New Yorkers have a history of drinking in speakeasies dating back to the Prohibition.
These days, a new breed of speakeasy has cropped up around the city, featuring old-timey touches like hidden entrances, tin ceilings, and cocktails made with classic ingredients.
Here are some of New York’s best speakeasies, from 67 Orange Street in Harlem to the new Featherweight in Bushwick.
Did we forget your favourite speakeasy in NYC? Let us know in the comments.
This Harlem speakeasy has an extensive menu of cocktails (ranging from classic gin and whiskey to champagne, cognac, and beer), with great food to back it up. We recommend the fried chicken sliders or lobster mac n' cheese.
When you arrive, don't be fooled by the curtains hanging in the windows. The place may look closed, but walk in the door and you'll find yourself inside an intimate bar.
With an entrance below a neon 'Chemist' sign hanging in a Chinatown alleyway, Apothéke may not look like a high-class bar. Yet after 9 p.m., a discerning bouncer only lets in clientele dressed to the nines or with reservations.
But it's well worth it. Once you get inside, 'chemists,' or bartenders wearing white coats, will mix complicated cocktails in a dark and classy setting.
Customers walk into what appears to be a coffee shop, but behind a secret door is a dark and intimate cocktail bar with leather booths and tables.
The drinks are both delicious and strong, and on Tuesday and Sunday nights, Bathtub Gin hosts live burlesque shows that truly transports you to a different era.
The Blind Barber is not a speakeasy inside a barbershop -- it is both a speakeasy and a barbershop. The owners take cutting men's hair and trimming their beards as seriously as they do creating the best cocktails in the neighbourhood.
The Blind Barber throws dance parties with DJs on the weekends.
Dear Irving is up a flight of unmarked stairs, with an interior that looks like a classic gilded age establishment.
The drinks are as intriguing as the décor. From an espresso martini to a drink called 'Whiskey Business,' everything on the menu is worth trying. Each table also has a buzzer that patrons can use to let their server know when they're ready to order.
You'll find this speakeasy's nondescript door with a neon sign overhead that simply reads 'BAR.' Once you're inside, seat yourself at the dark wood bar in the front or the booths in the back.
Ignore the menu and tell the bartenders the spirits and flavours you're craving -- you won't be disappointed. Dutch Kills is another speakeasy where the food is worth trying, and they even use specialty ice that they shave in-house.
Next to a glowing neon 'psychic' sign, you'll find the entry to Employees Only. The sign isn't a complete lie either -- immediately to your left is a tarot card reader who charges $US25 to read your life, love, and career palm lines.
The drinks range from the classic Manhattan to a concoction called the 'Billionaire Cocktail.' The food is also worth a trip, with offerings like oysters and bacon-wrapped lamb chops. Don't skip dessert.
Located through an open door beneath a huge mural of a boxer on Graham Avenue, Featherweight is a new hidden joint in Williamsburg.
The one downside is that this speakeasy is cash-only. The upside? All of the cocktails are only $US11 (which beats a lot of Manhattan prices) and if nothing on the menu suits your fancy, the bartenders can whip you up something special.
Right next to another bar called Home Sweet Home is a well-lit art gallery. Go through the gallery, past a secret door, and you'll find yourself in a dark, moody bar decorated with taxidermied animals. Welcome to Fig. 19.
The bar is cozy with a fireplace and dangling chandeliers that look like giant jellyfish. Kick back with a strong, tasty drink.
When you reach 296 Bleecker Street, you might be confused. Isn't this a Five Guys? Where's the entrance to the speakeasy? Head towards the back and you'll see a bouncer guarding a staircase and waiting to take your ID.
Upstairs is The Garret, which took over the space of Bleecker Heights Tavern. It has awesome views of the West Village, a skylight, chandelier, and a lovely selection of drinks. Plus if you're hungry, you can always grab a burger downstairs.
The only hint that there's a speakeasy behind this reddish-brown door in the West Village is a seated bouncer and a line of 10-15 well-dressed individuals waiting to get in.
Once you do, head downstairs and you'll find yourself in a 1920s-style speakeasy with suspenders-wearing bartenders serving cocktails and house-made ginger beer. Warning: Little Branch is cash only, so hit up an ATM before entering.
Murray Hill may not be everyone's favourite neighbourhood, but Middle Branch -- with its amazing drinks and good vibes -- may just change your mind.
Enter the door and head down the stairs in this unmarked townhouse. Hand your ID to the bouncer, and order some of the delicious cocktails served on cloth napkins. If you can't decide, feel free to ask for the 'bartender's choice.' They always deliver.
Milk and Honey has moved from its former location on the Lower East Side to the Flatiron District, right near a McDonald's.
But don't judge it too hard by its neighbours -- when you enter through the slightly beat-up grey door, you'll find a cocktail paradise. Customers typically aren't given menus, so be prepared to tell the bartenders what kind of spirits and flavours suit your fancy.
Some speakeasies can get a bit stuffy, but not Nitecap. Founded by the guys behind Death & Co, Nitecap has fruity drinks, a playful menu, and a fun atmosphere.
You'll find it by looking for the restaurant Schapiro's next door. 'Nitecap' is painted on the brick over a staircase. Head down, enter through a dark velvet curtain, and sidle up to the bar.
Last (but certainly not least) is Raines Law Room, a classy speakeasy in the Flatiron district with plush seating, low lighting, and out-of-this-world drinks.
Walk down an unmarked stairwell and ring the doorbell to the left of the doorway. You'll need a reservation most nights, but it's worth it for the ambiance and fast service -- when you pull a lamp string beside your personal sofa, a waiter immediately comes to your assistance.
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