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Guide to the Coolest Speakeasies in Manhattan

During the United States Prohibition, thousands of New York City locals were involved in the making, selling, or transporting of banned liquors. Many of them started secret bars called “speakeasies” that were built for enjoying nights of jazz and booze in tucked-away locations. And although Prohibition ended in 1933, Manhattan has still maintained a lot of these mysterious and secretive spots. To experience a glimpse into the underground Prohibition days for yourself, here’s our guide to some of the coolest speakeasies that Manhattan has to offer.

Attaboy

Operated by two former bartenders of the famous Milk and Honey cocktail bar, Attaboy was created with a speakeasy vibe in mind. Located at 134 Eldridge Street, visitors must knock on the front door or use a buzzer to enter this hidden spot. And instead of drink menus, one of the many mixologists can whip up a custom-made cocktail for you, depending on your tastes and preferences. With dimly-lit tables and a vintage feel, Attaboy is a great choice for an intimate night out in Manhattan.

Please Don’t Tell (PDT)

Located inside of Crif Dogs at 113 St. Marks Place, Please Don’t Tell is one of the most cleverly disguised speakeasies in Manhattan. To enter, visitors must step into a vintage telephone booth at the back of the restaurant and ring a buzzer on the inside. A hostess will then open up a secret door so that you and your group can enter. Not only do you feel like you’re getting VIP treatment by entering this secret spot, you can also order from Crif’s delicious menu while sitting at the luxurious and cozy PDT bar.

These Manhattan speakeasies still maintain their secret entrances and vintage 20's environments.
These Manhattan speakeasies still maintain their secretive entrances and vintage 20’s environments.

The Back Room

The Back Room is one of the original Manhattan speakeasies that operated during Prohibition and is very tricky to find. Located by looking for a “Lower East Side Toy Company” sign at 102 Norfolk Street, visitors must go through a gate and down a flight of stairs to reach this secretive spot. The search is definitely worth the effort, as The Back Room has played host to some of the most famous actors and gangsters of the Prohibition era and boasts a swanky 1920’s atmosphere. From hosting birthday parties to a casual night out, it’s the perfect spot for adding a little glamor to your Manhattan visit.

Blind Barber

Doubling as a barber shop by day and a speakeasy by night, the Blind Barber is famous for hosting fun dance parties with live DJs. With unique cocktails and a casual, laid-back vibe, it’s also a great spot for having good conversations with friends. Visitors must walk through the barbershop and back room at 339 East 10th Street to reach the speakeasy at night. During the day, you can enjoy a free (non-alcoholic) cocktail along with a haircut or shave.

Trying a hand crafted cocktail is a must when visiting any speakeasy in NYC.
Trying a hand crafted cocktail is a must when visiting any speakeasy in NYC.

The Garret

Located at the back of a Five Guys restaurant at 296 Bleecker Street, The Garret has become a hot spot around the Manhattan area. With an impressive and fun cocktail menu, an exclusive Five Guys burger menu that can’t be found anywhere else, and a loft with skylight windows and industrial feel, this speakeasy simply has it all. To enter, head to the back of the restaurant where a bouncer is standing guard at the base of a staircase and head up the stairs.

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7 Trendiest Pubs in New York City

The enormous amount of nightlife in New York City makes it nearly impossible to pick out just a few of the best drink spots. And with so many great pubs located within the Big Apple, how do you decide which one to go to for specialty cocktails or craft beer? Although the city is full of countless newly opened bars, we’ve narrowed down 7 of the trendiest pubs for you that NYC has to offer.

The Winslow

The Winslow is a newly renovated pub created with a traditional British-inspired public house atmosphere. Famous for its gin and tonics, the Winslow offers gins from all around the world and serves over 20 varieties of British beer on tap. You’ll also find a renown mixologist that’s ready to whip up exotic cocktails containing botanicals (including bee pollen!) for the entire table.

The food here is delicious and inspired by British eateries. Dishes include their famous Scotch Egg and tasty Bangers and Mash. If you’re craving more American meals, they also serve a mean Mac ’n Cheese!

Jimmy’s Corner

Located in the heart of Times Square, Jimmy’s Corner surprisingly provides the ultimate dive bar experience. With hardly any tourists poking their heads in the doorway, this mostly locals pub is the ideal place to sip quality drinks and enjoy live music performances. The walls are plastered with boxing posters and other memorabilia from the owner’s history, creating the perfect dive bar atmosphere.

Who knew that the perfect dive bar was located within the bustle of Times Square?
Who knew that the perfect dive bar was located within the bustle of Times Square?

Caledonia Bar

With two locations on both the Upper West and East sides, this laid-back whiskey joint has become one the hottest spots in the NYC. Boasting a hearty Scottish atmosphere, people from all around the city come to taste the many varieties of whiskey served in the pub, along with selections off of the impressive beer and cocktail menus. Caledonia also offers a great selection of food, including pies, sausages, and other Scottish fare. It’s the perfect destination for a cozy and relaxing experience.

Sugarburg

Located in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, Sugarburg has gained huge popularity due to its delicious American dishes. Savory Po Boys and creamy Mac and Cheese selections are a big hit at this NYC pub, along with a large selection of craft beers, espressos, and coffee. The atmosphere includes lots of natural light, comfortable seating, and a calm vibe.

Cafe Katja

Looking for a pub with authentic Austrian fare? Café Katja offers simple and delicious dishes straight from the European motherland! With classic dishes such as liverwurst, Hungarian blood sausage, goulash, and more, you’ll feel as though you’ve transported across the world. There is also a superb selection of Austrian and German beers on tap, including Schneider Hefe-Weisse, plus a variety of wines, cocktails, and Schnapps as well. Katja’s spacious windows, brick walls, and wooden furniture create a both a modern yet homey atmosphere.

A nice selection of Austrian and German beers await for you at Cafe Katja.
A nice selection of Austrian and German beers await for you at Cafe Katja.

Blind Tiger Ale House

The Blind Tiger Ale House is known for being NYC’s premier craft beer bar, and it’s easy to see why! Besides the charmingly rustic interior, the craft beer selection here is enormous and includes unique brews such as barrel-aged and Belgian style beers. The selection rotates regularly based on seasonal availability, ensuring that there’s a drink for everyone to love at the Blind Tiger. The pub also hosts a fun beer and cheese event tasting every Wednesday, making this the perfect place for beer enthusiasts to come together and socialize!

The Dead Rabbit

This no-nonsense Irish pub has earned some of the best ratings in the barfly community, including the World’s Best Bar of 2016. With a great selection of vintage cocktails, an extensive menu of delicious dishes from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain, and live music played every week, you couldn’t ask for more from the rowdy, yet hospitable Dead Rabbit. The dim lighting and large sprawling layout of the pub creates the perfect atmosphere for hunkering down with friends and eating, drinking, and dancing the night away