Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


New Yorkers know how to keep a secret—the best places to unwind are tucked away gems, far off the beaten tourist path. But here’s a secret map for five hot new New York hideaways. Just don’t tell anyone.

Related: These are Florida’s coolest beach bars


Leyenda | Photo courtesy of Leyenda


Run, don’t walk to this Carroll Gardens’ neighborhood lounge, where a cathedral doorway opens up to a heavenly assortment of innovative cocktail takes by mixologist and co-owner Ivy Mix. Truly there must be an angel­ here somewhere—one sip of La Sonambula, or The Sleepwalker, a jalapeño infused tequila, wrapped in notes of pepper and lemon­, puts wings on the fallen. And under the soulful gaze of St. Francis, pair the grilled chimichurri skirt steak with a light citrus white wine, such as Spain’s Jorge Ordonez Nisia Verdejo. In the wordsof Mix, “Leyenda doesn’t just mean legendary…it also means myth and fable…” The Leyenda—a perfect place to write your own story. 221 Smith St, Brooklyn (347-987-3260).

Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat | Photo courtesy of Porchlight


Industrial beams span a large loft-like space for Chelsea neighborhood hipsters and locals looking for entertainment at Porchlight, an intimate stage where performers come to sing the blues, reggae and jazz standards (Mondayevenings). Here patrons can imbibe at the recreated indoor porch-of-sorts and order up a true conversation piece, the Fireside Chat ($15), served room temp with a Walnut Liqueur and the in-fashion additive of the moment, Becherovka (an herbal liqueur akin to Jägermeister), along with delectable biscuits baked to order and dotted with 12-hour house cured tasso ham ($9). The trip to the west side is well worth it after your first Storm’s Brewin ($15), a delicious blend of Hamilton Jamaican Gold and Appleton rums, kicked up another sweet notch with passion fruit. Save room for a hefty plate of succulent fried oysters and Comeback Sauce (creole mustard and secret spice blend, $18). A bit pricey? Yes, but worth every penny. 271 11th Avenue (212-981-6188).

Related: NewYork’s coolest hotels – for under $200

Parisian Ham Plate and The Bennett

Parisian Ham Plate and The Bennett | Photo courtesy of The Bennett

The Bennett

This new Tribeca hot spot is the latest offering from the team behind the wildly popular Dear Irving and Raines Law Room cocktail lounges. The sophisticated setting welcomes patrons with festive trumpet-styled fixtures illuminating an 11-seat bar. Nab a seat if you can on the high, plush, blue velvet sofa that runs the length of the room and sip on their eponymous cocktail—a gin, lime cordial blended with lemon zest, cinnamon and angostura bitters (clove notes) created by Meaghan Dorman. Along with cocktails, chef Ricky King (formerly of The McKittrick Hotel) serves up small bites, such as a to-die-for sliced Parisian ham plate topped with black pepper twists ($20). 134 West Broadway (


Grand Superette Grand Liquorette

A Dark and Stormy | Photo courtesy of Melissa Hom

GENUINE Grand Superette and GENUINE Liquorette

Is your heart set on finding not only a fantastic drink spot, but also one with innovative fare? Then beat a fast path to Little Italy, but not for the Sunday red sauce. Enter into an unassuming 80s-inspired diner, known as the Grand Superette (when I arrived a cassette player was blasting A Flock of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song”). Don’t be fooled by this spot’s casual appeal: It isn’t serving the usual slapped together uninspired diner standards. Try the amazing Ahi tuna tacos, or fried chicken sandwich, and do go overboard for the homemade jalapeño-and-cheese stuffed hash brown “sandwich” created by chef Brad Farmerie—you’ll need both hands. And then, head downstairs for a Dark and Stormy where bartender Eben Freeman will happily punch a silver dollar size hole into a can of Ginger Beer, using his Cha-Chunker, a modified arbor press, which he will then top off with an inverted miniature bottle of dark rum. Upstairs or down, you will find a budget friendly alternative to the overpriced NYC bar scene. 191 Grand Street (646-726-4633).

Related: 10 international drinking rules every traveler should know (infographic)

The Martinez and Bonsai Chicken

The Martinez and Bonsai Chicken | Photo courtesy of Slowly Shirley

Slowly Shirley

If you are looking for an old Hollywood experience where bartenders took their time and served up each cocktail just-so-right—than Slowly Shirley is the place for you. Savor cocktail blends like the heavily lemon, lychee, kaffir lime, and ginger infused, “please just three more,” Village Bicycle ($16, select vodka or Dorothy Parker gin), under photos of movie star royalty, or the superbly orange-toned layered Martinez ($16). The fare is equally as wonderful—order the Salt & Pepper broccoli ($6) or the Bonsai chicken ($8). Sit back and unwind in the dimly-lit atmosphere where it feels like Cate Blanchett’s Carol just dropped in. 121 West 10th Street, downstairs from The Happiest Hour (212-SHIRLEY).

 discount airline tickets

Tagged: New York

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Christine M. Gordon

Christine M. Gordon

Christine covers travel, food, indigenous languages and cultures and wildlife conservation.

One thought on “City secrets: Best new New York cocktail bars”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *