Best Bars In Midtown Manhattan, NY
Enjoy the best vibes and spectacular liquid refreshments at these popular Midtown Bars.
Crimson and Rye - Midtown East
Brought to you by noted chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer, Crimson and Rye has fast become a favorite of the East Side's trendy after-work crowd. Two of the big reasons for this cocktail lounge's success is the gorgeous,on-point ambiance and the delicious and original craft cocktails being served.
The location has quite an interesting story behind it as well. Crimson and Rye is nestled inside the huge lobby of the Lipstick building. An interesting piece of architecture, the building, which has 34 floors, receives its' name from the edifice's shape and color which resembles a tube of lipstick.
The building's exterior consists of a continuous wall of red ,enameled imperial granite and steel. The entire aesthetic is quite different from the other, somewhat nondescript, office towers that inhabit the neighborhood. Home to the usual corporate suspects, the Lipstick building's claim to fame, (or infamy) is that none other than Bernie Madoff had his offices here for many years.
A horse shoe shaped bar, comfy leather armchairs and soft lighting create an atmosphere that encourages patrons to sit back, relax and stay awhile. Although the hustle and bustle of the New York business world is only a few feet away in the lobby, you feel as if you're a world removed from everything.
The bartenders have a feel for what makes customers happy, besides a good, strong drink. If you're in the mood to talk, they will happily chat with you. But should you and your companion wish to have some alone time, they are down with that vibe,as well. And, the barkeeps are always available to suggest just the right libation to suit your taste and mood.
At first, Charlie Palmer wasn't sure what to call his new lounge. Then it came to him; Crimson (as in lipstick red) and Rye (which is a widely cultivated cereal grass used for making whisky.).
In addition to their unbeatable selection of cocktails, they have over 40 small batch whiskies in stock.
Instead of the usual Saturday night movie and dinner, why not plan to spend some time at Crimson and Rye? From 7:30 pm to 10:30 PM you can enjoy live Jazz music as well as half-priced draught beer and selected wines.
Got the start of the work week Monday blues? Well, there's no better cure than Buck a Shuck night at Crimson and Rye. Join the crew here every Monday evening, from 4 PM until closing, for luscious dollar oysters and half price keg wine and beer.
However, any time that tickles your fancy, feel free to order a cocktail like the signature Lipstick Fizz, a mix of Hayman's gin,house-made Grenadine, lemon juice and a splash of soda.
One of the bar's more out of the box drinks is the Low Land Plum Swizzle, which consists of Scotch, Vermouth and Sherry as well as plum gin and black walnut bitters. The ingredient, though, that will really capture your attention, is crumbled walnuts.
A more straight forward, but no less of a delicious libation, is the Sky and Gold, which is made with Bulldog gin, Amontillado Sherry, pear liquor, Absinthe, lemon juice and Thyme.
In order to be a great after-work spot, one has got to offer some tasty bites besides intoxicating sips. The kitchen here delivers big-time. First of all, the menu is much more varied than what you usually find at a cocktail lounge. And the dishes actually taste good and satisfy.
Selections range from Ahi tuna tacos and Zucchini and Burrata flatbread to pulled pork sliders with Bourbon BBQ sauce.
Besides a bountiful mac and cheese dish, the most popular item would have to be the sausage platter. Three kinds of sausage, (spicy Italian, Merguez and chicken and apple) are accompanied by warm foccacia.
Celebrate the art of the cocktail at Crimson and Rye.
Location and Hours
198 East 54th Street
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Thursday 4 PM to 1 AM
Friday 4 PM to 2 AM
Saturday 5 PM to 2 AM
The Bar Downstairs - Midtown East
Tucked away in the basement of the trendy Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel, The Bar Downstairs is a chic lounge that offers fine wines, a killer craft beer list, premium cocktails and locally-sourced Latin style dishes.
Conviviality is the name of the game at The Bar Downstairs. More than just a hangout for the hotels' guests, this lively, energetic lounge has become the place to be for local neighborhood residents and the corporate crowd.
Upon entering the hotel lobby, just walk over to one of the elevators, take it down one floor to the lower level and follow the signs. The lounge is hidden away, kind of like those old-school speakeasies. But there's nothing illegal going on here. Just fun as well as great food and drink.
An eye-catching hand carved sign on a door lets you know that you've arrived at the right place. A basement location for a bar doesn't sound very sexy. But somehow, this off-beat location works for the Bar Downstairs. For one thing, it's very spacious and stylish. You don't feel as though you're below ground.
There's a way cool vibe going down here and the decor is bright and modern. The hip, young crowd only adds to the vibrant feel. All cocktails are made from small batch liquor and each drink is infused with a carefully chosen array of fresh herbs.
The management has cultivated strong relationships with local vineyards as well as farms and purveyors of meat, fish and cheese. Only the best products make it to your table.
For example, the sardines and shrimp that are used in the kitchen's tapas-style plates come directly from fisherman Steve Connolly, whose day boat runs out of Massachusetts. The pork that is used to make their succulent chorizo comes from Meili Farms in upstate New York.
The bar's most acclaimed cocktail has to be The Airmail, which is made with white rum, honey syrup, lemon juice and champagne. Their cocktail line-up changes with the seasons, as many of the libations depend on seasonal fruits and herbs. But fear not, selected house favorites can always be found on the menu.
Whether you prefer your drink shaken or stirred, The bar Downstairs has the right cocktail for you. The aptly named Poetry In Motion consists of gin, amaro nonino, marmalade, lemon, mint and rose cava. Strawberry juice adds just the right touch of sweetness to From the Ground Up, whose other ingredients include aged rum, fernet branca, lime juice and angostura bitters.
Spiced citrus syrup cadamaro, aquavit and a nice splash of cognac gives a real kick to the Captain In Tow cocktail. For a really different drink, ask your bartender to stir things up with the Kyoto Cannon, which is made with genever, Junmai sake, cocchi americano and pink peppercorn.
As far as the food goes, everything is tasty and extremely well-made but, since this is tapas-style dining, don't expect huge portions.
Two of their most popular dishes are shishito peppers and that tasty and spicy tapas bar standby papas bravas. Be advised that these potatoes are really spicy. Butoh so good!
The heartiest plates are the succulent skirt steak and the seafood paella.
The Hyatt family re-defined what a boutique hotel should be with Andaz at 5th Avenue. Now, they are doing the same with cocktail lounges in The Bar Downstairs.
Location and Hours
485 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
Monday to Saturday 5 PM to 12 AM
Lantern's Keep - Midtown West
One of the sexiest and most original cocktail bars in the city, Lantern's Keep is bringing downtown chic to the heart of Midtown Manhattan.
Inspired by the European cocktail salons of the 1920's and 30's, Lantern's keep is a very special place in which to spend an evening with close friends or the one you love. There's a great deal of warmth in the air and it's not just from the elegant vintage fireplace, either.
The decor is absolutely stunning with marble tables, antique chairs and impressionistic paintings that bring a splash of color and vibrant life to the dark walls. The ambiance is decidedly upscale without being intimidating or stuffy. Tucked away in a corner of the bar is a small library whose shelves contain some interesting volumes about the history of mixology as well as memoirs from famous bar keeps throughout history.
Right near Bryant Park, Lantern's Keep is conveniently located. Numerous subways are just down the street and Times Square and the Theater District are only a five minute walk away. If you're going to a show, come in for a pre-theater cocktail and bite to eat.
Lantern Keep's mission is to keep classical bar traditions alive; of expert barkeeps using only the finest ingredients and time-honored techniques to serve unique concoctions with personality and character.
Here, the bartenders are considered to be rock stars and with very good reason. They are the best at their craft. The management even provides biographies of their bar staff on the Lantern's Keep website.
One of the longest tenured bartenders here, Natalia Del Pozo originally hails from Cali, Colombia and grew up in Miami. Having trained under Becky McFalls and the legendary Sasha Petraske at Little Branch, Natalie is also a talented sculptor when she is not behind the bar crafting cocktails.
Another of the bartenders who you really should get to know is Daniel Rutkowski. A world traveler, Daniel spent some time in Taiwan, working as a mixologist and consultant. When he is not shaking and stirring up a storm at Lantern's keep, Daniel plays piano at weddings and various dive bars and clubs in NYC!
But no matter how entertaining or personable a bartender may be, the bottom line is their drinks have to be good. That's really what motivates customers to spend their hard earned dollars at a bar or lounge. Be assured that at Lantern's Keep the drinks not only do not disappoint, they exceed expectations.
Cocktails are mostly priced at $18, which might seem to be a touch more expensive than average. However, you most definitely get what you pay for.
Their cocktail menu is helpfully divided into different categories based on an individual spirit such as gin, rum, tequila, brandy and whiskey. But you won't find any vodka based cocktails here, because this spirit wasn't very popular with speakeasies and cocktail salons in Europe, back in the day.
They also have a special option called keeper's Choice, whereby the customer requests a specific spirit, style or flavor and the bartender gets creative and adds on select ingredients.
The Raspberry Rickey, with gin, fino sherry, lime and raspberry juice and seltzer, is shaken and served tall. Another gin-based delight is the jasmine, which also adds cointreau, campari and lemon juice to the party in your glass.
If rum just happens to be your jam, then you will find a lot to like about the Hotel Nacional which brings pineapple juice, apricot liqueur and lime juice together with aged rum for an unforgettable libation.
The La Reforma is a blend of premium blanco tequila, refreshing pear brandy, lime juice, ginger and a touch of honey.
Shaken and served over crushed ice is the famous brandy cobbler, made with cognac, peach liqueur, lemon, orange and pineapple juice with a hint of mint. The garnish is some succulent fresh berries. How much more refreshing can one get?
Like most bars and lounges, the food menu is all about shareable plates and small bites. But the food makes a tremendous impact on your overall experience here. The white bean and truffle dip with crudites and Rosemary chips is a stand out as are the Umami Oysters and Bison sliders with Gruyere cheese and pickled shallots.
You will also enjoy the marinated lamb tenderloin with red mustard sauce and the chicken liver mousse toast with sunchoke chips.
Location and Hours
The Iroquois Hotel
49 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
Monday to Friday 5 PM to 12 AM
Saturday 7 PM to 2 AM
Lexington's - Midtown East
With a sophisticated ambiance and world-class cocktails, Lexington's offers a refreshing respite from urban stress and your typical routine. There is nothing bland or boring about this fascinating establishment, which is located in the St. Giles Hotel.
Plush Ottomans, cozy banquettes, flat screen TVs and a spectacular elongated 25 foot bar are just a few of the amenities that you'll find here. The main draw is a throwback old-school billiard room, complete with a vintage billiard table, sofas, cushiony chairs that you can sink into and an actual working fire place! This is the sort of establishment where the kings of cool, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, would have felt right at home.
Start practicing those casual cool selfie poses by the pool table, right now.
Many of the newer cocktail lounges have found a home inside some of the city's premier boutique hotels. That really comes as no surprise. Traditionally, back in the forties and fifties, mixologists preferred to work in hotel bars because of the built-in clientele and the financial resources that the management provided for their bartenders. Experimentation behind the bar was encouraged.
Some of the classic cocktails that are still popular today were created in hotel bars and restaurants. Lexington's has one of the most extensive drink lists in New York with a delicious selection of reds, whites, champagne and port.
Their signature drink is Lexington's Punch. This elixir has everything that you are looking for in a cocktail. The blend of appleton rum, dry curacao, blood orange, pineapple and pomegranate juice, honey syrup and champagne is smooth, revitalizing and refreshing. It's a Broadway show inside a glass!
A traditional sort of sip, the Highlander's base ingredient is single malt scotch together with sweet vermouth and orange bitters.
The bartenders, though, really strut their stuff with the bodacious Shanghai Margarita, which consists of tequila, agave nectar, lime juice and minced ginger. One of their most popular after-work drinks is the soothing Basil Tonic, a marvelous blend of Beefeater gin, muddled basil and mint along with tonic water.
The food menu consists of small plates that are big on taste, with a strong Mediterranean influence.
You will absolutely adore the Moroccan meatballs with toasted pita and yogurt sauce as well as the house-made hummus that is accompanied by a plate of veggies, olives and feta cheese.
The jumbo shrimp cocktail does the job if you're hungry, but it's the Parmesan and truffle fries that take bar bites to another level. Don't leave the premises without pairing up a plate of these scrumptious fries with your wine or cocktail.
Location and Hours
130 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Monday to Saturday 4 PM to 12 AM
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