The Ten Nerdiest Bars In New York

by Chiara Atik · November 11, 2010

    One usually doesn't think of bars as typically nerdy establishments, but when you think about it, even nerds need a place to convene and drink. Some of these places are cool despite their geekiness, and others are just, well, unabashedly nerdy. -

    Here are our top picks for nerdiest bars in the city, so the next time you're looking for somewhere to discuss quantum physics, the latest Louisa May Alcott Biography, or the FanFic continuation of Lost that you've been working on, choose from this list!

    1. Loreley

    We love Loreley, we really do, but so does every former German major in the city. Go to Loreley during the summer and there's a good chance you'll see  ironic-but-not-actually-all-that-ironic lederhosen, you'll definitely hear people using their college German, and the people sloshing their beers together with "Prost!" are hardly ever actually German. The best place in the city to eat a pretzel and discuss Werner Herzog.

    2. Barcade

    Do you guys remember the Ghostwriter, the early 90s TV show that promoted literacy through solving mysteries in Brooklyn? Walk into Barcade on any given night and it's like time. Didn't. Stop. The place is packed with people playing the exact same arcade games they played in the 90s--Pack Man, Tetris, Cruisin' The World, you name it. And if you didn't catch my Ghostwriter reference, you can be sure the people who hang out at Barcade would.

    3. Burp Castle

    Oh, Burp Castle. So loveable. So nerdy. The name is irreverent, but the bar is actually a "monastery of beer." By the way, only a nerd can type that phrase without laughing. The walls are decorated with religious iconography that's one part Giotto and two parts stoner Pratt drop-out. The nerdiest thing about this bar? They actually shush you if you're getting rowdy. Nerds should be seen and not heard....

    4. Professor Thom's

    As a brilliant friend pointed out, this bar is nerdy on two levels: first of all, it's named after a Professor. Secondly, it used to be a "Lost" Bar, with the Lost numbers painted all over it. You don't get nerdier than actually incorporating imagery from your favorite television show into your bar's decor. They also have Friday Night Lights parties on Friday nights, which is the closest a nerd will ever get to enjoying football. [via]

    5. Bar and Books

    Bar and Books is a bar for nerds who spend Friday evenings watching Cary Grant movies and fervently wishing New York was still like that. The dress code is strictly enforced, and you'll find nerds living out their Henry Higgins fantasies by reading a book and sipping scotch. Also, every single Bar and Books location has the complete collection of James Bond movies.

    6. Tom and Jerry's

    Tom and Jerry's isn't inherently nerdy; it's the clientele that make it so. It would be difficult to name anyone in tech, blogging, or social media who hasn't at some point or another met a colleague over beer at this Elizabeth Street Bar.


    7. Full Circle Bar

    Google this bar, and the first thing that comes up is "National Home of Brewskee-Ball." Oh yes, this is the birthplace of the city's best (and only?) skee-ball league, and they wear the honor proudly. The flier says "Let The Good Times Roll", so they're also fans of puns! On skeeball "dark" nights, the good folks at Full Circle stay busy with Trivia competitions. I think this must be the nerdiest bar of them all. That having been said, I'll probably go there this weekend.

    8. Lille's Victorian Establishment

    Do I really have to elaborate on why this bar is nerdy? The name isn't enough? Ok, then: New York Magazine calls it an "Irish Victorian Hotspot" (how's that for an oxymoron!), so if you're looking for a nice place to sip whiskey and celebrate Bloomsday and curse Queen Victoria for not doing enough during the famine, well...enjoy! [via]

    9. Kettle Of Fish

    Monthly readings! Pumpkin carving contests! The 24th Annual Christmas Carol Sing Along! Kettle Of Fish in the West Village is like your 5th Grade Homeroom, re-enacted, with beer! Also, Allen Ginsberg went there, so you know it's the Santiago de Compostela for lit nerds. [via]


    10. Fraunces Tavern

    Only a true history nerd would brave the Financial district for a chance to drink at the very tavern where George Washington bid farewell to the officers of the Continental Army. It's closed for a bit, but don't worry, nerds, it'll reopen soon...



    As always, many thanks to our dependable (and sometimes dependably nerdy) friends for helping us come up with this list!

    [All photos via NY Mag]