magazine | Food & Drinks | Bar / Club / Lounges

All of the Speakeasies & Hidden Bars You Need to Visit ASAP

photo: Serge Technau
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, you’ll have to walk into at least one of these. From moody spaces with faded wallpaper walls and velvet settees to tiny hideaways with glossy leather banquettes and mirrored ceilings, there’s every shade of glamour and flash to be found within the walls of these worldwide speakeasies. There’s a floppy disk repair shop that’s actually a bar in Austin. There’s a secret taqueria that makes delicious cocktails in the heart of Paris. There’s a fancy umbrella storefront that doesn’t sell umbrellas in Hong Kong. There are places small enough for your entire friend group to takeover along with plenty of spots offerings punch bowls best enjoyed by four or more.

Some of these speakeasies were brought back from last year's list by popular demand, some were submitted by you, our trusted readers, and some came our way by super secret sources that we can't disclose, but we are disclosing the passwords, tricks and tips of finding and entering these 46 hidden bars and speakeasies

Reporter: Alyssa Brown
Photo: Bank Bar
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Bank Bar

Manila, Philippines
Next time you make your way to Manila, hobble up to this bar where you might just find us sippin’ on some sizzurp. Most of the bars in this city feel a bit secretive and hidden, but Bank Bar is really the top of the game as far as beautiful cocktails served in a luxurious, cream-of-the-crop setting goes.
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Jules Basement

Mexico City, Mexico
An artsy, glamorous space sits just below a taco shop in Mexico City. It’s here that you’ll find some of the city’s best mixologists, ready to concoct anything from a mezcal negroni to a champagne cocktail.
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Mr. Simon

Udine, Italy
Shrouded in secrecy to the point of being hidden down some alleyway with a doorbell in the village of Udine, this gorgeous place is the imagined apartment of one elusive Mr. Simon, said to be a botanical alchemist who crafts a mean cocktail. You’ll have to call ahead for a reservation to imbibe in this gorgeous space, but once inside you’ll be wowed by the collection of eclectic art, travel souvenirs and beautiful surroundings of cloud wallpaper and velvety seats.

Project by Visual Display
Photo: Candelaria
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Candelaria

Paris, France
Paris is one of the best places in the world to visit underground bars, hidden speakeasies and secret clubs. Always at the top of our list when we visit the City of Lights, Candelaria’s cocktail bar focus is agave-centric. Plus, this spot churns out some of the best tacos in town.
Photo: Palmer & Co.
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Palmer & Co.

Sydney, NSW, Australia
How to get to Palmer & Co.: walk down an alleyway, through a nondescript door and underneath the city streets. Simple enough. Cocktails and spirits are the stars of the show here but champagne ranks pretty high as well – explore their large bubbly selection for a special treat. Self described as, "An underground prohibition-style bar, celebrating a time when booze was banned, yet free-flowing," this spot sounds like the kind of place you need to be at. 
Photo: Robert Benson
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Noble Experiment

San Diego, California
Okay, so this spot is no well-kept secret (hot tip: book ahead), but we’re still going to file it under the speakeasy category. Accessed via a wall of kegs next to the bathroom at The Neighborhood, Noble Experiment is a curated experience for those who step into the skull-walled space with white leather banquettes and a golden candlelit glow. You’ll definitely want to get the bartender’s advice on what to order, as there are over 700 drinks on the menu.
Photo: Sarah King
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The Blind Rabbit

Anaheim, California
These cocktails are on fire, y’all. Literally, some of the cocktails at The Blind Rabbit are lit up in flames before making their way to your seat. Do yourself a solid and find your way to this cozy, dimly lit Anaheim bar and treat yourself to something fiery, shaken or stirred.
Photo: Jesse Endahl
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Floppy Disk Repair Co.

Austin, Texas
Sure, go on and tell yourself you’re about to step foot into an actual floppy disk repair shop, one that requires a keyed code to enter. Should you be surprised to find instead a bar within these doors, don’t say we didn’t warn ya.
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The Pharmacy

Orlando, Florida
With its hand-crafted tinctures, tonics and elixirs, The Pharmacy strives to cure whatever ails you. Located just beyond a false elevator door, this speakeasy offers some of the best cocktails in town, with fabulous food to match.
Photo: Blind Barber
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Blind Barber

Chicago, Illinois
While most modern-day speakeasies have fake storefronts, this Chi-Town barbershop is all real. Pop in for a trim, a haircut or a shave before heading into the back room for a tipple. 
Photo: Evans & Peel
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Evans & Peel

London, United Kingdom
While we’d love to think the detective agency of Evans & Peel handles cold cases like our London favorites Luther and Sherlock, this office is the cool coverup for a bar. There’s no telling what you’ll find when you stumble inside, as anything from live music to mystery solving may be taking place. Or, you know, you could just get a drink and sit at the bar.
Photo: Clayton Hauck
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Golden Teardrops at Lonesome Rose

Chicago, Illinois
Located in the basement of Logan Square’s Lonesome Rose, this speakeasy is one of the city’s better-kept secrets. Once you find your way down the alley to the entryway, hop in for a nightcap and choose a drink from one of the four-ingredient classics on the small menu.
Photo: Le Lion
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Le Lion

Hamburg, Germany
This Parisian style bar in the heart of Hamburg is perhaps most known for its gin basil smash cocktail. With every wall surface covered in some kind of antique-like wallpaper, the vibe at Le Lion Bar de Paris is so very speakeasy.
Photo: Attaboy
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Attaboy

New York, New York
Neither a secret bar nor impossible to find, Attaboy still manages to have a speakeasy feel. The vibe inside feels like a mix of old school NY and modern-day, while the cocktails are always well crafted.
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Florería Atlántico

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Located just near the docks of Buenos Aires, this speakeasy blends flowers, music, booze, and a love of the sea in a space that feels like you could just as easily be below deck. There’s a ton of international influence at Florería Atlántico, with nods to different cultures spotted throughout the menus.
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The Garret West Village

New York, New York
Though most speakeasies we know are tucked into basements and windowless spaces, this one is on the second story of a corner building in the West Village. Not only does sun shine through the windows, but there’s a skylight too. The cozy nest at The Garrett West Village is a cocktail bar that rivals most others in the city, with bartenders that are seriously worth their salt.
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The Croft Institute

Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Tucked down a winding Chinatown alley, this laid back bar looks like an old school science lab complete with a curious collection of glassware. Don't expect the standard menu offerings, the cocktails are designed by the team to suit your mood and tastebuds that night. More into beer or wine? They have that too. 
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Justine's Secret House

Austin, Texas
Not to be confused with the brasserie by the same name (and owners), Justine’s Secret House is exactly as it sounds – a rustic, Victorian house with spacious rooms, a New Orleans style courtyard and eclectic collections of taxidermy and vintage furnishings. It’s not your typical speakeasy, but it’s a great spot to rent out for a night and create your own speakeasy scene.
Photo: madaboutgin
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The Washhouse

Manchester, United Kingdom
A fake laundromat fronts this hidden Manchester bar. Just take a wander past the guy who’s doing his actual laundry and call back to the bartender to be let into the warm speakeasy space.
Photo: Foxglove
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Foxglove

Hong Kong
The most beautiful umbrella shop you ever did see is the fake storefront for Foxglove, Hong Kong’s hidden speakeasy where cocktails are named after the year of their creation. Check the calendar here, as there’s a ton of good music and entertainment.
Photo:Adam Szafranski for The Venue Report
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Bathtub Gin & Co.

Seattle, Washington
There’s a small wooden door just down the alley between First and Second Avenue, north of Blanchard Street in Belltown. Open this door and you’ll find your way into Seattle’s Bathtub Gin & Co., where the selection of gin runs from everything local to London’s finest. Make your way to the back library space, head upstairs for a peek at the pine bar or get cozy in the main lounge zone.
Photo: The Cloak Bar
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The Cloak Bar

Toronto, ON, Canada
Underneath a restaurant, down a staircase, between the bar and kitchen, and through a curtain is a speakeasy serving a collection of creative and classic drinks. Dimly lit, The Cloak Bar's cozy interiors are perfect for date night or a night out with friends (may we suggest the punch bowls). Inside tip: You can order food late night (until 2am).
Photo: Vault & Vator
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Vault & Vator

Greenville, South Carolina
Book a private event, take a cocktail class or simply show up and enjoy a few delicious drinks in a space that’s dark, moody and perfect for a late-night hang. At Vault & Vator, you can roll up to the bar and simply describe the flavors you like and let the mixologist get creative.
Photo: Le Syndicat
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Le Syndicat

Paris, France
Though we typically think of speakeasies as an American thing, this French cocktail bar’s focus is on all things made in France. French spirits and local ingredients are used exclusively at Le Syndicat, an underground bar that feels nothing if not Parisian.
Photo:Nicky Harrison
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Uptown & The Bronx

Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you’re feeling far from NYC while visiting Buenos Aires, just pop into this subway recreation in Palermo. From the moment you walk through the turnstiles to taking your seat in the subway car bar, you’re sure to be reminded of New York at every turn.
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Prohibition

Vancouver, BC, Canada
This Vancouver gem is a throwback to the age of decadence, glamour and prosperity of the 1920's. Live music and sleek interiors create an intimate, sophisticated ambiance reminiscent of the era's speakeasies. Modern craft cocktail creations and traditional drinks fill the menu to bring a touch of old and new to Prohibition. Intrigued? Enter off of Howe Street to check it out. 
Photo: Serge Technau
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Mr. Smith

Maastricht, Netherlands
With dim lighting, chesterfield benches, velvet poufs and just a few seats at the bar, this 38-seat vaulted cellar sets a mood that’s almost mischievous. Mr. Smith in Maastricht’s Wyck neighborhood is dimly lit and not the easiest place to find, but makes an excellent spot for a nightcap once you get inside.
Photo: The Maven Bar
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The Maven Bar

Leeds, United Kingdom
The Maven is a two floor restaurant and cocktail bar situated in a victorian building overlooking Call Lane. The famous first floor cocktail bar is discreetly located and offers a twist on vintage and classic cocktails. Hungry? The mediterranean restaurant is found on the second floor. 
Photo: The Varnish
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The Varnish

Los Angeles, California
Tucked into East Sixth Street in DTLA, The Varnish is a classic speakeasy with live music Sundays through Wednesdays and really good cocktails. Take a seat in one of the wooden booths and let the bartender come up with something that suits your mood.
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Golden Moon Speakeasy

Golden, Colorado
This spot is part distillery tasting room and part cocktail bar, all rolled up in one cool speakeasy inspired package. Do yourself a favor and head here on a night when there’s live music so you can get the full action-packed experience.
Photo: The Blind Pig
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The Blind Pig

St. Helier, Jersey
Located on the island of Jersey in the English Channel, The Blind Pig is a small hidey-hole of a bar that’s got a real 1920s look. Should you become a regular ‘round these parts, you might find yourself lucky enough to score a lockbox for your own stash of booze.
Photo: Jimmy's Bar
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Jimmy's Bar

Frankfurt, Germany
If a posh cigar lounge, craft cocktail spot and a late-night piano bar had a bar baby, they’d most definitely name it Jimmy. This Frankfurt spot is best to hit after ten at night, when the pianist gets going on the keys and the space fills up with night owls.
Photo: The 18th Room
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The 18th Room

New York, New York
History reminder: it was the 18th amendment that kicked off prohibition back in the day. So, the name of this little gin joint in Chelsea is totally on-point. We’re usually headed here for the personalized cocktails, but there’s also a mean list of classics on offer.
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Peter Kern Library

Knoxville, Tennessee
Being well read proves cool at this Knoxville speakeasy inside The Oliver Hotel, where cocktails take their names from famous literary characters and menus are hidden inside antique books. Peter Kern Library isn’t exactly the kind of place you’ll want to cozy up with a book to read, but you’re sure to walk out with at least a story or two to tell.
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Hanson’s Shoe Repair

Orlando, Florida
Set inside one of the oldest buildings in downtown Orlando, this old shoe repair shop dates back to 1894. Now the site of a password-access speakeasy, Hanson’s makes a most excellent stop for libations with friends.
Photo: Paschall Bar
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Paschall Bar

Denton, Texas
Seasonally changing cocktails, a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and a seriously gorgeous parlor space filled with books and antiques keep people coming back to Paschall Bar time and time again. Located on Denton Square, this building dates back to 1877 and has lived plenty of lives since to tell a story or two.
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The Bible Club

Portland, Oregon
With stacked collections of vintage tchotchkes, it seems that even the ice is stylized at Portland’s favorite speakeasy, The Bible Club. This spot isn’t a huge secret, but instead it’s one of the more welcoming bars in Sellwood, serving a range of cocktails even a whiskey novice could enjoy.
Photo: Stockton
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Stockton

Hong Kong
Set just near Hong Kong’s Botanical Gardens, Stockton feels like a tribute to American culture with an almost tongue-in-cheek approach (note the painting of Bill Murray as a Napoleonic war hero that hangs inside). The cocktail presentations here are top of the line, and the menu includes highlights like a buttermilk fried chicken burger.
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Midnight Cowboy

Austin, Texas
Austin does seem to be a bit of a mecca for secret bars, and Midnight Cowboy may just take the cake. Located on bustling Sixth Street, this tiny hidden wallpapered room is filled with black leather banquettes where conversation is held at a close distance and drinks are best savored. 
Photo: Melissa Hom
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Three Dots and a Dash

Chicago, Illinois
For all things Tiki and tropical in Chicago, look no further than this underground bar in River North. The mugs here are almost as good as the actual cocktails, which range from rum soaked to sweet and spicy.
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Alcohol by Volume

Manila, Philippines
Prohibition Era New York is the inspiration behind this chandelier-lit bar in Manila. You’ll enter through an antique elevator shaft and make your way to the bar for a look through the “Bible,” a long list of craft beers, absinthes, signature cocktails and old classics.
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Eleven Twenty Two

Paso Robles, California
There are 30 seats at this small speakeasy behind Pappy McGregor’s Irish Pub in Paso Robles. To snag one, you’ll have to find your way through the pub, ring a doorbell that’s attached to a lightbulb and wait for a doorman to open the door. Once inside, classic cocktails like mint juleps and French 75s are served alongside the mixologist’s highlights like chai tea infused armagnac.
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The Marble Ring

Birmingham, Alabama
Getting into The Marble Ring involves talking to some guy with a code, entering a secret phone booth and something referred to as “hot diggity dog”. But, once you’re inside, you can cozy up to the fireplace and relax with a good, stiff drink. 
Photo:Anthony Farinas
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The Drifter

Chicago, Illinois
Located in the basement of the Green Door Tavern, this is the kind of bar where the phrase, “pick a card, any card,” has a whole new meaning. In fact, there are over a hundred cocktails listed on the backs of tarot cards at The Drifter. And for your entertainment pleasure, there’s often some kind of live music or performance happening.
Photo: Panda & Sons
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Panda & Sons

Edinburgh, Scotland
What do panda illustrations, good haircuts and tasty cocktails have in common? Let us know when you figure it out, because we’re sure there’s some kind of riddle attached to this Edinburgh speakeasy where those three things seem to go hand-in-hand. We’re really just here because we heard there’s a cocktail with lemon curd.
Photo: Ciro's
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Ciro's

Tampa, Florida
Pressed tin ceilings and Edison lightbulbs give this Tampa Bay speakeasy a golden glow. Hot tip for all you revelers out there: Just beyond the bookcase is a private lounge you can take over if you’re celebrating something with friends.

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