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One Fifty One
One Fifty One
Daniel Krieger

The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now

A guide to the 12 hottest bars and cocktail lounges to grab a drink.

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One Fifty One
| Daniel Krieger

In honor of Cocktail Week, here's a freshly updated version of Eater's Cocktail Heatmap, a guide to the hot drinking dens and restaurant bars of the moment. Rather than feature the perennial favorites, this guide focuses on operations that have opened in the last year. Happy drinking, and as always, feel free to write in with new suggestions.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Nitecap

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120 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 466-3361
Visit Website
David Kaplan and Alex Day (both of Death & Co.) and Natasha David (formerly of Maison Premiere) helm Nitecap, a subterranean cocktail parlor on the Lower East Side. The inventive menu is organized by how far along you are in the evening: aperitifs to get you started, drinks to keep you going, and, obviously, a few night caps. The menu also features fancy versions of boilermakers and wine spritzes. Try the Pinkie's Out: orange wine, Cocchi Americano, chamomile Dolin Blanc vermouth, verjus blanc, Trabanco poma, and Durea apple cider. [Photo: Krieger]

2. Dear Irving

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55 Irving Pl
New York, NY
From the team behind Raines Law Room comes another sexy, old time-y bar in the same vein as the original. If you can handle a slightly sweeter cocktail order the Hero of Litte Venice (aged venezulean rum, sweet vermouth, root beer, egg), which is basically an adult version of a root beer float. The space itself, meanwhile, functions as a kind of choose your own adventure, with each of the four rooms designed around a different era. Up front, find a 60s-style "JFK room", while at the back there's the ornate "Marie Antoinette room," with stops in the 1800s and 1920s in between. [Photo courtesy Dear Irving]

3. Boilermaker

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13 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 995-5400
While this replacement to the short-lived ode to the 70s, Golden Cadillac, serves many iterations of its eponymous shot and beer combo, there are also plenty of solid cocktails on the menu. San Diego cocktail vet Erick Castro came up with the drinks, which range from the Oceanside (London dry gin, fresh lime, mint, sea salt & celery bitters) to the more spirited, stirred "Blood of My Enemies" (Barados rum, Amaro Montenegro & Punt e Mes). As a bonus, this place also serves excellent, $7 burgers from Jeepney's Miguel Trinidad. [Photo: The Mix Lab]

4. The NoMad Bar

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10 W 28th St
New York, NY 10001
The hype behind this insanely popular bar means that it's usually packed, but if you're willing to brave the crowds you will be rewarded with a well made cocktail and some of the classiest bar food in town. Eater critic Ryan Sutton was won over by cocktails like the Scotch Dumpling where "egg white, applejack, and amaro Montenegro to simultaneously show off and temper the smokiness of an Islay pour." [Photo: Krieger]

5. Lobby Bar at the Ludlow

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180 Ludlow Street
New York, NY
Thomas Waugh of ZZ's Clam Bar put together a menu of 11 specialty cocktails for the bar at the Ludlow and for its adjoining Torrisi project, Dirty French. The drinks play into the restaurants exoticized French menu with ingredients like banana, chai, passion fruit, coconut, chili, but doesn't go overboard. Try the Montecristo (Irish whiskey, crème de banane, amontillado, and lime). [Photo: Krieger]

6. Bâtard

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Read Review |
239 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-2777
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Quietly filling the dearth of restaurants with good cocktail programs, Batard delivers equal parts stiff drink and luxury courtesy of managing partner, John Winterman (formerly of Daniel). Order their Manhattan variation, the aptly titled Ol’ Dirty Batard (Jim Beam rye, Punt e Mes vermouth, Cocchi Rosa, and mole bitters), or a pre-bottled milk punch while you wait for a table. [Photo: Adam Lerner]

7. Donna

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27 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(646) 568-6622
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After a devastating electrical fire momentarily shuttered this Williamsburg cocktail bar, Donna is back in action. Th elegant but casual space serves up some smart, whimsical drinks like a brancolada (basically a pina colada with branca menta). If you're coming with a group, think about trying the large format drinks. The bar also offers Mexican food courtesy of Brooklyn Taco. [Photo: Facebook/Donna]

8. Bar Sardine

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183 W. 10th Street
New York, NY 10014
(646) 360-3705
Visit Website
Gabe Stulman's Chez Sardine revamp his ditched the unconventional izakaya menu and thrown that creativity into an ambitious drinks menu. Cocktails like a black pepper grasshopper could go horribly awry in the wrong hands, but luckily, the Chez Sardine bartenders know what they are doing. [Photo: Bar Sardine]
151 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-4139
Visit Website
A beloved old dive bar reborn as a cocktail lounge, with drinks mixed by former Death & Co and Nitecap bartenders. Not really much else to say here. Try the Negroni Gone Way Wrong, which adds sorbet and prosecco to the original, and fits right in to casual vibe and fancy pedigree of this bar. [Photo:

10. The Raines Law Room at The William

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24 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016
New York, NY
The second location of Raines Law Room recently opened above The Shakespeare Pub in The William Hotel. This new outpost features the same lavish vibe as the original, replete with curtained off booths, and service bells for waiters. Raines vet Meaghan Dorman composed the cocktail list, which is notable for its build-your-own Old Fashioned section, where guests can pick the bitters, booze, and sweeteners. The food menu takes its inspiration from the adjacent British gastropub, serving dishes like pickled pears with Stilton, and Scotch eggs. [Photo: Raines Law Room]

11. SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room

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(212) 632-5072
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Despite the fact that they can make a fine cocktail, the real draw to the Rainbow Room’s bar, SixtyFive, is the space itself and the panoramic view offered by its terrace. Unlike the restaurant itself, the bar is open to the public from Monday through Friday, and would be great place to take visitors who would like an uninterrupted view of the city, as long as they don't mind the steep prices. [Photo: Krieger]

12. Empellón Al Pastor

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132 Saint Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
(212) 367-0999
Visit Website
Alex Stupak surprise opened his new casual taqueria over the weekend, and it's immediately become clear that the focus at this ode to a dive bar is largely on the drinks. The menu includes a page-long list of micheladas, some designed by the likes of Wylie Dufresne and Andy Ricker. There are also tequila-focused highballs like a mezcal and tonic, and margaritas like the ones found at Empellon Cocina, ranging from traditional to not-so-traditional. [Photo: Nick Solares]

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1. Nitecap

120 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
David Kaplan and Alex Day (both of Death & Co.) and Natasha David (formerly of Maison Premiere) helm Nitecap, a subterranean cocktail parlor on the Lower East Side. The inventive menu is organized by how far along you are in the evening: aperitifs to get you started, drinks to keep you going, and, obviously, a few night caps. The menu also features fancy versions of boilermakers and wine spritzes. Try the Pinkie's Out: orange wine, Cocchi Americano, chamomile Dolin Blanc vermouth, verjus blanc, Trabanco poma, and Durea apple cider. [Photo: Krieger]
120 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

2. Dear Irving

55 Irving Pl, New York, NY
From the team behind Raines Law Room comes another sexy, old time-y bar in the same vein as the original. If you can handle a slightly sweeter cocktail order the Hero of Litte Venice (aged venezulean rum, sweet vermouth, root beer, egg), which is basically an adult version of a root beer float. The space itself, meanwhile, functions as a kind of choose your own adventure, with each of the four rooms designed around a different era. Up front, find a 60s-style "JFK room", while at the back there's the ornate "Marie Antoinette room," with stops in the 1800s and 1920s in between. [Photo courtesy Dear Irving]
55 Irving Pl
New York, NY

3. Boilermaker

13 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
While this replacement to the short-lived ode to the 70s, Golden Cadillac, serves many iterations of its eponymous shot and beer combo, there are also plenty of solid cocktails on the menu. San Diego cocktail vet Erick Castro came up with the drinks, which range from the Oceanside (London dry gin, fresh lime, mint, sea salt & celery bitters) to the more spirited, stirred "Blood of My Enemies" (Barados rum, Amaro Montenegro & Punt e Mes). As a bonus, this place also serves excellent, $7 burgers from Jeepney's Miguel Trinidad. [Photo: The Mix Lab]
13 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003

4. The NoMad Bar

10 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001
The hype behind this insanely popular bar means that it's usually packed, but if you're willing to brave the crowds you will be rewarded with a well made cocktail and some of the classiest bar food in town. Eater critic Ryan Sutton was won over by cocktails like the Scotch Dumpling where "egg white, applejack, and amaro Montenegro to simultaneously show off and temper the smokiness of an Islay pour." [Photo: Krieger]
10 W 28th St
New York, NY 10001

5. Lobby Bar at the Ludlow

180 Ludlow Street, New York, NY
Thomas Waugh of ZZ's Clam Bar put together a menu of 11 specialty cocktails for the bar at the Ludlow and for its adjoining Torrisi project, Dirty French. The drinks play into the restaurants exoticized French menu with ingredients like banana, chai, passion fruit, coconut, chili, but doesn't go overboard. Try the Montecristo (Irish whiskey, crème de banane, amontillado, and lime). [Photo: Krieger]
180 Ludlow Street
New York, NY

6. Bâtard

239 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Read Review |
Quietly filling the dearth of restaurants with good cocktail programs, Batard delivers equal parts stiff drink and luxury courtesy of managing partner, John Winterman (formerly of Daniel). Order their Manhattan variation, the aptly titled Ol’ Dirty Batard (Jim Beam rye, Punt e Mes vermouth, Cocchi Rosa, and mole bitters), or a pre-bottled milk punch while you wait for a table. [Photo: Adam Lerner]
239 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013

7. Donna

27 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
After a devastating electrical fire momentarily shuttered this Williamsburg cocktail bar, Donna is back in action. Th elegant but casual space serves up some smart, whimsical drinks like a brancolada (basically a pina colada with branca menta). If you're coming with a group, think about trying the large format drinks. The bar also offers Mexican food courtesy of Brooklyn Taco. [Photo: Facebook/Donna]
27 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11249

8. Bar Sardine

183 W. 10th Street, New York, NY 10014
Gabe Stulman's Chez Sardine revamp his ditched the unconventional izakaya menu and thrown that creativity into an ambitious drinks menu. Cocktails like a black pepper grasshopper could go horribly awry in the wrong hands, but luckily, the Chez Sardine bartenders know what they are doing. [Photo: Bar Sardine]
183 W. 10th Street
New York, NY 10014

9. 151

151 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
A beloved old dive bar reborn as a cocktail lounge, with drinks mixed by former Death & Co and Nitecap bartenders. Not really much else to say here. Try the Negroni Gone Way Wrong, which adds sorbet and prosecco to the original, and fits right in to casual vibe and fancy pedigree of this bar. [Photo:
151 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

10. The Raines Law Room at The William

24 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016, New York, NY
The second location of Raines Law Room recently opened above The Shakespeare Pub in The William Hotel. This new outpost features the same lavish vibe as the original, replete with curtained off booths, and service bells for waiters. Raines vet Meaghan Dorman composed the cocktail list, which is notable for its build-your-own Old Fashioned section, where guests can pick the bitters, booze, and sweeteners. The food menu takes its inspiration from the adjacent British gastropub, serving dishes like pickled pears with Stilton, and Scotch eggs. [Photo: Raines Law Room]
24 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016
New York, NY

11. SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room

New York, NY
Despite the fact that they can make a fine cocktail, the real draw to the Rainbow Room’s bar, SixtyFive, is the space itself and the panoramic view offered by its terrace. Unlike the restaurant itself, the bar is open to the public from Monday through Friday, and would be great place to take visitors who would like an uninterrupted view of the city, as long as they don't mind the steep prices. [Photo: Krieger]

12. Empellón Al Pastor

132 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Alex Stupak surprise opened his new casual taqueria over the weekend, and it's immediately become clear that the focus at this ode to a dive bar is largely on the drinks. The menu includes a page-long list of micheladas, some designed by the likes of Wylie Dufresne and Andy Ricker. There are also tequila-focused highballs like a mezcal and tonic, and margaritas like the ones found at Empellon Cocina, ranging from traditional to not-so-traditional. [Photo: Nick Solares]
132 Saint Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

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