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A green martini sits on a black table by a pink chair.
The Big Apple martini at Milady’s.
Daniel Krieger/Milady’s

NYC’s Hottest New Cocktail Bars, November 2022

A dressed-up revival of a Soho dive bar and a fancy hotel lobby bar are on this month’s list

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The Big Apple martini at Milady’s.
| Daniel Krieger/Milady’s

Welcome to the Cocktail Heatmap, a guide to the hottest places to grab a dirty martini — okay fine, a Dirty Shirley — in New York City right now. After subsisting on takeout drinks served from plastic cups for the first year of the pandemic, the city’s cocktail bars are back in full swing, reinventing classics and cashing in on nostalgia.

New to the list in November: Milady’s, a former dive bar that anchored the neighborhood, revived with a high-low food menu, and the Swan Room, the lobby bar at Nine Orchard, the hotel that houses Ignacio Mattos’s Corner Bar.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Pebble Bar

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A number of high-profile chefs — including JJ Johnson of Fieldtrip and Ignacio Mattos of Estela —have opened at Rockefeller Center in a bed to turn the Midtown tourist trap into a place New Yorkers actually want to visit. Pebble Bar, which sits in a historic four-story townhouse, is the leading cocktail destination in the area. A team of nightlife veterans, and some celebrity investors, have transformed what was an Irish bar into a see-and-be-seen spot.

A tropical cocktail with crushed ice and mint leaves in a tall glass at Pebble Bar.
The Limelight cocktail at Pebble Bar.
Max Flatow/Pebble Bar

Nubeluz

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Following the opening of Zaytinya earlier this year, restaurateur José Andrés debuted Nubeluz, a rooftop bar at the Ritz-Carlton in Nomad. Cocktails like the Foggy Hill, made with mezcal, vermouth, Cynar, Aperol, and an orange-thyme “aromatic cloud” pair with sky-high views and caviar service.

The Manhattan skyline is visible from a cocktail bar with velvet chairs and booths.
Nubeluz sits on the 50th floor of the Ritz Carlton Nomad.
Bjorn Wallander/Nubeluz

Discolo

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Discolo is the latest in a series of openings planned for this Chelsea address, which was once home to the upscale Italian restaurant Del Posto. Mel’s the pizzeria came first, followed by Al Coro, the Italian tasting menu spot helmed by chef Melissa Rodriguez. This underground cocktail bar with a light-up ceiling that syncs to music is bringing up the rear. Fun riffs on classic cocktails include an appletini with champagne, a mezcal negroni with pear.

A bartender pours a red mixer into a stainless steel container.
The ceiling syncs to music at Discolo.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

Martiny’s

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New Yorkers mourned the recent closing of Angel’s Share in the East Village, but for cocktail enthusiasts, the same exacting standards of a Japanese bar — crystal-clear ice, balanced cocktails, and detail-oriented service — live on at Martiny’s. Takuma Watanabe, the head bartender at Angel’s Share for eight years, has converted a historic carriage house in Gramercy into his own establishment spanning three floors. Martinis are the specialty at this cozy spot, but Watanabe also has a collection of rare Japanese whiskies, and the headline-making menu of bar snacks is run by Masa and Eleven Madison Park alum Wayne Cheng.

A low ball glass with a green matcha cocktail.
A matcha cocktail at Martiny’s.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

El Pingüino

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Located on a quiet side street in Greenpoint, El Pingüino is the type of bar to lounge away a lazy weekend afternoon. Request a shiso-infused Painkiller, a glass of sherry, or can of beer. Then proceed to snack on a few oysters, a skewered gilda, or one of the tinned seafood options, like its mussels en escabeche.

Saltines, tinned fish, and skewers of pickled vegetables are arranged on a table beside glasses of wine at El Pingüino, a restaurant in Greenpoint.
Cocktails, wines, and sherry pair well with the seafood menu at El Pingüino.
El Pingüino

11 Tigers

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The Pouring Ribbons-sized hole left in the East Village earlier this year has now been filled by 11 Tigers, a Thai and Japanese bar taking over the same space. The newcomer describes itself as a cross between a Japanese izakaya and a Thai sum ya dong, or roadside stall. Several of the cocktails are mixed with the bar’s ya dong, a gin steeped with 11 different types of herbs, including star anise and lemongrass. There’s also an extensive dinner menu with tom yum ramen, squid ink fettuccine bathed in curry, and plenty more.

The Nines

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While restaurateur Jon Neidich — who’s also behind Brooklyn hits like Le Crocodile and Deux Chats — considers the Nines to be more of a supper club, there’s no denying this narrow room draped in corduroy with sweeping curtains gives off bar vibes. (It’s located above the popular nightlife spot Acme, after all.) There’s often live music, and the room is great for people watching: Many patrons dress as though they work in fashion, and their outfits often live up the restaurant’s name. All the classic cocktails are on the menu, but the food from chef Nicole Gajadhar, a Saxon & Parole alum, is just as luxurious as the space: caviar on a baked potato, gnudi with truffles, and a burger slathered in black garlic.

A table with white plates of food (including baked potatoes, blinis, bagels, and burgers) and cocktails.
A spread of cocktails and food at the Nines.
Liz Clayman/The Nines

Milady's

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The Soho dive bar that closed in 2014 has been revived by Julie Reiner of Leyenda and Clover Club, where a Big Apple Martini and fancy gelatin shots are on the menu, side-by-side with a shot and a beer. There’s a food menu that’s equally as polarized, with chilled lobster tails as well as chicken tenders and loaded potato skins.

Blue pineapple-shaped jelly shots are presented in clam shells.
Gelatin shot called jigglers at Milady’s in Soho.
Shannon Sturgis/Milady’s

Plenty of bars call themselves speakeasies without actually delivering on that theme, but to its credit, PS is found behind a wall that otherwise looks like a shelf lined with chocolates. The spot led by an all-women team is located inside Pine & Polk, a provisions shop that opened in May from a pair of New Yorkers who met in San Francisco. If you can get past the arduously long menu names, like the “Science Behind the Smell of Books,” there are lots of interesting ingredients to explore here.

A clear glass of tea with alcohol infusion set on a white plate.
A tea-infused cocktail at PS.
Ashley Sears

Eavesdrop

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High-end audio equipment and fancy, acoustic paneling set this cocktail bar apart from the many neighborhood bars in this stretch of Brooklyn. Eavesdrop opened earlier this year, bringing a cocktail lounge and “listening bar” (think: vinyl records and live DJs playing from a custom speaker system) to Greenpoint. The team is going for a laid-back, living room-like atmosphere with light wood walls and a cocktail list that includes spritzes on tap, a white Negroni, and fun drinks like a $10 “shot of chaos” made from rum, coffee liqueur, and orange.

A wood paneled room is filled with records and small tables with black barstools.
Inside Eavesdrop, a cocktail lounge and “listening” bar in Greenpoint.
Peter Fisher/Eavesdrop

Wiggle Room

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At Wiggle Room — from the team behind hot spots like Mister Paradise and Pretty Ricky’s — find riffs on classic cocktails from Will Krepop, an alum of the Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote. The Vesper martini, known for its potent mix of gin and vodka, is reborn as the Wiggle ’Tini and gets a touch of cherry blossom. For espresso martini lovers, their version, which they have on tap, is made from vodka, cacao rum, and cold brew. Any of these drinks are liable to lead to a night out, as the first floor is set up for dancing with a rotating lineup of DJs.

A highball glass with a fizzy cocktail and several ice cubes on a black-and-white table.
A highball from Wiggle Room.
Jenna Murray/Spilled Milk Creative

Holywater

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This underground spot with a nautical theme comes from brothers Alex and Miles Pincus, known for their Manhattan boat bars Grand Banks and Pilot. Under a hanging hammerhead shark and bronze mermaids, sip classic cocktails divided into two categories: New Orleans, where the brothers are from, and New York City. A food menu lists seafood dishes like trout roe tater tots, charbroiled salmon collars, and towers of shellfish.

A orange colored cocktail in a highball glass with garnishes of mint, orange wedges, and a cherry with a metal straw sticking out. The cocktail is set on a wooden table with a book, two votives, and a candle in the background.
The Mezcal Hurricane at Holywater.
Holywater

Swan Room

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The swanky cocktail lounge adjacent to Ignacio Mattos’s Corner Bar is a fine place to grab a martini and a shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller, olives, or pommes frites. With a vaulted ceiling and pink marble walls, the former bank teller room feels like a throwback, but the Dimes Square people-watching says otherwise.

Deux Chats

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Jon Neidich is cranking out hits. After opening the Nines, also on this list, the restaurateur followed up with “Dimes Square” wine bar Le Dive. Deux Chats, a French-feeling cocktail bar in Williamsburg, is his latest. Martinis here come two ways: gin, manzanilla, and vermouth with celery, or “kinky,” with spicy vodka, ancho reyes verde, vermouth, and cocchi americano. The name of the latter says it all: Between the seafood towers, emerald green spot, and strong cocktails, Deux Chats is a sexy date spot, even when stopping by on the early side.

An art nouveau bar at Deux Chats, opening July 26.
The emerald back-bar features a mural of two cats.
Melissa Hom/Deux Chats

Witching Hour

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The spooky vibes start at the front entrance of the delightfully named Witching Hour, which swept into Bushwick late this summer. A colorful cocktail lineup is only part of the draw here; the bar is also aiming to be a gathering spot for fun, low-key hangouts with karaoke on Monday nights, open-mic comedy nights, and live music sets. Local vendor Yece’s Kitchen supplies the bar with crunchy, crispy empanadas on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Pebble Bar

A number of high-profile chefs — including JJ Johnson of Fieldtrip and Ignacio Mattos of Estela —have opened at Rockefeller Center in a bed to turn the Midtown tourist trap into a place New Yorkers actually want to visit. Pebble Bar, which sits in a historic four-story townhouse, is the leading cocktail destination in the area. A team of nightlife veterans, and some celebrity investors, have transformed what was an Irish bar into a see-and-be-seen spot.

A tropical cocktail with crushed ice and mint leaves in a tall glass at Pebble Bar.
The Limelight cocktail at Pebble Bar.
Max Flatow/Pebble Bar

Nubeluz

Following the opening of Zaytinya earlier this year, restaurateur José Andrés debuted Nubeluz, a rooftop bar at the Ritz-Carlton in Nomad. Cocktails like the Foggy Hill, made with mezcal, vermouth, Cynar, Aperol, and an orange-thyme “aromatic cloud” pair with sky-high views and caviar service.

The Manhattan skyline is visible from a cocktail bar with velvet chairs and booths.
Nubeluz sits on the 50th floor of the Ritz Carlton Nomad.
Bjorn Wallander/Nubeluz

Discolo

Discolo is the latest in a series of openings planned for this Chelsea address, which was once home to the upscale Italian restaurant Del Posto. Mel’s the pizzeria came first, followed by Al Coro, the Italian tasting menu spot helmed by chef Melissa Rodriguez. This underground cocktail bar with a light-up ceiling that syncs to music is bringing up the rear. Fun riffs on classic cocktails include an appletini with champagne, a mezcal negroni with pear.

A bartender pours a red mixer into a stainless steel container.
The ceiling syncs to music at Discolo.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

Martiny’s

New Yorkers mourned the recent closing of Angel’s Share in the East Village, but for cocktail enthusiasts, the same exacting standards of a Japanese bar — crystal-clear ice, balanced cocktails, and detail-oriented service — live on at Martiny’s. Takuma Watanabe, the head bartender at Angel’s Share for eight years, has converted a historic carriage house in Gramercy into his own establishment spanning three floors. Martinis are the specialty at this cozy spot, but Watanabe also has a collection of rare Japanese whiskies, and the headline-making menu of bar snacks is run by Masa and Eleven Madison Park alum Wayne Cheng.

A low ball glass with a green matcha cocktail.
A matcha cocktail at Martiny’s.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

El Pingüino

Located on a quiet side street in Greenpoint, El Pingüino is the type of bar to lounge away a lazy weekend afternoon. Request a shiso-infused Painkiller, a glass of sherry, or can of beer. Then proceed to snack on a few oysters, a skewered gilda, or one of the tinned seafood options, like its mussels en escabeche.

Saltines, tinned fish, and skewers of pickled vegetables are arranged on a table beside glasses of wine at El Pingüino, a restaurant in Greenpoint.
Cocktails, wines, and sherry pair well with the seafood menu at El Pingüino.
El Pingüino

11 Tigers

The Pouring Ribbons-sized hole left in the East Village earlier this year has now been filled by 11 Tigers, a Thai and Japanese bar taking over the same space. The newcomer describes itself as a cross between a Japanese izakaya and a Thai sum ya dong, or roadside stall. Several of the cocktails are mixed with the bar’s ya dong, a gin steeped with 11 different types of herbs, including star anise and lemongrass. There’s also an extensive dinner menu with tom yum ramen, squid ink fettuccine bathed in curry, and plenty more.

The Nines

While restaurateur Jon Neidich — who’s also behind Brooklyn hits like Le Crocodile and Deux Chats — considers the Nines to be more of a supper club, there’s no denying this narrow room draped in corduroy with sweeping curtains gives off bar vibes. (It’s located above the popular nightlife spot Acme, after all.) There’s often live music, and the room is great for people watching: Many patrons dress as though they work in fashion, and their outfits often live up the restaurant’s name. All the classic cocktails are on the menu, but the food from chef Nicole Gajadhar, a Saxon & Parole alum, is just as luxurious as the space: caviar on a baked potato, gnudi with truffles, and a burger slathered in black garlic.

A table with white plates of food (including baked potatoes, blinis, bagels, and burgers) and cocktails.
A spread of cocktails and food at the Nines.
Liz Clayman/The Nines

Milady's

The Soho dive bar that closed in 2014 has been revived by Julie Reiner of Leyenda and Clover Club, where a Big Apple Martini and fancy gelatin shots are on the menu, side-by-side with a shot and a beer. There’s a food menu that’s equally as polarized, with chilled lobster tails as well as chicken tenders and loaded potato skins.

Blue pineapple-shaped jelly shots are presented in clam shells.
Gelatin shot called jigglers at Milady’s in Soho.
Shannon Sturgis/Milady’s

PS

Plenty of bars call themselves speakeasies without actually delivering on that theme, but to its credit, PS is found behind a wall that otherwise looks like a shelf lined with chocolates. The spot led by an all-women team is located inside Pine & Polk, a provisions shop that opened in May from a pair of New Yorkers who met in San Francisco. If you can get past the arduously long menu names, like the “Science Behind the Smell of Books,” there are lots of interesting ingredients to explore here.

A clear glass of tea with alcohol infusion set on a white plate.
A tea-infused cocktail at PS.
Ashley Sears

Eavesdrop

High-end audio equipment and fancy, acoustic paneling set this cocktail bar apart from the many neighborhood bars in this stretch of Brooklyn. Eavesdrop opened earlier this year, bringing a cocktail lounge and “listening bar” (think: vinyl records and live DJs playing from a custom speaker system) to Greenpoint. The team is going for a laid-back, living room-like atmosphere with light wood walls and a cocktail list that includes spritzes on tap, a white Negroni, and fun drinks like a $10 “shot of chaos” made from rum, coffee liqueur, and orange.

A wood paneled room is filled with records and small tables with black barstools.
Inside Eavesdrop, a cocktail lounge and “listening” bar in Greenpoint.
Peter Fisher/Eavesdrop

Wiggle Room

At Wiggle Room — from the team behind hot spots like Mister Paradise and Pretty Ricky’s — find riffs on classic cocktails from Will Krepop, an alum of the Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote. The Vesper martini, known for its potent mix of gin and vodka, is reborn as the Wiggle ’Tini and gets a touch of cherry blossom. For espresso martini lovers, their version, which they have on tap, is made from vodka, cacao rum, and cold brew. Any of these drinks are liable to lead to a night out, as the first floor is set up for dancing with a rotating lineup of DJs.

A highball glass with a fizzy cocktail and several ice cubes on a black-and-white table.
A highball from Wiggle Room.
Jenna Murray/Spilled Milk Creative

Holywater

This underground spot with a nautical theme comes from brothers Alex and Miles Pincus, known for their Manhattan boat bars Grand Banks and Pilot. Under a hanging hammerhead shark and bronze mermaids, sip classic cocktails divided into two categories: New Orleans, where the brothers are from, and New York City. A food menu lists seafood dishes like trout roe tater tots, charbroiled salmon collars, and towers of shellfish.

A orange colored cocktail in a highball glass with garnishes of mint, orange wedges, and a cherry with a metal straw sticking out. The cocktail is set on a wooden table with a book, two votives, and a candle in the background.
The Mezcal Hurricane at Holywater.
Holywater

Swan Room

The swanky cocktail lounge adjacent to Ignacio Mattos’s Corner Bar is a fine place to grab a martini and a shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller, olives, or pommes frites. With a vaulted ceiling and pink marble walls, the former bank teller room feels like a throwback, but the Dimes Square people-watching says otherwise.

Deux Chats

Jon Neidich is cranking out hits. After opening the Nines, also on this list, the restaurateur followed up with “Dimes Square” wine bar Le Dive. Deux Chats, a French-feeling cocktail bar in Williamsburg, is his latest. Martinis here come two ways: gin, manzanilla, and vermouth with celery, or “kinky,” with spicy vodka, ancho reyes verde, vermouth, and cocchi americano. The name of the latter says it all: Between the seafood towers, emerald green spot, and strong cocktails, Deux Chats is a sexy date spot, even when stopping by on the early side.

An art nouveau bar at Deux Chats, opening July 26.
The emerald back-bar features a mural of two cats.
Melissa Hom/Deux Chats

Witching Hour

The spooky vibes start at the front entrance of the delightfully named Witching Hour, which swept into Bushwick late this summer. A colorful cocktail lineup is only part of the draw here; the bar is also aiming to be a gathering spot for fun, low-key hangouts with karaoke on Monday nights, open-mic comedy nights, and live music sets. Local vendor Yece’s Kitchen supplies the bar with crunchy, crispy empanadas on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

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