World's Best Bars: SWIFT

Swift is old time pub in the East Village. Taking its name from the great Irish wit (best-known as the writer of the classic yarn Gulliver's Travels), it's a homey, atmospheric and character-rich space, full of nooks and crannies, with church-pew booths and appealingly battered, large wooden tables. There's a great range of ales and lagers on tap with a scattering of Belgians as well as some seasonal brews the list changes regularly so feel free to ask the bar staff for a recommendation. Cocktails and wines are also served though the former tends towards the basic classics rather than anything innovative or fussy, in keeping with the low key vibe of the place. If you decide you're in the mood for a cocktail, why not pay tribute to Swift's most famous creation with a Captain Gulliver (Jameson whiskey, ginger beer and lemon)? The menu is also pleasantly unpretentious (pizza, pie, seafood chowder, range of hot and cold sandwiches) though weekend brunch is worth trying for the Belgian beer waffles alone (washed down with a Guinness Flip or Bloody Mary if you need a little hair of the dog). The whole place is occasionally warmed with live music, though there's no stage so it's kind of having musicians playing in your living room not necessarily a bad thing, but it can make it tough to have a quiet conversation. It gets buzzing on weekends but it's more chilled during the week, making it ideal for sipping a pint of the black stuff and kicking back with friends.