Thirsty in New York? Here are 9 cocktails bars where you'll get the perfect mix in your glass
When you hear “Cosmopolitan”, which city do you think of? There is definitely no other place that better incarnates the essence of this drink: In the opinion of many, New York is just one big cocktail bar. We show you the best places to grasp the party vibe and sample the concoctions of the city’s finest mixologists.
All watering holes have been delicately picked from our free New York City guide for iPhone. Download it now!
When you order a gin and tonic at Hotel Delmano, you will get a whole glass full of gin and a tonic on the side! The obscure bar, which is filled with antique mirrors and opulent chandeliers, is the perfect setting for an evening of strong cocktails and delicious tapas. If you are not into classics like gin and tonic, then try one of the many absinthe-based cocktails or the local Brooklyn Beauty.
Where: 82 Berry St.
Tel: +1 718 387 1945
Nearest station: Bedford Ave.
With no sign posted, clueless passers-by may wonder why crowds are lined up beneath a spinning barber’s pole on a Friday night. A functioning barbershop all day long, nighttime patrons evade the salon chairs and instead enter a covert club through a concealed sliding door. Checkered floors and old-school wallpaper are brought to modernity by the crowd within.
Quiet chatter over fancy cocktails gradually transforms into a revved-up party as midnight approaches. By the time the DJ finishes his set, the adrenaline is so thick that you won’t even mind if a beautiful stranger accidentally steps on your toe. Still, there’s a cozy den towards the back that resembles a home library, should you need a breather.
Where: 339 E 10th Street
Tel: +1 212 228 2123
Nearest station: 1st Ave.
Manhattan has no shortage of classy cocktail parlors, but only one is conceptualized on time travel. Inspired by the film Midnight in Paris, you can cozy up in one of four salons named after figures of various historical eras. It’s still 1960 in the JFK room, while bygone Parisian aristocracy embodies the Marie Antoinette room.
Decadent details characterize the décor in all eras, but it’s the personal touches that will leave you feeling pampered. Ice cubes are hand carved to complement your specific drink, and you’ll press a buzzer at your table to instantly signal your refill needs to a doting waitress. With such intimacy, Dear Irving is a dwelling for lovebirds or inner circles of friends celebrating a special occasion.
Where: 55 Irving Place
Nearest station: Union Square
On a busy Chelsea avenue, bursting with ordinary life, you’ll find the most trendily dressed New Yorkers searching frantically for one particular coffee shop – not for espresso, though. Inside ‘Stone Street Coffee’, a stylish hostess opens a door camouflaged within the wall to reveal a gin lover’s paradise: Bathtub Gin. A cozy date spot during early or after hours, the vibe resembles a small Great Gatsby party during its peak.
With local buzz galore, Manhattan’s scene-seeking young professionals love mulling over the pages of inventive (and strong) gin cocktails, so you may wish to call ahead to reserve a table. To make your visit extra memorable, take a photo in the copper bathtub that acts as the room’s centerpiece.
Where: 132 9th Avenue
Tel: +1 646 559 1671
Nearest station: 14th St.
The Auction House
Catch the owner of The Auction House and he will enthusiastically convey his establishment’s history. This elegant lounge is located in a former carriage house from Manhattan’s colonial days. Stepping into an intimate setting that resembles the den of a 1920’s mansion, you get an impression that local socialites visit for an intimate chat with friends or to impress a new love interest.
With a backdrop of velvet curtains, provocative paintings, and a marble fireplace you may wonder who made out on that antique red sofa last night. Craft cocktails with funky names like Dirty Rascal or Smoke & Honey add to the Victorian aura. The romantic atmosphere may draw people in, but the inventive drinks keep them lingering.
Where: 300 East 89th Street
Tel: +1 212 427 4458
Nearest station: 86th St.
Salon de Ning
This exclusive rooftop bar is elevated above the madness on 5th Avenue. In the summer, you have the opportunity to soak up the sun on comfortable sun loungers, and in winter, large windows ensure that you can stay warm indoors yet still have unrestricted views of the skyscrapers and posh shops. Salon de Ning is located at the top of the prestigious Peninsula Hotel, but the bar is open to everyone. It is a truly special feeling to walk through the stylish lobby and take the elevator to the top floor.
It is not cheap to enjoy the Asian-inspired cocktails, but you should treat yourself to at least one or two, especially if you want to celebrate a special occasion in exquisite style. Salon de Ning is the perfect place to begin or end a trip to this city.
Where: 700 5th Ave.
Tel: +1 212 956 2888
Nearest station: 5th Ave./ 53rd St.
Many of Manhattan’s cocktail bars are chock full of people and noise. If you’re in the mood for a less energetic atmosphere, Weather Up offers good drinks in quiet and delectable surroundings. White tiles on the walls and ceiling, as well as beautiful elongated lamps, provide you with a feeling that you ended up at a subway station. The same goes for the leather bays you sit in. Yet, the dim lighting and exclusive atmosphere makes this place nicer than the underground stations could ever be.
The menu offers a wide variety of delicious and fancy concoctions. All juices and syrups are homemade, providing the strongest drinks with extra flavor and freshness.
Where: 159 Duane St.
Tel: +1 212 766 3202
Nearest station: Chambers St.
Angel of Harlem
Enhancing a stream of new energy lighting up Harlem, Angel of Harlem mixes the neighbourhood’s home-style soul with the trendy touches of its evolution. While dinnertime means American classics with Afro-Caribbean and Latin twists, it pays to linger late as a crowd forms around a centrally positioned bar.
The DJ’s speaker volume rises a few decibels as time transcends into post-dinner hours, inviting an eclectic crowd to bop to beats ranging from 90s R&B to Jamaican dancehall. Cocktails skew in an island direction, including their rum punch signature drink, the Caribbean Queen. Be sure to take a photo under the neon “Harlem State of Mind” sign, because this spot will definitely put you in one.
Where: 2272 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
Tel: +1 212 316 0350
Nearest station: 125 St.
Donna Cocktail Club
As you ponder your potion at South Williamsburg’s Donna, you’ll have help in hieroglyphic form as the menu is augmented with symbols illustrating the characteristics of each cocktail. In a city that’s oversaturated with drinking options, this is just one way that Donna stands out.
The space itself appears lifted from a design magazine – vaulted ceilings, white-washed walls, and palm leaves conjure an upscale Cuban feel. Behind the bar is a bookcase of intriguing bottles that your bartender magically pours into his modern elixirs. Donna offers proof that although the Brooklyn crowd prefers dressing down, they still enjoy elegant surroundings. While a DJ cranks out slinky funk tunes, a hip but unassuming affair moves into motion.
Where: 27 Broadway (Brooklyn)
Tel: +1 646 568 6622
Nearest station: Marcy Ave