The only indication of it is the Lower East Side Toy Company sign on the street. Go through the metal gate, down the stairs into a dark alleyway, and on the other side, you’ll find another set of steps leading to a door. Inside you’ll be amazed to find a gorgeous ‘20s-inspired bar with red wallpaper, portraits in gold frames, a fireplace, and velvet sofas. Bartenders serve cocktails in teacups and the place fills up on Monday nights for live jazz.
Enter through the Shakespeare Pub in the lower level of Midtown’s William Hotel and you’ll be led up to this sophisticated cocktail parlor. The Midtown location is larger than the original, with two rooms and a small menu of bar bites in addition to the same classic cocktail program run by Meaghan Dorman. Sit at the bar if you want to chat with the bartenders or make yourself at home in one of the intimate seating nooks.
Enter through the unmarked door inside the second-floor restaurant and you’ll find yourself in a civilized cocktail bar that feels a bit like your grandparents’ 1960s salon, with two-toned, diamond-patterned wood behind the bar, cut crystal tumblers, and heavy brocade curtains. Angel’s Share has some of the most unique cocktails in the city thanks to the crazily inventive infusions.
You have to walk through a Lower East Side art gallery and through the unmarked door in back (easily mistaken for a supply closet) to get to the bar called Fig. 19. Originally a private clubhouse, it's now open to anyone who knows how to find it. Inside, beaded chandeliers hang above the bar and tables, candles glow softly in the fireplace, taxidermy adorns the walls, and tufted leather banquettes form cozy seating nooks.
Only a neon psychic sign marks the entrance to this award-winning cocktail bar and restaurant in the West Village. Inside, the details are all Art Deco. Wall panels are curved mahogany, pendant lights hang from a three-tiered ceiling, shelves on the backbar glow green, and museum-style lighting illuminates framed ‘20s and ‘30s reproductions from artists like Man Ray, Tamara de Lempicka, and Juan Gris.
In spring and summer, it’s an open-air rooftop bar that resembles a Provençal garden circa 1940 with wisteria-lined trellises and rustic tables. In fall and winter, the space becomes the Lodge at Gallow Green, inspired by Scottish bothies—cabins where hikers can find refuge from the wilderness. Sofas and chairs are draped with plaid blankets, boughs of dried flowers hang from the ceiling, and a bedroom with a writer’s desk covered in vintage maps and postcards.
Scandinavian Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, United States
In Brooklyn’s hip Greenpoint neighborhood, the world’s only Michelin-starred restaurant without a wine list is concealed behind Tørst craft beer bar.In the tiny dining room, guests can watch as chefs prepare and plate dishes like cod head on knackbrød or squab with salted plum puree. Luksus only seats 20, so reservations are essential.
You could easily hang out upstairs without ever knowing about the hidden dining room below. Downstairs you’ll find a dimly lit cellar with walls carved by Italian stonemasons in the 1880s. The space was a speakeasy and gambling den during Prohibition.
Upon first glance, this unmarked Williamsburg watering hole appears to be gated up, but an entrance around the corner reveals a gorgeous, weathered bar, a romantic hideaway where cocktails include house-made syrups and infusions, and offerings from the raw bar arrive on antique platters.
Japanese Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, United States
Guests sit in private booths separated by bamboo shades, as is common in Tokyo, where privacy is highly prized. Husband and wife team Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margiules wanted to make Zenkichi as authentic as possible, from the design to the omakase menu. Instead of sushi, feast on dishes like oysters, monkfish liver, yuzu-glazed black cod, silky tofu, and Washu beef.
Cocktail Bar in Long Island City, NY, United States
Inside you’ll find a moody, old-school tavern that seems to transport you back to pre-Prohibition New York. The late Sasha Petraske had a hand in this bar, and the cocktail program reflects it. All the drinks are prepared with the highest quality liquors and fresh squeezed juice and served in the appropriate glassware.
American Restaurant in New York, NY, United States
Broadway actors like Alessandro Nivola come here for a nitecap after their shows. The décor pays homage to the neighborhood: tables decorated with ticket stubs, vintage photos of Times Square, and old movies like Sabrina playing on a TV above the bar. In addition to wine and cocktails, a menu of bar food offers oysters, shrimp cocktails, Chinese dumplings, and quesadillas.