., at Grand St.
North Star Pub
This snug London-style pub is one of the only places at the South Street Seaport not completely overrun by tourists. Have an Imperial (20-ounce) pint of Guinness, but skip the greasy, expensive bar food.
Address: 93 South St., at Fulton St.
Martinis are the rule at this stylish, Russian-theme bar and lounge, where there are more than 70 brands of vodka and nearly as many types of martinis.
Address: 281 Lafayette St., between Prince and Houston Sts.
One of the first trendy spots in SoHo, this smoky French restaurant has yet to lose its touch. Expect a chic bar scene filled with model-pretty men and women.
Address: 180 Prince St., between Sullivan and Thompson Sts.
A small, dark lounge popular with the attractive locals who want some time off from the usual SoHo scene.
Address: 107 Sullivan St., between Prince and Spring Sts.
It can get rather cozy in this minimilist but comfortable spot where the great selection of wine and beer draws a friendly international crowd.
Address: 144 Sullivan St., between Houston and Prince Sts.
Getting past the velvet rope at this ultra-hot lounge is as difficult as driving a ground ball past New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, who frequents this spot along with his friend David Cone, and other such celebrities as Serena Altschul.
Address: 525 Broome St., between Thompson and Sullivan Sts.
First-precinct NYPD detectives, TriBeCa artists, Wall Street suits, and the odd celeb kick back at this cozy restaurant-bar.
Address: 16 N. Moore St., at Varick St.
Chelsea and the Village
Slim's, a cramped bar that gets patrons dancing on the counter to loud music, has amazingly good food.
Address: 733 Washington St., at Bank St.
This elegant bar and restaurant with French doors opening onto the street is an idyllic stop on a soft summer night.
Address: 502 6th Ave., between 12th and 13th Sts.
This French restaurant is something of a neighborhood institution, and its cozy bar serves some of the best margaritas in the city. They use only fresh fruit juices here.
Address: 105 W. 13th St., between 5th and 6th Aves.
This old-fashioned Village tavern is located a block away from the site of the original, which was a popular haunt of the abstract expressionist crowd during the 1950s.
Address: 82 University Pi, at 12th St.
Use your nose to help find this unmarked west side hot spot: incense burns in the entry to its blonde-wood panelled quarters, where unexpectedly mature patrons try not to get caught admiring the celebrities (Dennis Leary, Mick Jagger) in their midst.
Address: 409 W. l4th St., between 9th and 10th Aves.
Lower East Side and East Village through East 20s
Long lines peer through Venetian blinds at the fabulous crowd within this trendy spot formerly known as the Bowery Bar. If the bouncer says there's a private party going on, more likely than not, it's his way of turning you away nicely.
Address: 358 Bowery, at 4th St.
Appealing to club kids and collegiate types, this East Village bar looks like a small-town old-fashioned pharmacy. But don't expect to have your prescription filled-unless it's in the form of a martini.
Address: 538 E. 14th St., between Aves. A and B
With one of Manhattan's largest and leafiest outdoor gardens, the Cloister is a perfect perch for lingering and elbow bending.
Address: 238 E. 9th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves.
Tucked away in the popular Time Cafe, this Moroccan-theme Casbah offers nightly events, including drag and comedy shows, readings, and jazz and pop music (make reservations in advance for big-namebands).
Address: 380 Lafayette St., between 4th and Great Jones Sts.
Midtown and the Theater District
One of Manhattan's more beautiful rooms, restored space inside Grand Central Terminal dates back to the 193 when it was the private office of an executive named John W. Can bell. He knew how to live, and you can enjoy his good taste, too.
Address: 15 Vanderbilt Are., at 41st St.
This aged redbrick pub (it opened in 1868) is warmed by the glow of potbellied stoves on each of its three floors. The original mahogany bar and hand-pressed tin ceilings and walls give the tavern a 19th-century feel. The waiters insist it's haunted.
Address: 62611th Ave., at 46th St.
A big, hairless ape greets patrons at the door of this '90s creation, though neither it nor the jungle murals bring out much barbarism in the mannered banker-types who shoot back scotch here.
Address: . 60 E. 54th St., between Park and Madison Aves.
Upper East Side
The name refers to the decor, not necessarily to the clientele: old pipes, bike wheels, and golf clubs line the walls and ceilings.
Address: 147 11st Ave., between 76th and 77th Sts.
There's a modest dress code (no baseball hats, no sneakers) at this Upper East Side lounge with high ceilings and can delight, so the neighborhood crowd is a little better in appearance, and behavior, than usual.
Address: 300 E. 89th St., between 1st and 2nd Aves.
Dakota Southwestern Bar & Grill
A mix of yuppies fresh out of college and neighborhood lifers congregate around the 52-ft, 4-inch bay, one of the longest in Manhattan.
Address: 1576 3rd Ave., between 88th and 89th Sts.
Upper West Side
Cafe des Artistes
George Lang's restaurant, as well known for its glorious Art Nouveau murals as for its food, has a small, warm bar where interesting strangers tell their life stories and the house drink is pear champagne. It is one of the city's special hideaways.
Address: 1 W. 67th St., near Central Park W
This highly regarded Northern Italian restaurant has a cool, modern interior, a 3 5-ft curved mahogany bar, and a stupendous selection of grappas. Smoking is not permitted.
Address: 11 W, 60th St., between Broadway and Columbus Ave.
Big with the neighborhood's bon vivants, this is a good stop for cocktails.
Address: 477 Amsterdam Ave., at 83rd St.