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Top cocktail bars in New York City?

I love a good old school cocktail. I was recently introduced to sazerac and ramos fizz and love them both! Where can I find the best in the city?

13 Answers

top answer by
Denise from New Orleans

OH so many!

I think Bemelmans Bar inside the Carlyle Hotel in the Upper East Side is a must for a classic, New York cocktail lounge experience. Live piano music, murals by famed children's book illustrator Ludwig Bemelman- it's just cool. 

Please Don't Tell- Younger, cool speakeasy type cocktail joint attached to Crif Dogs. Enter through the phone booth and get some kind of ridiculous bourbon infused drink AND a crazy hotdog (of course).

Similarly, Booker & Dax is the adjoining cocktail bar of David Chang's Momofuku creates wild and inventive cocktails, that you no doubt will want to eat with a delicious steamed pork bun.

Pegu Club is a fantastic old standard, mixing Earl Gray martinis and signature gin mules.

Newer on the list, I REALLY like Pouring Ribbons. A bit far East, but a beautiful bar with a crazy selection of chartreuse based drinks. Go for a Chartreuse Swizzle, YUM.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bemelmans Bar (restaurant)
  2. Carlyle Hotel (hotel)
  3. Please Don't Tell (attraction)
  4. Booker & Dax (restaurant)
  5. Pegu Club (restaurant)
  6. Pouring Ribbons (attraction)
8 thanks

answered by
Spencer from Los Angeles

I know a guy that knows how to make a good sazerac, and Ramos Fizz. 

In no particular order, a few of my faves:

Please Don't Tell. Secret-y, fun way to enter. Afterward get a BOMB hot dog (seriously) at Crif Dogs.

Blind Barber - East Village, NY. It looks like a barber shop, but it's oh so more. Enter awesome vintage cocktail lounge with delicious drinks.

The Dead Rabbit. They have a fantastic cocktail program and are doing some innovative things. IF you like whiskey, they're doing some really cool things with one of my favorite types of whiskey, Irish whiskey.

Death + Company. Pretty happening spot, so may want to try to get in early. Pretty substantial cocktail menu with some classics and drinks they've come up with.

Get a sazerac at The Campbell Apartment or to get BOTH a good gin fizz AND good sazerac, Brandy Library.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Please Don't Tell (attraction)
  2. Crif Dogs (restaurant)
  3. Blind Barber - East Village, NY (attraction)
  4. The Dead Rabbit (restaurant)
  5. Death + Company (restaurant)
  6. The Campbell Apartment (attraction)
  7. Brandy Library (attraction)
6 thanks

answered by
Tony from San Francisco

I'm a big fan of Attaboy and Dear Irving

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Attaboy (attraction)
  2. Dear Irving (restaurant)
5 thanks

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Thinking old school -- 

The Algonquin Hotel - where Dorothy Parker and the "Vicious Circle" hung out. The Blue Bar off the lobby is fabulous and serves a really good martini (which is my personal litmus test for bars).

Bemelmans Bar - my favorite bar in NYC, period. Murals by Ludwig Bemelman who wrote the Madeline books. Would love it if these walls could talk. 

King Cole Bar at the The St. Regis New York. Amazing, amazing mural by Maxfield Parrish. It can get nowhere-to-sit crowded on weekends so go during a weekday if you can. 

Molly's Shebeen - I grew up more or less across the street from this place--a little bizarre but fun and they serve great drinks (I think I had a Bloody Mary here last time). 

For newer places --

BG Restaurant - serves a fabulous martini and offers one of the best views of the city. GREAT people watching. 

Bowery Hotel - love this place and thought I'd hate it. Very low key and un-rushed experience. 

The Wren - it's really more of a restaurant than a bar, but I had such a great drink here that I'm recommending it. I don't remember what it was called but it had vodka in it. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Algonquin Hotel (hotel)
  2. Blue Bar (restaurant)
  3. Bemelmans Bar (restaurant)
  4. King Cole Bar (attraction)
  5. The St. Regis New York (hotel)
  6. Molly's Shebeen (attraction)
  7. BG Restaurant (restaurant)
  8. Bowery Hotel (hotel)
  9. The Wren (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
amery from Chinatown New York

Cocktail clubs in New York is just like a second home of it. There are plenty of beer bars, cocktail or pubs where could be spend good time. Analogue was a good experience on my journey. That bar is located in Greenwich Village and I really had quality drink there. I will suggest you must make a visit there during your tour. Hope you won't be disappointed. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Analogue (restaurant)
  2. Greenwich Village (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
Molly from West Chester, Pennsylvania

I agree with Please Don't Tell, Death + Company, and definitely Angel's Share (they have a GREAT Dark and Stormy!!). I would also recommend Employees Only - yeah, it can be a bit packed but they have some of the best bartenders in the city who can mix up practically anything off the top of their heads. 

I also like The Wayland (great happy hour oysters!), Mulberry Project (you can have the bartender batch up pitchers, YES, pitchers! of bespoke cocktails) and Perla for a great sazerac! 

Hope this helps! Enjoy, and get tipsy :D

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Please Don't Tell (attraction)
  2. Death + Company (restaurant)
  3. Angel's Share (restaurant)
  4. Employees Only (restaurant)
  5. The Wayland (restaurant)
  6. Mulberry Project (attraction)
  7. Perla (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Agnes from Nyc

You cannot go wrong with Campbell's Apartment.  A bar at Grand Central Terminal.  It's kind of a take of an old fashioned speakeasy  and a little hard to find.  Great cocktails and gorgeous interior.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Grand Central Terminal (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Christian from Miami, Florida

Angel's Share is great. So is Raines Law Room. Both have great cocktails and atmosphere. Keep in mind that Angel Share does not allow more than 4 people in a group 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Angel's Share (restaurant)
  2. Raines Law Room (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
jack from California

According to me Dram  is one of the  best cocktail bars in Brooklynthat also  serves beer and wine. I had a great experience there. There is still other options that give you nice services like Analogue

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dram (attraction)
  2. Brooklyn (neighborhood)
  3. Analogue (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Matt from New York City

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Please Don't Tell (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Ron from Severna Park

Sardi's on west 44th.  Upstairs bar but only after 8pm when the theater crowd is gone.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sardi's (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
S. from Vancouver

I had about the best cocktail experience of my life at Brooklyn's Clover Club. Exceptionally welcoming, and they bent over backwards to create a custom tour of mezcal for us, complete with handwritten notes.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Clover Club (restaurant)

answered by
Nars from Boston

I love the The Campbell Apartment in the Grand Central Terminal. Pouring Ribbons is another good options. Here's a good list:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Campbell Apartment (attraction)
  2. Pouring Ribbons (attraction)

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