New York City boasts one of the most robust – and diverse – natural wine scenes in the world, featuring everything from up-and-coming producers to cult favourites and beyond. While the scene’s offerings quickly expand across outer boroughs, Manhattan is still home to a slew of great places to drink. Not sure where to begin? Check out the best places to drink natural wine in Gotham below.
La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
249 Centre St, New York, NY 10013
Beloved by wine novices and industry folk alike, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels finds itself atop most best New York wine bar lists, and it’s no surprise. Founded by the group behind Experimental Cocktail Club, the bar’s sultry environment provides the perfect backdrop for casual dates or post-work drinks with friends. While the list incorporates a lengthy array of wine styles, it errs on the natural side of things, boasting ample selections from both Old and New World regions. Chef Eric Bolyard’s Mediterranean-inspired small plates and tasty snacks are produced from locally-sourced ingredients, which pair perfectly with the bar’s expansive bottle list. Fair warning, this may be your new favourite wine bar.
135 Division St, New York, NY 10002
Spearheaded by the brains behind the original namesake retail shop, Parcelle’s latest on-premise output is quickly becoming the go-to spot for both locals and industry folk. Decked out in Italian modernist-inspired furniture – curated in conjunction with designer Paul Renwick – the bar’s trendy-yet-welcoming atmosphere is perfect for enjoying a glass (or bottle) amongst friends. The bar’s list is broken into approachable sections, ranging from Natural to Chilled Reds to Under $75 and beyond. Don’t sleep on the Last Chance section, which regularly highlights a handful of on-their-way-out gems.
Peoples Wine Bar
115 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
‘Wine of the people, by the people, and for the people’ – that’s the motto at Lower East Side-based Peoples Wine Bar. They were founded in 2019 by Jeremiah Stone, Fabián von Hauske Valtierra and Daryl Nuhn, three self-proclaimed longtime supporters of natural wine. This friendly neighbourhood bar focuses on the stories (and faces) behind the bottle, both at the bar and in the neighbouring retail shop. The trio’s passion for environmentally-friendly farming and socio-political issues collide at this new to-the-scene spot, which is simply unmissable for natural wine lovers.
125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Located in the heart of the East Village, Ruffian has become an institution for New York-based natural wine drinkers. Founded in 2016, this small-yet-cosy bar – now with ample heated sidewalk seating – features a primarily vegetarian menu, available in both à la carte and tasting menu formats (gluten-free and vegan options are also available). The bar is best known for its extensive skin-contact wine offerings and its vast selection from eastern Europe. In-person classes are regularly hosted (eight people per class maximum), and the use of the bar as a private event space is also available.
183 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
Situated in the former location of long-standing West Village haunt Bar Sardine, St. Jardim officially opened its doors last year and has quickly become one of the neighbourhood’s buzziest places to eat and drink. Founded by Andrew Dete and Christa Alexander, alongside consulting chef Tony Nassif (Black Seed Bagels), this homey nook offers freshly shucked oysters, Mediterranean-inspired small plates, and Lebanese fare. All are served up alongside a small yet well-curated all-natural wine list. Expect a solid selection of bubbles, ample skin-contact pours, and a variety of red and white Old World favourites (as well as the Last Call section).
76 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Finding top-notch places to drink tasty natural wine that won’t break the bank can be a difficult feat in Manhattan these days, though thankfully, Skin Contact offers a pleasant reprieve. Founder Eben Lillie, son of the founder of Chambers Street Wines, grew up around – and developed a passion for – natural wines at a young age. This is reflected in the bar’s friendly yet knowledgeable environment. Sidewalk, backyard and indoor seating are all available and an average glass of wine will run you less than $15 a pour. Expect a 200-ish selection list and around 15 by-the-glass pours at any given moment.
155 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Vegan wine and pasta bar? Sign us up. Located on Avenue B, Soda Club is the newest plant-based, all-natural-wine-focused establishment from Overthrow Hospitality. The bar’s extensive 200-bottle list is curated by co-owner and wine director Drew Brady, who hand selects every bottle with the kitchen’s meticulously-executed pasta dishes in mind. While you may be sceptical about vegan pasta, we honestly cannot rave about the place enough. From bucatini arrabbiata to cappelletti with morel mushrooms, vegetable brodo, smoked olive oil and more, the kitchen’s flavour-packed dishes provide something for every palate – wine included. Pull up a velvet chair and get ready to discover your new favourite date night spot.
The Ten Bells
247 Broome St, New York, NY 10002
It’s impossible to discuss the history of New York’s natural wine scene without mentioning The Ten Bells. Founded in 2008 in the city’s Lower East Side neighbourhood, the bar was one of the first natural wine-exclusive establishments to open up shop in town. And at a time when the style was far less fashionable than it is today. Expect small plates, tapas, and $1 oyster happy hours to grace the bar’s food menu, which is offered alongside $18 carafes of wine from opening through 7 pm daily. Gather around the wraparound bar, peruse the bible-like list, and raise a glass to this foundational, long-standing natural wine institution.