Discover New York City nightlife through secret entrances and staircases, flashy cocktails, and sometimes even reservations! From subway entrances to hotdog shops with secret doors, there’s a lot of fun in the seeking and finding and your reward will be a cocktail crafted by incredible mixologists who celebrate high-quality mixes!
It’s true that to capture some of that NYC vibe, you’ll want to seek out some hidden speakeasies in NYC.
Speakeasies in NYC. Are they really hidden?
In my experiences as a travel writer, finding those ‘hidden’ places in cities that others go to but not everyone can find generally ends up being a really fun night and definitely worth playing what I call Hide and Seek when traveling.
However, after reading some of the GOOGLE and YELP reviews to prepare for my trip, that may not be the case in NYC.
What I have discovered after multiple searches, tips from friends and some of my own knowledge from previous trips is that there are some speakeasies in NYC you’ll want to go to and some to really avoid.
Does Each Hidden Manhattan Speakeasy Have A Different Vibe?
Yes, you will find a Manhattan speakeasy for every different age group and preference, and some will have entertainment or loud music and some will just be quiet places to kick back, to get out of the populous Manhattan if even for only a little!
- 20 Something
- trust funders etc.
Some of the speakeasies in NYC I will share are hidden in plain sight, which makes them even more intriguing.
NYC Splashy + Pricey Cocktails
Honestly, with the cost of everything in NYC quantifying expensive is kind of difficult.
NYC is its own spirited animal and you expect to pay more for everything long before you go.
There are ways to avoid some of the pricier options and that is simply by heading into the other boroughs of NYC such as Queens or Brooklyn.
Everyone works off of a different budget so for me to say that $19 was not a lot for a drink, it might be to someone else.
There are plenty of dive bars in NYC that you can seek out as well and you can have fun there as well, so you kind of need to figure out your vibe and follow it.
What Areas are the NYC Hidden Dens In?
This will give you an idea of the areas within this article that will be referred to so you can plan your time there or decide if you would even go to the area (we were all over the place!)
For NYC in this article, I am specifically referring to
- Uptown Manhattan
- Downtown Manhattan
- Midtown Manhattan
Beware of Some of the Hidden Speakeasies in NYC
Trendy, fun, and over-hyped, that is what we often experienced in not only reading up but traveling to!
Look for current reviews, not old, remember we’ve just come through COVID and so many places are permanently closed or the vibe has really changed!
The 1 hit wonder where many flocks in order to be together, possibly become the popular place, and then it is over-hyped, so patron beware before you go!
You know how it goes, a few people find a place, and word spreads about how great their time was there.
The next few people go and they don’t have the same experience.
Google and Yelp reviews start popping up and before you know it, those $30 drinks aren’t as great as once perceived and you’ve got yourself a potential over-hyped speakeasy.
Waits that are too long, reservations that are too difficult to obtain, and while maybe hidden and cool, it may just not be your thing?
Read all the reviews, and then make a good decision, but read into the comments a lot before you just cast it off your speakeasy list of ‘must try’!
Each reviewer that leaves a less than an illustrious review, had a reason, but it may not be yours so consider that before tossing it off your list!
NYC Speakeasy Options With Secret Entrances That Might Cost You A Bit More
As I’ve discovered there are secret entrances to a few NYC Speakeasy options that might cost you a bit more than just that 1 drink in your hand.
First, the more popular hidden, but not so secret NYC speakeasy options have reservation options.
Sure you can show up, but reading some of the reviews on Google and YELP, I wouldn’t, but I will say this if you can’t get in, it’s New York City, there are bars everywhere and you can just slide into a nearby bar albeit not the NYC speakeasy you were shooting for!
Next, with your reservations through RESY, using your credit card to guarantee your appearance, you will have your reservation, but if you don’t show up, you are going to get charged $15- $25 per person.
So, cocktails could be pricey for those of you that never show up.
You will get charged $15- $25 a person if you forget to cancel those reservations per the terms of RESY stated when you make the reservations.
The reality is forgetting to cancel is just like paying for a drink per person with a tip.
Other Ways To Reserve Your Space
I did find that on a few different speakeasies such as Bo Peep, and Please Don’t Tell that you can call into and make reservations which are good too if you can get through and get on the books.
Do note, that some of the speakeasies book a week ahead, some a month, so keep track of where you want to go!
Food & Drink Minimum at NYC Speakeasies
Last, just like some of the comedy shows, you might have a drink and food minimum.
If you need to meet that minimum you’ll either drink your way to it or if food is available (which most have some sort of an arrangement with the places above them) drink and eat your way to it.
So if you had hoped just to head into some of the speakeasies in New York City with Flashy cocktails and secret entrances and just grab a drink and go, well, you might have to meet food and drink minimums.
Let’s look at a few secret entrances
Speakeasies in New York City with Flashy Cocktails + Secret Entrances
For those craving the spirited fun of seeking and finding you’ll want to find these entrances and seek out the NYC Hidden Dens mixologists at particular locations!
An NYC phone booth with a speakeasy on the other side.
First, do you even know what a phonebooth is, after all, we all have cell phones!
To disappear into this Speakeasy you’ll be headed to a phone booth at Crif Dogs and then you’ll get to make a call to get into the speakeasy called Please Don’t Tell.
This place does take reservations.
Piano Bar Speakeasy NYC for Fun Below a Restaurant
If you love music and drinks, Bo Peep is your go-to.
I understand it can be hard to get reservations here, but somehow, I found options on RESY and if you don’t, make sure to mark on RESY what you are looking for and it notifies you.
There is a $25 minimum per person so you will have to get a drink and a small plate to match it or just 2 drinks?
In NYC Where A Burger Joint Houses a Speakeasy
I know that the burgers, dogs, and fries at Five Guys are always outstanding making it a popular hopping kind of place, but add in a fun speakeasy with great cocktails and you’ve got yourself a NY date night story of fun!
You can get reservations here, so hop online and check out this place on Bleecker St.
Go To this NYC Speakeasy For Live Jazz on Wednesdays
IF you are looking for a little music with your cocktail, you’ll want to head to the Burgary and there you will be able to find Garfunkel’s.
Of course, you’ll want to get reservations as it does fill up fast and you’ll want to get in for a fun night!
Ice Cream Shop with an NYC speakeasy in the back!
For those of you that LOVE ice cream, and love great cocktails with that hidden entrance you can’t wait to find, you’ll love the location of this not-so-secret speakeasy.
You’ll find this speakeasy on the Upper Eastside and its website is The UES NYC but it’s referred to as The Storage Room.
Dress up a bit, because it’s a true experience, meaning no athletic wear, etc. Visit their site to learn more!
Make Sure To Come Back and Tell Me About the Hidden Speakeasies in NYC You Visited!
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Dana Vento is an award-winning travel writer (and recipe creator) who loves culinary experiences, fun adventures, and learning a destination top to bottom!