Harlem Dive Bars New York – Paris Blues

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'Should a real dive bar get zero stars or five stars?' Let me take you on a tour of the best, or worst, dive bars in New York City's Harlem...

The question to ask is, “Should an authentic dive bar get zero stars or five stars?”
You can go to 'Dive Bar' on 75th at Columbus---the Disneyland version: safe, clean, looks like a real dive bar. Is that a New York dive bar experience? Well, it is in NYC, but I think not. More of an Orlando experience.

So, do a tour with friends.

First stop, The Duck, way up in East Harlem.

Second stop, A Touch of Dee, not far from The Duck.

Third stop: Paris Blues, not far away either. It’s crowded, famous, offers free food and Sam Hargress (pictured) is a well known Harlem personality. A legit joint to really carouse. Always a live band.

You’re not clearing brush here, these bars are already ‘discovered’, so there’s that. Visitors are unlikely to discover something more earthy/dangerous anyway. Consider hiring a car service to take you around.

Random Yelp reviews (The Duck): “It's cool because it's a mess/it sucks because it's a mess.” & “If I ever return it's because I've hit the lowest of the low”.

Of the three, I favour Paris Blues, sort of a more divey, unkempt version of Shrine, nearby. Totally legit and very popular. Loud. Around since 1969. Pack a handkerchief so you can wipe off the funk afterward.

The Duck: 2171 Second Ave (111th Street), (212) 831-3464, 12:00 - 04:00 daily

A Touch of Dee: 657 Malcom X Blvd (143rd Street), (212) 694-9530, 22:00 - 04:00 daily

Paris Blues: 2021 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (121st Street), (917) 257-7831, 12:00 - 03:00 am.

Samuel Hargress Jr  (owner, pictured) died 10 April, 2020 of Covid-19 complications.

About this spot

2021 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Avenue)

12:00 - 03:00 daily

Beer:

US$

4

9172577831

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