Hidden bars are highly sought after in New York City since they portray the time of prohibition. Drinking is legal now, but New Yorkers love the charm of these speakeasies because of their unique vintage designs, secret entrances, and out of the box food and drinks. New york has more than couple dozens of hidden bars, here are the best five ones that we picked for you.
1- Angel’s Share ‘8 Stuyvesant St., New York, NY 10003’
This intimate speakeasy is hidden inside a Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho which has tall windows that look out onto the East Village, and serves creative cocktails with impressive back-stories and high-quality ingredients. The entrance is through an unmarked door inside the second-floor restaurant. The bar has an old school design to it like you are in an old salon, with two-toned, diamond-patterned wood behind the bar, cut crystal tumblers, and heavy brocade curtains. Where else can you get Earl Gray-infused gin and white truffle and pear-infused Grey Goose? Only at Angel’s share!
2- Apothéke ‘9 Doyers St., #1, New York, NY 10013’
Inspired by the history and rise of the apothecary in Europe as well as the artistic influence of absinthe dens in 19th century Paris, Apothéke is the first of its kind. The entire experience from wandering down a hidden street to find the entrance, to tasting the first sip of a specialty cocktail made with exotic herbs and fruits – is a privilege. With an entrance below a neon “Chemist” sign hanging in a Chinatown alleyway, Apothéke may not look like a high-class bar. Yet after 9 p.m., a discerning bouncer only lets in clientele or people with reservations. But it’s definitely worth it as you get inside, “chemists,” or bartenders wearing white coats, will mix complicated cocktails in a dark and classy setting.
3- B Flat ‘277 Church St., # A, New York, NY 10013’
Only a tiny chalkboard outside listing B Flat’s happy hour (Monday through Saturday 5 p.m – 7 p.m.) would not give you a clue that there is a bar here. But through the plain door is where the real action begins. B Flat stays true to its name by hosting live jazz performances on Mondays and Wednesdays. And for food and snakes, the bar serves American-Japanese food like edamame and a Teriyaki beef burger, and fried chicken which is known to be the best ever among NYC bars. The drinks are speakeasy level strong and sophisticated. They use nice flavors like yuzu and change the menu seasonally or once in a while.
4- Bar Centrale ‘324 West 46th St., New York, NY 10036’
Hidden behind a nondescript townhouse door in the Theater District that looks just like any other brownstone from the outside, Bar Centrale is the secret bar you’re not supposed to know about. The décor pays homage to the neighborhood: tables decorated with ticket stubs and vintage photos of Times Square. In addition to wine and cocktails, a menu of bar food offers oysters, shrimp cocktails, Chinese dumplings, and quesadillas. Try to pop in after Broadway shows, as sometimes some stars hang out at the bar after finishing their shows.
An original speakeasy that operated during Prohibition, the Back Room maintains an old-time feel, serving cocktails in teacups and bottles of beers in paper bags. Its hidden entrance is the same one that was used more than 80 years ago. There’s even another room hidden within the bar, behind a trick bookcase. Of all the hidden bars in the city, the Back Room is one of the few that actually served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. (It was run by notorious gangsters Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky.) The only indication of it is the “Lower East Side Toy Company: sign on the street. Through the metal gate, down the stairs into a dark alleyway, and on the other side, you’ll find another set of steps leading to a door. Inside you’ll be amazed to find a gorgeous ‘20s-inspired bar with red wallpaper, portraits in gold frames, a fireplace, and velvet sofas. The Back Room gets filled on Mondays’ night because they always play live Jazz.