New York is a city full of everything. It's full of places to eat, full of places to shop, and in this case, full of places to drink. No matter which part of the city you find yourself in, there is bound to be a good bar around the corner, whether it's street level, on a rooftop or underground. Whatever kind of experience you're looking for, you've come to the right place.
Little Branch - West Village
Let's start underground. You may be slightly confused when you show up to Little Branch and don't see a sign or any visible windows, but flash the bouncer some identification and you'll be silently led downstairs into the dark speakeasy, feeling like its the 1920s. The perfect place for a date, Little Branch is cosy and has a vast cocktail menu of creative drinks and classic snacks. You might even happen to pop in on a night with live jazz. You never know...
The Up & Up - Greenwich Village
If you're looking for somewhere that has a high-end, low key vibe, it's The Up & Up in Greenwich Village. Another bar that requires walking downstairs (ironic, considering its name), The Up & Up has an authentic, historical feel to it, offering an intimate space for social and friendly gatherings. The cocktails range from their "Insanely Good" versions of under-appreciated drinks, such as their Insanely Good Gin & Tonic, to their creatively-named originals like Bring June Flowers and Screen Door Slam.
Related article: A Taste of the West Village
The NoMad Bar - Flatiron
Looks can be deceiving. When you walk into the NoMad Hotel in the Flatiron District, you might think you're supposed to be quiet or even pick up a book and start reading. The elegantly-decorated, dim lobby boasts sophistication at its finest, but behind the curtains lies the NoMad Bar, which contains multiple parts: the NoMad Bar itself, the Library, and the Elephant Bar, all places you can order one of their delicious cocktails in these energetic spaces where you'll see fashionably-dressed people and overhear some interesting conversations. Off the NoMad's cocktail menu, our favorites are the Inherent Weisse and the Nod to Nothing.
Bemelmans Bar - Upper East Side
Named after Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the famed Madeline children's books, Bemelmans Bar is an iconic New York City bar where you're more than likely to see someone famous. The walls are decorated with large-scale murals of Bemelmans' hand-painted work, and the charming interiors will have you feeling like you're in a storybook. In addition to some classic and some unique drinks, bar snacks and light fare are available, but come to see the artwork, and you won't be disappointed.
Mr. Purple - Lower East Side
If you haven't heard of Mr. Purple, you might be living under a rock... or simply just above ground. Let us explain: Mr. Purple is one of the city's most popular and lively rooftop bars, located at the top of a Lower East Side hotel. With breathtaking views of the city, from the Empire State Building to One World Trade Center, Mr. Purple can best be enjoyed right when the sun is going down. Choose from their vast menu of spirits, cocktails and craft beers, and get a spot outside for sunset views and people watching.
Related article: New Boutiques in New York
Pouring Ribbons - East Village
An upscale choice for a fun and quirky experience, Pouring Ribbons is the place to go if you're with friends who love to drink, friends who don't, or a mixture of both. You'll have a fun time no matter what, even just after reading the menu of cocktails named after celebrities and pop-culture references. The drinks, including one made with greek yogurt, are all very different and unique and contain a sliding scale below their spot on the menu so that you know how much adventure you're getting yourself into.
The Aviary - Midtown
An interactive drink (and food!) experience, the Aviary and its bartenders give as much attention to their cocktails as a Michelin-starred chef does to his food. With produce and herbs sourced and procured fresh daily, quality drinks are the only drinks you'll find at the Aviary. Drinks are made in their own state-of-the-art kitchen, and small plates are prepared to complement the drink experience. Complete with panoramic views of Central Park and the beautiful New York skyline, the Aviary is a perfect choice to take in the city with everything it has to offer.
The Crosby Bar - SoHo
The ideal spot for a daytime drink or an apertif before dinner, the Crosby Bar is a chic, spacious bar with outdoor seating for warm New York evenings. Enter through the Lafayette Street side and you'll be welcomed into a decorative space with looming trees and whimsical lighting. The cocktail & bar menu boasts a handful of signature cocktails as well as the Crosby Bar Classics, many of which are good choices if you're in the mood for something refreshing. Order off the Sparkling Menu if you find yourself missing Italy (we like the Spiked Bellini and the Campari Milanese, but maybe it's bias).
Clover Club - Brooklyn
Exquisite cocktails and good food, what could be better? If you're getting sick of Manhattan, or you just simply want to wander out to Brooklyn for the evening, Clover Club should be in your itinerary. Of course, any cocktail bar in Brooklyn, no matter how upscale, is going to have that cosy, neighborhood vibe, and Clover Club is no exception. It's Brooklyn's premiere cocktail bar, with everything including its own brunch cocktail menu. When you're on vacation, it's never too early to have a drink... right?
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