America’s Secret Bars

americas-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-Dont-Tell-NYC

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 (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



Franklin-Mortgage-Investment-Co-Philadelphia

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

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-and-Graham-Denver

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



Marias-Packaged-Goods-Community-Bar-Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Kyle

    Alchemy in Tallahassee

  • Stu

    The Varnish in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s in the back room of Cole’s Restaurant.

  • Jason

    The speakeasy in Salt Lake City, UT.

  • SaucissonSec

    Backbar in Somerville, MA.

  • theshah2002

    Employees Only – NYC
    Orient Express – NYC
    Cash Bar – NYC

    Just adding a few more.

  • Kyle

    Manifesto in Kansas City is another great one, hidden in a hotel basement.

  • josh

    there’s a bar called the screening room in circleville oh. they have a projector that plays sports and has movie theater seats and a bar.

  • S.P.

    And not a single bar from Seattle?

  • Chris

    The SafeHouse in Milwaukee

  • rudeboi

    It Don’t Mean a Thing, the best Cosmos on the planet. Now see if you can find it.

  • http://futureisfiction.com/blog daretoeatapeach

    All of Bourbon and Branch is a former speakeasy, not just Wilson & Wilson. The outside of B&B only has one sign, and it says something like “Neighborhood Temperance League.” The room I’ve been in most is accessed by a hidden door that looks like a bookcase. You have to know the password to get in, and it changes nightly.

    Also, their cocktails are amazing. Their bartenders consistently win accolades for being among the best in the country.

  • Daneel

    Tavern Law has an upstairs bar like this. Can only get in if someone already there lets you in when you phone them

  • TEX

    BLACK SWAN SALOON DALLAS TX

  • Amy

    No love for Seattle, huh?

  • justin

    Quarry House in Silver Spring, MD.

  • SEAN, DUH

    Marvel Bar – Mpls

  • luly

    Justine’s in Olneyville, Providence, Rhode Island

  • Clay

    The Safe House Milwaukee, WI

  • TJ

    Patterson House in Nashville is AMAZING

  • JRHayes

    Hanson’s Shoe Repair, downtown Orlando.

  • Charlie

    Single Barrel, San Jose, CA. In the basement of an old two-story brick building with almost no doors or windows and no identification at all. One tiny “Single Barrel” sign over the one door. You have to know where to look, no reservations, limited capacity, the line is often more than one hour long.

  • thebank21@gmail.com

    Surprised you missed Untitled in (River North) Chicago…

  • Chase

    How did Franklin Mortgage get mentioned over Hop Sing Laundromat in Philly!?

  • Tom

    Prohibition in Atlanta, Entrance is a red phone booth and you only get in if you call the right number.

  • Snow

    Daneel is so full of shit. It’s not a secret that this place is a bar, and you don’t need to know anyone to get in. Anyone from the GD Streets can waltz into this place. Drinks are lacking, and very overly priced. Not worth the hassle and time.

  • Snow

    Bathtub Gin & Co in Belltown.
    2205 2nd Ave
    Seattle, WA 98121(206) 728-6069

  • Snow

    Bathtub Gin & Co in Belltown.
    2205 2nd Ave
    Seattle, WA 98121
    (206) 728-6069

    Needle & Thread (through the entrance of Tavern Law bar downstairs). You’ll have to call ahead for a reservation though. You’d better be an afficianado of Cocktails, don’t even waste their time if you haven’t had a cocktail before.
    1406 12th Ave
    (between Union St & Pike St)
    Seattle, WA 98122
    Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
    (206) 325-0133

    Knee High Stocking Co.
    1356 E Olive Way
    (between Bellevue & Melrose)
    Seattle, WA 98122
    Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
    (206) 979-7049

    Seriously though.. look on Yelp! for more secret bars in your area. They aren’t all “that” secret to be honest.

    I’m a big fan of the 1920′s-1950′s bar scenes, Jazz, etc.

  • Jose

    Harry’s Chocolate Shop in West Lafayette, IN is Purdue University’s best bar and used to be a speakeasy.

  • http://dbakeca.com Dbakeca Italia

    nice bar

  • BedfordBoy

    Fellini’s 9 1/2 Charlottesville, VA
    Small speakeasy lounge.

  • Carrie Beeder

    Hi Dive Denver

  • RoyaleWithCheese

    Ace Gillettes in Fort Collins, CO

  • Adam

    These don’t seem like speakeasy’s to me, rather legit bars with a gimmicky “speakeasy” feel. I was recently in the basement of a local establishment in PDX where all the drinks are free, but you are encouraged to leave a donation as you leave. People were smoking cigarettes and marijuana openly. There were also rules such as not being allowed to try the same drink twice until you’ve had them all. This place is actually a speakeasy as it isn’t licensed, which makes it all the more b.a., if you ask me.

  • khudeejah

    nice picture and posts

  • Beenie

    Saloon in Somerville, MA