Speakeasies are a throwback to the prohibition era of the United States. During prohibition, alcohol was illegal, so illegal bars had to operate with discretion. Illegal bars earned the name “speakeasies” because you had to smooth talk your way to getting them to open the door. Even though alcohol is now legal in the United States, many speakeasy-style bars have stayed in business and continue to attract crowds of people looking for a good time. Speakeasies in NYC are considered some of the best in the United States for their quality, unique ambiance, and bartending. Join us on this immersive tour through the city’s secret gems, where the ambiance is as carefully curated as the cocktails.
Attaboy is in a former industrial warehouse with a rough-looking exterior. The exterior hides an innovative and fun cocktail bar that serves new-age cocktails and all the classics. They are known for having fun bartenders and excellent customer service, making them one of the best speakeasies in NYC.
Keys & Heels is a speakeasy located in the Upper East Side of NYC. This bar has a cozy and intimate setting, dim lighting, leather couches, and a speakeasy vibe. The bartenders are skilled mixologists and make some of the best cocktails in NYC. They also have a great selection of beer, wines, and delicious bar food. If you are looking for a fun speakeasy in NYC, Keys & Heels is in for you.
Entering Dear Irving Gramercy is like stepping into a time machine. When you walk in, it is like you are sitting in a cocktail parlor from the 1920s. The venue is decidedly upscale, as are the drinks and food. The bartenders are highly skilled and know all the classic cocktails and new concoctions. The speakeasy vibe of Dear Irving Gramercy makes it one of the best bars in NYC.
Karasu is a speakeasy in Brooklyn known for its Japanese-inspired cocktails and Japanese bar snacks and dishes. Their drinks are carefully crafted, focusing on fresh ingredients that pair well with food. The speakeasy atmosphere is intimate and cozy, and the service is impeccable. If you are looking for an upscale speakeasy experience in NYC, Karasu is the place to go.
LB is an iconic speakeasy in NYC due to its unique underground location and incredible decor. The speakeasy is underneath the lobby of an old hotel, and you have to walk through a long hallway to find it. The menu is vast, and there are many cocktails that I had never seen before. There is also often live music to accompany your cocktail.
If you are in the Chinese Tuxedo restaurant and carving an after-dinner drink, head to Peachy’s. Peachy’s is a chic lounge under the restaurant that serves craft cocktails made by some of the best mixologists in Chinatown. The decor is stylish with a funky, retro vibe.
Apotheke in Chinatown is a speakeasy with an exclusive, hidden entrance. The bar has an intimate speakeasy vibe with dim lighting and plush couches. The cocktails at Apotheke are crafted by expert mixologists and focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Apotheke has an interesting twist because the mixologists are in pharmacist-style garb.
Fig. 19 has one of the coolest entryways of any speakeasy in NYC. To get to Fig. 19, you enter a functioning art gallery. The 19th display is the entryway to the bar. Behind the door is an intimate and chandelier-lit hideaway that is perfect for a date night. The cocktails constantly rotate; if you are unsure of what you want, you can trust the mixologists.
La Noxe is a speakeasy in Chelsea that blends the old speakeasy vibe with modern decor and cocktails. The drinks are carefully crafted and focus on unique flavors, fresh ingredients, and new techniques to create incredible craft cocktails. La Noxe has an extensive beer and wine list as well. They also serve delicious tapas. La Noxe is perhaps my favorite speakeasy in NYC.
Nothing Really Matters is literally in a subway station. Despite its unassuming location, Nothing Really Matters is one of the best speakeasy bars in NYC. The speakeasy is dimly lit, and the drinks are expertly crafted and made with fresh ingredients. In addition to the great cocktails, the live music is an excellent addition.
After grabbing a cup of coffee at Patent Coffee, open a hidden door to the dimly lit Patent Pending. This speakeasy is a favorite among locals because of its unique cocktails and intimate atmosphere. The speakeasy has an old-school vibe. I enjoyed my time at this speakeasy, and I love the electric theme.
When you enter Please Don’t Tell, you will feel like Superman. The entryway is in an old phone booth in the Crif Dogs bar next door. The cocktails are novel, and I didn’t recognize any on the menu. The unique menu makes for an exciting evening.
PS at Pine & Polk is one of the best-kept secrets in NYC. Walking through the secret door, you are transported back to the Roaring 20s with quiet conversation, dim lights, and the perfect venue for a romantic outing. The speakeasy serves expertly crafted cocktails, and the menu changes seasonally to keep things interesting.
This speakeasy has a mellow vibe but with modern decor and the latest in speakeasy craft cocktails. The speakeasy is known for its incredible Old Fashioned and welcoming crowd. The best part of this speakeasy is that you can order Five GUys burgers from the restaurant below it.
Raines Law Room Chelsea leans into the prohibition theme more than any other speakeasy in NYC. You must ring a bell and wait for the doorkeeper to gain entrance. Once you are inside, all the cocktails are from the Prohibition era. This speakeasy is the perfect date spot for a night of old-school ambiance and incredible drinks.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to The Little Shop. I highly encourage you to come in the morning and enjoy their incredible breakfast and then return in the evening to enjoy their unique cocktails. Seeing the venue’s transformation between morning and evening is quite exciting.
If you are looking for a laidback spot to catch the games with your friends, head to J. Bespoke. This speakeasy has an impressive menu of craft cocktails and a lively atmosphere, making it the perfect place to unwind after work. The venue and environment are perfect for watching the big game.
Check out the Raines Law Room if you find yourself at The William Hotel. This chic cocktail bar has a retro library vibe that will make you feel more competent as soon as you enter it. It is a perfect venue for an intimate conversation due to the low lighting and the comfortable couches.
If you want to try the best speakeasy in NYC, stop by Basement. Unlike other speakeasies, Basement prioritizes music. Each night outstanding techno DJs are playing on one of the best sound systems in NYC.
If you are looking for a speakeasy with a twist, head to Apotheke NoMad. This speakeasy serves molecular mixology, a type of cocktail that features unique ingredients and is mixed with the help of laboratory equipment.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 5 reputable blogs and websites, including timeout.com, theinfatuation.com, bucketlisters.com, secretnyc.co, and tastingtable.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.