Looking for the best hidden bars in NYC and best speakeasy bars in NYC? This guide has you covered, from hidden gems to full on speakeasies in NYC that require special instructions to get in to enjoy some of their custom libations, cool interiors, and lesser-known or secret bars in NYC!
Clandestine might be a stretch, but it’s a fun word to say and I was excited to have an opportunity to use it in one of my guides.
Beneath the bright lights and skyscrapers, you’ll find some of the most hush-hush secret bars in NYC that still exist as throwbacks to the Prohibition-era establishments (some of which are actual prohibition-era speakeasies too!).
Disguised by unmarked doors, an art gallery, and even a laundromat, these hidden bars in NYC are well-worth the visit. Seriously, what better way to explore the city than with a crafty cocktail or a glass of wine in one of the best speakeasies in NYC?
But half the fun is finding them.
So we’ve rounded up the ultimate list of top 15 speakeasy bars in NYC that offer great drinks (and eats) on the down-low to get you started on your adventure.
Best Secret Bars in NYC
131 Chrystie Street (Lower East Side)
Directions: Walk past the bright walls of an art gallery through a white door.
Tucked away in the back room of an art gallery, this dimly lit New York speakeasy offers some of the most luscious libations in the city with creative takes on classic cocktails that are just pure works of art.
But don’t be fooled by the rich decor and drawing room appearance with taxidermy, candles, and chandeliers. This speakeasy in New York hosts a hipster, laid-back, hang-at-the-bar type of crowd that lends itself to a vibe that’s just as intimate as it is inventive.
134 Eldridge Street (Lower East Side)
Directions: An enchanting window reads “tailors M&H alterations.” You’ll need to use the good ol’ knock and buzz system to gain entry.
A cocktail bar with character, this inconspicuous New York speakeasy is a menu-free environment that offers unique concoctions to an eclectic mix of on-trend out-of-towners, downtowners, and everything in between.
Once home to Milk & Honey where the late drinks historian and bartender Sasha Petraske attracted droves of New Yorkers, this speakeasy in New York still offers solace to wistful boozers with signatures like the Penicillin, Paper Plane, and a refreshing blend of honey-ginger syrup, lemon, and Scotch that will have you gulping every last drop.
8 Stuyvesant St (East Village)
Directions: Walk into the unmarked side door at the front of Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho, take the stairs up, and you’ll find a door in the back of the room.
Sushi and speakeasies sounds fabulous, right? Tucked inside a second-story space shared with Village Yokocho (a Japanese izakaya), this New York speakeasy is the perfect place for a romantic rendezvous.
The menu also features inventive Japanese-style drinks like the Eastern Gibson and creative spins on classics like the Shiso Julep. It’s no wonder that long lines belie the secrecy of this popular speakeasy in New York. So be sure to get there early and of course grab a few rolls.
LB aka Little Branch
20 7th Avenue (West Village)
Directions: Enter through a nondescript door on this West Village corner and walk down a flight of stairs.
Behind an easy-to-miss unmarked door on a West Village corner is a prohibition-style drinking den that might very well be the best speakeasy in NYC!
Dive down a flight of stairs and enter into this low-lit hidden gem where bartenders in suspenders will tend to every tippler’s desires with cocktails like Sidecars and Aviations.
Another fine edition of the Milk and Honey’s cocktail empire, this busy and intimate New York speakeasy also hosts live jazz sessions.
Whether you choose to slide into a cozy booth or get an up-and-close masterclass in mixology at the bar, this is a speakeasy in New York you won’t want to miss.
Mezcaleria La Milagrosa
149 Havemeyer Street (Williamsburg)
Directions: Follow the Laundromat signage inside to a freezer in the back.
Among all the hidden bars in NYC is one that beguiles with an unassuming storefront stocked with prickly pears and spicy sauces.
Stashed behind a refrigerator door in this Mexican deli lies Mezcaleria La Milagrosa—an audiophile bar where music, margarita, and mezcal reign.
This speakeasy in New York is the perfect spot for a low-key night and even houses a vintage jukebox where you can play your favorite tunes when the DJ is not in residence.
Getting into La Milagrosa isn’t as easy as finding the door though. Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation.
Check out more of our favorite bars in Williamsburg while you’re at it!
PDT (Please Don’t Tell)
113 St Marks Place (East Village)
Directions: Enter through a phone booth in famed East Village hot dog joint, Crif Dogs.
In the galaxy of secret bars in NYC, there’s one that’s actually nestled inside a hot dog joint. Those going into the phone booth to “make a call” are actually dialing in to get a seat at this sought after New York speakeasy.
Striking the perfect balance between well-crafted cocktails like Hiccup and Cherry Bomb and grungy comfort food, PDT might just be the best speakeasy in NYC.
But shhh…“Please Don’t Tell” too many people about it. This speakeasy in New York is one of the city’s well-kept secrets because it’s just so darn hard to get into.
49 West 27th Street (NoMad)
Directions: You’ll find this speakeasy situated at the back of a coffee shop in NoMad (called Patent Coffee). Dial 4-9-2-7-# into the security pad to alert the host to unlock the doors if they are locked, if not, just walk through the closed-looking cafe.
A cafe by day and speakeasy by night, Patent Pending is one of the most popular hidden bars in NYC. Housed inside the famous Radio Wave Building (a historical landmark) where world-famous inventor and engineer, Nikola Tesla conducted experiments, you can expect to sip aptly named cocktails such as Light Me Up and Currents and Coils.
A great night spot for cocktails and conversation—an electric combination (pun intended)—Patent Pending might just be the best speakeasy in NYC!
9 Doyers St (Chinatown)
Directions: Keep your eye out for a “Chemist” sign as you walk through this narrow street.
Feeling ill? A prescription for a negroni might just do the trick at this pharmacist-style bar. Of all the speakeasies in NYC, this former opium den is the only one to be modeled after an old European apothecary. So set yourself up for some strong vibes and even stronger cocktails *ahem* alcohol-based curatives!
5 Doyers St (Chinatown)
Directions: Look for a Peachy’s neon pink sign under the Chinese Tuxedo restaurant.
The house rules are simple: “No photos. No fighting.” But adorned with glamorous big cat print Gucci wallpaper, hanging peach blossoms and red leather booths, you may be making some false promises by entering.
This eccentric bar also serves cocktail elixirs that are fortified with superfoods like moringa leaves and bok choy. Sip one such potion—the Buddha’s Belly—straight from its namesake’s ceramic middle.
Bonus: you might even catch celeb sightings in this hidden bar in NYC. Who can resist a stylish hidden bar in NYC, especially one with cool tiger Gucci wallpaper?
132 9th Ave (Chelsea)
Directions: Behind a door at Stone Street Coffee on 9th Avenue.
One of the best speakeasies in NYC, this swanky vintage bar takes you back to the roaring 20s. Pay attention to all the details including copper-colored ceilings, fringe-covered lamps, and most importantly, a gargantuan golden bathtub.
Here you can enjoy classically styled gin-centric cocktails such as Edinburgh Gin and Gunpowder Irish Gin all laced with an exquisite modern touch.
Of all the secret bars in NYC, Bathtub Gin is one that’s really and truly worthy of its well-deserved buzz.
The Hidden Pearl
621 Manhattan Ave (Greenpoint)
Directions: Walk all the way to the back of Wanpaku Ramen in Greenpoint, and you’ll see a door that says “Hidden Pearl.”
Most speakeasies in NYC are cavernous and dark, but this tiny Japanese-style speakeasy is anything but. With skylights and an airy interior design, this is one of the hidden bars in NYC that’s a mecca for speakeasy fans.
Cocktails are infused with ingredients like yuzu and miso and there’s also a menu of small plates like steamed clams, fried baby octopus, and tuna on crispy rice. Of all the speakeasy bars in NYC, The Hidden Pearl is definitely worth a visit—or two not to mention this is one of the best bars in Greenpoint!
55 Irving Place (Gramercy)
Directions: There’s no obvious signage, but follow a short flight of stairs that will lead you up to a small lobby and to a hostess station.
Among the secret bars in NYC, this chic hideaway from the team behind Raines Law Room presents all the glitz and glamour of Manhattan in one sweet spot.
But once inside you’ll be faced with making a very hard choice. Which of the four themed rooms—F. Scott Fitzgerald, JFK, Victoria, Marie Antoinette—will you sit in?
Whichever one you choose, this whimsical cocktail parlor promises an aura of exclusivity served alongside its top-notch drinks.
Ask For Janice
640 Manhattan Ave (Greenpoint)
Head to Upside Pizza in Greenpoint and walk right past the pizza counter like you know what you’re doing. When you reach that back door, you’ve made it to another one of the coolest hidden bars in NYC!
Ask For Janice pays homage to the Beastie Boys, but IYKYK that already. This hidden bar is also a listening bar for audiophiles. While many listening bars seem to be springing up in the city, Ask For Janice is a bit different as it’s not a vinyl bar, it’s an old-school cassette mix-tape bar that plays it’s music on a vintage Nakamichi 600 cassette deck behind the bar.
All the music here is curated by local DJs featuring hip-hop-focused mixtapes. The vintage cassette deck is really what sets this bar apart from other audiophile-listening lounges.
The space is intimate and can comfortably seat around 25. They have a nice selection of cocktails and offer up some Italian-fare. Just not the pizza. If you want a slice, you’ll have to exit Ask For Janice and go back into Upside Pizza.
860 Manhattan Avenue (Greenpoint)
Doing laundry is fun, right? Well, not quite. But you can walk through this laundromat and into a pretty good time. And while you’re there make sure you taste your way through half a dozen draft beers like Greenpoint’s Black Duck Porter, Evil Twin Modern IPA, and Victory’s Prima Pilsner, among others—all while showcasing your pinball best during rounds of Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, and a host of other games.
While you’re in the neighborhood, check out some of the best things to do in Greenpoint!
The Back Room
102 Norfolk St. (Lower East Side)
Directions: Locate the sign for the Lower East Side Toy Company then head downstairs through the gate and use the same hidden doorway that Bugsy Siegel and others originally entered through.
A New York speakeasy that’s not for the faint of heart, The Back Room is still a favorite stopover for the city’s party-seekers and will test your will (and your wallet).
One of the few speakeasy bars in NYC that has been around since the roaring 20’s, the Back Room has played host to stage and screen actors and notorious gangsters like Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano.
Cocktails are actually served in teacups! What better way to enjoy prestige with no pretension and be transported back in time to one of the best speakeasies in NYC?
Love a good themed bar to enjoy your drink at? What’s more fun, right? Check out our full guide to the best unique bars in NYC with a cool theme!
Did we miss your favorite hidden speakeasy in NYC? Let us know in the comments below!