On June 14th, the Upper East Side will be hosting its 38th season of the Museum Mile Festival. Started as an initiative to foster interest and to increase support for the arts during the financial crisis of the 70’s, the festival has become a staple of the season for both New Yorkers and tourists alike. But if you are a New Yorker, you may be a bit trepidatious about heading uptown on one of the busiest museum nights of the year. We have got a solution for you, cocktails! Here are our suggestions for bars to stop by in-between exhibits.


Bar and Books

photo // spoilednyc.com

Where: 1020 Lexington Avenue at 73rd Street

Why: The self-proclaimed “Most refreshingly civilized places to meet” is the perfect place to get some peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of the Museum Mile. Stepping into the bar is like stepping into a little piece of literary history, with a strict dress code, plush leather armchairs, and flickering candles the bar will not disappoint.



Where: 1504 Lexington Ave at 97th St

Why: For those who prefer a more casual atmosphere close to the Museum of the City of New York, and the El Museo del Barrio, ABV is the place to go. If you are feeling a bit peckish, the lively East Harlem joint has excellent snacks and starters to go with their top notch selection of wines.


Kaia Wine Bar


Where: 1614 3rd Ave at 91st St

Why: Kaia is the perfect mix of casual yet sophisticated, minimalist (they don’t even have a website) yet cozy, the South African wine bar has been voted top in the city numerous times. A few blocks east of the museums, the 3rd Ave bar may be a little bit off the beaten track, but it will be worth it for the South African wine alone.


Bemelmans Bar


Where: The Carlyle Hotel, 35 E 76th St

Why: Before your hit the Met, pop into the Carly hotel for a drink at Bemelmans Bar. The Art Deco style venue is a place you should go to at least once in your life. Named after the creator of the children’s book series Madeline, Ludwig Bemelman, the walls of the bar are decorated with illustrations from the series. Even without the decadent decor, the cocktail menu is enough to keep you coming back for more. And if you are lucky enough you might get to hear some live jazz!


Tre Otto


Where: 1410 Madison Ave at 98th St

Why: The Italian wine bar is a great mix of classic Italian cuisine with a modern and sleek ambiance. The East Harlem restaurant is the perfect place to end your evening with a quality dinner and a glass of wine.


For more informaton on the Museum Mile Festival, check out their site here.