The Best Cocktail Bars in New York

The Best Cocktail Bars in New York

Where to drink in the city that never sleeps? You’re spoilt for choice. New York is a metropolitan maze of watering holes, from the uber chic to the decidedly less so dives. Today, we’ll be focusing on the former, so get ready to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw as we take a spin around the best cocktail bars in New York. Whether you’re into a Manhattan or you’re partial to a Daiquiri, here’s where you can find your tipple of choice on your next NYC escape. 


  1. Leyenda
  2. Dante
  3. The Dead Rabbit
  4. Porchlight
  5. Mace
  6. Attaboy
  7. Saint Tuesday
  8. 67 Orange Street
  9. The Raines Law Room
  10. Elsa




With Latin routes, Leyenda envelopes you in warmth the moment you step inside. With its red tiles and arched wooden windows this bar might be a world away from the colonial charm of Mexico, but it’ll take you there anyway. The menu delivers Latin and Caribbean spirits so expect lashings of rum, tequila and a huge collection of mezcal, and the Tia Mia is to die for.




Sip a whiskey cocktail in the same spot as legends like Patti Smith at Dante. A Greenwich Village mainstay, the century-old café was opened in 1915, and while ownership might have changed hands, the faded grandeur has stuck around. Sit in the retro-style booths and sample the petite menu of craft cocktails and small plates. Date night? Nailed it.



The Dead Rabbit

Don’t be put off by the name. The Dead Rabbit is bizarrely named after a gang, but we’ll let the bartender dish up the back story there. This lively haunt on the lower East Side is super popular thanks to its Irish Coffee cocktail. The first floor, The Taproom, is a typical Irish pub complete with loud live music and Guinness on tap, so it’s perfect if you’re missing the cosy spots of home. Upstairs is a much more polished affair, aptly named The Parlour. Head here for live piano music and a classic Old Fashioned. 




Porchlight delivers a taste of the south in the Big Apple. At this Chelsea-based bar, everything from the decor to the menu to the bar staff exudes southern charm, so it’s a great spot if you’re discovering NYC solo. Take a seat at the bar and dig into hearty dishes like Texas smoked chilli while you enjoy a tipple and a chat. Drinks wise, we recommend the New York Sour – it might not be southern, but it’s more than sip-able. Happy hour can be rowdy so if you’d prefer to skip the crowds, head there a little later (or earlier… it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?).



Over in the East Village, Mace serves up uber cool metropolitan vibes that’ll make your social feeds happy. Hip hop blasts from the stereo and the menu is brimming with expertly-crafted drinks. Cocktail culture is big here (hence why it made our list of the best cocktail bars in New York) so expect all of the usuals – and some not so usual – on the menu, as well as bohemian-inspired botanical decor. Grab a seat by the window for a spot of people watching while you sip. 




Another stop on the tour of the Lower East Side is Attaboy. Once home to Milk & Honey, set up by the late great bartender Sasha Petraske (if you love NYC and you love cocktails, look him up), this space has serious speakeasy vibes, so you’ll feel like you’re getting a slice of the city not every tourist does. It’s worth noting that it’s menu free, so it’s a good chance to talk shop with the bartenders while they mix you a bespoke drink.



Saint Tuesday

What do we love about Saint Tuesday? For a start, everything. The industrial-chic decor, the live gypsy jazz, the cushy booths – and that’s before we get onto the cocktails. Yes, the menu is smaller than you’d find elsewhere but the drinks are divine – we recommend the Frank Atlantic, it’s made with elderflower liquor so it’s sweet, floral and refreshing. The only downside to Saint Tuesday is that it can be a little hard to find (we think it adds to the mystery), it’s based in the cellar of Tribeca’s Walker Hotel and is accessed by the staircase on Cortlandt Alley. Trust us, it’s worth taking a wrong turn or two. 



67 Orange Street

Founded by Sasha Petraske (we mentioned him earlier), 67 Orange Street is a must-drop-by for any cocktail aficionado. With low ceilings and soft lighting, there’s a moody – in a good way – vibe the second you walk in. The menu is stacked with titles that honour the prohibition period from Margaritas to Sazeracs and mixing them becomes an art form. If they don’t tickle your fancy, ask for the bartender’s choice; you won’t be disappointed. 


The Raines Law Room

The Raines Law was passed in 1896 and prohibited the sale of alcohol on Sundays at all premises, bar hotels. To get around this, some watering holes got sneaky and opened a single bedroom in the building as a loophole. Today, you might be able to drink your cocktails freely, but The Raines Law Room brings a cosy prohibition atmosphere with velvet chairs and mood lighting. The menu changes seasonally and often uses exclusive spirits made in small batches. 




A neon light in a sea of speakeasy vibes, Elsa is instantly recognisable with its bold, lit-up exterior. If you’re wanting a fresh setting and a lively atmosphere, this has to make your list of the best cocktail bars in New York. The tasteful Art Deco décor is fun, with plenty of bold colours, and the bar snacks are equally Instagram-able – charcuterie board, we’re talking about you. Plus, the cocktails have been given playful names which makes ordering a laugh – ask for the My Old So-and-So without smiling, we dare you.