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A martini at the edge of the bar at Deux Chats in Williamsburg.
The martini at Deux Chats in Williamsburg.
Melissa Hom/Deux Chats

NYC’s Hottest New Cocktail Bars, August 2022

A Williamsburg cocktail bar with martinis and seafood towers joins the list this month

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The martini at Deux Chats in Williamsburg.
| Melissa Hom/Deux Chats

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: Takeout cocktails made a brief, but beautiful, appearance at the outset of the pandemic before making a semi-permanent comeback, which is welcome news for New Yorkers. 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 are many more adult beverages to raise a glass to in 2022. Check out this list of the hottest newly opened cocktail bars right now.

Added to the list in August: Deux Chats, a martini and seafood tower date spot from Golden Age Hospitality.

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.
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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 slowly been opening up at Rockefeller Center and helping make the Midtown tourist trap 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 seen-and-be-seen spot. The classic cocktails take on names inspired by the location, such as the Martini 1-H named after what NBC, another Rock Center tenant, called the bar: “Studio 1-H.”

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

Bar Calico

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With travel picking up in New York City, hotel bars have made a comeback of sorts — Bemelmans at the Carlyle is busier than ever and a splashy spot to drink now open on Roosevelt Island are just a few examples. The latest one to check out is Bar Calico, located on the second floor at the Freehand New York. In a candlelit space, head bartender Mike Campbell concocts a list of cocktails drawing on an American Southwest theme. A few selections include the Desert Rose (a tequila drink with aloe and agave) and the Gunslinger (a white rum drink adorned with fresh, edible flowers).

A low ball glass with a cocktail garnish of cubed ice, cucumber, and red spices on the side.
The Desert Rose at Bar Calico.
Max Flatow/Bar Calico

Martiny’s

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New Yorkers mourned the recent closing of Angel’s Share original East Village location, but for cocktail enthusiasts, the same exacting standards of a Japanese bar — crystal-clear ice, balanced cocktails, and detail-oriented service — lives 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 street just a stone’s throw away from the East River on the edge of 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 cheese plate, or one of the tinned seafood options, like squid in ragout or mussels en escabeche. Another round of drinks may be in order — especially during the daily happy hour that runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

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

The Nines

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While restaurateur Jon Neidich — who’s also behind Brooklyn hits like Le Crocodile and Bar Blondeau — considers the Nines more of a supper club, there’s no denying this narrow room draped in corduroy with sweeping curtains gives off strong bar vibes (the popular nightlife spot Acme is underneath it, after all). There’s often live music and the room is great for people watching — many patrons look like they work in fashion and their outfits match the establishment’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

Temple Bar

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When it closed on December 31, 2017, Temple Bar was equal parts a downtown destination referred to in some circles as the martini-slinging “downtown Bemelmans,” as much as it was a place that the city’s top bartenders would visit. Nearly four years later, a team of nightlife gurus (including David Rabin, who helped open Sona) and acclaimed bartenders (Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross of the award-winning Attaboy) have revived this Noho space. The same Art Deco-ish touches still remain but the space and menu have been given a makeover. While there are plenty of martinis on the menu, classics like a Negroni sport an eye-catching blue hue instead of the iconic Campari red glow.

A look at a wooden bar and leather stools with black-and-white subway tile floors.
Temple Bar is back in action under new ownership.
Dillon Burke/Front of House

While many bars call themselves speakeasies without a hidden entrance, the new cocktail bar PS, short for Pacific Standard, is indeed tucked 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 Lindsay Weiss and Alyssa Golub, 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 like tea infusions available.

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 north 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 an $8 “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 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 — patrons go upstairs for riffs on classic cocktails crafted by Will Krepop (an alum of Cote). Here, 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 — includes vodka, cacao rum, and cold brew. These may all lead to a night out, as the first floor is set up for dancing and a rotating slate of DJs.

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

Lullaby

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Hip hangout Lullaby is the latest cocktail bar to slide into this subterranean Lower East Side spot, which was last occupied by Nitecap, from the acclaimed Death & Co. team. Backed by partners Harrison Snow and Jake Hodas, the bar doesn’t openly nerd out on its cocktails, but rather sells its concoctions under plain names — the Gin Drink, the Rum Drink — mixed in with a few other fun winks, like a boozy version of a Dole Whip made with alcoholic pineapple soft-serve. The “godfather” of Boston’s cocktail scene, Brother Cleve, consulted on the cocktail menu.

A dark interior of a bar with candles on the countertop and round, backless stools lined up against the bar.
Inside Lullaby.
Gabriel Armstrong/Lullaby

Holywater

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Stepping into Holywater is like finding a ship with a New Orleans-themed bar moored in a sea of Tribeca lofts and office buildings. The underground speakeasy vibe mixed with nautical influences — a hanging hammerhead shark, photos of vintage boats, and bronze mermaids — is no surprise given that brothers Alex and Miles Pincus already have a solid reputation for creating floating bars in NYC like Grand Banks and Pilot. From gin to rum, the menu of cocktails riffs on classics popular in New Orleans and NYC. In the kitchen, chefs Kerry Heffernan and Sam Gasner are serving 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

Common Mollies

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One of Williamsburg’s newest places to drink comes from the owners behind Minnows in Greenpoint and the neighboring bar Harefield Road just a few blocks away. This laid back spot is filled with whimsical wallpaper, lots of framed artwork, and lime-green booths — the perfect backdrop for ordering the Frozen Grasshopper, a boozy adult milkshake of sorts with a refreshing hit of mint.

Deux Chats

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Veteran NYC restaurateur Jon Neidich has been cranking out the hits. After debuting Nines, which is also on this list, Neidich opened Parisian wine bar Le Dive in Manhattan, which instantly became a crowd favorite. Just a couple months later he’s at it again with Deux Chats, a French-leaning cocktail bar that feels anything but staid. Martinis here come two ways: gin, manzanilla, vermouth, with celery or “kinky” with spicy vodka, ancho reyes verde, vermouth, and cocchi americano. The latter kind of 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

Oddly Enough

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Oddly Enough, a brand-new cocktail bar in Bed-Stuy, arrives at a time when queer spaces, and lesbian bars in particular, are sorely needed. Operators Laura Poladsky, a former employee at Eugene & Co., which formerly operated out of the space, and Caitlin Frame are going for a vibe that’s “fun, sexy, and warmly welcoming.” Here, that means booth seating, plates of tinned fish, and a cocktail list with drinks with names like Earth Baby and New Moon in Leo.

Connolly's Bar

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Connolly’s, the beloved Irish pub — a favorite amongst local barflies and surfers alike — had been open since 1962 in the Rockaways. In May, the bar relaunched under new owners and longtime patrons, Mike Reinhardt and Mike Kololyan, behind Locals Surf School and coffee shop Locals Collective. They have vowed to not mess with the bar's iconic pina colada, outfitted with a maraschino cherry — in fact, the recipe was even a part of their buyout contract.

Pebble Bar

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

A number of high-profile chefs — including JJ Johnson of Fieldtrip and Ignacio Mattos of Estela —have slowly been opening up at Rockefeller Center and helping make the Midtown tourist trap 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 seen-and-be-seen spot. The classic cocktails take on names inspired by the location, such as the Martini 1-H named after what NBC, another Rock Center tenant, called the bar: “Studio 1-H.”

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

Bar Calico

A low ball glass with a cocktail garnish of cubed ice, cucumber, and red spices on the side.
The Desert Rose at Bar Calico.
Max Flatow/Bar Calico

With travel picking up in New York City, hotel bars have made a comeback of sorts — Bemelmans at the Carlyle is busier than ever and a splashy spot to drink now open on Roosevelt Island are just a few examples. The latest one to check out is Bar Calico, located on the second floor at the Freehand New York. In a candlelit space, head bartender Mike Campbell concocts a list of cocktails drawing on an American Southwest theme. A few selections include the Desert Rose (a tequila drink with aloe and agave) and the Gunslinger (a white rum drink adorned with fresh, edible flowers).

A low ball glass with a cocktail garnish of cubed ice, cucumber, and red spices on the side.
The Desert Rose at Bar Calico.
Max Flatow/Bar Calico

Martiny’s

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

New Yorkers mourned the recent closing of Angel’s Share original East Village location, but for cocktail enthusiasts, the same exacting standards of a Japanese bar — crystal-clear ice, balanced cocktails, and detail-oriented service — lives 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

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

Located on a quiet street just a stone’s throw away from the East River on the edge of 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 cheese plate, or one of the tinned seafood options, like squid in ragout or mussels en escabeche. Another round of drinks may be in order — especially during the daily happy hour that runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

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

The Nines

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

While restaurateur Jon Neidich — who’s also behind Brooklyn hits like Le Crocodile and Bar Blondeau — considers the Nines more of a supper club, there’s no denying this narrow room draped in corduroy with sweeping curtains gives off strong bar vibes (the popular nightlife spot Acme is underneath it, after all). There’s often live music and the room is great for people watching — many patrons look like they work in fashion and their outfits match the establishment’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

Temple Bar

A look at a wooden bar and leather stools with black-and-white subway tile floors.
Temple Bar is back in action under new ownership.
Dillon Burke/Front of House

When it closed on December 31, 2017, Temple Bar was equal parts a downtown destination referred to in some circles as the martini-slinging “downtown Bemelmans,” as much as it was a place that the city’s top bartenders would visit. Nearly four years later, a team of nightlife gurus (including David Rabin, who helped open Sona) and acclaimed bartenders (Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross of the award-winning Attaboy) have revived this Noho space. The same Art Deco-ish touches still remain but the space and menu have been given a makeover. While there are plenty of martinis on the menu, classics like a Negroni sport an eye-catching blue hue instead of the iconic Campari red glow.

A look at a wooden bar and leather stools with black-and-white subway tile floors.
Temple Bar is back in action under new ownership.
Dillon Burke/Front of House

PS

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

While many bars call themselves speakeasies without a hidden entrance, the new cocktail bar PS, short for Pacific Standard, is indeed tucked 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 Lindsay Weiss and Alyssa Golub, 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 like tea infusions available.

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

Eavesdrop

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

High-end audio equipment and fancy, acoustic paneling set this cocktail bar apart from the many neighborhood bars in this stretch of north 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 an $8 “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 and “listening” bar in Greenpoint.
Peter Fisher/Eavesdrop

Wiggle Room

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

At Wiggle Room — from the team behind hot spots like Mister Paradise and Pretty Ricky’s — patrons go upstairs for riffs on classic cocktails crafted by Will Krepop (an alum of Cote). Here, 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 — includes vodka, cacao rum, and cold brew. These may all lead to a night out, as the first floor is set up for dancing and a rotating slate of DJs.

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

Lullaby

A dark interior of a bar with candles on the countertop and round, backless stools lined up against the bar.
Inside Lullaby.
Gabriel Armstrong/Lullaby

Hip hangout Lullaby is the latest cocktail bar to slide into this subterranean Lower East Side spot, which was last occupied by Nitecap, from the acclaimed Death & Co. team. Backed by partners Harrison Snow and Jake Hodas, the bar doesn’t openly nerd out on its cocktails, but rather sells its concoctions under plain names — the Gin Drink, the Rum Drink — mixed in with a few other fun winks, like a boozy version of a Dole Whip made with alcoholic pineapple soft-serve. The “godfather” of Boston’s cocktail scene, Brother Cleve, consulted on the cocktail menu.

A dark interior of a bar with candles on the countertop and round, backless stools lined up against the bar.
Inside Lullaby.
Gabriel Armstrong/Lullaby

Holywater

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

Stepping into Holywater is like finding a ship with a New Orleans-themed bar moored in a sea of Tribeca lofts and office buildings. The underground speakeasy vibe mixed with nautical influences — a hanging hammerhead shark, photos of vintage boats, and bronze mermaids — is no surprise given that brothers Alex and Miles Pincus already have a solid reputation for creating floating bars in NYC like Grand Banks and Pilot. From gin to rum, the menu of cocktails riffs on classics popular in New Orleans and NYC. In the kitchen, chefs Kerry Heffernan and Sam Gasner are serving 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

Common Mollies

One of Williamsburg’s newest places to drink comes from the owners behind Minnows in Greenpoint and the neighboring bar Harefield Road just a few blocks away. This laid back spot is filled with whimsical wallpaper, lots of framed artwork, and lime-green booths — the perfect backdrop for ordering the Frozen Grasshopper, a boozy adult milkshake of sorts with a refreshing hit of mint.

Deux Chats

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

Veteran NYC restaurateur Jon Neidich has been cranking out the hits. After debuting Nines, which is also on this list, Neidich opened Parisian wine bar Le Dive in Manhattan, which instantly became a crowd favorite. Just a couple months later he’s at it again with Deux Chats, a French-leaning cocktail bar that feels anything but staid. Martinis here come two ways: gin, manzanilla, vermouth, with celery or “kinky” with spicy vodka, ancho reyes verde, vermouth, and cocchi americano. The latter kind of 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

Oddly Enough

Oddly Enough, a brand-new cocktail bar in Bed-Stuy, arrives at a time when queer spaces, and lesbian bars in particular, are sorely needed. Operators Laura Poladsky, a former employee at Eugene & Co., which formerly operated out of the space, and Caitlin Frame are going for a vibe that’s “fun, sexy, and warmly welcoming.” Here, that means booth seating, plates of tinned fish, and a cocktail list with drinks with names like Earth Baby and New Moon in Leo.

Connolly's Bar

Connolly’s, the beloved Irish pub — a favorite amongst local barflies and surfers alike — had been open since 1962 in the Rockaways. In May, the bar relaunched under new owners and longtime patrons, Mike Reinhardt and Mike Kololyan, behind Locals Surf School and coffee shop Locals Collective. They have vowed to not mess with the bar's iconic pina colada, outfitted with a maraschino cherry — in fact, the recipe was even a part of their buyout contract.

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