Hidden bars have been popular in New York since the Prohibition era.
Today, drinking is legal, but New Yorkers still love these speakeasies for their vintage decor, secret entrances, and cocktails made with classic ingredients.
From Dutch Kills in Long Island City to Attaboy in the Lower East Side, here are 35 hidden bars in New York City.
An earlier version of this post was written by Megan Willet.
On West 17th street, you'll see an unmarked stairwell.
Head down and ring the doorbell, where a host will take you into the underground cosy den filled with curtained-off couches, soft music from the 1920s, and lamp strings you pull to have your waiter approach your table and take your order.
You might walk right past Bar Centrale, considering it looks like any other brownstone apartment on the outside. Inside, however, is a cool bar.
If you want a table, you'll need to make a reservation ahead of time, but try to pop in after Broadway shows, as the bar sometimes plays host to Broadway stars.
Behind the thick curtains lining the windows of 67 Orange Street is an intimate Harlem speakeasy where you can get crafty cocktails with everything from gin and cognac to whiskey and champagne.
The lobster mac n' cheese and fried chicken sliders complement the tasty drinks.
Enter through Barramundi bar to get to the 2nd Floor on Clinton.
The small table-service bar is a reading room where you can get complex cocktails like its Little Gidding, made with gin, rhubarb, lemon, pasteurised egg whites, and rhubarb bitters.
Fig. 19 sits in the back of the brightly-lit art gallery, Envoy Enterprises. The doorway is plain and wouldn't catch your eye, but when you get inside you'll see two large, glittering chandeliers that drape over the bar and fresh ingredients for your drinks like mint, rose, ginger, tarragon, and lavender.
Since they use seasonal ingredients, they will change their drinks menu frequently.
This cocktail bar is located underneath the Nite Owl, down a flight of steps where you'll ring a bell before being greeted by a hostess.
Besides their cocktails, they're also known for a Black Burger, made of a 50/50 brisket and beef blend, black truffles, black garlic mayo, and a charcoal smoked black bun.
The romantic interior is just as dark as its burger.
If you look closely at the back wall of the Stone Street Coffee Company, you'll see an opening to the dim and cosy Bathtub Gin.
True to its name, the bar has a copper bathtub right in the center, with gin being one of their favourite liquors to use in their cocktails. They're also known for their live burlesque shows.
At the Blind Barber, you can get a haircut during the day and a sophisticated cocktail at night.
They bring in DJs to host dance parties and play everything form 80s to modern hits.
Head up to Five Guys and go to the back where you'll see a bouncer guarding a staircase to The Garret.
You'll walk up the stairs to reach the bar, where the former speakeasy, Bleecker Heights Tavern once stood. You get great views of the West Village, chandeliers, a wide drink selection, and Five Guys burgers if you're craving a bite.
Apothéke is marked by a chemist sign outside its door. The chemist theme runs throughout the bar, with over 250 cocktails like the 'Pain Killer' served to you by bartenders in lab coats.
They host jazz bands on Mondays and Tuesdays, and if you're itching for some Absinthe, they claim to have a 200-year-old recipe.
When you get to the address, you'll see a flight of unmarked stairs. Take them up to Dear Irving, which offers stunning decor in four rooms representing different historical eras.
There's the JFK room, with '60s-style leather seats, the F. Scott Fitzgerald room with glittering crystal drapes, the Abraham Lincoln room with velvet couches and dark wood, and the Marie Antoinette room adorned with French chandeliers, paintings, and sofas.
Every table has a buzzer to call over your waiter, and you can even reserve mixology classes with its sister bar, the Raines Law Room.
It's easy to walk past this Long Island City bar since the dark wooden exterior is only marked by a 'BAR' sign.
Head here for cocktails that are around $US11 (a couple of dollars cheaper than those in the city), and live jazz shows.
The bright psychic sign that illuminates Employees Only isn't just for show. There is a psychic inside this small and trendy speakeasy that will tell your future for $US25.
Employees Only is known as a popular late-night spot thanks to its eclectic food and drink choices like its bone marrow poppers and its Mata Hari, which combines Cognac, chai-flavored vermouth, and pomegranate.
Featherweight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, pays homage to its name with a large mural of a boxer on Graham Avenue that lets you know you've arrived at the bar.
It's cash only, but cocktails are only $US11. Plus, if you can't figure out what you'd like to drink, the bartenders can whip up something special for you.
Brooklyn Social used to be an exclusive Italian men's social club, but today the bar hosts both cocktails and the traditional Italian panini.
It can be tough to miss, considering the entrance is an all black facade with tiny slits for windows but once you're inside, you won't regret sipping on one of their strong and flavorful drinks.
You can spot out this bar, whose entrance is a maroon door, by the bouncer sitting outside.
Downstairs, you'll find bartenders in suspenders, mustard-painted walls, low ceilings, and an old standup piano that accompanies jazz performances Sundays through Thursdays. Tell the bartender your favourite type of alcohol and he'll hand over a massive list of cocktails that use it for your choice.
This airy, two-story bar serves up signature classic cocktails, snacks, and live jazz. It's spacious for a speakeasy, with room for 25 upstairs and standing room downstairs for around 30.
The former antique store is in an unmarked townhouse so once you get to the door, head down the stairs and you'll find the bouncer.
Nitecap is from the same makers of Death & Co. It is located below Schapiro's restaurant, down a set of stairs in the basement behind a velvet curtain. The intimate, dark bar offers over 20 pages of drinks that pack a fruity punch.
The Manderley Bar is located at the McKittrick Hotel, home to the interactive Sleep No More play. You can still enjoy a cocktail here without attending the evening's main performance, though.
Red velvet interiors, absinthe, and actors who perform old-school tunes make you feel like you've been transported to the 1920s.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of MacDougal Street, 124 Old Rabbit Club offers a dimly lit wonderland for beer lovers. The bar hosts over 70 types of mostly European beers.
Look out for the rabbit painted on the brick wall next to its entrance, press the buzzer, and head down the rabbit hole for a few pints.
This Chinatown bar is hidden behind a red door below an Italian restaurant.
The bar serves bespoke cocktail so there's no drink list. Simply tell them what kind of drink you want and they will make it for you.
They also have a patio that's perfect for the summer and a chalkboard that lists the fresh fruits of the day they can use in your drinks.
Auction House is a favourite for couples thanks to its antique velvet furniture, crystal chandeliers, and large Renaissance paintings. Plus, the room is dimly-lit and rarely overcrowded.
Note that you won't get in if you're under 25.
To get to Larry Lawrence, you'll have to go through two heavy doors and a hallway before entering the wood-paneled lounge.
Brick and custom furniture and its see-through outdoor balcony with wall-to-wall windows offer a unique space.
Lantern's Keep is a small, inconspicuous bar that's tucked away inside the Iroquois Hotel. It's definitely recommended to make a reservation in advance since it does not seat many people.
Inside, the bar has a romantic atmosphere with dark walls, marbled tables, and candle lights. Try their Iroquois #2 cocktail, made of cognac, pineapple, lemon, angostura bitters, and yellow chartreuse.
This old horse stable converted into a speakeasy has large booth seating, a bathroom that used to be a European elevator cage, and classic cocktails with ingredients like egg whites, fresh juices, muddled fruits and vegetables, and bitters.
They're cash only, so make sure you hit up the ATM beforehand.
Est. 1986 in the Hotel Sanford is one of Koreatown's best kept secret bars. Located on the second floor of the hotel, the bar is known for its extensive wine selection.
It can get crowded around happy hour, but its grand piano and chandeliers offer an elegant atmosphere.
To get to Lovers of Today, look for a gate marked 132 ½. Once you open the gate, you'll see soft-cushioned booths and dim alcoves that are perfect for a date-night scene.
You have to wait until 9 p.m. for it to open, but you'll get liquors that are all made in-house with fun names like Satellite of Love and Waterloo Sunset.
You can miss the Experimental Cocktail Club if you aren't paying attention, since it is covered by drawn curtains and appears unmarked at first, but the doorman checking IDs lets you know you've reached your destination.
Located between Rivington and Stanton, the New York outpost of this original French bar serves baroque cocktails that are immensely complex. If you're feeling daring go for the Curious Prescription, a mix of tequila, manzanilla sherry, habanero bitters, pear eau de vie, and salted caramel mezcal syrup.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.