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The Best Bars New Yorkers Are Keeping Hidden

New York is a big, brash, ballsy city with too many people and definitely too many bars. There’s something for literally every taste bud in Manhattan – whether that’s a French bistro in Greenwich Village, an Irish tavern over in the East or an award-winning multi-sensory cocktail extravaganza down in the Financial District. So where do the New Yorkers go?

Discerning drinkers in this city are pretty spoilt for choice with six of the World’s 50 Best Bars resident here. The big names are big – Dead Rabbit, The Nomad, Employees Only, Attaboy – but the queues are also long and the chance of a reservation – let alone a seat – is slim…

So – where to head in the city that never sleeps? We’ve done the research… Here’s a rundown of some of the best, hidden gems in Manhattan.

Katana Kitten
531 Hudson Street, New York, NY 1001420 

New and not yet packed to the rafters, this kitsch little Asian-inspired cocktail bar in the West Village is making a name for itself among the bar community as a great, low-key hang out with a delicious menu of Highballs, including one on tap. The ceiling is hung with lights – making this a cosy spot for late night drinks and Japanese-inspired bar snacks. Feeling celebratory? Be sure to try the Lermeyer ¬– a half bottle of Krug and four shots of tequila. ($160 with proceeds going to a very worthy cause).

Bar Goto
245 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002

Bar Goto will take you unawares. Super-pared back, all warm wood, bench seating and just a few hallowed seats around the raised counter, this bar is well worth adding to your agenda and making the trip downtown. The owner – Kenta Goto is ex-Pegu Club, which means he is exceptionally well trained. His cocktail list is succinct and well planned and every drink is light, fresh and delicious. If you’re lucky enough to go at a time that you’re just verging on hungry – eat – the mackerel is probably the best thing we ate throughout our trip and he does something with celery that also deserves a round of applause. 

Peachy’s at Chinese Tuxedo
5 Doyers Street, New York, NY 10013

Technically a restaurant hidden away in the heart of China Town – the dining room itself is spectacular. All candlelit, faded glamour with palms as high as the ceiling and peeling plaster filled with bullet holes where the Triad’s did (or didn’t – we’re not getting involved) fought it out. We can not recommend this restaurant enough (eat the lettuce – who knew) but this is a Bars List so head downstairs to Peachy’s – a naughty little den filled with pink neons just crying out to be instagrammed. However, it brightly states – NO PHOTOS, NO FIGHTING – so there’s not much chance of researching in advance what you’re stepping into. As a tiny heads up – the bar is crammed full of flowers, bold, clashy wallpaper and the cocktails are definitely crowd pleasers but this trendy little joint is well worth a visit.

The Office at The Aviary at The Mandarin Oriental
80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

The Aviary is well documented as being one of the most prestigious bars in New York City. Killer views stretching across Manhattan and a whimsical cocktail list – this is NYC at it’s finest. But ask nicely (or get organised and make a reservation) and there’s a second bar within the Mandarin Oriental, which is warmer, darker, sexier and – stays open even later. The accomplished staff are happy to create drinks off-menu – something they call ‘Dealer’s Choice’ and you can rest assured you’re in safe hands. These drinks are perfectly balanced, grown up and delicious. A real treat.

Be the first through the door…

Peppi’s Cellar
406 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

So well-hidden it’s not even quite open yet, this brand new venue comes with some serious pedigree. From the award-winning restaurant team at Big Poppa’s and bar team from Baxter Inn in Sydney comes Gran Tivoli – an Italian restaurant in the heart of Nolita with a huge sweeping wooden counter, cosy little banquettes and – a brilliant bar in the basement. Not to hugely spoil the surprise but you might perhaps think this is simply a wine cellar. But no – there’s a reveal. A cavernous, brick-walled cocktail bar with a serious spirit selection and soon-to-be live jazz. Opening in the next week or so – it’s well worth knocking on the door and asking to get a sneak preview during their soft launch period.

For an alternative guide to New York, read more here

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