1. Experimental Cocktail Club: run by the same owners than the club Rue St Sauveur in Paris or London, it is all about you what love from cocktail bars. Elegant, smart, crazy cocktails. The venue is small, and we were lucky to have a table a Saturday night but I would recommend making a reservation. Experimental is all about the presentation, and I love it!
Experimental Cocktail Club
191 Chrystie St
(between Delancey St & Rivington St)
New York, NY 10002
2. Employees Only: Yes you are right; a fortuneteller is in the front of the bar to make the show. Another bar in NYC where you feel like in the 1930s. It is like they all want to be speakeasy bars, even though only some of them are really hidden. The atmosphere is totally art deco and very stunning with all the bottles used as an ornament at the bar. Avoid Saturday night since it is so packed you cannot really move in the tiny standing area at the bar. Try the ‘Fraises Sauvages’ or the ‘Amelia’ cocktails; bartenders in their white period costume know their job.
510 Hudson St,
New York, NY
3. Donna: located in South Williamsburg, almost on the water, this bar is a mix of hipster/vintage in a great atmosphere. When you get there you just fell good. Have a sit at the bar in the middle of the room; you’ll get more space to watch what is going on. Go on Saturday night in March, they serve Brooklyn Tacos. Ok this is not Manhattan, but still.
New York, NY 11249
4. Angel’s share: Japanese speakeasy hidden in a Japanese restaurant in East Village. Go up the stairs and open the wooden door on your left. Welcome to an early 20th century bar with Japanese waiters wearing braces. Very tiny, you cannot make reservation so be there at 7 when they open.
8 Stuyvesant St
New York, NY 10003
5. The Raines Law Room: Is that really a speakeasy with the outdoor porch? Whatever, welcome to the Roaring 20s. Loved the comfy tiny spot. Go to the bar to the very end to order your cocktail and go back to your assigned table. The only downside is that out of the 3 cocktails, I would not recommend any of them. Or maybe for guys…
6. Lillie’s: when you are trying to escape the madness of Times Square, head to this Victorian Bar, you will be definitely out of the time. Stay at the bar and enjoy the late 1800s time.
7. The Campbell Apartment: Yes it is one of the hot spots where they filmed Gossip Girl, so this venue is even more exciting! And even more for those like me whose best afterwork meeting point is Grand Central, this place is great. You have to go through another restaurant to find this almost secret spot. Very dark and comfy, prices can be a bit crazy when you pay your glass of Sancerre $19. Another tip: DO NEVER ORDER FOOD. I know it is a bar, but the plastic American cheese and the frozen pizza are factors to make you run away.
The Campbell Apartment
15 Vanderbilt Ave
(between 42nd St & 43rd St)
New York, NY 10017
8. Pouring Ribbons: A new bar in EV. Remember the exact address otherwise you will pass it even without noticing the blue door. The bar is upstairs with a large window on the street. Like many bars I’ve been to in Manhattan (or the Violet Hour in Chicago), you are necessarily assigned to a table. You’d better go there not to meet new friends or you would be disappointed.
225 Avenue B Second Floor
New York, NY 10009
10. Milk & Honey: Manhattan is always about the latest bar that just opened. Last December everybody was whispering about the new Milk & Honey that opened in Gramercy, since the Lower East Side location was shut down. Wednesday, 9.30pm, we go confident with the confirmation email we got from Karla. Once again get the exact address, we could not even see the hidden grey door at the first sight. No member card requested anymore, welcome to the new speakeasy! It is pretty empty, Karla shows us our booth. Nonexistent decoration, art deco lights, the venue seems unfinished. Karla introduces us the concept: we tell her what we like, she asks us questions and offers us a choice of cocktails. This amazing experience and the quality of cocktails we had made us almost forget the “non-decoration” policy.
Milk & Honey
30 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010
11. JBird: I would not say finally we have a good reason to go out uptown because I would lie, but at least we got a cocktail bar. The empty venue might be due to the fact it is Tuesday night, still I wish there was more people so I could have truly enjoyed this UES bar. Really easy cocktail menu when you are lost where you can choose between ‘Sours’, ‘Old-fashioned’, ‘Fizzes’, or ‘Aromatized’ cocktails.