15 hidden bars in New York City

Emily Becker

Senior Contributor

Everyone loves a good secret. Thanks to the number of speakeasies that have cropped up in New York City over the past two decades that secret is frequently a creative and delicious drink. Get in the know with the following list of the best hidden bars in the city that proves that, sometimes, the best secrets are the ones you don’t keep.

2nd Floor Bar & Essen

1442 1st Avenue - With a separate entrance designated by a neon sign on 75th street, it is located above the 2nd Avenue Deli. The bar itself is warm and inviting and serves creative cocktails and bar snacks that are a nod to the deli below’s history. Order a Man-o-Manischewitz and the pastrami devilled eggs if you really want to get into the spirit of the place.

New York Reuben

Photographer: Gkrphoto

The 18th Room

134 9th Avenue - Named for the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that established Prohibition, you’ll need to pass through a coffee supply storefront in order to find this bar. The vibe is swanky and intimate and it's worth having a couple cocktails to really enjoy it. 

Photographer: Maksym Fesenko


134 Eldridge St - Rather than choosing from a set cocktail menu, be prepared to discuss what kind of drink you’re in the mood for, or a favourite flavour profile, with one of Attaboy’s skilled bartenders who will then present you with a custom cocktail. You might have to hunt a little for the doorbell to get into the bar, but it’ll be worth it. 

Photographer: Maksym Fesenko


Located behind an unmarked door on the second floor of Freemans (a restaurant that itself is tucked away at the end of an alleyway), Banzabar is as cool as the 1930s Antarctic expeditions that inspired the bar’s theme. Try an aptly named cocktails - such as the Austral Summer with brandy, Irish whiskey, Chartreuse, coconut, almond and lemon - or make a night of it with Banzabar’s five low-ABV drink tasting menu.

Photographer: Maksym Fesenko

Bathtub Gin

132 9th Avenue - From the same people behind The 18th Room, Bathtub Gin is a modern speakeasy hidden inside fully functioning coffee shop Stone Street Coffee. Toast the namesake bathtub in the middle of the bar from one of the plush booths while sipping on a classic 1920s cocktail. As a bonus, Bathtub Gin is just as good for brunch and burlesque on Sundays as it is for drinks on a Friday night. 

Burlesque dancer

Photographer: Photographer_ME

The Blind Barber

339 E 10th St - You can actually get a cut, trim or shave at the Blind Barber, but it’s after the barbershop closes that the party really gets started. Head through a weathered side-door to discover a backroom that has been transformed into a lively cocktail lounge. Order one of their signature drinks, like the Smoke + Dagger made with Jack Daniels Whiskey, Ancho Reyes Verde, cucumber, lemon, soda, and then, sit back, relax, and hope that all your future haircuts come with a cocktail this good. 

Photographer: Bogdanhoda

The Blue Quarter

92 2nd Ave - Located behind a blue, keyhole-shaped door in restaurant Local 92, The Blue Quarter’s drink menu updates tea time in the best way. Grab a spot at this cozy space and order a creative tea-infused drink - such as the Unfinished Story that combines tequila, matcha, coconut and lime oil - that will have you ordering more than one.

Photographer: Santypan

Le Boudoir

135 Atlantic Ave - Decorated with red velvet couches and pictures framed in gold leaf, Le Boudoir is hidden in the basement of restaurant Chez Moi. Channel your inner French aristocrat at this bar modelled after Marie Antoinette’s private chambers while enjoying one of the bar’s many cocktails fit for a queen. 


Employee’s Only

510 Hudson St - While not exactly hidden, Employee’s Only is still one of the best prohibition speakeasy-style bars in the city. The locale feels intimate and mysterious, which is helped by the fortune teller’s storefront you walk through to get to the bar. What’s certain is that whatever you’re drinking at Employee’s Only will be good. 

Photographer: Maksym Fesenko

Fig 19

131 Chrystie St - Sip on a creative cocktail, like the Midnight in Paris made with tequila, ginger syrup, bitter cocoa liqueur, fresh lemon and mole bitters, or prosecco on tap at Fig 19’s lavish and warm space hidden in a working art gallery. Look for a white door on the left side of the gallery in order to find the chandelier-lit, cozy bar beyond.

Figure 19

The Garret

296 Bleecker St - You have to skip the line for fries and burgers at Five Guys to find a hidden staircase in the back of the restaurant that leads up to The Garret on the second floor. The bar is more casual than other speakeasies in the city, but that doesn’t mean The Garret has skimped on the drink menu. You won’t regret spending some time sipping cocktails under the bar’s skylights. 

Photographer: Maksym Fesenko

Little Branch

20 7th Ave S - The entrance to Little Branch is so perfectly nondescript that you might miss it even if you’re looking for it. A rusty, metal door is the only clue that you’ll get that there’s a classic speakeasy complete with live jazz some nights in this West Village basement. Once you’re inside, though, the cocktails are worth any extra time it took to find the place. 

Photographer: Maksym Fesenko

Patent Pending

49 W 27th St - At night, the space behind cafe Patent Coffee turns into Patent Pending, a chic electric-themed speakeasy. Toast Nikola Tesla, the inventor and engineer who once worked in the Radio Wave building where the bar is located, with an appropriately named cocktail such as the AC/DC with Blanche Armagnac, peach, fennel, Genever, lemon, egg white and seltzer. 


Please Don’t Tell

113 St Marks Pl - Please Don’t Tell (PDT) still has one of the best entrances of any bar in New York City. To find the space, enter through hot dog restaurant Crif Dogs, find the phone booth, dial 1, and then wait for someone to pick up and unlock the door for you. The drinks at PDT are high-quality, sophisticated and unique and don’t forget to grab a hot dog from next door. 



1707 2nd Avenue - You don’t have to choose between dessert or cocktails at this swanky speakeasy hidden behind an ice cream parlour. Ask to see the storage room in order to unlock some fun and delicious cocktails named for neighbourhood, such as the Next Stop Hunter College with chocolate stout, cookie butter spread and chocolate ice cream.


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