I’ve always loved the romance of the 1920’s, and the mystery of speakeasies. Finding these unique and amazing modern speakeasy bars is one of my favorite things to do in any city I find myself. They also tend to have some of the most artistic cocktails you’ll ever taste! The adventure of finding these bars, and cracking the code to gain access make it worth the cost of the $15 – $18+ drinks once you’re inside.
Here are the Top 10 Speakeasy Bars to (Try to) Find Around the World
#1 PDT – New York City
This speakeasy in New York City is reputed to be one of best bars in the entire country. Jim Meehan, formerly of Pegu Club and Gramercy Tavern, founded it and oversees the mixing of amazing and unique cocktails found once you get inside.
You enter through a vintage phone booth inside the East Village’s Crif Dogs. Simply enter the phone booth, pick up the receiver and you are connected to the host on the other side of the phone booth wall where you enter.
#2 Ladies and Gents bar – London
One of the best speakeasy bars to find, located inside what looks at first glance to be a public lavatory is a hidden gem of London! Featuring drinks mixed by William Borrell – one of the most well-known spirit makers in the world.
As long as you know it’s not a, “loo,” gaining access to this speakeasy is just a matter of walking inside.
#3 Ipswitch – San Francisco, CA
Inside Burbon & Branch (along with three other secret bars – The Library, Wilson & Wilson, and Russell’s Room) is another super hidden bar in the basement. One of the hardest speakeasy bars to find – you will need to book a large party in order to gain access/use of this speakeasy. To enter you will need to climb through a trap door in the main bar. I have to say, that is one of the most unique entrances I have seen!
I have a particular fondness for this speakeasy because it get’s its name from the actual speakeasy that used to be at Burbon & Branch during prohibition.
#4 28 Hongkong Street – Singapore
28 Hongkong Street is praised by many to be one of the best cocktail bars in Asia, regardless of being a speakeasy. The owners uphold the traditional setting of a speakeasy with the western feel and decor. On the menu is even a good fried chicken to make the U.S. atmosphere complete.
I searched the internet high and low and could not find a good description of how to find or enter this speakeasy! Just that the entrance is, “discrete,” and looks like an old shop from the outside.
#5 The Raines Law Room – New York City
The Raines Law was a first attempt at prohibition in 1896, years before it actually went into effect across the U.S. in 1920.
You enter through an unmarked door that looks like a common flat. This speakeasy is different for gaining access as you will need to make a reservation and they are only open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Definitely worth the trouble though, as Meaghan Dorman, 2016’s Imbibe bar tender of the year, will make you a personalized cocktail based on your unique tastes.
#6 Floreria Atlantico – Buenos Aires Argentina
At the top of the list for an amazing entrance – at Floreria Atlantico you go into a flower shop, find the refrigerator that is actually an elevator and descend into the bar below inside of it! The decor is magical with a theme of mythical sea monsters.
#7 Williams & Graham – Denver, CO
I love this speakeasy for its classic entrance; you can really imagine this being a secret prohibition bar in the 20’s. Inside a quiet bookstore, find the bookcase filled with cocktail recipes and prohibition books, pull the renowned cocktail book, Savoy, and the bookcase opens for you to enter!
#8 (And My Personal Favorite) Museum HR Giger Bar – Gruyeres Switzerland
H.R. Giger is the Swiss, “madman artist/designer probably best known for creating the aesthetic of the Alien series.” Everywhere you look you are surrounded by vertebrae and bones making it feel like you are inside one of the alien creatures Giger is so well known for. It’s amazingly artistic, and the atmosphere is second to none.
To find this bar, go to the HR Griger Museum, find a tiny alcove next to the main entrance. There are no more specifics given – so good luck!
Midnight Cowboy – Austin TX
This speakeasy in Austin, Texas used to be a brothel. They keep with that theme a bit with a red bulb outside the entrance that will start glowing when there is availability for another patron to enter. To enter buzz one of the aptly titled buttons marked, “Harry Craddock,” one of the most famous bartenders of all time.
They do recommend making a reservation on their website rather than waiting for the red light to signal that walk-ins are welcome.
Jules Basement – Mexico City
This speakeasy features dark angular and ultra modern decor -accented by giant pure white skulls under each table. It’s known for the jazz bands they have come through as often as they can.
Honorable Mention – Bank Bar – Manila, Phillipines
This Top 10 list wouldn’t be complete without an honorable mention of Bank Bar!
You enter through a 7-Eleven, what could be more unassuming than that! Once inside, greatly contrasting the entrance, you are surrounded by decadent velvet and marble decor. The short video below speaks for itself.
Speakeasies – Hard to get into yes, hard to find, mostly, amazing and unique places to check off while traveling? Yes yes! Finding one and gaining access is one of my favorite things to do when traveling or at home.
Thirsty for more inside knowledge of speakeasies around the world? You can read the full article featuring all 23 Here.
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