White Horse Tavern

Historic Bar / Historic Restaurant / Café
White Horse Tavern Built in 1880 and frequented by 1950s literary greats like Mailer, Ginsburg, and Kerouac, the White Horse Tavern still attracts the artistically inclined denizens of the West Village. New York United States 40.7358076 -74.0059894
3.49 7
White Horse Tavern - Historic Bar | Historic Restaurant | Café in New York.
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Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Built in 1880 and frequented by 1950s literary greats like Mailer, Ginsburg, and Kerouac, the White Horse Tavern still attracts the artistically inclined denizens of the West Village. Both day and night, would-be writers... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    1: Christopher Street-Sheridan Square-7th Avenue South

  • Phone:

    212-989-3956

  • Hours:

    Daily 11am–2am; Patio April–early November

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth White Horse Tavern Review

The Scene

Built in 1880 and frequented by 1950s literary greats like Mailer, Ginsburg, and Kerouac, the White Horse Tavern still attracts the artistically inclined denizens of the West Village.

Built in 1880 and frequented by 1950s literary greats like Mailer, Ginsburg, and Kerouac, the White Horse Tavern still attracts the artistically inclined denizens of the West Village.

Both day and night, would-be writers and college students settle into faded red-cushioned booths to scribble away, perhaps inspired by the paintings of white horses or even the creaky chairs and rustic décor that haven’t changed much since the days when the Beat writers made this pub their second home.

Regulars line up at the bar to argue passionately about everything from the televised sports being broadcast above the bar to the latest Pynchon novel, while patrons looking for more privacy slip into the two comfy dens looking onto Hudson street, the first watched over by a portrait of poet Dylan Thomas, who famously died after a whiskey-soaked visit to the Tavern.

Once the weather turns balmy, the outdoor patio fills with passersby stopping in for burgers and beer, or by aspiring creative types who descend on weekends to chat each other up to a soundtrack of rock tunes from the jukebox.

Although it never gets overly rowdy these days, White Horse Tavern is a great stop for visitors who want to pay homage to the bar’s rich history of literary debauchery in what is still a comfy, stimulating atmosphere.

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Tip from Jonah:

Back in the day, Jack Kerouac got kicked out of here so often that someone scrawled “Go home, Jack” on the bathroom wall. The graffiti no longer exists, but the café is still a great spot to get some writing done and start a Beat movement of your own.

  • Crowd

    Local writers, artists, and musicians, creative college students, some tourists, 20s to early 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Jukebox with a selection of rock music. TVs tuned to local sporting events.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Pub fare including burgers, bratwursts, and French fries. Brunch Sa–Su 11am–3pm. Cash only.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $6+, burgers $7–$12, entrées $7+. Beer $6+, cocktails $7+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: jeans, t-shirts, sneakers.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursdays through Saturdays for a bustling scene, and Saturdays and Sundays for brunch.

  • Close By

    Literally next door, the Abingdon Square Green Market is open Saturdays from 8am–2pm and features some of the best fresh produce in the city.

White Horse Tavern User Reviews

Average rating:
On The Road
Jaclyn W. Dec 6, 2012
Along with Jack, I too have traveled here while On The Road. My road, however, was more the bar crawl and this place always ends up being the end of my night. I've wandered here after Santacon as well as after co-worker outings.the bar. I order my regular boring drinks here, vodka club, partly because it's the end of the night and partly because this is your classic bar. I am also a sucker for literary anything, so the fact that this bar pays homage to so many great writers, I fall into the nostalgia as does half the people who wander here. It's very casual, which makes it easy to drop-in on any given night. Would I call it the best bar in the West Village? No. People come here to mainly soak up the atmosphere of a forgotten time, but that is sort of difficult provided that there are usually so many people milling about you can barely get to the actual bar (another reason why I order a simple drink). I've never sat at a table, just the bar, but I hear their burger is pretty good. All in all this is mainly a tourist spot. It's divey despite that it's in the West Village. Except for a one time experience, I would skip over it.
More a tradition than a bar
Chris K. Nov 19, 2012
A New York City staple and allegedly the place where Dylan Thomas had his last drink before taking a bite of that skull-shaped apple, the White Horse Tavern is still an awesome place to hole up with some friends and suck back a couple of beers. The gritty wooden interior has an antique quality that's hard to not love, the bar food is absolutely delicious, and the staff are a perfect mixture of sympathetic and downtown-aloof. One of the major drawbacks is the crowds--not the people, just the sheer size of the crowd itself. This place gets packed in that downtown sort of way that almost makes you hate a city. That said, if you can squeeze in and sidle up to the bar, I definitely recommend a night here.
Relaxed West Village Institutions
Jimmy D. Aug 14, 2012
Feels like this place could have been in Scorcese's Gangs of New York with DiCaprio and Daniel Day Lewis its been around so long. It's a great casual bar to have a beer and grab some grub in the west village. Even if you aren't a writer.
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