It’s no wonder that New York City has earned itself the title of the city that never sleeps with its booming nightlife. At any given time there are over 1,000 bars open in the city that range from elegant cocktail spots to dingy pubs. However, this amount of venues means higher competition for bar owners. As a result, many bars have embraced quirky themes to attract tourists and locals alike. There are hundreds of bars with wacky themes to choose from, but we sorted through the list for you and picked out the best one NYC has to offer.
This cheeky theme bar is located in the heart of Bushwick, where hipsters come from all the world to pretend not to care. Though the bar is filled with classic games to play like battleship, a bathroom that never runs out of toilet paper, and kitschy boob decor, the bright pink neon sign at the center of the bar keeps the bar from trying too hard.
In SoHo, you can find an unassuming door that leads down a flight of stairs and into the belly of a ship! The captains, err, bartenders on this ship pour a mean cocktail, so be sure and avoid sea-sickness with one of their delicious appetizers to go with.
Sure getting a drink in a themed bar is fun, but ordering your drink while watching a movie is even better. At the syndicated you can choose between grabbing a drink at the bar, ordering food from a table, or combine the two inside their 1970s style movie theater.
A Lower East Side favorite to many is the New Orlean’s inspired 169 Bar. Inside you can pretend it’s Mardi Gras any day of the year with palm trees, a leopard print pool table, and hanging lights to set the mood. Enjoy an ice cold daquiri or find some southern comfort in their famous Mac & Cheese as well.
The Johnson’s is the sister bar of Welcome to the Johnson’s, both inspired by a 1970’s living room. I recommend the newer one as it is much bigger and cleaner. Though the bar has jokes about getting bad yelp reviews, the $2 Lionshead beer and cheap Painkillers keep people coming back anyway.
With beer bongs hanging from the ceiling of the bar, nostalgic movie posters, and fresh pizza, this bar is a haven for anyone that enjoys acting like a frat boy.
Arcade’s aren’t just for kids anymore. This lower east side bar hosts several classic arcade games that line the walls of this very much grown-up bar.
Can’t seem to hyde your split personality? Well, this bar won’t judge you. This west village club embraces the weird and theatrical with butlers whose sole job is to walk around and scare unsuspecting patrons.
If you’re one of those Christmas in July types, then this bar is for you. Get in the Christmas spirit 365 days of the year as you sip eggnog from a Santa shaped mug and admire the many holiday decorations that kept up all year round.
It’s hard to find a good tiki bar nowadays. Or at least that’s what a few native New Yorkers and one Pittsburghian thought. Located in Manhattan’s East Village, this bar has been serving Piña Colada and island vibes since 2002.
What would a list of New York City’s top theme bars be without one inspired by Gotham city, the fictional birthplace of Batman that was modeled after NYC? From action figures to murals of batman and superman on the walls, this bar is what comic-book nerds dreams are made of. Though, the $3 beers and inexpensive shots make this an attractive bar to anyone.
What are your favorite Theme Bars in NYC? Or anywhere in the world? Let us know in the comments and we might just include it in a future story!