Looking for the best cocktail bars in Manhattan?  I have a great list!  As a Travel Blogger, it’s interesting for me to research the most frequently asked travel questions for the cities I know well….NYC being one of them.  One question I see asked over and over again is:  where are the best cocktail bars in Manhattan?  Honestly, there’s a million places, and what’s appealing to one person may not be to another.  Cheers Y’all!  Let’s take a look!

First Published: August 6, 2018 Last Updated: July 26, 2019


Best Cocktail Bars in Manhattan

Over the past fifteen years, and as a frequent traveler to New York, I love to spend a few minutes at the end of a fun, but long day, enjoying an adult beverage.  My husband has been sober for 30 years, so he does not partake, but he will join me and sip on sparkling water.  I love a bar with a lot of personality, cool decor, close to a subway stop, and not so loud that you can’t hear yourself think. 


Best Cocktail Bars in SoHo: The Crosby Street Hotel


Row of bar chairs agains a bar with a large mirror behind it

PC: Hotels.com


For those of you who have been following me for a while, know that I love The Crosby Street Hotel.  It’s located in SoHo, right around the corner from the Spring Street Station, the subway being my favorite mode of transportation.  My fantasy house is decorated like the Crosby Street Hotel Bar, sort of Dorothy Draper meets Andy Warhol.  There’s a long bar with seating as well as cool cushy chairs and banquettes.  There’s also two outside patios to enjoy during nice weather, so there’s lots of seating.  By 5-5:30, this NYC bar is hopping, as it’s one of the best cocktail bars in NYC SoHo, and stays crowded late into the night.  The bar food is great, and after a long day on my feet, if I’m in Soho close to cocktail hour…..you can find me here!


Best Cocktail Bars in NYC Murray Hill: The Campbell Apartment


Glass of wine on a shiny bar


I am obsessed with Grand Central Terminal.  I love to walk through this important historic NYC landmark, admiring the old ironwork, and the beautiful carvings around door casings. Recently I downloaded an app so that I can enjoy a self-guided tour of Grand Central Terminal whenever the mood strikes. 

One of the super cool historical tidbits is The Campbell Apartment Bar. Paying  homage to the legacy of John W. Campbell, a Jazz Age financier who converted the space to his private office and reception hall in 1923.  The Campbell showcases many of the thirteenth century Florentine-inspired design intricacies that upheld its legendary allure, including soaring, 25-foot hand painted ceilings, a grand  stone fireplace, Campbell’s personal steel safe, a century-old leaded glass window and original millwork.   My husband and I love Murray Hill, and so many times, on my way back to our hotel, I’ll stop here and have a glass of wine, and imagine life in the Gilded Age of NYC.  


Best Cocktail Spots in NYC Murray Hill:  Bookmarks Lounge


The Curious Cowgirl Holding a Glass of champagne while sitting on a wooden bench


Another recommendation for a great spot in Murray Hill is the Bookmarks Lounge, at the top of the Library Hotel, literally right around the corner from the main branch of the NYC Public Library on Madison Ave. and 41st.  This is an intimate place to enjoy a cocktail!  There’s lots of seating inside, and the outside seating is much smaller, but still a lot of fun!  It’s a fun little place for a cocktail, and on a nice evening, this is a delightful location in Murray Hill, just one block from Grand Central Terminal. 


Best Cocktail Spots in NYC Midtown:  The Whitby Hotel


Red chairs surrounding white cocktail tables in front of a bar with several wood baskets hanging above


The same parent company as The Crosby Street Hotel, The Whitby Hotel has two things I love….super quirky and interesting decor, and a prime location! It’s located just one block off 5th Avenue and around the corner from Bergdorf Goodman on 56th St.  There’s a large amount of seating in the Whitby Hotel Bar, and after a big day of 5th Avenue shopping, or during the holidays when you’ve had your fill of the fantastic widow displays, this is one of the best cocktail bars in Manhattan to recharge your batteries!


Best Cocktail Bars in NYC Greenwich Village:  Caffe Dante


Outside of a bar window that says Caffe Dante


On a recent Foods of New York Tour, which I highly recommend taking, I discovered the historic Caffe Dante.  It’s VERY cool and hip with a great history.  According to the web site, “Dante has been a beacon for the community of Greenwich Village since it opened its doors in 1915. Now a registered New York City landmark, this modest meeting house has always attracted people from all walks of life: famous actors, writers and musicians to the down at heel of the beatnik generation.

The original Caffe Dante opened its doors on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village 1915, which at the time, was known as the ‘South Village’ and mostly a Italian neighborhood. It was a local meeting place where Italian immigrants would gather over espresso and talk of home and politics.

Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Dylan were just a few of the famous faces that passed through.

The new Dante really is a love letter to the original. The pictures that line the walls are not only of the original owners, but also highlight the wonderful cast of characters that have passed through these doors. From artists and writers, like Anais Nin and Ernest Hemingway of the Bohemian age, to Robert Maplethorpe and Patti Smith, Caffe Dante is a place that people have always flocked to.”

Love everything about that!!!!


For more restaurant and bar recommendations:

For a complete list of all my favorite NYC restaurants, my NYC Restaurant Guide was updated in January 2019, and has over 30 restaurant suggestions, organized by part of town, and includes phone numbers, and information about those that participate on Open Table.

Cheers, y’all!