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An espresso martini in a Nick and Nora glass with a honeycomb garnish on top
An espresso martini at Bar Chrystie.
Liz Clayman

NYC’s Hottest New Cocktail Bars, January 2022

A tropical-themed bar above a historic Brooklyn chop house and a sleek hotel bar in the Lower East Side join the list this month

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An espresso martini at Bar Chrystie.
| Liz Clayman

Welcome to the Cocktail Heatmap, a guide to the hottest drinking dens of the moment across New York City. It’s worth noting that a lot has changed in the last two years: At the outset of the pandemic, takeout cocktails made a brief, but beautiful, appearance in New York City — and now there’s a chance they’ll make a permanent comeback, which is welcome news for New Yorkers leery of gathering indoors. One thing is for sure, though: Everyone seems to be ordering an espresso martini these days. There’s a good chance of finding one of these nostalgic drinks at a spot on this list but there’s many more adult beverages to raise a glass to the new year. Check out this list of the hottest newly opened cocktail bars right now.

Added to the list in January: Sunken Harbor Club (a tropical-themed hideaway above a historic Downtown Brooklyn chop house); All Night Skate (a bi-level bar in Bed-Stuy with Saved by the Bell-esque decor); Wandering Barman (pre-batched cocktails at an affordable price in a Williamsburg taproom) and Bar Chrystie (a posh spot inside the Public Hotel in the Lower East Side).

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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Noxe

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315 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001
(917) 477-3103
Visit Website

A true speakeasy is often hidden away and is one of those spots where customers can get in because they know somebody that knows somebody. None of that air of exclusivity exists for La Noxe, which is located in a subway station at 28th Street in Chelsea, and went viral on TikTok during the pandemic. Even Jimmy Kimmel mentioned it on his show. The wait list has been impossibly long ever since, but for guests who can nab a reservation, there’s a tightly curated drink menu including skin contact wines and house cocktails.

2. The Lab at Patent Pending

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49 W 27th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 689-4002
Visit Website

Patent Pending feels like a true speakeasy (customers have to enter through a coffee shop), but to find the Lab at Patent Pending and its craft cocktail menu, it’s even more of an adventure. The private area within this Flatiron spot has five bar seats, a banquette for 10, and another lounge for about another dozen guests.

3. Mace

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35 W 8th St
New York, NY 10011

Nico de Soto’s Mace was a mainstay in the East Village before the pandemic and while it did stay open as a roving pop-up during parts of the past year, the award-winning bar has now settled into a new permanent home in Greenwich Village. Fans of Mace are already flocking to the bar for the menu full of international inspiration: a frozen slushie incorporating wasabi and cilantro (a nod to Miami Vice), a black sesame cocktail with roots in Peru, and even an eye-catching ube drink.

A purple cocktail filled with pebble ice and topped with a green garnish sits on a wooden table with a black and white checkered chair visible in the background.
An ube cocktail from Mace.
John Shyloski/Mace

4. Bandits

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44 Bedford St
New York, NY 10014
(917) 261-6447
Visit Website

A ‘70’s-themed diner collides with highbrow cocktail-making at stylish West Village newcomer Bandits. Grab a seat at one of the bar’s brown leather stools situated underneath a golden disco ball affixed to the ceiling, and ease into cocktails like Bradshaw on Bedford, a frothy pink drink made with rhubarb, rose petal, and sun dried tomato; and the Smokey Cokey, featuring rum and fernet mixed with a Coca-Cola reduction. Pair the drinks with plates of hot and crispy tots and tuna melts.

The inside of a diner with wood paneled walls and a bar, black and white checkered floor, and dark brown leather booths with white tables.
Inside Bandits.
Front of House/Bandits

5. Great Jones Distilling Co

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686 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(332) 910-9880
Visit Website

Great Jones’s claim to fame is that it’s the first legal whiskey distillery to open in Manhattan since the Prohibition Era, and it went all-out for the honors. Located in Noho, the sprawling, shiny four-story space encompasses multiple bars — including a cellar speakeasy — that are stocked with a wide range of whiskey cocktails. The distillery recently launched a restaurant led by a Per Se alum.

A indoor room with a spiral staircase and dark wooden floor-to-ceiling shelves showcasing bottles of whiskey.
Great Jones Distillery is a 28,000-square-foot space spanning four floors.
Great Jones Distillery Co.

6. Etérea

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511 E 5th St
New York, NY 10009

Ravi DeRossi continues his East Village tear with this tequila and mezcal bar specializing in vegan Mexican cooking. The bar is the latest in a string of East Village openings from the prolific restaurateur, who also unveiled the hit vegan soul food restaurant Cadence during the pandemic.

A glass tumbler filled with pink liquid sits on a teal blue napkin with a vintage perfume bottle in the background. Eric Medsker/Etérea

7. The Bar at Veranda

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23 Grand St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 201-9117
Visit Website

Next door to chef George Mendes’s new estrestaurant, located inside the ModernHaus hotel, is the Bar at Veranda. This sleek space features a stunning marble-top bar, a terrace, and plenty of plush seats. Johnny Swet created the cocktails, which range from twists on classics like the charred shishito margarita (complete with wasabi syrup and togarashi salt) to the Drink Pink, with pink gin, strawberry, and rhubarb bitters. Mendes’s bar snack menu includes vadouvan-spiced popcorn and his signature Portuguese items such as salt cod croquettes.

A backlit bar with dark stools arranged around a curving light counter.
The Bar at Veranda.
Matthew Pastula/The Bar at Veranda

8. Double Chicken Please

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115 Allen St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 678-5452
Visit Website

GN Chan and Faye Chen traveled around the country in a Volkswagen minivan before finally opening their long-awaited Lower East Side bar. It was well worth the wait. Their balanced cocktails are full of unexpected ingredients like fennel, winter melon, and a variety of different teas, including oolong and lapsang souchong. The hot honey fried chicken sandwich is also not to be missed.

A lone orange cocktail sits on the counter of a bar, overflowing with ice but not liquid. In the background, a row of taps is visible.
There are a number of cocktails on tap at Double Chicken Please.
Sahid Limon/Double Chicken Please

9. Philomena's

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790 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Philomena’s — from the team behind the Late Late and Hotel Chantelle — debuted in East Williamsburg late last summer with a focus on infused, intricately carved ice cubes as the centerpiece of each cocktail. Case in point: The bar’s signature drink involves a pink, watermelon-rosé infused ice cube cut in the shape of a rose and dropped in a glass filled with prosecco. The cocktails are paired with a light spread of bar snacks, including hummus, duck liver mousse, and bottarga onion dip.

A coupe glass filled with yellow prosecco and a pink rose ice cube sits on a dark table with green plants in the background and a small white candle to the right of the drink.
Philomena’s signature cocktail.
Kevin Lapsley/Philomena’s

10. Wandering Barman

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315 Meserole St
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Wandering Barman made its mark in the pandemic with made-to-order cocktails with well-designed labels and low-priced beverages. Inside a high-ceiling, 40-seat taproom in Williamsburg, the cocktails are $10 like the Fomo, a vodka-based elixir with Hatch green chilies or the Iron Lady, a hops and rose petal-infused drink. For those who don’t want to stay indoors, there’s still in option to buy pre-batched cocktails from the bar at neighborhood stores like Starr Wines and Irving Bottle.

A cocktail glass topped with orange and a sprig of thyme sits besides a pre-batched cocktail.
Pre-batched cocktails are the specialty at Wandering Barman.
Gieves Anderson/Wandering Barman

11. Runaway BK

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321 Starr St
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(929) 480-8969
Visit Website

Outdoor spaces have been the most in-demand feature of bars during the pandemic, so it’s no surprise this Bushwick rooftop has been popular since opening late last year. The laidback theme here extends to the fun cocktail menu, which includes favorites like the Mountain Lady, a hibiscus gin and rhubarb concoction topped with mint syrup, lime, tonic, and sprig of rosemary.

12. Overstory

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70 Pine Street Ground Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 517-1932
Visit Website

James Kent and Jeff Katz of Crown Shy acclaim opened the doors to Saga, their highly anticipated second restaurant on the 63rd floor of the same building, where cocktails play a big role. For diners able to nab a difficult-to-get dinner reservation, the evening kicks off with a cocktails. But for some of the same glam at a fraction of the price, head to the upstairs cocktail bar with views of downtown Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, and New Yorkers dining on a pricey tasting menu below. The cocktails come from beverage director Harrison Ginsberg, who also handles the drinks at the team’s other restaurants. At $24 apiece, be warned that part of what you’re paying for is the view.

A cocktail in an angled glass rests on a brass countertop with an engraved piece of ice and a brown honeycomb
The terroir old fashioned, made with tequila.
Overstory

13. Sunken Harbor Club

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372 Fulton St 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The nautical-themed Sunken Harbor Club started as a popular ongoing pop-up of sorts at St. John Frizell’s popular Fort Defiance in Red Hook, which is currently closed. This intimate bar is tucked above the historic Brooklyn chop house Gage & Tollner, where a menu is divided into four parts, including “Dry Land” (for non-alcoholic drinks) and the “Abyss” (for imbibers who want boozy cocktails). It’s a place that’s just as good for pre-dinner drink or a night out in a maritime setting with drinks that are more on point than gimmicky.

14. All Night Skate

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54 Rockaway Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11233
(347) 240-6263
Visit Website

Though there is no actual skating rink at this nostalgic, bi-level bar, All Night Skate pays homage to roller rinks of yesteryear through its Saved by the Bell-esque decor filled with skates and concession stand signs. One of the most fun bars to have opened during the pandemic, All Night Skate makes for an ideal spot to gather friends for birthdays or other celebrations, while sipping on one of its many playful cocktails, such as the mezcal and triple sec-based “Poppin’ Off” with a Pop Rocks rim.

15. Bar Chrystie

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Public Hotel, 215 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

This sleek spot inside hotelier Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel is a nod to two iconic European bars: Harry’s Bar in Venice and Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris. The creative cocktails from Robert Krueger (an Employees Only and Extra Fancy alum) include a cocktail called the Silk Road Sour that draws on Levantine ingredients like pistachio and saffron. This and other classic cocktails can be paired with a tapas menu from chefs John Fraser and Diego Muñoz.

Two cocktails in low ball glasses with smoke coming out and carafe of cocktail on a table with a blue velvet banquette in the background.
Creative cocktails fill the menu at Bar Chrystie at the Public Hotel.
Liz Clayman

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1. La Noxe

315 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001

A true speakeasy is often hidden away and is one of those spots where customers can get in because they know somebody that knows somebody. None of that air of exclusivity exists for La Noxe, which is located in a subway station at 28th Street in Chelsea, and went viral on TikTok during the pandemic. Even Jimmy Kimmel mentioned it on his show. The wait list has been impossibly long ever since, but for guests who can nab a reservation, there’s a tightly curated drink menu including skin contact wines and house cocktails.

315 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001

2. The Lab at Patent Pending

49 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001

Patent Pending feels like a true speakeasy (customers have to enter through a coffee shop), but to find the Lab at Patent Pending and its craft cocktail menu, it’s even more of an adventure. The private area within this Flatiron spot has five bar seats, a banquette for 10, and another lounge for about another dozen guests.

49 W 27th St
New York, NY 10001

3. Mace

35 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
A purple cocktail filled with pebble ice and topped with a green garnish sits on a wooden table with a black and white checkered chair visible in the background.
An ube cocktail from Mace.
John Shyloski/Mace

Nico de Soto’s Mace was a mainstay in the East Village before the pandemic and while it did stay open as a roving pop-up during parts of the past year, the award-winning bar has now settled into a new permanent home in Greenwich Village. Fans of Mace are already flocking to the bar for the menu full of international inspiration: a frozen slushie incorporating wasabi and cilantro (a nod to Miami Vice), a black sesame cocktail with roots in Peru, and even an eye-catching ube drink.

35 W 8th St
New York, NY 10011

4. Bandits

44 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
The inside of a diner with wood paneled walls and a bar, black and white checkered floor, and dark brown leather booths with white tables.
Inside Bandits.
Front of House/Bandits

A ‘70’s-themed diner collides with highbrow cocktail-making at stylish West Village newcomer Bandits. Grab a seat at one of the bar’s brown leather stools situated underneath a golden disco ball affixed to the ceiling, and ease into cocktails like Bradshaw on Bedford, a frothy pink drink made with rhubarb, rose petal, and sun dried tomato; and the Smokey Cokey, featuring rum and fernet mixed with a Coca-Cola reduction. Pair the drinks with plates of hot and crispy tots and tuna melts.

44 Bedford St
New York, NY 10014

5. Great Jones Distilling Co

686 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
A indoor room with a spiral staircase and dark wooden floor-to-ceiling shelves showcasing bottles of whiskey.
Great Jones Distillery is a 28,000-square-foot space spanning four floors.
Great Jones Distillery Co.

Great Jones’s claim to fame is that it’s the first legal whiskey distillery to open in Manhattan since the Prohibition Era, and it went all-out for the honors. Located in Noho, the sprawling, shiny four-story space encompasses multiple bars — including a cellar speakeasy — that are stocked with a wide range of whiskey cocktails. The distillery recently launched a restaurant led by a Per Se alum.

686 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

6. Etérea

511 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009
A glass tumbler filled with pink liquid sits on a teal blue napkin with a vintage perfume bottle in the background. Eric Medsker/Etérea

Ravi DeRossi continues his East Village tear with this tequila and mezcal bar specializing in vegan Mexican cooking. The bar is the latest in a string of East Village openings from the prolific restaurateur, who also unveiled the hit vegan soul food restaurant Cadence during the pandemic.

511 E 5th St
New York, NY 10009

7. The Bar at Veranda

23 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
A backlit bar with dark stools arranged around a curving light counter.
The Bar at Veranda.
Matthew Pastula/The Bar at Veranda

Next door to chef George Mendes’s new estrestaurant, located inside the ModernHaus hotel, is the Bar at Veranda. This sleek space features a stunning marble-top bar, a terrace, and plenty of plush seats. Johnny Swet created the cocktails, which range from twists on classics like the charred shishito margarita (complete with wasabi syrup and togarashi salt) to the Drink Pink, with pink gin, strawberry, and rhubarb bitters. Mendes’s bar snack menu includes vadouvan-spiced popcorn and his signature Portuguese items such as salt cod croquettes.

23 Grand St
New York, NY 10013

8. Double Chicken Please

115 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
A lone orange cocktail sits on the counter of a bar, overflowing with ice but not liquid. In the background, a row of taps is visible.
There are a number of cocktails on tap at Double Chicken Please.
Sahid Limon/Double Chicken Please

GN Chan and Faye Chen traveled around the country in a Volkswagen minivan before finally opening their long-awaited Lower East Side bar. It was well worth the wait. Their balanced cocktails are full of unexpected ingredients like fennel, winter melon, and a variety of different teas, including oolong and lapsang souchong. The hot honey fried chicken sandwich is also not to be missed.

115 Allen St
New York, NY 10002

9. Philomena's

790 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
A coupe glass filled with yellow prosecco and a pink rose ice cube sits on a dark table with green plants in the background and a small white candle to the right of the drink.
Philomena’s signature cocktail.
Kevin Lapsley/Philomena’s

Philomena’s — from the team behind the Late Late and Hotel Chantelle — debuted in East Williamsburg late last summer with a focus on infused, intricately carved ice cubes as the centerpiece of each cocktail. Case in point: The bar’s signature drink involves a pink, watermelon-rosé infused ice cube cut in the shape of a rose and dropped in a glass filled with prosecco. The cocktails are paired with a light spread of bar snacks, including hummus, duck liver mousse, and bottarga onion dip.

790 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

10. Wandering Barman

315 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
A cocktail glass topped with orange and a sprig of thyme sits besides a pre-batched cocktail.
Pre-batched cocktails are the specialty at Wandering Barman.
Gieves Anderson/Wandering Barman

Wandering Barman made its mark in the pandemic with made-to-order cocktails with well-designed labels and low-priced beverages. Inside a high-ceiling, 40-seat taproom in Williamsburg, the cocktails are $10 like the Fomo, a vodka-based elixir with Hatch green chilies or the Iron Lady, a hops and rose petal-infused drink. For those who don’t want to stay indoors, there’s still in option to buy pre-batched cocktails from the bar at neighborhood stores like Starr Wines and Irving Bottle.

315 Meserole St
Brooklyn, NY 11206

11. Runaway BK

321 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Outdoor spaces have been the most in-demand feature of bars during the pandemic, so it’s no surprise this Bushwick rooftop has been popular since opening late last year. The laidback theme here extends to the fun cocktail menu, which includes favorites like the Mountain Lady, a hibiscus gin and rhubarb concoction topped with mint syrup, lime, tonic, and sprig of rosemary.

321 Starr St
Brooklyn, NY 11237

12. Overstory

70 Pine Street Ground Floor, New York, NY 10005
A cocktail in an angled glass rests on a brass countertop with an engraved piece of ice and a brown honeycomb
The terroir old fashioned, made with tequila.
Overstory

James Kent and Jeff Katz of Crown Shy acclaim opened the doors to Saga, their highly anticipated second restaurant on the 63rd floor of the same building, where cocktails play a big role. For diners able to nab a difficult-to-get dinner reservation, the evening kicks off with a cocktails. But for some of the same glam at a fraction of the price, head to the upstairs cocktail bar with views of downtown Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, and New Yorkers dining on a pricey tasting menu below. The cocktails come from beverage director Harrison Ginsberg, who also handles the drinks at the team’s other restaurants. At $24 apiece, be warned that part of what you’re paying for is the view.

70 Pine Street Ground Floor
New York, NY 10005

13. Sunken Harbor Club

372 Fulton St 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The nautical-themed Sunken Harbor Club started as a popular ongoing pop-up of sorts at St. John Frizell’s popular Fort Defiance in Red Hook, which is currently closed. This intimate bar is tucked above the historic Brooklyn chop house Gage & Tollner, where a menu is divided into four parts, including “Dry Land” (for non-alcoholic drinks) and the “Abyss” (for imbibers who want boozy cocktails). It’s a place that’s just as good for pre-dinner drink or a night out in a maritime setting with drinks that are more on point than gimmicky.

372 Fulton St 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

14. All Night Skate

54 Rockaway Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233

Though there is no actual skating rink at this nostalgic, bi-level bar, All Night Skate pays homage to roller rinks of yesteryear through its Saved by the Bell-esque decor filled with skates and concession stand signs. One of the most fun bars to have opened during the pandemic, All Night Skate makes for an ideal spot to gather friends for birthdays or other celebrations, while sipping on one of its many playful cocktails, such as the mezcal and triple sec-based “Poppin’ Off” with a Pop Rocks rim.

54 Rockaway Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11233

15. Bar Chrystie

Public Hotel, 215 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
Two cocktails in low ball glasses with smoke coming out and carafe of cocktail on a table with a blue velvet banquette in the background.
Creative cocktails fill the menu at Bar Chrystie at the Public Hotel.
Liz Clayman

This sleek spot inside hotelier Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel is a nod to two iconic European bars: Harry’s Bar in Venice and Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris. The creative cocktails from Robert Krueger (an Employees Only and Extra Fancy alum) include a cocktail called the Silk Road Sour that draws on Levantine ingredients like pistachio and saffron. This and other classic cocktails can be paired with a tapas menu from chefs John Fraser and Diego Muñoz.

Public Hotel, 215 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

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