Exclusivity can be the name of the game when it comes down to the famed NYC nightlife scene. Besides the slew of dive bars, sports bars, and world renowned clubs, New York is also home to an immense amount of hidden gems and secret lounges that the ordinary city dweller may be unaware of. Hiding in the mists of the historical landmarks and overpriced apartments lays a world to be explored. Prepare to get your sleuth on in order to magically wander your way into the below bars, but shhh don’t say I sent you.
Take a step back into the 1920’s era of prohibition and flapper gals at this hidden second-floor Lower East Side speakeasy. Walking your way through the downstairs burger joint, you would probably never assume that upstairs lays a world of finely crafted drinks mixed with romanticism. All you need to do is ring the buzzer marked “G,” and someone will come to take you into the candlelit room of intimacy. Reservations are allowed, so get calling before the word gets out.
Located in a dark and dingy alleyway in Chinatown, one may pass this former opium den regularly while scouring the streets for some late night dumplings. With no sign and a password needed for entrance, this lounge is as secret as it gets. If allowed entry, let the famed mixologists in white lab coats whip you up a cocktail that will take you to new heights, literally. Over 250 specialty concoctions are divided into numerous categories to help ease your woes, including a House Absinthe, Stress Relievers, and Aphrodisiacs.
As unassuming as a hot dog joint can be, the Crif Dogs located on St. Mark’s Place is more than meets the eye. One may wonder why a phone booth would be located in here, yet this is where your James Bond sleuthing takes effect. Specialty, off the menu hot dogs and exquisitely crafted cocktails make this speakeasy one worth attempting. Reservations are highly encouraged on the day of your venture, unless you want to wait hours for a table.
Authenticity rings true at this Tribeca lounge that often features jazz, reminiscent of a bygone era. While reservations are accepted, on off nights simply finding the storefront to enter can be an adventure in itself. Their late night ramen specialties are the best kept secret, making this a truly eclectic place to spend your evening.
A cash-only establishment in the West Village never sounded so appealing as this intimate cocktail den. Finding the simple, nondescript entrance can be a challenge, but once found, you simply present your ID and head into the infinitely historic abyss. The cocktails are crafted with a poise and elegance unseen in most establishments. True intimacy can be felt by going with the Bartender’s Choice from these suspender-clad friends, rather than the menu items listed. Coerced with live jazz many nights of the week, coming here may seduce you to stay for the long haul.