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Best Cocktail Bars in New York

By: Cityseeker
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Apothéke

Apothèke is one of the many "speakeasy" type bars found throughout Manhattan. This sanctuary located on this hidden alley in New York's Chinatown has plenty of old-fashion panache, though the drinks may be a bit on the pricey side. The bar replicates an old-world apothecary, proudly displaying antique medicine bottles and old-fashioned chemistry equipment. This bar is manned by expert bartenders who sport white lab coats and dispense alcoholic "prescriptions" (as they call them) like the Mata Hari, Femme Fatale and Dr. Ruth, which are created with the Apothèke's house-blended absinthe and other elixirs.

New York, NY, United States
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Brandy Library

Brandy Library is not actually a library; it's a high-end bar. The space's warm amber lighting and leather chairs are ideal to sink into or cuddle with someone special. The staff is friendly and climb ladders to fetch the brandy bottles that line the bar's shelves. The menu lists the absolute best brandy and scotch available. There are exquisite Cognacs, rustic Calvados and more than a hundred cocktails as well. The hors d'ouevres are just as special and include items such as foie gras and "Lambs in a Blanket" (Merguez lamb wrapped in puff pastry with Harissa and Dijon mustard). For dessert, their famed eclairs can't be beat. If you're feeling particularly decadent, ask for the 1914 brandy. Reservations are recommended.

New York, NY, United States
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The Dead Rabbit

The Dead Rabbit has been lauded for many things: being the "Best Bar in North America," the "World's Best Bar," and offering the "World's Best Cocktail Menu" among them. This sophisticated Irish pub meets classy cocktail lounge has something for everyone, be it the stellar selection of craft beers in the taproom, more than 70 vintage cocktails in the upstairs parlor, or festive bands and DJs featured weekly. Hungry crowds can choose between elevated bar snacks like cheese and charcuterie plates or heartier dishes like the rabbit burger. There's even a gourmet grocery attached where foodies can stock up on artisan goods. Experience the flow of conversation among fashionable guests on the first and second floors of The Dead Rabbit or book the top floor for a private event.

New York, NY, United States
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Pegu Club

Elegant and romantic, Pegu Club attracts an upscale crowd that certainly knows its cocktails. Extreme care is put into each drink, and the mixologists here use only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Moreover, droppers filled with lemon, lime, and bitters are provided so that patrons can fix their drinks to their exact tastes. The simultaneously sleek and warm decor at Pegu Club features rich wooden furniture, sultry lighting, and splashes of color. The bar does not accept reservations, so be sure to get there early next time you head to this SoHo hotspot.

New York, NY, United States
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Beauty & Essex

Get ready to be surprised! At first Beauty and Essex looks like a normal pawn shop, but walk through the storefront and open another door to discover a speakeasy-style restaurant with interiors that ooze panache, from the high ceilings to the ornate lanterns. The menu is composed of global favorites with special emphasis on contemporary American. The drink list is extensive to say the least, from cocktails and wines to beer. With a crowd that matches up to the ambiance, this is a place to see and be seen.

New York, NY, United States
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Little Branch

Bartending is an art in this sophisticated bar in the West Village. The staff at Little Branch, New York's hidden secret, take their calling seriously, using only the freshest ingredients and carved blocks of ice to reduce melting. Just request a favorite liquor and the bartenders will wow you with an exotic, unique drink. Little Branch was chosen by Esquire as one of the top bars in the United States. There is live music on certain evenings; check the website for details. They accept payment by cash only.

New York, NY, United States
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Employees Only

With the "physic" sign in bright neon on the window of the storefront, at first it will seem like you're going to have your fortune read, but head inside and find a classic speakeasy-style bar. Employees Only is a highlight of the space: it includes a steel-grill fireplace and is topped with brass. You'll find some creative options on the cocktail menu, including vermouth with Herbes de Provence and lavender-scented gin. The manually-cut Steak Tartare and the Bone Marrow Poppers served with Bordelaise sauce on Pastry Shell are must-try items. The luxurious desserts are the icing on the cheesecake and will satisfy even the most discerning gastronome.

New York, NY, United States
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Death & Co

Death + Company, a sleek and chic cocktail lounge, is named for a prohibition-era art movement which produced propaganda posters about the dangers of alcohol. Many of these propaganda posters were actually encrypted maps to local speakeasies. The cocktails here are as clever as the name, mixed by some of the city's most illustrious bartenders. This happening lounge lets you enjoy delectable drinks with small classic plates like Truffle Mac and Cheese.

New York, NY, United States
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Angel's Share

Hidden away inside Village Yokocho, the neighborhood's favorite Japanese restaurant, the Angels Share is a swanky lounge with just a hint of an old-fashioned speakeasy. This place is mostly populated with patrons elegantly dressed in black, who come here to sip Martinis and other classic cocktails like the Grasshopper. The decor is simple, except for an ornate painting of angels and the big windows that look down on 9th Street. Since the lounge permits entry only as per the available seating, make sure you drop by early to avoid disappointment.

New York, NY, United States
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PDT (Please Don't Tell)

PDT (which stands for Please Don't Tell) is a "secret" bar on St. Mark's Place. A call from a phone booth in Crif Dogs (the adjacent restaurant) is the only way to get in. Once accepted, a secret door opens up in the phone booth, leading to PDT. It's not much of a secret anymore though, because the club is hugely popular. Once inside, you'll find a crowded bar area steeped in darkness. The inventive cocktail selection is superb and a major draw. If you're hungry you can also order from the Crif Dogs food menu, which gets delivered to the club via a small pass. A visit to PDT is quite an interesting experience indeed.

New York, NY, United States
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The Long Island Bar

A classy cocktail bar, this one is renowned in the neighborhood, for serving some amazing concoctions. Located in Cobble Hill, The Long Island Bar has a trendy and fresh ambiance, which goes perfectly with the rejuvenating cocktails. Voted as the best cocktail bar in 2014, by TimeOut, it never fails to please the customers with its creative menu. The don't serve any food as of now, however, efforts to start a full kitchen are under the way. Drop by for a drink, after a tiring day of work, and you will be be happily surprised at the options available here.

New York, NY, United States
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The Wayland

This beloved Alphabet City watering hole delights with its impeccably mixed artisanal cocktails and warm, inviting vibe. The menu changes regularly, ensuring patrons always get the best and most creative concoctions. You'll be blown away by speciality drinks like the Smoked & Roasted, Peppered Peat, and Dominican Daiquiri. Apart from cocktails, The Wayland offers fine beers and wines, high-grade oysters, and a selection of light bites. The unpretentious interior beams with vintage furnishings and lovely lamplight, creating a space that instantly feels like home. Join the ranks of the hip East Village bar-hoppers and enjoy The Wayland.

New York, NY, United States
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