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January 21, 2015updated Dec 20, 2023

The 7 Best Bars in New York

By Neharika Padala

Take a bite out of the big apple and enjoy the staggering amount of options available when drinking in New York City.

Like most other facets of New York, the bar scene is ever in motion, with many taking creativity to new heights. You can expect to enjoy stunning views through the floor-to-ceiling windows whilst sipping on speciality cocktails at The Top of the Standard. Or admire the artwork of Maxfield Parrish at King Cole Bar and enjoy the signature drink, the Red Snapper.

Whether you are looking for cocktails, wine or beer, here is our guide to the best bars in New York.


Image credit: The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Named after Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the classic Madeline children’s books, Bemelmans Bar continues to attract socialites, movie stars and politicians just to name a few.

The bar boasts an art-deco interior with brown leather banquettes, nickel-trimmed black glass table tops and a 24-karat gold leaf covered ceiling.

The extensive drink menu and nightly live entertainment ensures your stay at Bemelmans Bar will be a night to remember.


Enjoy the stunning city views whilst sipping on cocktails at The Top of the Standard.

Guests are welcomed by live jazz music, a small-plate menu and speciality cocktails such as ‘Bring on the night’, a mix of vodka, lime essence, bourbon barrel sugar and tarragon.

The floor to ceiling windows ensure you’re able to witness the dramatic views turn truly magical at sundown, while the inside boasts a triangular hot tub in the middle of the main room.

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Image credit: Andaz 5th Avenue

Image credit: Andaz 5th Avenue

Situated within Andaz 5th Avenue, this chic Midtown East bar proudly serves a selection of premium cocktails, fine wines and beers.

As well as this, they also offer a creative menu featuring shareable dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

The Manhattan lounge wines are chosen in a similar way – each for their individuality and value. So you can expect to enjoy a cocktail from small batch liquor and infused with the same herbs used in the kitchen.


The King Cole Bar333

Image credit: King Cole Bar, St. Regis, New York

This upscale cocktail lounge situated in The St. Regis in Midtown Manhattan is where the Bloody Mary made its first U.S. appearance.

In 1934, St. Regis bartender Fernand Petiot introduced the vodka and tomato juice cocktail but since ‘Bloody Mary’ was deemed too vulgar for the hotel’s elegant King Cole Bar, the drink was rechristened ‘Red Snapper’.

Over the years the spicy drink has become the signature of the King Cole Bar. The lounge also boasts a large mural by artist Maxfield Parrish hanging behind the bar.


Image credit: Langham Place Fifth Avenue

Image credit: Langham Place Fifth Avenue

The seasonal drink menu at this stylish and comfortable lounge includes a wide selection of Old and New world wines and a craft beer menu.

Situated in the Langham Hotel, guests can enjoy live jazz performances every evening from 8-11pm.


Image credit: Mayahuel

Image credit: Mayahuel

The softly lit cocktail bar, dark wooded bar tops and rows of bar stools create a warm and cosy ambience.

The red stained-glass lighting lends a rosy glow to the low ceilinged room, while the menu boasts an array of cocktails like you’ve never seen them before.

Unusual mixes include drinks such as the ‘Greenhosue Garden’, a combination of blanco tequila, Thai basil, infused blan vermouth, Lemon Verbena, Ginger, Lemon and Ango bitters.


Image credit: The Palm Court at The Plaza

If you’re looking for an opulent setting to relax and enjoy a cocktail in, The Palm Court at The Plaza is the one for you.

Recently relaunched by Geoffrey Zakarianm, The Palm Court has undergone a complete renovation. The cocktail list honors the previous libations served at The Plaza over the last century whilst showcasing the new golden age of the cocktail.

Sit back on the upholstered furniture while you admire the gleaming chandeliers and soaring ceilings. The stained glass windows and impressive height add a touch of old New York glamour, creating a modern sense of hospitality.

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