The Best Hidden Neighborhood Bars


Whether high, low, with secret entrances or incognito: These are some of the best hidden bars in New York City. They may be hard to find, but they are definitely worth the effort.

High JIMMY at the James Hotel: A Roof Bar

With views that can only be seen 18 stories up through 14-foot windows, this roof bar boosts a panoramic view of Midtown, Wall Street, the Hudson River and bridges spanning the East River.

JIMMY is a year-round roof bar. The fireplace and modular furniture creates an intimate conversation pit to be enjoyed in cooler weather. When the sun shines, guests can relax on chaise lounges around the pool on the roof deck.

The decor is industrial but not cold. A visit to JIMMY is like being at a friend’s well-decorated home. The owners and staff are veterans in the hospitality business. John Swet has a solid consulting business as a top mixologist. The exclusive cocktails at JIMMY are the products of his genius.

The menu includes:

  • Specialty cocktails
  • Wines
  • Beer and cider
  • Snacks and sweets

Low The Tippler: An Underground Bar

Located in the cellar space below Chelsea Market is a classic New York cocktail bar that displays unique pieces of the city’s history. The décor of The Tippler takes you to another time. Reclaimed water tower wood and repurposed vintage fixtures add to the speakeasy atmosphere at 425 W. 15th St.

The menu includes:

  • Small plates and salads
  • Toasts and panini
  • Meat and cheese boards
  • Craft cocktails and artisanal spirits
  • Beer and wine

Secret Entrance Please Don’t Tell

This place is so secret, the website doesn’t even list the bar or food menu. Most pictures and information can be found on the Facebook page when guests tag a post.

Apparently, the entrance is a hot dog shop called Criff Dogs. You enter through a vintage telephone booth in the corner that has a sliding wall to get into Please Don’t Tell. Word on the street is even if you can find this bar, you’d better have a reservation. You need to start calling at 3 p.m. to get your name on the reservation list.

The Facebook posts all say the effort is worth it for the delicious cocktails, fancy hot dogs, tater tots with stadium cheese and the bacon-infused bourbon.

Incognito Attaboy

Go to 134 Eldridge St. on the Lower East Side and look for a window marked M&H Tailors and Alterations. Ring the buzzer. Maybe you will get in.

Attaboy has a no-menu format. Bartenders feel out your vibe and deliver the most solid cocktails based on whatever fresh ingredients they have on hand at the time.

The speakeasy vibe adds to the fun of the mad-genius bar staff’s entertaining performance as they create modern classics, such as Penicillin or Late Night Reviver.

These are the hidden bars of NYC. Above the skyline, below the traffic, behind a hot dog shop or fronted as another business, New York City is the capitol of interesting hidden neighborhood bars.


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