Cocktail Bars

Since writing this list, I started a guide to great cocktail drinking in NYC, check it out at  These  bars are all still awesome and on that list though!

Little Branch
Avoid it during prime time – Thursday-Saturday after 10ish – my favorite nights are middle of the week when they have a three piece jazz band. You can stand at the bar, or sit at a little candlelit table. This is one of the original members of Sasha Petraske’s cocktail empire.
Location: Leroy and 7th Ave South

The Randolph
Two words: Happy Hour. Every day. From 12-8pm. Yes. Really. Great cocktails, for $7. Also a happening late night scene with good tunes.
Location: 349 Broome Street, near Elizabeth Street

All tequila, all the time – but not crappy shots with salt and lime. Real cocktails. Also, solid Mexican food.
304 East 6th Street, at 2nd Ave

The Lamb’s Club
A bright spot in Midtown, and definitely a go-to if you are in the ‘hood. They have great drinks and snacks – the restaurant downstairs is pretty solid as well. (Also check out Lantern’s Keep down the block, which I wrote about here.)
130 West 44th St, between 6th and 7th Ave

Flatiron Lounge
1920s themed, great cocktails (obviously). Not too crowded that you can’t get a seat, usually.
Location: 37 West 19th, near 5th Ave

Bemelman’s Bar
At the Carlyle Hotel. Old school New York, with all the waiters in white dinner jackets and a strictly classic menu. Great live jazz although there is a cover. The spicy cheese crackers are addictive.
Location: 35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue

Honorable mentions
Raines Law Room (drawback: often a long wait), PDT (that would be Please Don’t Tell; you enter through a phone booth. Make a reservation.), Pegu Club, Angel’s Share (enter through a Japanese restaurant)


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