New York can get overwhelming. Thankfully, there are some under-the-radar spots where you can take a breather and sip a stiff drink. Below, a roadmap to some of our favorite cocktail-hour hideaways:
By Michaela Rollings
296 Bleecker Street
This well-positioned bar operates above a Five Guys on Bleecker Street, accessible through a staircase in the back of the burger shop. Their comprehensive menu spans from classic cocktails to out-of-the-box sips, made with ingredients like balsamic vinegar and matcha. And you can get fries on the way out.
113 St. Marks Place
Gaining entry might be a challenge, but Please Don't Tell is one of the best bars in the city. Bartenders whip up a custom drink at a moment’s notice, and their inventive cocktail menu is several pages long (front and back). To get into PDT, you've got to enter through an unassuming phone booth inside Crif Dogs (a hot dog joint on St. Marks). Reservations are recommended, but if you’re a last-minute planner, a call to PDT day-of at around 4 PM will usually do the trick.
8 Stuyvesant Street
Asian-inspired cocktails dominate at this eccentric East Village bar. Ingredients like lychee, white-truffle vodka, carrot and Japanese rice vodka stud the menu. To get into Angel’s Share, walk up to the second floor of the Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho, and a door to the nightery will be on your left.
9 Doyers St. #1
Mixologists in lab coats concoct the drinks at this Chinatown hidden gem. Apotheke was designed to mirror the aesthetic of Old World apothecaries, and there’s even a whole section of the menu dedicated to "Health & Beauty" cocktails, infused with ingredients like oregano essence, carrot and celery. Find Apotheke behind a red awning and a sign for "Golden Flower Restaurant" (a previous tenant) on Doyer Street.
132 9th Avenue
This clandestine bar is straight out of the Great Gatsby. This speakeasy, located beneath Stone Street Coffee shop in Chelsea, boasts cocktails ranging from extra boozy to light, elegant champagne-based sips. Daisy Buchanan would approve.
20 7th Avenue S.
Tucked away on 7th avenue in the West Village, Little Branch is part of the late Sasha Petraske's cocktail empire, which includes famed cocktail den Milk & Honey. The perfect place for a date or low-key outing, their bread-and-butter comprises classic, simple drinks of the highest quality. The bar is accessed through an unassuming brown door, which leads to the snug lower-level bar.