Top 10 NYC Underground Bars

Top 10 NYC Underground Bars - a crowded bar with red lights

Delving into the captivating nightlife of New York City, the universe of underground bars offer an unparalleled experience that transcends the normative notions of partying. The city that never sleeps boasts a mosaic of pubs, hidden beneath the frenzied streets, each with its unique aura, concocting stories of whimsical nights. These clandestine watering holes don’t merely serve liquor but also encapsulate an intriguing side of NYC’s history and culture.

In this bustling metropolis, the enchanting allure of the top 10 underground bars outshines the city’s neon-lit framework. Sequestered from the daily hustle and bustle, these untapped troves are well-kept secrets for connoisseurs of nightlife, each stirring an entirely different concoction of vibe and experience. Stepping into these subterranean haunts is like teleporting to an era bygone, casting an intoxicating spell difficult to break away from.

NYC Undeground Bars

1. Please Don’t Tell (PDT)

PDT (Please Don’t Tell) is an iconic speakeasy that captures the essence of New York’s cocktail culture with a twist of whimsy. Hidden behind a phone booth in a bustling hot dog joint, PDT offers an air of mystery and exclusivity, serving a range of creative cocktails crafted by expert mixologists. This bar is a celebration of the unexpected, blending a playful atmosphere with a serious dedication to the art of cocktail making.

2. Death & Co.

Death & Co. is a cornerstone of New York’s cocktail scene, renowned for its pioneering role in the modern cocktail movement. Set in a dark, intimate space, this bar exudes a gothic charm, providing a sophisticated backdrop for an evening of exceptional drinking. With a focus on innovative concoctions and a commitment to high-quality ingredients, Death & Co. is a haven for cocktail aficionados and novices alike.

3. Angel’s Share

Tucked away inside a Japanese restaurant, Angel’s Share stands as a testament to the art of cocktail making. This serene and somewhat mystical bar is celebrated for its meticulous attention to detail, from the precision of its mixology to the ambiance of its setting. With a policy of no groups larger than four, it ensures an intimate and undisturbed experience for guests, making it a unique retreat in the bustling city.

4. The Back Room

Step into the past with The Back Room, one of the few remaining speakeasies from the Prohibition era, offering a genuine taste of vintage New York. The bar maintains its historical charm by serving drinks in teacups, a nod to its secretive past. With its rich history and authentic decor, The Back Room provides a unique window into a bygone era, complete with expertly crafted cocktails.

5. Employees Only

Infusing the classic bar experience with a touch of mystique, Employees Only is an Art Deco establishment where guests can enjoy not just a cocktail but a glimpse into their future with psychic readings at the entrance. Known for its vibrant atmosphere and exceptional service, this bar is a favorite among locals and visitors, offering a blend of entertainment, artistry, and world-class mixology.

6. Little Branch

Little Branch offers a cozy refuge in its basement locale, where the ambiance of live jazz complements the meticulous craft of cocktail-making. This speakeasy is a celebration of classic mixology, offering a timeless cocktail experience in a setting that echoes the speakeasies of the past, complete with a warm, inviting atmosphere that encourages relaxation and conversation.

7. Blind Barber

Blind Barber is a novel concept where a daytime barber shop transforms into a bustling speakeasy by night. This unique establishment offers a blend of style and socialization, providing patrons with a memorable experience that goes beyond the standard bar visit. It’s a place where the art of grooming meets the craft of cocktail-making, creating a vibrant social hub that stands out in New York’s nightlife scene.

8. Apotheke

Apotheke reimagines the cocktail bar as a chemistry lab, where drinks are “prescriptions” crafted with the precision and care of pharmaceutical concoctions. Set in a space styled after an old apothecary, it offers a unique narrative in its presentation and approach to mixology, creating an immersive experience that engages the senses and piques the curiosity of its patrons.

9. The Speakeasy

The Speakeasy offers a blend of theatrical entertainment and cocktail culture, providing an immersive Prohibition-era experience where guests can interact with actors and indulge in period-appropriate libations. This unique concept bar elevates the night out into a dynamic narrative journey, offering a captivating escape from the ordinary.

10. La Noxe

Nestled within a subway station, La Noxe offers an avant-garde twist on the speakeasy concept, blending a modern, chic aesthetic with the intrigue of its unique location. This bar is a haven for those seeking a stylish, contemporary take on the cocktail experience, with a constantly evolving menu that reflects the innovative spirit of its offerings.

  • Address: 315 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001
  • Phone: Not listed
  • Website: La Noxe
  • Unique Features: Located inside a subway station, offering a modern speakeasy vibe.
  • Best Seller or Highlights: Constantly evolving, stylish and innovative drinks.


Wrapping up our exploration of the top 10 NYC underground bars, it is evident that New York City’s nightlife scene exudes unparalleled charm and diversity. Each bar delivers a unique experience that goes beyond just drinks, blending in history, ambiance, and an amalgamation of world culture. Whether it’s for their style, their spirits, or their stories, these underground watering holes demand a spot on any true barhopper’s NYC itinerary. So go ahead, indulge in the Big Apple’s nightlife, and uncover the vibrant subterranean social scene unique to this city.

Scott Hamlin
Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.