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New York's hidden bars

Shayla Martin is a freelance writer specializing in travel, food, arts and culture. She is the founder of YourLandMyLand, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to exploring the people, cultures and landscapes that make up the United Stat...

Drink your way through secret bars

Special entrances, unmarked doors, underground ... sometimes the best bars in New York are completely out of sight!

Drink your way through secret bars

Please Don't Tell

High-end cocktail lounge "Please Don't Tell," located in the East Village, has one of the greatest secret entrances in all of New York City. Only the most in-the-know guests are aware that the vintage phone booth within the Crif Dogs hot dog joint is not only a cool piece of decor, but also the accessway to a sexy speakeasy. Although the location is a bit of a secret, this place has a huge reputation so reservations aren't easy to snag. PDT only takes same-day reservations, and their phone lines open at 3pm with doors opening at 6pm. If you'd rather not bother with reservations (though we highly recommend them), you can enter the phone booth, pick up the phone and speak with a hostess who will either seat you if there's an opening or give you a call back when a table is free. With thoughtfully-crafted cocktails and the option to order smoked hot dogs next door, we think PDT is worth the wait.

Drink your way through secret bars

Little Branch

Hidden behind an unmarked door to a graffiti-covered building in the West Village is a bar so secret it doesn't even have a website. The only way to know that this unassuming door leads to an underground den frequented by all the cool kids is the line that often extends down the block, even on weeknights. In addition to a dark and cozy setting and expertly-crafted cocktails, like most speakeasies Little Branch also features live jazz on certain nights. While Little Branch has a full drink menu, we suggest telling the bartender what kind of drinks you typically like and your preferred choice of liquor, then watch them whip up something just for you. Be warned: The drinks are great, strong and can only be purchased with cash.

Drink your way through secret bars

Raines Law Room

After approaching what looks like a private residence in Chelsea and then ringing the doorbell, guests are transported to a lounge that feels like the living room of your wealthy distant cousin. Comfort meets sophistication in this plush lounge with luxurious drapery and soft velvet couches perfect for cuddling. Although the decor is top-notch, cocktails are the focus as there are fifteen different types of drink menus ranging from "Stirred & Potent cocktails" and "Fancy cocktails" to "Aperitifs, Cordials & Liqueurs". We recommend the Bramble, which consists of Beefeater Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and muddled blackberries, shaken and served over crushed ice.

Drink your way through secret bars


Members only. Is there any other phrase in the English language that incites more curiosity and intrigue than these two little words? Parlor "opened" in 2011 as a private, members-only club in the outskirts of Soho on Spring street and has been hosting private events and providing specialty perks to members to much fanfare ever since. Only after an online application, in-person interview and annual membership dues of $1500 will you be able to gain access to one of the most impenetrable clubs in New York City. Perks include a digital key card to unlock the unmarked door, complimentary dinners multiple times a week, the use of the club as your personal private event space, access to vintage wine and, of course, rubbing elbows with your fellow accomplished members.

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