The most iconic city in the world, New York features a lively nightlife scene with an array of bars and nightclubs.
Best Places for Cocktails in NYC: From budget-friendly sidewalk bars to stunning cocktail lounges and stylish rooftop establishments offering stunning views of the city’s skyline, there is a plethora of options here to choose from.
Wondering where to go for the cocktail hour?
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We’ve got you covered with our list of the best places for cocktails in NYC: –
Katana Kitten #1
Having made it to the world’s 50 best bars list, this popular bar is known for its delicious cocktails.
As you enter this underground Japanese bar, you’ll be greeted a dim-lit ambiance, Japanese movie posters downstairs and a sky lit alcove up top, exuding a cosy vibe.
Sip on their signature cocktails such as ancho-infused Leche de Gato or the horchata or go for the Hinoki Martini (grey goose, spring 44 mountain gin, fino sherry, junmai daiginjo) amongst others.
Want a snack to nibble on?
Order their delicious soy garlic wings, nori fired with Japanese curry sauce, or devilled eggs with Japanese mustard.
Founded by Greg Boehm with a French bartender Nico de Soto, this bar is known for its uniquely crafted cocktails.
The ambiance is contemporary where you’ll also find many bulbs illuminating ferns hanging down from the ceiling. Using spices from across the world, they craft cocktails with flavours we generally associate with food.
Sip on the Saffron which comes with a sherry blend, with a mix of apricot-infused gin and pineapple sage-infused amaro, or try their unique take on the Miami Vice cocktail.
Complete your experience with one of their seafood dishes, that make for delicious snacks to accompany your drink. There’s also an oyster bar to try from.
This charming place exudes the welcoming vibe of a small neighbourhood bar.
The cocktail pioneer Sasha Petraske’s protegees Ross and Sam are the brains behind this bar.
Relish Ross’ Penicillin which comes with Scotch, ginger honey syrup, and lemon juice, or the Greenpoint which includes rye, vermouth, and green herbal liqueur.
There are various incredible combinations to choose from here.
If you want to indulge in a complete meal, order the Bodega Breakfast which includes whiskey, cold brew, whipped cream cheese, everything bagel syrup, egg yolk, and bagel chips.
The Sunken Bar #4
How about drinking your favourite cocktail on a pirate ship?
The Sunken Bar in Downtown Brooklyn is a nautical theme-based bar featuring a dimly lit wood-panelled room with buoys and ropes coming down from the ceiling.
Sip on classic cocktails such as El Presidente, the Mai Tai or order the Pan American Clipper and Remember the Maine that are inspired by the works of the cocktail writer Charles H. Baker Jr.
Their varied range of cocktails also includes the Singapore Burrapeg which moulds the flavours of a Singapore sling in a Champagne cocktail.
Get there on time to save a seat since this hip spot fills up quickly.
Long Island Bar #5
This Brooklyn landmark is a happening spot for cocktail lovers. Featuring a casual ambiance and a laid-back vibe, the bar serves a variety of inventive cocktails.
Go for the classic Boulevardier cocktail or newer drinks such as the Long Island Gimlet with a hint of ginger.
From microbrews to wines and champagnes, you’ll find everything here. When hunger strikes, there are plenty of delectable food options including scrumptious juicy burgers.
This hip bar has been transformed from the century old Caffe Dante. Featuring contemporary decor, it now draws many people to enjoy a lively nightlife scene.
Try their original take on classic cocktails such as the numerous variations of the Negroni, or an Old Fashioned that comes with amaro and salted honey.
Another must-have here is the Garibaldi that combines Campari with fresh orange juice for a tangy flavoursome concoction.
Get some delectable pasta and flatbreads for a complete meal. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder this Greenwich Village gem is a local favourite.
King Cole Bar #7
Want to add a touch of grandeur to your cocktail experience? Head to King Cole Bar in St. Regis, Manhattan.
Featuring Maxfield Parrish’s 1906 oil mural, the place exudes a lavish old-world vibe. They claim to have been the first one to serve Bloody Mary in America.
They call it the Red Snapper. Try the “Old King Cole” that has Tanqueray, Nonino Amaro, Martini Rosso Vermouth and burnt orange peel or “Madison Avenue” made with Patron Silver, blood orange soda, lime and a pinch of salt.
They have an exclusive Table 55 where guests get access to a secret six-course tasting menu and an exclusive variety of whiskeys and wines that aren’t available anywhere else in the hotel.
No wonder it has hosted celebrities the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.
Looking to enjoy picturesque views of the city’s skyline while sipping on your favourite drink?
Nubeluz is a perfect choice.
This rooftop bar at the Ritz-Carlton serves an eclectic mix of cocktails such as the Foggy Hill (Del Maguey Vida, Cynar, Aperol, Yzaguirre 1884 Gran Reserva vermouth and orange-thyme aromatic cloud).
You can also go for their Salt Air Margarita (Milagro blanco tequila, Combier orange, lime, salt air).
Feel like treating yourself? They also have a Caviar service.
This chic bar is located inside a three-story historic townhouse.
Backed by a few celebrities, this swanky place serves delicious cocktails such as the French 49 (vodka, sparkling rosé, cranberry, and lemon) and the 500 Miles High, made using yuzu shu, St. George pear brandy, lychee, lemon and shiso leaf.
Want a small snack to complement your drink?
Get the Oysters Rockefeller.
The delicious offerings with the elite vibe of the place makes for a special experience.
Nestled on top of a Wall Street skyscraper, Overstory features luxe interiors and offers spectacular views of the city’s skyline.
Their inventive take on classic formulas has made it one of the best places to go for cocktails in NYC.
Try the Clouds (whiskey, Earl Grey, vanilla, champagne, clarified milk) or sip on Golden Bird (rum, turmeric, coffee, pineapple, soda and ginger).
When hunger strikes, dig into some of the numerous delectable food items to snack on for a complete meal. Make sure you book your seat in advance since this popular spot fills up fast.
So, pick the one that attracts you the most and get ready to pamper yourself with some of the NYC’s best cocktails.
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Q. What is the most popular cocktail in New York City?
Manhattan is a classic NYC cocktail that consists of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters, usually of the Angostura variety or orange bitters.
Q. What part of NYC has the best bars?
East Village, Greenwich Village, Chelsea and Financial District are some of the areas with many excellent bars.
Q. Is it legal to-go cocktails in NYC?
Yes, there has been a temporary legalization of to-go cocktails in NYC through 2025.