New York City’s drinking culture is very well-known, and is a reason the city ranked 2nd for the best nightlife in America. Our bar culture is diverse, offering locals and tourists an ambiance and drink selection that can fit any vibe. From dark cozy speakeasies to sophisticated cocktail bars…or maybe even dive bars with $5 beers, there’s no shortage of options.
After hours of debate, the Secret NYC team has put together a curated list of the best bars in NYC. Check them out below:
1. Attaboy, Lower East Side
Once you enter the hidden entrance of Attaboy via doorbell, you’ll be welcomed into a cozy neighborhood bar room that actually has no menu. Since rebranding from Milk & Honey back in 2012, the LES bar proudly serves custom cocktails per customer based on preference and taste! There are some specialities though, like owners Sam Ross’ Penicillin (Scotch, lemon juice and ginger-honey syrup) and Michael McIlroy’s Manhattan variation, the Greenpoint (rye, green herbal liqueur, vermouth). Learn more here.
📍 134 Eldridge St
🚇 Grand St (B, D), Bowery (J, Z)
2. Pine & Polk, Hudson Square
Housed in a provisions store, this backroom speakeasy is one our favorites, and is a product from owners Lindsay Weiss and Alyssa Golub. Once you walk through their secret door behind the cocoa shelf, you’ll be delighted to a sunning backlit bar serving West Coast-inspired cocktails, light bites, and a lovely wine program. It’s the perfect shopping-trip-turned-casual drink outing. Read more about Pine & Polk here.
📍 300 Spring St
🚇 Houston St/Canal St (1), Spring St (A, C, E)
3. Sunken Harbor Club, Downtown Brooklyn
Without a doubt one of the most beautiful bars in NYC, The Sunken Harbor Club is a nautical underwater utopia that’s begging for you to try their drinks. Helmed by renowned tropical cocktail historian Garret Richard, you can try all sorts of tropically-based cocktails like the Wave Break (rum, vermouth, cucumber, peach, lemon verbena) or High Seas Shakedown (Javanese and Caribbean rums, French quinquina, and hot pepper-mala flavors). Be sure to check out the beautiful blue port window too. Read more about The Sunken Harbor Club here.
📍 372 Fulton Street, 2nd Floor
🚇 Borough Hall (2, 3, 4, 5), Jay St-MetroTech (R)
4. Panorama Room, Roosevelt Island
One of the first of our favorite rooftop bars in NYC on this list, Panorama Room is just stunning, and is worth the trip to Roosevelt Island. Not only can you take in stunning Manhattan skyline views from the 18th floor of the Graduate Hotel, but you can also enjoy the lush velvet seating and ceiling-to-floor windows. Plus, their tram car-inspired cocktails like the What The Tram Told Me (Compali White Rum, Rhum JM Volanique, Mint, Green Apple, Lime) are clever too. Read more about Panorama Room here.
📍 22 N Loop Rd, Roosevelt Island
🚇 Roosevelt Island Tram
5. Westlight, Williamsburg
Doubling as a great rooftop bar and rooftop restaurant, The William Vale’s Westlight may just be our favorite high rise to drink at in Brooklyn. Alongside their dynamic menu of cocktails and small plates, they often host fun happenings like rooftop DJ gigs, lawn games at The Turf Club upstairs, and other special events. Learn more here.
📍 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn
🚇 Bedford Ave (L), Nassau Ave (G)
6. McSorley’s Old Ale House, East Village
Boasting itself as one of the oldest bars in NYC to this very day, McSorley’s is an NYC institution. The Irish pub in the East Village remains true to its roots…serving the finest pints available, including their signature McSorley’s Ale. Everything in here is historical from the moment when you walk in, from the sawdust floor to the historic relics. It’s something you have to see to appreciate! Learn more here.
📍 15 E 7th St
🚇 Astor Pl (6)
7. The Bar Room at The Beekman, FiDi
Stop by one of NYC’s nicest hotel bars, which many deem the “living room of downtown Manhattan.” Between the intimate ambiance, Victorian-style aesthetic, and incredible cocktails, it’s just as home-y as you’d like. It just oozes luxury and aristocrat. Learn more here.
📍 5 Beekman St
🚇 Fulton St (A, C, J, Z, 2, 3)
8. Double Chicken Please, Lower East Side
There’s a reason Double Chicken Please was ranked the #1 best bar in North America, and it’s because of their inventive cocktails and dimly lit drinking area. They’re known for their unorthodox drink menu which includes viral sensations like the Key Lime Pie, Cold Pizza, and French Toast cocktails. Of course they have chicken sandwiches to go with it too! Read more about Double Chicken Please here.
📍 115 Allen St
🚇 Delancey/Essex St (M, J, Z), Bowery (J, Z)
9. TALEA Beer Co., Williamsburg & Cobble Hill
Talea Beer Co is one of our favorite breweries in NYC and a great spot to grab special brews. It’s women-owned, and their two locations in Brooklyn proudly serve all kinds of IPAs, ales, pilsners, and more! Grab a drink off tap or sip one of of their visually-appealing cans and enjoy the outdoor seating they have to offer. Learn more here.
📍 Williamsburg – 87 Richardson St, Brooklyn, Cobble Hill – 61 Bergen St, Brooklyn
🚇 Lorimer St (L) [Williamsburg], Bergen St (F, G) [Cobble Hill]
10. Bemelman’s, Upper East Side
While you’re swooning in the stunning murals by Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books, sit back and enjoy a drink. This classy hotel bar is home to an extensive drink menu and live entertainment every night starting at 5:30 pm. We’re talking about sophisticated martinis while pianists and jazz trios play you out all night. It’s the perfect bar with live music. Learn more here.
📍 35 E 76th St
🚇 77th St (6)
11. Maison Premiere, Williamsburg
We’d be remiss to leave out an NYC bar with a great oyster deal, and Maison Premiere does just that. While you take down some seafood, you’ll be welcomed to try a cocktail from their famous absinthe list… which is the largest in the United States. They aim for a combination feel of hotel lobbies from NYC, Paris, and New Orleans, and they nail it right on the head. Learn more here.
📍 298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
🚇 Bedford Ave (L)
12. Apotheke, Chinatown
Apotheke is home to botanically-focused cocktails, cozy furniture, and a candlelit lounge atmosphere. After opening its second location in NoMad last year, the cellar speakeasy is great for dimly lit drinks and Chinatown-themed small plates. When we say we can really taste their organic herbs and botanicals in the drinks, we’re not kidding! Learn more here.
📍 9 Doyers St
🚇 Canal St (J, Z, Q, 6)
13. Dante, West Village
Pick your poison at Dante, where every drink you order is utterly fantastic. From their signature negronis to the world-famous Dante’s Garibaldi (campari & orange juice), there are so many Italian classics to choose from here. What we recommend though is hitting up their happy hour, or what they call “Martini Hour” with $10 martinis from 3 pm – 5 pm. It’s the best deal going right now. Learn more here.
📍 79-81 MacDougal St
🚇 Spring St (A, C, E), W 4th St/Wash Sq (A, C, E, B, D, F, M)
14. The Dead Rabbit, FiDi
Calling all whiskey lovers! This NY institution has racked up a number of accolades as a whiskey bar, and we suggest trying their Irish Coffee if anything. It’s a traditional Irish pub that can never go wrong…and it’s only steps away from Wall Street and Battery Park! Learn more here.
📍 30 Water St
🚇 Whitehall St – S Ferry (R, W), South Ferry (1)
15. The Long Island Bar, Cobble Hill
You can probably spot the flickering neon lights from blocks away, so it should be no problem to stumble upon The Long Island Bar…ironically placed in Brooklyn. Occupying its street corner spot for over 50 years, they’ve become synonymous with serving great cocktails, beers, and wine for the whole neighborhood. Come and see what the elevated diner look is all about. Learn more here.
📍 110 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
🚇 Borough Hall (4, 5, 2, 3), Court St (R)
16. Overstory, FiDi
If you’re after 360 degree views of the NYC skyline, head to Overstory, a contemporary cocktail bar sitting 64 stories up. Between the plush furniture, wrap-around wrought-iron terrace, and elevated cocktail menu…this place is sure to impress. Sip on NYC-inspired drinks like The Clouds (whiskey, Earl Grey, vanilla, champagne, clarified milk) and Golden Bird (rum, coffee, turmeric, pineapple, ginger and soda) and thank us later. Read more about Overstory here.
📍 70 Pine St, Floor 64
🚇 Wall St (2, 3)
17. Martiny’s, Gramercy
Step into this historical three-level carriage house in Gramercy and you’ll be delighted to Japanese-inspired cocktails by Tokyo native Takuma Watanabe. You can sample one of their cocktails rooted in ingredients like Nikka whisky and matcha, or opt for classic martinis (in spirit of the bar’s name). Learn more here.
📍 121 E 17th St
🚇 14th St-Union Sq (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W)
18. Connie Cocktail Lounge, JFK Airport
With one of the most unique bar experiences in NYC, Connie Cocktail Lounge is quite literally an airplane-turned-bar. Its housed in the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, in the form of a 1958 Lockheed Constellation “Connie” airplane. Whether you’re actually traveling via the airport or not, we suggest going…and trying out appropriately-themed drinks like the Vodka is My Co-Pilot and the Control Tower Sour. Learn more here.
📍 One Idlewild Drive (TWA Hotel)
19. June, Boerum Hill
June in Brooklyn is one of NYC’s premier wine bars, and makes for the perfect date spot. Their natural wine is some of the best in all the city, and it’s all served up in their intimate and candlelit dining area. Let the lovely wait staff guide your tastebuds on a lovely vino journey. Learn more here.
📍 231 Court St, Brooklyn
🚇 Bergen St (F, G)
20. Mace, Greenwich Village
Racking up a mention as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars for several years running, Mace has been serving premier cocktails since 2015. French bartender Nico de Soto and Cocktail Kingdom’s Greg Boehm have mastered their craft, using handpicked spices like mace, fig leaf, garlic, marigolds, and more to create one-of-a-kind concoctions. Learn more here.
📍 35 W 8th St
🚇 W 4th St-Wash Sq (A, C, E, B, D, F, M)
21. Employees Only, West Village
Once you walk through a tarot reader’s storefront facade, you’ll be wowed by the speakeasy dinner club that is best known as Employees Only. For nearly two decades, the West Village staple has been serving their signature variations of Manhattans and Martinis, as well as great food too. Learn more here.
📍 510 Hudson St
🚇 Christopher St/Sheridan Sq (1)
22. Please Don’t Tell, East Village
Hidden behind a a hot dog joint in East Village, PDT is another secret speakeasy that requires you to pickup the payphone in the phone booth upon entry. From there, you can sneak into the darkly lit back room and sip on great cocktails while snacking on gourmet hot dogs and tater tots. We highly recommend trying to snag a reservation if you go here. Learn more here.
📍 113 St Marks Pl
🚇 1 Ave (L)
23. BAR GOTO, Lower East Side
Taking a Japanese approach to modern cocktails, BAR GOTO aces it beautifully, especially in their stunning dining space. If you’re in the mood to taste test some Japanese Whiskeys, Sake, Shochu, and Awamori, you’ve come to the right place! Take a seat at one of their 30 spots and grab some Japanese comfort food while you’re at it…you won’t regret it. Learn more here.
📍 245 Eldridge St
🚇 2nd Ave (F)
24. Jac’s on Bond, NoHo
Opening just earlier this year, Jac’s on Bond is located in a cute townhouse amongst the iconic cobblestones of NoHo’s Bond Street. The loud, yet welcoming space has a pool table that seems almost as decoration, while the real enjoyment comes at the bar or at one of the reservable tables. It’s a great place for first date drinks, or just basking in the glory of images of hip-hop legends that could look nice in your living room. Learn more here.
📍 26 Bond St
🚇 Broadway/Lafayette St (B, D, F, M), Bleecker St (6)
25. Katana Kitten, Greenwich Village
West Village’s favorite Japanese diver bar has to be Katana Kitten, which is levels above what you might expect when you hear the word “dive.” Giving off an ’80s feel, you instantly can feel the Asian influences, from the decor to the F&B. Their signature Highball drinks are their standout as well as the izakaya-inspired food options. Learn more here.
📍 531 Hudson St
🚇 Christopher St/Sheridan Sq (1)