Antler Beer and Wine Dispensary — Cooler than Sam Malone's place

By Josh Bernstein

On the hurly-burly Lower East Side, finding a quiet bar for cold beer and warm conversation with comrades can be a tall order. Thankfully, Antler is a throwback to a vanishing era when downtown bars doubled as informal living rooms. Tucked away a few steps underground, this rustic den is decorated with animal paintings, communal tables, mismatched lamps, and vintage speakers—a design concept inspired by 1970s recording studios. In lieu of booze, Antler focuses on wine (choose from tap, box, or bottle) and well-priced craft beer, including standout selections like Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, the aromatic Southampton Double White, and the Cherry Valance cocktail, made with a sour cherry beer. To accompany the imbibing, New Mexico native Cecelia Bye has curated a menu of kicked-up small plates, including roasted cauliflower skewers coated in green chile–infused olive oil, meatballs swimming in a spicy molten ricotta dip, and a “Chinatown” cheese steak made with kimchi and sriracha. Dig in, order another drink, and settle in for a spirited round of Jenga and Connect Four—you’re not leaving for a while.

... on the side

sweet seats
The long bar is the perfect place to make new friends. Coming with a gang? Claim the pinball and pac-man–equipped back room, or pop by Tuesday nights at 8 PM to dominate trivia night.

bar crawl
If you love Antler, hit the owners’ other beer bar, Gramercy’s Taproom No. 307.

Medium—tap your fingers to tunes by bands such as the Flaming Lips, the Generationals, and Passion Pit.


5 PM–2 AM daily

price range

$7 (crostini) to $10 (mac and cheese)