King Cole Bar

This landmark bar in the luxurious St. Regis hotel off Fifth Avenue is beloved by tourists and Manhattan wage slaves, as well as celebs and the city elite. The place buzzes with merriment every night. The wood-paneled room located just off the lush lobby is dominated by artist Maxfield Parrish’s massive mural depicting Old King…

Raines Law Room

NYC’s sexiest cocktail bar is named for the 1896 NY State law prohibiting the sale of liquor on Sundays except in hotels, thereby producing  a sudden spate of bars with beds upstairs. Raines Law Room in Chelsea is a swank, new-era speakeasy with old style touches starting with its unmarked black door at the bottom…

Little Branch

You may walk by the Little Branch a few times before you realize you’ve found the discreetly marked entrance. And then the doorman may make you wait outside until someone leaves — an indication of just how popular this underground lair is. But get in you must. When finally admitted, down a steep staircase you…

Prohibition Creamery

When Aspen’s famous J-Bar converted to a soda fountain during Prohibition, the booze still flowed – under cover of ice cream – and the Aspen Crud cocktail, basically a bourbon-infused milkshake, has been a hit ever since. This, plus years of home experimentation of my own, has proven that two of life’s delectable riches can…

The Cruise Room

Water has always been a precious commodity in the high-desert city of Denver, and what with the many nautically named bars and restaurants, it seems like an obsession: Oceanaire, Ocean Prime, The Ship Tavern, Adrift, Aqua Lounge. The Cruise Room bar at the Oxford Hotel probably has the most authentic watery derivation – it opened…

Williams & Graham

Denver’s premier speakeasy-style bar opened to raves in 2011 and just keeps getting better. In fact, it was named Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Spirited Awards. It’s easy to see why. The staff: bartenders, waiters and hosts are genuinely friendly and knowledgeable – eager to make your visit an enjoyable experience. The entrance…

Monk’s Cafe

  Not the fictional coffee shop featured on Seinfeld, this real Monk’s Café in Philly is considered by many to be the best Belgian Café outside Belgium — and the first to popularize Belgian beers in America. Opened 19 years ago by Tom Peters, this award-winning bar in Rittenhouse Square is small and dark inside,…

Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog

  Once you visit the Dead Rabbit, you realize that all of the hype you’ve been hearing about the place is true. Here is a truly authentic Irish bar, created by two amiable gents from the auld sod, in a 188-year-old brownstone in Lower Manhattan’s Water Street. The first floor Tap Room is a sawdust-floored…

PDT (Please Don’t Tell)

  Go to the East Village in New York City. Find the hotdog-shaped sign that says, “Eat Me” and duck into the Crif Dogs hotdog shop, a popular neighborhood take-out. Find the telephone booth. Pick up the phone and dial. Those are enough clues for you to find what is perhaps NYC’s quintessential secret bar….

Chumley’s

  This once-tattered, dark and smoky West Village speakeasy had been a beloved haunt for poets, novelists, journalists and activists since it opened in 1922. Willa Cather, e.e. Cummings, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, Ring Lardner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O’Neill, John Dos Passos, and John Steinbeck are just the shortlist of literary greats who hung out…

Employees Only

  Is Employees Only the best bar in the world? Serious cocktail enthusiasts seem to think so. And so do other bartenders from around the world – and local bar workers after their shifts — who stop by to pay homage to this much-lauded drinkery West Village. The suave, white-jacketed bar team cranks out top-notch…

Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern is the oldest bar in the oldest building in New York City. It was built as a residence in 1719 by Stephen DeLancey, using imported Dutch bricks, and subsequently converted into a tavern in 1762 by Samuel Fraunces. The place has been humming (and sometimes blasting) with activity ever since — and boy,…