It's not enough that the staff knows how to properly stir a martini when determining which cocktail bars in NYC are best. Many of the city's top bars have ditched some of the rigidity and rules of their forebears.
Nowadays, cocktail bars in New York City opt for a little more adventure and fun while still holding on to the standards that helped launch the cocktail revolution all those years ago. Here is a list of the best cocktail bars you will find in NYC.
Clover Club is a premiere cocktail bar in Brooklyn, which means they offer signature cocktails, a delicious food menu, and a friendly atmosphere. Since it's a Brooklyn bar, there's no velvet rope.
However, you can expect good drinks, live music, and cozy dim lighting. Clover Club was a James Beard Award nominee for best outstanding bar program.
Mace Cocktail Bar, located in East Village, is unlike any cocktail bar you've ever seen. It has been named one of the World's 50 Best Bars for five years. Acclaimed French bartender Nico de Soto and Greg Boehm of Cocktail Kingdom launched the top cocktail bar in 2015.
Mace incorporates distinctive, hand-selected spices from worldwide to create an award-winning menu. In addition to travel-themed cocktails, this bar offers a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages.
The "Mac" drink is made with beet juice, orange acid, young Thai coconut cordial, and mace mist. There are plenty of excellent cocktails to choose from, including an espresso martini.
This NYC East Village area speakeasy features a secret phone booth entrance. The hidden entrance makes it feel like you're entering a new dimension. Please Don't Tell is actually located in a hot dog shop. Once inside, sip original cocktails in a dimly lit, relaxed atmosphere. Since it's a tiny bar, you'll want to get there early or make reservations.
Dutch Kills is a popular destination in Long Island City for New Yorkers. The hand-cut ice and high-end cocktails here are legendary. Customers are encouraged to choose the bartender's choice by selecting a base liquor and a flavor profile and letting the head bartender work his or her magic.
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The drink menu is extensive and diverse, featuring countless cocktails made with only fresh, premium ingredients. The eerie, speakeasy-style setting is ideal for a romantic evening.
Raines Law Room in New York City is a secret place where entry is only provided if ring the doorbell. The bar was named after an 1896 law aimed to limit New Yorkers' liquor consumption.
The space has an old-fashioned 1920s vibe with dark wood furniture, turn-of-the-century wall hangings, and a few genuine antiques scattered about.
The cocktail menu is brimming with expertly crafted concoctions, including the Garden Paloma (tequila, jalapeno agave, Perrier, grapefruit, and a dash of salt).
You'll need to get there early to secure one of the private tables. Each one has a wall buzzer to call your server when necessary.
Located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, Leyenda is pan-Latin inspired cocktail bar and restaurant. It's co-owned by the people who own Clover Club and the popular Ivy Mix.
Along with traditional and contemporary versions of Latin dishes from all over Central and South America and the Caribbean, creative and classic cocktails are also available.
Established by the bartender and owner Kenta Goto, Bar Goto in NYC's Lower East Side serves Japanese-influenced cocktails. It's notorious for serving great food in a fun atmosphere. Enjoy a lotus blossom martini and excellent bar snacks at one of the best cocktail bars in NYC.
If you're looking for more bars in New York City, check out these: