• New York’s Best Hidden Speakeasies 3

    New York’s Best Hidden Speakeasies

Looking for unique nightlife experiences brimming with old-school glamour and innovative cocktails? Let us recommend some of New York’s best speakeasies tucked away in unexpected places!

Something about having a secret on a night out feels a little bit mischievous. For that reason, we love the idea of the speakeasy, or a hidden bar. More than a century after the lifting of Prohibition laws that saw the creation of these underground bars, the air of exclusivity and mystery keeps them thriving. Looking for a watering hole that’s a little unconventional and off the beaten path in the Big Apple? Let us walk you through some of our favorite speakeasies!

NoMad — The Seville

We’d be remiss if we didn’t start this list with our very own speakeasy, The Seville.

Nestled in the basement of The James NoMad, The Seville has the vibe of a bygone New York. The swanky lounge takes its name as a tribute to the original Beaux-Arts’ Hotel Seville’ that was originally built here in 1904. At the time, the space came to life as an irresistible prohibition bar frequented by high-society New Yorkers. The casual chic atmosphere of the space recalls this New York social scene, with cocktails specifically inspired to transport you to an authentic feel good place.

The Seville is known for encouraging patrons to dress up and enjoy a night on the town full of glamour; don’t forget to make a reservation!

New York’s Best Hidden Speakeasies

Greenwich Village — Employees Only

Employees Only: Another amazing prohibition-style speakeasy, curiously hidden behind a fortune teller’s booth in Greenwich Village. Upon arrival past this mysterious foyer, guests revel around a creative curving bar and an alluring back dining room. Their drink menu is longer and more elaborate than most speakeasies.

The speakeasy has a reputation for creating inventive drinks that quickly become industry classics. Make sure to try their Manhattan with a twist, the Ginger Smash (which is customized with the seasons), or the Shift Drink, the nightly featured cocktail. Reservations are for dinner only. Otherwise, cocktails and appetizers are strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Flatiron — Thyme Bar

Once a gambling hall and speakeasy during the 1920s, this underground bar is hidden away in a pre-war cellar. It can be accessed by descending the stairs of Patisserie Chanson in the Flatiron district. The drinks and decor will make you feel like you’ve been taken back in time.

Try the Prix Fixe menu for a truly indulgent experience at Thyme Bar. This menu pairs unique libations from the Le Jardi and Floriography specialty menus with thoughtfully prepared seasonal small plates, topping it all off with their whimsical desserts. Reservations are available for the tasting menu, and walk-in customers can make a la carte orders.

New York’s Best Hidden Speakeasies 1

Lower East Side — Attaboy

134 Eldridge Street has housed not one, but two, legendary New York speakeasies. One of the original New York City new-wave speakeasies Milk & Honey was once located at this spot. Today, it’s where you’ll find Attaboy. The brainchild of two veteran Milk & Honey bartenders, Attaboy opened with the express purpose of carrying on the tradition of making creative drinks and providing a stellar atmosphere.

When you’re at Attaboy, there’s no drink menu. Instead, you take a seat and tell the bartender or your server what you like or what kind of drink you’re in the mood for, and they create a bespoke concoction tailored to your taste. Crowned the Best Bar in North America in 2022 by The World’s 50 Best, this nondescript, scarcely adorned bar is perfect for impressing your date.

New York’s Best Hidden Speakeasies 2

Nothing Really Matters

Have you ever been in the middle of your commute, stuck waiting for a subway train that seems to not be running, wishing and hoping for a delicious cocktail? Enter Nothing Really Matters, the self-proclaimed ‘greatest cocktail bar in the universe’.

Hidden just before the turnstiles at the downtown bound 1 train at the 50th Street Subway Station, this authentic speakeasy is the perfect stop for delicious cocktails and out-of-the-box decor. The bar’s name is an homage to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and so the drinks are named after New York icons. Next time you’re in town, don’t forget to try an Empire State or a Knickerbocker Bramble for a one-of-a-kind New York subway experience!

The Grand Finale

Speaking of authentic New York experiences, The Little Shop is a true city secret tucked away inside a bodega. This place is exclusively decorated with eclectic antique furniture.

The Little Shop offers delicious indoor dining and specialty cocktails like the Green Banana (their twist on an espresso martini) and the Chilled Espresso. While here, you can also order the ‘Shop Plate,’ which allows you to purchase snacks from the bodega, and the bartender will plate them for you. Reservations are encouraged but not necessary.

The Secret is Out

The New York City cocktail bar scene has gone underground, in some cases, both literally and figuratively. The speakeasy cocktail bar trend is in full swing in the Big Apple. With this guide, you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground, experience the city’s magic, and discover unexpected places.

Staying at The James NoMad allows you to explore all of these fantastic secret bars while providing an oasis of rest and relaxation! Check out our offers and start planning your speakeasy bar crawl through NYC!

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