NYC hides amazing bars in the most unassuming of places.
From speakeasies that were actually running during the Prohibition era, to laundromat fronts and random, unmarked street doors, here are 20 hidden bars with secret entrances to discover this year:
1. Angel’s Share
Where: 8 Stuyvesant Street (East Village)
A personal favorite, this speakeasy is even more beautiful during the winter when you can sit in the warmth as you watch the snow fall just outside the window. Angel’s Share has a cozy atmosphere behind an unmarked wooden door inside the East Village Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho. Each drink is unique, and all are worth trying; like the April in Paris (sauterne, St. Germain, champagne vinegar, tomato water, and lemon) or the Bitches Brew (Irish whiskey based homemade bitter chocolate, liqueur, hot milk, madagascar vanilla cream, and star anise). To get in you’ll climb the stairs up to the restaurant and look for a wooden door to your left. If they’re too busy, they may even send you over to a second secret location they’ve recently opened above a sushi restaurant.
Where: 134 Eldridge Street (LES)
Formerly known as Milk & Honey, the bar on 134 Eldridge Street has been reinvented as Attaboy since 2012. With no menu to pick a cocktail from you’ll have to tell the bartender what you’re in the mood for and trust that they’ll whip up the perfect drink for you. To get in you’ll have to ring the doorbell at the regular gray metal door you come across that simply has the letters “AB” on it.
3. Blind Barber
Where: 339 E 10th Street (Alphabet City)
This one’s a fun place if you’re looking to dance your legs off. Located through a daytime barbershop in Alphabet City, behind a sliding wooden door, you’ll find a small bar with good drinks and good music.
4. Blue Quarter
Where: 92 2nd Avenue (East Village)
Blue Quarter likely has the most gorgeous entrance of all on this list. Tucked away behind a stunning blue keyhole-arched door in the East Village restaurant Local92, this bar is a Mediterranean-inspired space with cocktails influenced by teas.
5. Bootlegger Jack’s
Where: 36-18 Ditmars Boulevard (Astoria)
The bathroom of a meat house is not somewhere you’d expect to find a bar, but that’s exactly where you’ll find this speakeasy. In the basement by the bathroom at Uncle Jack’s Meat House, behind a massive steel-vault door, Bootlegger Jack’s will require a password for entrance. When you arrive, you’ll have to ask the doorman or a manager for the secret passcode to get in downstairs.
Where: 380 3rd Avenue (Kips Bay)
Edie’s is the Andy Warhol-inspired speakeasy in the back of the Kips Bay restaurant called The Factory 380. The bar is named after “THE Factory Girl” and is a funky space reminiscent of old New York.
Where: 135 Graham Avenue at Johnson Avenue (Bushwick)
Just off Graham Avenue, behind a seemingly random unmarked door, you’ll find this Brooklyn gem: Featherweight. It may seem a tad sketchy (since once you open said unmarked door you’ll have to walk down a long passageway), but it’s well worth the fun. If you’re not feeling up for the adventure, there’s also an easier way in through the back of Sweet Science. You’re welcome.
8. Fig. 19
Where: 131 Chrystie Street (LES)
Fig 19 can be found through a door at the back of an art gallery on the Lower East Side. It’s a small space that’s the complete opposite of the all-white gallery you passthrough before entering.
9. J. Bespoke
Where: 121 E 27th Street (NoMad)
A new sports bar has recently opened up behind the Devoción Cascara + Coffee Bar in NoMad called J. Bespoke. Hidden behind a brass door in the back, it’s a swanky new spot that’s great for a date night, or watching major sports game with friends or alone.
10. Le Boudoir
Where: 135 Atlantic Avenue (Brooklyn Heights)
This relatively well-known speakeasy has been on many lists over the years, and with reason. It’s an old-timey den inspired by Marie Antoinette’s private chambers, and you’ll find it hidden behind a bookshelf.
11. Little Branch
Where: 20 7th Avenue (West Village)
Behind this unmarked door on a West Village corner is the small underground bar, Little Branch. It’s an intimate space that doesn’t fit many and some nights they host live jazz sessions!
12. Mezcaleria La Milagrosa
Where: 149 Havemeyer Street (Williamsburg)
This audiophile mezcal bar can be found behind a freezer door in a Williamsburg bodega. Known for their margaritas and great music, this is the perfect spot for a low-key night.
13. Patent Pending
Where: 49 West 27th Street (NoMad)
In the back of a coffee shop in NoMad (called Patent Coffee) you’ll find the Tesla-inspired speakeasy, Patent Pending. Cute, right? Well it gets even better because the drinks are broken down into four electric categories: energy, frequency, vibration, a descent.
14. Peppi’s Cellar
Where: 406 Broome Street (Little Italy)
This secret Italian wine and jazz bar below Gran Tivoli restaurant is located right at the edge of Little Italy and SoHo. It’s not exactly hidden behind a door, but rather at the bottom of a spiral staircase in the back of the restaurant.
15. Sake Bar Decibel
Where: 240 East 9th Street (East Village)
This one isn’t exactly “hidden,” but it’s hard to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for—and it always impresses people when you show them. Located in the East Village, there’s an easy-to-miss sign with a sake image, and you’ll know if it’s open based on the lit up “On Air” sign above. The bar is completely dedicated to sake, and you don’t need a secret password to get in…but it feels like you should.
16. Sugar East
Where: 1125 First Avenue (Lenox Hill)
The Sugar East speakeasy is an upscale lounge bar that’s colorful, glamorous, and inspired by Havana High Life. To get in you’ll have to spot the random red velvet ropes standing in front of a black door in Lenox Hill.
17. Sunshine Laundromat
Where: 860 Manhattan Avenue (Greenpoint)
Do your laundry, pay pinball games, and drink with friends all at the same time at the Sunshine Laundromat in Greenpoint. This speakeasy and arcade can be found behind a washing machine door in the back of the laundromat.
18. The 18th Room
Where: 134 9th Avenue (Chelsea)
At The 18th Room you can get a drink that’s custom-made for you, because yes, their bartenders are that good. It’s hidden behind a coffee supply store, and right next to another speakeasy, Bathtub Gin! (They also share the same owner.)
19. The Back Room
Where: 102 Norfolk Street (LES)
Being that this was actually a working speakeasy during the Prohibition, you’ll have to follow the rules of the past and remain completely silent as you walk down the alleyway from the curb to the bar. You’ll use the same hidden entrance used in the 1920’s, and sip your cocktails from tea cups. There’s also a secret room you can enter behind the bar’s bookcase…
Where: 1707 2nd Avenue (UES)
UES. is a real ice cream shop on the Upper East Side, but behind their wall of ice cream is a gorgeous little speakeasy.
featured image source: Blue Quarter
Also published on Medium.