This Revived NYC Cocktail Lounge in Soho Is Reminiscent of its Spunky Dive Bar Past

Credit: Daniel Krieger

With a lengthy history of serving New York City patrons, the 80-year-old iconic dive bar Milady’s recently underwent a much-needed makeover — it closed in 2014 and only reopened in October 2022, debuting a fresh look, menu, and vibe. Its ideal location on the corner of Prince and Thompson Street in Manhattan’s trendy Soho neighborhood made this watering hole a popular spot for conversing and imbibing, all the while swapping gossip with peers as locals and tourists alike stroll past. 

Credit: Daniel Krieger

Dim lighting and cozy booth dining arrangements spawn natural conversation amongst guests. With pops of hot pink decor dressing vintage bar stools and tufted wall paneling, an uplifting, spunky atmosphere permeates the space. Once home to the dive’s infamous pool table, the back room resembles a billiard theme with handmade light fixtures styled from pool ball racks.

Credit: Daniel Krieger

While Milday’s physical appearance transformed from a dingy dive bar to an upscale sipping spot, the bar menu reflects its original rustic roots. The savory tariff cleverly demarcates into two sections: “High Dive” (think dishes such as decadent Crab Mac & Cheese and Caviar Dip served with creme fraiche, egg, red onion, dill, and house-made potato chips), and “Dive” (try the crispy Chicken Tenders, which come with a dipping-sauce-trio, or if in the mood to snack, order the Loaded Potato Skins, comprising chipotle queso, bacon, sour cream, pickled chilis, and scallions). When it comes time for dessert, the “Don’t Call Me Sweetie” offerings present two hard-to-pass options: the Apple Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a bourbon caramel sauce, or the Boozy Rootbeer Float, crafted with coconut rum and garnished with coconut brittle.

Credit: Daniel Krieger

Greasy bar food bites and sugary treats pair perfectly with one of Milady’s quirky cocktails. Reminiscent of the good ole days, each libation is playfully named: consider trying the signature Big Apple Martini, suffusing Bombay Sapphire, Skyy Vodka, apple brandy, and green apple. Not to be forgotten are the “Jigglers” — better known as Jell-O shots — served in open-face seashells to mimic the act of slurping down an oyster. If you need more cocktail recommendations, we suggest either the Hawaiian Iced Tea Grey Goose L’Orange, pisco, lilikoi, tropical black tea, lemon, and Perrier  — or the Little ItalyRittenhouse Rye, Cynar, and sweet vermouth.

Needless to say, this NYC institution is back and is better than ever. 

Credit: Shannon Sturgis

Top Takeaways

Location: Soho, New York City

Cuisine: American

Price Point: $

Takes Reservations: Yes

The vibe: More than 80 years old iconic neighborhood cocktail bar and restaurant serving dive bar classics in the heart of Soho.

Our favorite thing on the menu: When it came to the food, we couldn’t resist trying the Crab Mac & Cheese which was an absolute must-order item for the table. As for the drinks, we loved the classic Milady’s Martini comprising Fords Gin, rosé vermouth, fino sherry, and Amaro Santoni along with the Blue Hawaiian and Pomegranate Paloma pineapple-and-star-shaped Jell-O shots to top off the evening.

The attire based on the vibe: Casual

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Brunch, Lunch, and Evening Fare: Monday 4 pm – 12 am; Tuesday – Thursday 12 pm – 12 am; Friday & Saturday 12 pm – 2 am; Sunday 12 pm – 12 am.

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