Please Don’t Tell

We’re calling this the most famously secret speakeasy on our list, and a must-go for every New Yorker. Surreptitiously known as PDT, the East Village bar is hidden in the back of Crif Dog. Reservations are a necessity but can only be made over the phone. As if it were 2004, they only have one line so be prepared to hear the dial tone and call back multiple times. Vegans be warned that the dark ambiance is accompanied by taxidermy raccoons, owls, jackelope, and other animals we’re not quite sure of.  Their menu comes from the Crif Dog kitchen with items that are only available at PDT like a bacon-wrapped dog with kimichi on top or a deep fried dog with black beans and salsa. Of course, they specialize in cocktails—their seasonal list of top-notch drinks is always changing.

Please Don’t Tell – Website 113 St. Marks Place, NY, NY


The Garret Less pretentious and more accessible than Please Don’t Tell, The Garret, where walk-ins are welcome, is above the Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the West Village. The attractive décor showcasing local artists makes up for the small, sometimes crowded space. We recommend reliving your college days, at this Speakeasy in NYC, by ordering an upscale, adult-version of a pickle back—it’s brined pickles made with dill, coriander, garlic, and clove served with a shot of whiskey. Make sure to get some French fries from Five Guys on your way up or grab a slice of Bleecker Street Pizza on the way if you’re hungry since they don’t offer a food menu.  

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The Garret Bar – Website
296 Bleecker Street, NY, NY


Raines Law Room

With an unmarked door leading to a basement, this Union Square speakeasy is certainly one of the most difficult to find on our list. Unless you have a reservation, be prepared for a long wait, but I promise it’s worth it. The secluded booths are equipped with doorbells to ring your waiter over to your table. In addition to the well-crafted drink menu, the romantic atmosphere makes it the perfect date spot—boys, take note.

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Raines Law Room – Website 48 West 17th St, NY, NY


Back Room  This bar is pretty unique since it is one of two speakeasies from the Prohibition that are still running. Similar to Raines Law Room, this place is difficult to find, but the suspicious alleyway is all part of the experience. This Lower East Side gem embraces their history with an original 1920s vibe complete with vintage décor. All of their drinks are served in teacups to keep with the Prohibition theme. Your high school U.S. history teacher would be proud.

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The Back Room – Website
102 Norfolk St, NY, NY


Bohemian: so exclusive they don’t even have a website…

This exclusive speakeasy is referral-only, meaning you can only go if you know someone who has dined there before. Don’t be discouraged by having to make your reservation a few weeks in advance. The small, quiet and intimate NoHo restaurant that’s hidden behind a butcher shop is known for their Japanese cuisine, so come hungry. We recommend reserving a table with a significant other for a special occasion and ordering the tasting menu, which comes with six plates. For a reasonably priced $58, you’ll try: Vegetable Fondue, Uni Croquette, Washu Beef Short Rib Sashimi, Pan-Roasted Branzino, Sashimi Rice Bowl, and Yuzu Panna Cotta.

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About The Author

Profile photo of Taylor

Texas native, NYU grad, and lover of sprinkles. Trying to expand my palette to be more than bagels and desserts.