Speakeasies are currently having a moment across the USA, being considered a thrilling way to have a fun night out. What began as illicit liquor stores or clubs during Prohibition has always been mysteriously alluring for those who want to flirt with danger. Nothing can match the exciting experience of being at a speakeasy, especially if you want to test the limits of your comfort zone for one night. As speakeasies are operated under the cloak of secrecy like in the back rooms of other businesses or in basements, revelers are asked to be quiet about their locations. Many speakeasies that currently operate in the USA are hidden in fun and clever ways, making them an exclusive place to hang out. Speakeasies are not only a place to have a stiff drink but to enjoy live jazz music as well. have a look at the top 10 enthralling speakeasies in the USA, primarily Los Angeles and New York City, the country’s most exposed yet concealed belongings.
The Varnish, Downtown Historic Core, LA
A cornerstone of the secret bars in Los Angeles, The Varnish is what set the scene for speakeasies in their era. The Varnish is one of the first modern speakeasies in the city and has some of the top bartenders in the town, with visitors frequently entering from the back of the restaurant. The hidden bar has live jazz and classic cocktails to match the exciting ambience. This is where you can go for the Bartender’s Choice which introduces amazing drinks that you would not normally order.
No Vacancy, Hollywood, LA
When it comes to the best speakeasy in Los Angeles, No Vacancy is undoubtedly the answer. You will need to check in to the Old Hollywood hotel, The Scene, and look for room 1902, where you can speak to the girl on the bed so that you will be led to the refined, charming bar that is lush with dark wood. The place makes you feel grand from the moment you enter. Expect to pay fifteen to twenty bucks for a cocktail, and avoid wearing anything sporty. At No Vacancy, you dress to impress.
Lilly Rose, South Park, LA
You will find this whimsically decorated, dim-lit underground bar in Los Angeles after taking the elevator down from the lobby of the Wayfarer. Existing since the 1800s, Lilly Rose is a place where chaos and curiosity meet with vintage art, chandeliers, an old-school pinball machine and an eclectic mix of plush armchairs and loveseats. Despite all the madness and magic that the Downtown is full of, they are serious about serving you cocktails, unlike any others, with the kind of flavors and spirits you like.
Employees Only, West Hollywood
Employees Only, which started in New York City as one of the country’s first contemporary speakeasies, has its business established in West Hollywood as well. Entering through something that looks like a storefront leads to the Deco-inspired wood-paneled drinking den. You can’t go wrong with the moody cocktails filled with house-made syrups, hand-squeezed juices, freshly puréed seasonal fruits and full pours of rare liquors. You will find a private room – Henry’s Room – where you’ll sip New Orleans-inspired drinks with tableside service.
Death & Co., Downtown Arts District, LA
You are least likely to get entry to the New York cocktail den’s underground bar in the Arts District, Downtown LA, without a reservation. When walking past LA Cha Cha Chá, look for the unmarked door with a bouncer outside to find this bar that serves some of the best yet most expensive drinks in the city. They serve a vast array of unique and hard-to-find spirits in sections like “boozy and honest” and “light and playful” along with a small food menu for an aesthetic, balanced and flavorful speakeasy experience.
Lost Property, Hollywood, LA
This enchanting whiskey bar right off Hollywood is so dark that you can’t see each other. You can have wholly original drinks at this place with easygoing bartenders and some solid oldie tunes kept low. look for the unmarked space next to the Pineapple Express to find this windowless, mid-century-inspired bar that is perfect for having conversations, but you will have to wait for long on weekend days.
PDT, East Village, NYC
Please Don’t Tell is an award-winning New York City cocktail bar, first opened in 2007 ahead of NYC’s last speak-easy style bar revival. PDT is ironically famed for its concealed location hidden behind a telephone booth down a few stairs in Crif Dogs, the subterranean hot-dog joint in East Village. You will have to make a call from a payphone inside Crif Dogs to get into this pioneering speakeasy popular for its cocktails that remain as superb as ever.
Attaboy, Lower East Side, NYC
Occupying the former Milk and Honey space, Attaboy is the everyman’s cocktail bar known for its destination-worthy cocktails and speakeasy format. You can enjoy plenty of old-timey tipples at this Lower East Side spot hidden in plain sight on an obscure bit of Eldridge Street. Look for the address 134, Eldridge Street, and the door that reads “AB” to find this speakeasy with a narrow interior, anchored by a brushed steel bar. World’s 50 Best, the controversial award machine, has crowned Attaboy as the top bar in North America in 2022.
Little Branch, West Village, NYC
First opened in 2005 beyond a nondescript doorway and down a staircase, this intimate space is still a hidden gem worth the wait for a table for the top-notch classic and bespoke drinks it serves. It is difficult to find this place unless you know where it is located. BUt once you do enter, you will get a great experience with nice jazz music, friendly staff and wonderful cocktails.
Saint Tuesday, Chinatown, NYC
Located in the sub-cellar of the Walker Hotel Tribeca, Saint Tuesday is the best of all those self-described speakeasies that have opened in recent months. Finding this place for the first time is genuinely hard, but once you arrive there after buzzing for entry and even taking a few levels below ground, you will have a pulse-quickening experience. Saint Tuesday is open seven nights a week, with live music every evening and a cocktail program focused on simple recipes, fresh and quality ingredients, and modern variations of American classics.
We have put together the 10 speakeasies in the USA that are sure to impress with their décor, ambience and “wow” factor. Which one on the list would you love to visit? Let us know in the comments below.
Apart from these speakeasies in the USA, you must visit Europe’s oldest pub.