New York City is a mecca for cocktail enthusiasts. From classic speakeasies to modern rooftop bars, there is no shortage of places to enjoy a well-crafted drink.
Whether you're looking for a cozy ambiance or a lively atmosphere, the city has something to offer for everyone.
The cocktail scene in New York City is constantly evolving, with new bars popping up every year. Some are hidden behind unmarked doors, while others are located in plain sight.
Regardless of the location, these bars share one common trait – they serve some of the best cocktails in the world.
As a local, I've had the pleasure of exploring many of the city's top cocktail bars. Each one has its own unique charm, from the vintage decor of the historic establishments to the modern, sleek designs of the newer bars.
But what truly sets these bars apart is the quality of their drinks. The bartenders are true artisans, using fresh ingredients and creative techniques to craft cocktails that are both delicious and visually stunning.
In this blog post, I'll be sharing my top picks for the best cocktail bars in New York City.
Whether you're a seasoned cocktail aficionado or a casual drinker, these bars are sure to impress. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into the world of New York City's finest cocktails.
1. The Dead Rabbit
The Dead Rabbit is a legendary cocktail bar that offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
With multiple bars and seating areas, the bar is always lively and bustling. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the cocktails are out of this world.
The food is also delicious, with a great selection of small plates and Irish specialties.
The bar is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a great night out in the city.
2. Amor Y Amargo
Amor Y Amargo is a cozy cocktail bar that specializes in bitter cocktails.
The knowledgeable bartenders are happy to educate guests on the different bitters and bourbons used in their drinks.
The pre-batched cocktail menu ensures quick service, and the bartenders can make anything else upon request.
The intimate ambiance and friendly staff make Amor Y Amargo a great spot for a unique cocktail experience.
3. Raines Law Room Chelsea
Raines Law Room Chelsea is a hidden gem that transports visitors to a bygone era. The dimly lit, cozy atmosphere is perfect for a date or intimate gathering.
The baristas are knowledgeable and create well-crafted cocktails, including non-alcoholic options. The staff is friendly and efficient, but expect a wait to get in.
The interactive bar room adds to the overall experience. The cocktails are pricey but worth it for the quality and variety.
The private rooms with curtains are a unique touch. Raines Law Room Chelsea is a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts looking for a sophisticated speakeasy experience.
4. The Wayland
The Wayland is a laid-back cocktail bar that offers cutting-edge drinks and bar snacks. The atmosphere is perfect for early evening drinks or a night out with friends.
The staff is attentive and friendly, making sure that guests never go without a drink. The menu offers unique and delicious cocktails, such as the kale margarita and the roasted pineapple and mezcal cocktail.
The food options are also impressive, with highlights such as the pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches and the crispy cauliflower.
Although the bar can get crowded during peak going out times, it is definitely worth checking out for a fun and chill vibe.
5. BAR GOTO
BAR GOTO is a Japanese-inspired cocktail bar that offers a unique drinking experience.
The bartenders are passionate about their craft and offer a wide selection of Japanese whiskeys. The intimate atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends or a date.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the food is amazing.
The menu is limited, but the cocktails are solid with some unique twists on the classics. It's a great spot to chill with friends and try something new.
6. The Up & Up
The Up & Up is a dimly lit cocktail bar with a cool speakeasy vibe. It offers a wide selection of creative drinks and small bites.
The staff are knowledgeable and offer great recommendations. The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, making it a great spot for a date.
The cocktails are handcrafted by the bartenders and are definitely worth a try.
However, the prices are a bit steep, so be prepared to pay for the experience. The Up & Up is a solid spot for a quality cocktail and a sophisticated night out.
Subject is a cozy cocktail bar with a great selection of drinks, including delicious mocktails. The atmosphere is intimate and perfect for conversation, with throwback movies playing in the background.
The service is attentive and friendly, and the bartenders are knowledgeable about their craft.
The outdoor seating is comfortable, and the inside is clean and casual. The food menu offers gourmet comfort food, and the signature cocktails are creative and well-crafted.
With a great happy hour and signature adult slushies, Subject is a must-visit for anyone looking for a laid-back and unpretentious bar experience.
8. Nobody Told Me
Nobody Told Me is a trendy cocktail bar with a hipster vibe. The atmosphere is vibrant with loud music, making it a great spot for a night out with friends.
The menu offers delicious and well-crafted cocktails, both on and off the menu. The bartenders are friendly and talented, providing top-notch service.
The food is elevated and sophisticated, with interesting global bites and mains. However, note that the music can be too loud for a normal conversation.
If you're looking for a fun and unique spot to grab drinks and bites, Nobody Told Me is definitely worth checking out.
9. Everything's Jake NYC Bar & Lounge
Everything's Jake NYC Bar & Lounge is a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts.
The bar serves up exceptional cocktails with unique presentations that are sure to impress. The hip ambiance and attentive staff add to the overall experience.
Whether you're looking for a low-key night out with friends or a spot for a wedding party, Everything's Jake NYC Bar & Lounge is a great choice.
Don't miss out on their espresso martini and cosmo 1934.
10. Patent Pending
Patent Pending is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar that offers an electric theme.
The bar is dimly lit and located behind a hidden door in Patent Coffee. They have a variety of creative cocktails that are well-crafted and complex.
The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. The atmosphere is intimate and perfect for a date or small group.
Be prepared to wait, but the experience is worth it. If you're in the mood for an adventure and a unique cocktail, Patent Pending is the place to be.
11. Entwine Cocktail Bar
Entwine Cocktail Bar is a cozy and inviting spot in the West Village. With a great variety of cocktails on the menu, patrons can enjoy a happy hour discount on drinks, wine, and beer.
The staff is engaging and fun, providing excellent service to make guests feel at home.
The mezze platter and cheese plate are great accompaniments to the drinks, and the outdoor patio is a perfect spot to relax in the summer.
With live music in the basement, Entwine Cocktail Bar is a great local hangout spot with good vibes and energy.
Overstory is a must-visit cocktail bar for those looking for fantastic views and great drinks. The retro-chic bar boasts a 64th-floor deck for panoramic views of the city.
The cocktail menu is well thought out with lots of options, and the staff is friendly and professional.
Reservations are recommended as the wait list can get lengthy.
Despite the pricey drinks, the overall experience is worth it for the breathtaking views and cozy atmosphere.
13. Rosevale Cocktail Room
Rosevale Cocktail Room is a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts. The bar boasts an incredible cocktail and food menu that is sure to satisfy any palate.
The bartender is knowledgeable and will guide you through the drinks to ensure you have a great experience.
The ambiance is amazing with old Broadway-themed decor that adds to the experience. The chicken is cooked to perfection and delicious. The service is top-notch, and the staff is friendly.
The decor with beautiful plants everywhere adds to the charm of the place. If you are looking for a great cocktail bar, Rosevale Cocktail Room is the place to be.
14. Our/New York Bar & Vodka Distillery
Our/New York Bar & Vodka Distillery is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. The bar staff is highly skilled and crafts some of the best cocktails you'll find in town.
The homemade vodka is noticeably better than most bottled varieties, making it a must-try for vodka enthusiasts.
The ambiance is cool and low-key, making it the perfect spot for a quick drink or a nightcap.
If you're looking for a unique and authentic New York experience, this is definitely the place to be.
15. Orient Express Cocktail Bar
Orient Express Cocktail Bar is a charming and intimate spot that transports you to another era with its vintage railway car theme.
The bartenders are friendly and skilled, crafting delicious cocktails with high-quality ingredients. The limited menu offers Mediterranean-inspired bites that pair well with the drinks.
The atmosphere is cozy and perfect for a romantic date or a night out with friends. The prices are reasonable for the West Village, and the service is attentive.
If you're looking for a unique and memorable cocktail experience, Orient Express Cocktail Bar is definitely worth a visit.
16. The Speakeasy at The Gin Mill
The Speakeasy at The Gin Mill is an excellent cocktail bar and private party space. Their candle-lit back room creates a warm and intimate atmosphere, perfect for a night out with friends or a date.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that every customer is satisfied with their drinks.
They offer fantastic happy hour specials, making it an affordable option for those on a budget.
The bar is located inside The Gin Mill bar and grill and is a great addition to the upper west side neighborhood.
LB is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar that transports you back to the Prohibition era. The low-key ambiance and impressive speakeasy vibe make it a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts.
The bartenders at LB are knowledgeable and skilled, and their off-menu creations are a treat for the taste buds.
The live jazz music adds to the overall experience, making it a great spot for a chill late night out.
The only downside is the dim lighting and QR code menu, which can be a bit of a hassle. Despite this, LB remains a true gem of a craft cocktail bar that is worth checking out.
18. Pebble Bar
Pebble Bar is a must-visit cocktail bar in NYC. With an intimate atmosphere and fantastic staff, patrons will enjoy a large selection of drinks, including spirit-free cocktails.
The bar scene is mostly corporate, making it a great networking spot.
Reservations are recommended, especially during oyster season. The martinis are to die for, and the steak tartare is a must-try with a surprise caviar topping.
Highly recommended for anyone looking for a great cocktail bar in the area.
19. Bar Moga
Bar Moga is a Japanese-inspired cocktail bar that offers a unique and sophisticated atmosphere.
The staff is attentive and creates cocktails with precision, using Japanese whiskeys and spirits. The food menu is also impressive, with dishes like Katsu Sando, Omu Rice, and crab croquettes.
The venue is cozy and chic, perfect for a night out with friends or a date. Guests can enjoy happy hour specials and a variety of drinks to choose from, including seasonal options.
Bar Moga is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great cocktail bar with Japanese influences.
20. Ty Bar
Ty Bar is a luxurious cocktail lounge located in a stylish hotel. With its high ceilings, marble pillars, and fireside seating, the ambiance is refined and elegant.
The bartenders are exceptional, and their barrel-aged cocktails are highly recommended. The live music adds to the intimate atmosphere, making it the perfect place for a quiet drink or a special occasion.
While the prices are high, the impeccable service and relaxed atmosphere are well worth it.
The small plates menu is a nice touch, and the marinated olives are a must-try. If you're looking for a swanky place to unwind and relax, Ty Bar is the perfect spot.