10 Classic Speakeasies In New York City

Tomorrow you can celebrate 80 years of being able to drink legally in the United States.

Prohibition, established by the 18th Amendment to stop people from making, moving or selling alcohol, was repealed on December 5th 1933.

But in Prohibition’s heyday, speakeasy bars — so called because of the need to speak quietly about them in public to not alert the authorities — popped up to keep the aqua vitae flowing to citizens.

You may not need to exercise so much caution at the bars these days, but you can still enjoy a drink in all the glitz of the 1920s, thanks to these retro speakeasies in New York City. We took recommendations and checked out review websites to round up 10 of the best speakeasies in the city.


9 Doyers St., Chinatown

Apotheke bills itself as the healer of all your ailments. All the bartenders wear white lab coats to look like pharmacists mixing your drinks.

Drinks will run you close to $US20, but the atmosphere makes it worth while.

The Back Room

102 Norfolk St., Lower East Side

The entrance to The Back Room is down a nondescript alley and up a few steps. A bouncer leads the way. Drinks come in mugs and teacups once you're inside, or in a brown bag if you order a beer.

Bathtub Gin

132 9th Ave., Chelsea

A coffee shop fronts the Bathtub Gin speakeasy. But once you're inside, you might catch one of the establishment's burlesque shows while you sip your cocktails.

Death & Co.

433 E 6th St., East Village

Leave your name and number with the doorman at Death & Co. He'll call you when the establishment's ready to admit you. It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple hours. It ups the mystique of the place for sure.

Dick & Jane's Bar

266 Adelphi Street., Fort Greene

Dick & Jane's Bar isn't as hard to get into as some of the other speakeasies on the list. Although there are no secret passwords or handshakes, the drink selection changes seasonally to keep things interesting.

Dutch Kills

27-24 Jackson Ave., Long Island City

Cocktails come in at the $US10 - $US15 mark at Dutch Kills. The selection is also a mark in the bar's favour with 10 pages of menu options. The establishment is simply marked with a sign that says 'Bar.'

Little Branch

20 7th Ave. S., West Village

Most speakeasy doors aren't marked to keep up the secretive vibe of Prohibition. Little Branch is no exception to that. But compared to the other speakeasies on this list, the decor is much more pared down. Yelp reviewers
recommend skipping the menu in favour of the bartender's choice. Arrive early to skip the lines that inevitably form here on weekend evenings.


113 St Marks Pl., East Village

Please Don't Tell thrives on speakeasy secrecy, which is why they go by the abbreviation PDT in polite circles. You enter the bar through a phone booth, located in hot dog joint Crif Dogs. Reviewers on Yelp recommend the bacon infused beverages.

Raines Law Room

48 W. 17th St., Flatiron

Raines Law Room is a swanky lounge with a great addition to each table: a string patrons pull to alert their waiter or waitress that they need something. You'll truly feel like you stepped into an earlier era when you walk through the door.

67 Orange Street

2082 Frederick Douglas Blvd., Harlem

67 Orange Street is a small speakeasy that serves food alongside speciality cocktails. Its specialty is Southern indulgence food like chicken on red velvet waffles.

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