Master of None, the latest brainchild between Parks and Recreation vets Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, is pretty goddamn brilliant. Released on Netflix last month, the show follows the life of Dev, a quirky Indian actor, living, working, and awkwardly skipping his way through New York City (and life). The show is authentic, yet just as ridiculous as you’d expect from Ansari.
Aside from the excellent writing and very real-world portrayal of what it means to be a young person living in New York today, Master of None features some of the best lower-key bars and restaurants in the boroughs.
Here are the 10 best bars featured in Season One of Master of None.
Hotel Delmano is perhaps one of the most highly acclaimed and perfectly relaxed cocktail bars in Brooklyn. The beautiful old school décor—dark leather booths and beautiful old wooden floors and wall ornaments—perfectly matches the ambiance, and the extensive fancy cocktail menu really kicks.
Baby’s All Right
In Episode 3 of the first season, Dev scores a pair of tickets to a secret Father John Misty show at Baby’s All Right, a massive low key-ish venue-slash-dive-bar-slash-lounge in Williamsburg (Oh, a secret Father John Misty show in Williamsburg? You don’t say!). The date goes awry, but this place is pretty excellent, and the vibe is on-point. This place also has some pretty stellar menu offerings, which features upper crust traditional American fare.
It’s tough to find laid back local pub-style joints in Brooklyn these days, but Ansari and his writes really have it together, in this regard. The Commodore isn’t wildly popular, and despite its solid location well under the average Yelper’s radar, this quaint, quiet neighborhood bar features some of the best fried chicken in all of New York City. The drink menu is pretty basic (save for the great frozen selection!), but they’re on the inexpensive side (but certainly not dirt cheap). Come for the food, stay for the booze.
Featured only briefly in Episode 3, this Greenpoint spot is pretty awesome, and was certainly deserving of a bigger nod. The very antique barroom décor—small, candle-lit tables; patterned ceilings; beautiful wood floors; a wood-burning stove—complements the well put together cocktail menu and delicious food well. In the episode, Dev and Rachel wind up having a drink or two and go dancing, but this place is far more relaxed than what Master of None portrays it to be. The DJs are usually awesome, but it’s definitely not a “get up and shake that ass” kinda place.
The first word that comes to mind when most people think of this Greenpoint favorite is “chill.” An expansive cocktail menu and excellent staff, coupled with beautiful, classic décor and a noteworthy U-shaped bar that everyone loves, really sets this spot apart from most of the other places on this list. Plus, the food is superb.
We don’t ever really wish people bounce off our features before they’ve finished reading them, but Sunny’s is truly a best-kept secret kinda place, and we almost regret writing about it. It receives a very small, very subtle nod in Master of None, and while it deserves a hell of a lot more recognition (it’s the highest-rated bar on this list, according to Yelp), we really appreciate them not exploiting its greatness. That said, neither will we. Sunny’s is a place unlike anywhere else in New York, and its charm and simplicity is unlike anything else in New York. Go find out for yourself.
The East Village was once the backbone of the countercultural world. It was gritty and dirty and loud. It was punk rock. And now it’s filled with wealthy yuppie pretenders and ranks among one of America’s 25 most wealthy neighborhoods. Punk may have grown up and sold out, but Ace Bar definitely hasn’t. This old school dive and arcade features a ton of the old classics, along with pool, darts, and even skee ball. The drinks are cheap, the food is good, and the old school barroom Americana vibe is just perfect.
The Jane Ballroom
The Jane holds a relatively minor place among the bars and restaurants featured in Master of None, but that isn’t to say it’s not an important venue. This club and lounge is located in the historic The Jane hotel, which we don’t recommend actually staying in. The scene here is fun and the DJ’s always play a pretty solid mix of music. The drinks are like most NYC club drinks—and are priced accordingly—and the food is OK, too.
Charles Hanson’s 169 Soul Jazz Oyster Bar
The 169 Bar gets the privileged distinction of being the most dive-y dive bar on this list. Featured perfectly in Episode 7, Dev and his friends come here during their night out. This place is right next door to Mission Chinese, which is one of the best Chinese spots in all of Manhattan (and also makes a cameo in the show!), but also features some pretty excellent traditional American fare, itself. We challenge you to find another place in LES that will sell you a pulled pork BBQ sandwich and an ice cold 40 of Olde English. Oh, and they have a leopard-print pool table. Yup.
Marlow & Sons
We round out our list with a trip back to Williamsburg for Marlow & Sons. This delicious, under-the-radar bruncherie and restaurant features a pretty eclectic menu—swordfish, chicken liver pate, octopus, etc.—as well as an exceptional drink and cocktail menu. One of the more family friendly places on this list, it also features a full-on cozy café, filled to the brim with books, magazines, and French presses. The back is where things liven up, with a full dining area and bar. Business in the front; party in the back.