The Perfect Pub Crawls
– Chicago, New York, & Austin
Apparently, it’s a well-known fact that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve engaged in an epic pub crawl, in an even more epic local. This pub crawl may, or may not, include the consumption of unbelievable amounts of alcohol and some downright riotous behavior. For many, a bar crawl is seen as a rite of passage into manhood, separating the men from the boys. With the average American male drinking roughly 9.5 drinks a week according to USA Today, it is no surprise that bar crawls are becoming one of the nation’s favorite past-times. While such a bar crawl might sound like a good idea, unless you plan it properly, chances are you and your friends will end up in an ER or police cell somewhere, trying to recall what happened the night before.
The perfect bar crawl is all about the planning
First you need to decide which city you will grace with your stupor, after which you need to start mapping out your route. Try to find a part of town that has a number of bars in one centralized location, as walking long distances after having a couple of drinks is never a good idea. Anywhere between 4 and 6 bars is a good number to work with. Less than 4 will hardly be considered a crawl while more than 6 may result in your drunken demise. Take into consideration whether your group of friends are mainly beer drinkers or whether they prefer to mix it up a bit more. If you’re still stuck on deciding where to go for the ultimate pub crawl, the following guidelines might be able to help you make a decision faster.
Chicago Pub Crawl
NYC is not the only city in the USA that is worthy of a good old bar crawl. If you think Chicago’s drinking scene is harmless you are in for quite a surprise. While most bar crawls tend to take place after dark, Chicago is known for its all-day drinking binges. Once you have gathered your crew, it is probably best to start off the day with a quick breakfast at one of the countless eateries in and around the city before giving your liver a proper workout.
Organized bar crawls are a thing in Chicago
Although you are free to give your grey matter something to do by planning your own bar crawl, you can save yourself the effort and join one of many organized bar crawls that take place within the city limits. Although most are annual events, you are bound to find one that is scheduled to take place at a suitable time. The yearly Zombie Pub Crawl draws weird and wonderful boozers from all over the state while Lottie’s Dive Bar Pub Crawl will take you and your squad to a host of popular drinking holes in the neighborhood.
New York City Pub Crawl
Only the bravest of the brave will even attempt a bar crawl in the Big Apple. If you are looking to do the ultimate crawl, NYC is the place to be with 419 pubs in a 41.2-mile stretch according to national real estate brokers, Redfin. While attempting to visit all 419 bars in a single night is nothing short of ludicrous (and deadly), you can easily pull off a rocking 6-stopper without getting completely wrecked. Whether you and your mates are cocktail-sipping metro-males or beer-guzzling macho men, there’s a bar crawl with your names on in the city that never sleeps.
The East Village is a cocktail haven
While cocktail-drinking guys are often on the receiving end of endless ridicule, there is no rule that states that a man cannot enjoy a beautifully-crafted drink. If cocktails are your thing, head into the East Village where you will find a number of establishments worthy of a bar crawl visit. The expertly-made cocktails at Please Don’t Tell (PDT) might be considered a bit pricey by some but they are worth every penny. If you and your boys are a young, rowdy crowd, you will want to stop in at The Summit Bar that is well-known for its lively ambiance that attracts a younger crowd – an oddity in the Village. Everything on the menu at the Summit is worth a try but if you have always wanted to visit the Caribbean, the Dark & Stormy is an absolute must (it apparently does not give you a hangover either).
Get your groove on in Times Square
What better way to explore the city’s rich history involving gangs, prostitutes and crime than a bar crawl in Times Square (which has a reputation for once being the dodgiest neighborhood in the entire city). Instead of just visiting traditional pubs, throw in a visit to a night club or two as well, just to mix things up a bit. Start the evening at a chilled venue such as O’Lunney’s Pub or Hurley’s before hitting the Hard Rock Café or, if you are already sloshed and want to bust a few moves on a crowded dance floor, the Copacabana is your spot.
Dive bars serve the coldest beer
When you try to picture the ultimate bar crawl with friends, you probably imagine yourselves staggering from one dive bar to the next, downing pint after pint of ice-cold beer. NYC’s dive bar culture is not fastidious and it embraces noble city-dwellers with the same boozy warmth as it does gritty boozers. Brooklyn boasts some of the best dives in the city one of which is Melody Lanes, an old-school bowling alley with just the right amount of tawdriness to attract the avid bar crawler to its centralized, circular bar known for its charming barmen and arctic brews. Freddy’s Bar is another Brooklyn gem that has to feature somewhere on your bar crawl bucket list. Rated as ‘One of the best bars in America’ by Esquire Magazine, You wouldn’t want to miss out on the chance to throw back a couple of pints with the boys before moving on to your next destination.
Austin Pub Crawl
Austin has become as well-known for its drinking scene as it has its live music. When bar crawling in Austin you really only need to navigate the 7-block zone that comprises 6th Street – home to countless clubs, bar, diners and dives. If you and your buddies pace yourselves well you can start your crawl mid-day at Pool Burger with a bite to eat to line the stomach before moving on to a string of acclaimed watering holes till the early hours of the next day.
When in Austin, drink like a local
Though Austin’s boozing arena has long since expanded well beyond 6th Street, it is very convenient if you don’t have to travel far for your next drink. The Violet Crown Social Club will entice you with its frozen drinks, generous pours and chill vibes while Hotel Vegas with its multiple bars and live music is a vital stop on any bar crawl itinerary. Whistler’s is another drinking institution on the east side of the city and offers crawlers a very casual setting in which they can enjoy signature cocktails, ice-cold beers and brain-busting shots.
Your bar crawl can be as effortless or as intricate as you want it to be. Whether you plan it down to the finest detail or simply wing it on the day, the most important thing is to have a good, safe time with your buddies. Look out for each other, never drink and drive and remember that what happens during a bar crawl, stays on the bar crawl (Especially since you’ll probably be blacked out anyways), that is of course unless your antics end up all over social media and the local newspaper.
We hope you enjoyed this quick bar crawl post, let us know your thoughts or any cool bars we missed in the comments.
The Guys @ The BroBasket