America's Secret Bars

America’s Secret Bars


The necessity of a speakeasy is gone. The entertainment value, however, remains. Sure it’s a little gimmicky, but there’s something cool about having a few drinks in a bar not too many people know about. The secret bar makes you feel like an insider and most serve up damn good drinks. Here are our picks for the best in the country.


Please Don’t Tell (NYC)

Please Don’t Tell, or “PDT” as it is commonly known, is probably the best known secret bar there is (oxymoron?). Assuming you can get reservations – they only take same day ones, phones open at 3pm and it’s not exactly easy to get through – you enter the bar through a phone booth in the back of a hot dog shop. Use the rotary dial on the phone and you’ll get a host who will let you in. Of course, the drinks are another selling point, especially the Bacon-Infused Old-Fashioned. PDTNYC

Photos: Yelp


Noble Experiment (San Diego)

Noble Experiment is awesome but is a tough sell because you have to enter through Neighborhood, a pretty solid craft beer bar. However, if you’re in the mood for cocktails and can get reservations, simply push on the wall of kegs by the bathroom (they seriously look just like stacks of old, empty kegs) and you’ll enter the intimate little venue. A giant wall of skulls will be your backdrop as you sip on seriously solid drinks. Ask for the Dealer’s Choice because the bartenders can whip up your new favorite drink right before your eyes. Noble Experiment

Photos: Yelp | Thrillist


The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. (Philadelphia)

Now that’s the kinda name we want in a speakeasy. The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. crafts the best cocktails in Philly and the dimly lit room feels exactly like a speakeasy should. Just don’t plan on ordering anything vodka based, The Franklin is giving a nod to American spirits. The Franklin Bar

Photos: Visit Philly


Wilson & Wilson Private Detective Agency (San Francisco)

This private detective agency is awful at hunting down criminals, luckily, they happen to be really great at whipping up drinks. Located within Bourbon & Branch, Wilson & Wilson is speakeasy that serves up some deliciously strong drinks. Just select your choice out of the documents in your case file (a bit cheesy we admit, but fun) and make a night of it. The Wilson Bar

Photos: The Tender | Liquor


Williams & Graham (Denver)

Complete with a classic bookcase/hidden door, Williams & Graham delivers the modern speakeasy experience to you. Using seasonal fruits and veggies, the mad scientists behind the bar will craft something wonderful for you to get a buzz off of. They also happen to have outstanding and inventive food to accompany your beverages. Williams and Graham

Photos: The Denver Dish


Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar (Chicago)

Hidden behind an unmarked door in a small liquor shop is one of the best bars in Chicago. Unlike a lot of modern speakeasies, the crafted cocktails don’t take center stage (though they are really good). Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar has what many others on this list don’t: An amazing draft list. If you’re a craft beer geek who would rather have some 3 Floyds than something crafted by a mixologist, this is your spot. Community Bar

Photos: Chicago Mag


The Gibson (Washington DC)

Just look for an unmarked door on 14th Street and you’ve found The Gibson (or someone’s house). The Gibson nails the speakeasy feel. It’s like you’ve been shot back to the 20’s only with crazier drinks. It’s dark, quiet, and relaxing and definitely worth making reservations for. The Gibson

Photos: Yelp | DC Clubbing


Death + Company (NYC)

Besides the great name, we love Death + Company for the mood. The music is perfect and fitting (Bowie and the like), the curtains and lighting give the space a mysterious vibe, and you feel like you are honestly in another era. Drinks are remarkable as are the items off the small bites menu. Death and Company

Photos: Obslyfe | Yelp


Blind Barber (LA & NYC)

A hidden bar is about the only thing that would make us want to visit a place named Blind Barber. Enter through the front of the barbershop and proceed through a secret door in the back to a watering hole that dwarfs the hair cuttery in the front. Drinks with names like “Batman” and “Smoke & Dagger” sound diabolically delicious, and you don’t need a hair appointment to go and enjoy one. Of course, there are worse options than getting a clean shave and a proper buzz. Blind Barber

Photos: LA Times | Societe Perrier


PX (Alexandria, VA.)

Look for the blue light outside a nondescript door to light up, and you’ll know PX is open. Inside you’ll find a quiet and classy space that is perfect for a relaxing evening. Drinks are concocted with house-made bitters and juices, everyone is well-dressed, and everything that touches your lips tastes fresh and exciting. PX