Follow Become A New Yorker on Twitter for regular updates about moving to New York City and learning living in NYC

Become A New Yorker Become A New Yorker logo Get here. Get settled. Get around.

Random header image at Become A New Yorker

Hidden Secrets: Speakeasies

November 28th, 2010 |  Published in About New York, Eating Out, Entertainment, Things to Do  |  7 Comments
by

Apotheke Bar

Going out in New York can be exhausting. Sometimes, you just want a quiet, yet interesting place to grab a drink and have a night out with your best buds. Maybe you’re seeking refuge from same, tired old thing, but aren’t quite sure where to turn. Or perhaps you want to spend part of the night in a place that feels undiscovered and little-known. In any case, make your way to the nearest speakeasy.

A great thing about these sort of places in New York is that you get the feeling you’re part of some exclusive, in-crowd without the snobbery (in some cases, though, popular ensues and the snob-factor does kick in). Step right up to the door (if you can find it) and go forth – no one will ask you if your name is on the list or who you know before you can get in.

Once inside, be prepared to have one of the best drinking experiences of your life. These speakeasies pride themselves on the quality and authenticity of drink. The bartenders (and in most cases mixologists) are extremely adept at combining some of the finest ingredients you’ve ever slurped out of a cocktail glass. Even the ice is special and has a particular purpose in the recipe. If you’re not quite sure what to order, try an Old Fashioned, or you can tell the bartender what spirit and flavor-category you like and he or she will whip you up a custom creation.

As you sip your drink, sit back and enjoy the decor. Most speakeasies will put considerable effort into the atmosphere of the place. Whether it’s the uniforms of the employees, the ambient music, the plush couches, the fact that you’re two floors below street-level, or the ancient-looking chandelier, there’s no doubt you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a bygone era.

This all surely sounds wonderful, but do be prepared to pay for the experience. Cocktails can go for as much as $15 a pop (most are about $12), so you’ll want to budget for the night, and choose maybe one or two concoctions to enjoy over a few hours.   Then again, this is New York City, and you’ll likely pay $9 for a shitty Jack and Coke at a dive bar next door, so why not enjoy something tastier for a few more bucks.

How do you find some of these notoriously difficult to find spots? Well, behold a few of my favorites. Try ’em out with your posse and see if they’re to your liking. If those don’t do it for you, talk to friends, or friends of friends. Even though the “interwebs” are great for finding bars these days, sometimes the best way to find a speakeasy is by word of mouth.  Or share them in the comments.

I’ve been to each of these and really love them.

These I’ve heard of, but have never been.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to our RSS feed!
Image Credit:
Cyndi Zaino

Tagged with: , , , ,

About the author: Cyndi Zaino

Cyndi Zaino Cyndi joined "Become a New Yorker" in the fall of 2010 as a content contributor. She was born and raised in Long Island, NY and then moved down to the DC Metro area for a few years, only to come back to NYC to finish college and start her career. Some of her favorite things about the City are its diversity, variety of things to do, and unique places to eat. She is especially fond of its dirt, grime, and the fact that "it feels like a real city". Cyndi is hardcore and a level 80 Night Elf Druid.


Email Cyndi | All posts by


  • http://www.facebook.com/cafourek Andrew Cafourek

    I was at Apotheke last weekend for a drink and had two of the best cocktails I’ve found: Edamame with Suso and the Spicy Tomato Basil.

  • Keenan Rose

    A few more to check out are Elsa on 3rd st and ave B, and the counting room (downstairs) if you are gangster enough to venture to brooklyn

  • Joanna

    Have you ever been to 675 Bar on Hudson in the W Village? I don’t know that it would qualify as a speakeasy, but its basement vibe and individual game rooms are excellent for small groups that want to visit and avoid the crush of people at larger bars.

  • Cyndi Zaino

    Hey Joanna! I have not been to 675 Bar but, I checked it out on Thrillist, and they have a great article on it: http://thrl.st/hGt7jZ. I will definitely make my way over to there soon. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Web design London

     I don’t know that it would qualify as a speakeasy, but its basement vibe and individual game rooms are excellent for small groups that want to visit and avoid the crush of people at larger bars.

  • http://www.adsyou.com/ شقق للبيع في الاردن

    I don’t know that it would qualify as a speakeasy, but its basement vibe
    and individual game rooms are excellent for small groups

  • Pingback: NY Drinks | Pearltrees

Become A New Yorker

Get here. Get settled. Get around.
Subscribe to the RSS feed for Become A New Yorker Subscribe via RSS
Subscribe to Become A New Yorker by email Subscribe via Email

We are looking for new volunteer contributors! Send us a note to join our team.



Sign Up For Our Newsletter