Any good pirate knows the best treasures are often the hardest to find. Although Prohibition is long gone, with lockdowns and quarantines plenty across the US, we love a good speakeasy-themed bar—and the more secretive, the better. We've compiled a list of the six hottest hidden speakeasy bars in NYC and insider tips on how to get into them.
For The Cocktail Aficionado: Angel's Share
How to Find: To get to this inconspicuous East Village bar, you first have to go into the second-floor Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho. Once you're in the restaurant, turn left and enter the unmarked door.
Why Go: You'll find a small, yet effortlessly cool speakeasy bar. Angel's Share features Japanese-influenced drinks that have gained a serious cult following among cocktail enthusiasts.
Current Capacity: While you won't be able to cozy up to someone under the dim speakeasy lighting, Angel's Share is currently open for outdoor dining and cocktails.
For The History Buff: The Back Room
How to Find: Go to 102 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side and find a gated entrance for the "Lower East Side Toy Company." Enter the gate, walk through the alley, and go up the stairs to find The Back Room.
Why Go: The Back Room is one of only two current speakeasies that actually operated back in Prohibition. It played host to numerous actors and gangsters of the time, and we guarantee you'll still feel the energy of the roaring twenties. Specialty cocktails are served Prohibition-style in teacups, and the decor feels like you've stumbled into a 1920's mansion. Craving an even more exclusive experience? A trick bookcase leads into a secret VIP lounge.
Current Capacity: The Back Room is currently open from Thursday to Sunday, 5 - 11 pm. Call for reservations.
For The Creative Type: The Garret West
How to Find: Enter the West Village Five Guys Burgers (at the corner of Bleeker and Barrow Streets) and walk to the cash register. Turn to your left and you'll see a bouncer in front of an unmarked door. Enter and go upstairs.
Why Go: You'll find a dimly-lit and undeniably trendy cocktail bar, with creative specialties like The First Lady—a cocktail made with matcha green tea and egg whites. Go early if you want a spot, as The Garret West is intimate and fills up fast, even when there isn't a pandemic.
Current Capacity: The Garret West is currently operating at 50% and is open for reservations and walk-ins.
For The Sake Lover: Sakagura
How to Find: We hope you're up for a challenge because Sakagura is one of the toughest NYC speakeasy bars to find. You have to walk into a seemingly normal Midtown office building at 211 E 43rd Street, go past a security guard, and head downstairs into the basement.
Why Go: If you're a fan of sake, this is the speakeasy for you. You'll find an extensive menu complete with sake, sake cocktails, and sake flights—and the servers are more than happy to guide guests into the world of sake. Plus, they serve Japanese tapas that'll make you swear you're in Tokyo.
Current Capacity: Sakagura is currently open for dining only Wednesdays through Saturdays and accepting reservations from 5:30 - 8:30 pm. Reservations can be made through [email protected]
For The Late-Night Foodie: Please Don't Tell
How to Find: Go inside East Village's Crif Dogs (a popular hot dog joint), and you'll have to walk into a retro phone booth to enter Please Don't Tell.
Why Go: Looking past the obvious irony of the name Please Don't Tell, this bar is a fun and welcome twist on the typical cocktail-dominated speakeasy. Please Don't Tell has managed to bring deep-fried hot dogs into the mix and features a unique menu of fried specialties. Plus, they still have high-quality cocktails to keep the speakeasy purists happy. The vibe? You'll find ultra-comfy leather booths and eclectic taxidermy-decorated walls.
Current Capacity: Please contact the bar to find out more information regarding opening hours.
For The Indecisive Drinker: Attaboy
How to Find: Attaboy gives true meaning to the phrase "hidden in plain sight." To find it, you need to go to 134 Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side. There you'll find an unmarked door with only an old "AB 134" decal on it. Knock on the door and you'll gain entry.
Why Go: First off, Attaboy has no drink menu. Instead, their expert bartenders will ask you about your tastes and mix up your very own special creation. The speakeasy-style ambiance and mixologist-concocted cocktails are what keeps New Yorkers coming back.
Current Capacity: Attaboy is currently operating indoor at 35% capacity. They also have a full-service heated outdoor patio.