Hidden Hot Spots in New York

Everyone knows that no self-respecting establishment would ever have a straightforward, easy-to-find street entrance. Or so it seems, as these speakeasy-style restaurants and bars hide themselves like opium dens, hoping that only the coolest, most plugged-in New Yorkers will find them. Well, we know where the best ones are, and now so do you. (Photo: The intentionally hard-to-find Cienfuegos in the East Village)

Updated: June 22, 2010

Hidden Restaurants in New York


Sakagura

211 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

A small gold sign leads through the lobby to this hidden treasure of sake and sashimi in midtown.


Freemans

Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002

The beautiful, the hip and the well-informed know the way to this hunter-chic eatery is at the end of a dead-end alley of the same name.


La Esquina Taqueria

106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

This basement taqueria is one of of the most talked-about secret restaurant/bars in the city, though finding it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get in.


Burger Joint

118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Just about everyone in midtown has searched out this unassuming burger joint--and they can't help but find their way back.


202

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Hidden away in a boutique in Chelsea Market, this secret spot makes a lamb burger that's one of the best in the city and serves brunch all day.


Zenkichi

77 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

There's no sign on the wood-paneled exterior of this romantic Japanese restaurant--look for the hostess at the red rope.


Secret Bars in New York


Angel's Share

8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

Cocktail aficionados pass through a Japanese restaurant to get to this hidden mixing mecca in the East Village--and happily wait for the privilege.


Back Room

102 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002

The very definition of a hidden hot spot, this gilded speakeasy's entrance is through a gate marked "Lower East Side Toy Company," but you may find some playthings there nonetheless.


Milk and Honey

134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

You'll have to dig up the phone number, search out the doorway and adhere to strict house rules to get at Sasha Petraske's super-secret cocktail lounge.


Marlow & Sons

81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Keep walking past the shelves of this specialty food shop, and you'll stumble upon Brooklyn's coziest wine and oyster bar, thoughtfully hidden from the teeming masses.


Cienfuegos

95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Don't be fooled by the fake Avenue A address--the entrance to this rum-centric cocktail bar is in the back of the Cuban sandwich shop, Carteles, on Sixth Street.


The Blind Barber

339 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009

At the back of a tidy East Village barbershop, a sliding door reveals large, parquet-floored speakeasy with Victorian couches and booths where DJs spin for the in-the-know.


Sl

409 W 14th St, New York, NY 10014

How do you hide a 2,200-square-foot club in the Meatpacking District? Beneath the star-studded restaurant, Abe & Arthur's, of the same owners. Bring that Amex black card.


The SubMercer

147 1/2 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

Stumble upon the door bearing 147 ? with an attitude that says you own the joint, take the freight elevator down, make two lefts, then a right and you'll find this underground den of cool.