2. White Horse Tavern (1880)

White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village
The White Horse Tavern’s outdoor seating is adorned with flowers.

The White Horse Tavern is not only one of the oldest eateries in Greenwich Village but is also the second oldest pub in all of New York City. Upon the tavern’s opening, it served mostly men who worked at the Hudson piers. In 1969, the tavern was named a historic landmark, but the status only protects the tavern from being torn down, and not so much its idiosyncrasies. In 2019, the White Horse Tavern was closed for renovations for several weeks after Eytan Sugarman acquired the restaurant.

By the 1950s, the tavern became a favorite of Greenwich Village’s Beat Generation, which included Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Before dying in 1953, White Horse Tavern was poet Dylan Thomas’ bar of choice. Supposedly, Thomas consumed 18 shots of Whiskey at White Horse Tavern, collapsed outside of the tavern, and died a couple of days later from pneumonia. The tavern pays homage to Thomas’ last bar crawl with a drink called “The Dylan Thomas” which is described as a “double pour of Jack, Neat. Water back, no ice. Don’t ask.” According to legend, the White Horse Tavern was also where the Village Voice, a notable arts and culture newspaper, was first conceived.