Culver City, California
This full-service barber shop seems a bit small with only 4 chairs, but behind the back door (with the coat in the picture above) is an expansive bar area offering unique twists on traditional cocktails as well as finger foods and gourmet grilled cheeses. No passwords required; no reservations needed. Just walk on back with a friendly nod to the barbers. They'll know what you're up to.
(image via cathleroux)
New York City
Channel 1920s Gotham by stepping back in time through the doors of Bathtub Gin. You won't find those doors on the street, however. You'll need to be lead to the entrance by the bouncer who stands in front of Stone Street Coffee Company. It makes for a curious sight to see people queuing for what looks like an empty room. Reservations are recommended, as food is served as well.
(image via bonnsbee)
The Blind Lion
Rapid City, South Dakota
The next time you visit Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills, stop by the Blind Lion in nearby Rapid City, South Dakota. It's really simple to find: head down the alley behind Murphy's Pub and Grill, enter through the "Employees Only" door, go down the stairs, take a left through the kitchen storage area, a final right, and arrive at a bank vault safe door. Enter the code, and you're home free. Here's a video if you get lost.
(image via eplumb19)
The Fred Bar
Sandy Springs, Georgia
In the basement of Taco Mac at Prado is The Fred Bar, an exclusive members-only beer club. Join Taco Mac's "Brewniversity" to gain entrance; all you have to do is drink 13 beers. Surely that's a small price to pay for a secret signature lounge. Drink specials aren't the only perk you'll find, as a whole separate menu awaits downstairs.
(image via laurenmegin)
If you're looking to go off-the-grid, Fiume is your hangout. You won't find a phone number, and there certainly isn't a website. Take the stairs above Philadelphia's acclaimed Ethiopian restaurant, Abyssinia, to reach this secluded cash-only bar. Beer and liquor lovers alike will find common ground with these drink options.
(image via constantlyriskingabsurdity)
Williams & Graham
This hallway in the picture isn't the entrance to Williams & Graham. Take a closer look at the bookcase. See the handle on the bottom shelf? Behind this hidden doorway is not only one of the best bars in Denver, but also a nationally celebrated cocktail lounge. Williams & Graham won a spot on Drinks International's annual World's 50 Best Bars list. Names for the waiting list are only taken in person, however, and parties larger than six are relegated to the standing wall.
(image via heathaamarie)
Behind the family-friendly soda fountain of the 1940s-styled Brent's Drugs (you might have seen it in the film The Help) hides an adult-oriented hangout space, The Apothecary. It's a well-known local secret that most visitors haven't yet found. Making your way through a completely empty diner might be a little intimidating, but you'll feel right at home in the cozy back room that houses some of the South's finest cocktail creations.
(image via apothecaryjxn)
Community Bar is a particular Chicagoism known as a "slashie," half liquor store and half bar. Maria's Packaged Goods, as the store is known, is by no means a secret to locals, but it is far from a tourist hot-spot. Craft beer is where Community Bar really excels, with around 450 beers on the menu. Let the bartender steer you to something new, and get your hipster on.
(image via hobobbq)
It might not seem like much from the outside...because it's not. This is a parking garage. The only sign that you're in the right place is the word "cocktails" above the entrance as you pull into the garage. Located on the first level, snugly surrounded by the entrance ramp, Garage is a dimly lit bar offering expertly crafted drinks. The Indian Paintbrush was named the official drink of Austin in 2015.
(image via Google Maps)
You'd be forgiven for walking down busy U Street and not seeing the location of the best drinks in D.C. A nondescript black door sandwiched between a bike rack and electric meters means you've arrived at The Gibson. The welcoming and attentive mixologists inside are the polar opposite of the stark exterior. Reservations are recommended and a no-standing policy is enforced, creating an intimate affair.
(image via dtrain0201)
Bourbon & Branch
San Francisco, California
Bourbon & Branch has one thing most other modern speakeasies don't: authentic history. The basement of this San Fran bar, used for private parties, is the site of an actual speakeasy that operated during the 1920s. Call ahead to make reservations, which are required, at which point they'll give you the password for the front door. For an even more exclusive experience, make reservations for Wilson & Wilson, a connected bar area with its own password requirements.
(image via insta_belt)
The Marble Ring
The Marble Ring is located inside Hot Diggity Dogs, a popular local cafe that has gourmet hot dogs. To get into the speakeasy-style bar, you just find the blue phone booth upstairs and go in. There’s no password, and you don’t need reservations. You just have to know how to find it. The bar—and the attached Zelda’s Lounge—were established in honor of Zelda Fitzgerlad, who was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald and was often called “the first flapper girl.”
This hidden bar is full of history, complete with a bartender who knows it all. Located inside of a hotel that was rebuilt twice, Melinda’s Alley is known for its ever-changing cocktail menu and weird entrance. The door is hidden in the Renaissance Pheonix Downtown Hotel’s alleyway under a 70-foot mural of Malinda Curtis, who was a local legend in the late 1800s and became the bar’s pseudo-namesake. As long as you can find the door, you can get in—no password required.
The Blind Rabbit
This 1920s-style club requires reservations for their small, 35-seat bar that’s hidden in the Packing House restaurant. The Blind Rabbit’s entrance is located behind two sake barrels and while there’s no password, there is a strict dress code. You also only have 90 minutes for your reservation to order some exclusive cocktails and gourmet bar food from their seasonal menus. Make sure you try one of their many delicious absinthe drinks!
Hummingbird to Mars
Hummingbird to Mars is hidden at the top of Catherine Rooney’s and the Trolley Taphouse, which are both excellent restaurants and bars. The hidden speakeasy and bar often have live music, usually jazz or a talented pianist. With a strong whiskey list and seasonal cocktails, there’s something for everyone, and you’ll never see the same drinks on the menu twice. To get it, you must walk to the back of Catherine Rooney’s and press the intercoms to request access—and you might get denied!
Hanson's Shoe Repair
If you like eccentric local history, this is the place for you. Hanson’s Shoe Repair is located inside the oldest building in downtown Orlando, which actually was a shoe repair shop back in the day. Today, you need a password to get into this exclusive speakeasy-style bar, which is decked out in 1920s architecture and decor. A live jazz band plays on the terrace so you can enjoy some smooth tunes while you drink on the balcony. Make sure you get there early because the bar only allows 30 people in at a time!
This is one of the more difficult speakeasies to get into. You need a password or a key, which is only held by members. The next step is trying to find the front door, which is no easy task! After you give the password to the guard or let yourself in with the key, you’ll have access to a prohibition-style bar, complete with bartenders in '20s-themed costumes. Mata Hari’s is known for its live music, burlesque shows, and decorations.
The Gaslamp bar has a secret entrance inside a local Irish bar that you need a reservation and password to even get in. If you know the secret code, a waitress dressed like a flapper girl will lead you through a phone booth to the hidden watering hole. Gaslamp is known for its complicated and delicious cocktails, filled with crazy ingredients you might not have heard of. If you can find them, Gaslamp also has great jazz nights and appetizers so you can have a fun night out with friends.
Press & Pony
Press & Pony is tucked away next to two other venues, making it incredibly hard to find. It’s small, cozy, and has amazing cocktails. Some of them might sound a little strange, but they’re all worth a shot! Here, the bartenders are called craftsmen, which makes sense because of their complicated and artistic drinks. You’re encouraged to stay late, drink a lot, and have a good time at this bar.
To get into this speakeasy-style bar, you’ll have to visit the amazing Black Bull restaurant to find it. Open the door right next to the entrance, up the flight of stairs, and through another door to feel like you’ve suddenly been transported to the 1920s. Velvet couches, wine barrel tables, flamenco dances, burlesque shows, and classic cocktails make this bar a destination. You can also order delicious food from the downstairs restaurant.
Kansas City, Ohio
Manifesto is a hidden bar that looks exactly like a 1920s speakeasy. To enter, you have to find the entrance underneath—as in underground—the Rieger hotel. In fact, this place used to be a real speakeasy that had the like of Al Capone as guests! Other than having a great ambiance and rich history, the bar is one of the city’s favorite spots for cocktails because of their fresh ingredients and unique drinks. There’s no password, but you do have to make a reservation because the small venue fills up quickly.
The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box
The inspiration for this bar came from the owner’s love of small, intimate cocktail parties with fun, creative drinks you might not have heard of before. After hosting donation-only cocktail nights in his living room, the owner opened this place up. There’s no sign, and it’s intentionally hard to find—troublemakers are not welcome here. You can get some tasty finger foods, stiff drinks, and enjoy a quiet evening at this hidden bar.
The Ranstead Room
The Ranstead Room is located down a dark back alley and through a black door with “RR” painted on the front. You’ll have to wait to be seated, but it’s worth the wait. The dimly lit bar, complete with a chandelier for the 1920s theme, makes you feel like you’re actually in prohibition times sneaking a drink at your local speakeasy. The bartenders wear suspenders, the crowd is dressed to the nines, and you have access to a delicious menu of upscale bar food.
The Blue Room
Los Angeles, California
To get into this hidden bar you have to go upstairs to the fourth floor of the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) and find the sliding bookcase. The Blue Room was opened in the early 1900s, so it actually used to be a place to get an illegal drink. The bar also has a rich history, as you can see from the vintage sporting equipment, photographs, and other novelties that decorate the walls. While you don’t need a password, you do need a LAAC membership.
San Francisco, California
You don’t need a password to get into this speakeasy, you just need the directions. Local Edition is at the bottom of a staircase in the basement of the historical Hearst building. Vintage newspapers line the walls and antique typewriters decorate empty corners, emulating the '50s and '60s inspiration behind the bar. They have a movie theater complete with velvet chairs for movie nights, with the night’s cocktails theme depends on the movie.
Please Don't Tell
New York City, New York
Please Don’t Tell, also known as PDT, is attached to Crif Dogs, a popular hot dog joint. The entrance, a vintage phone booth, is inside Crif Dogs and leads to a speakeasy-style bar with taxidermy animals in hats decorating the walls. The staff are friendly, know their history, and will make you a great drink. If you get hungry, you can get a hot dog or burger right next door while you enjoy a classy, seasonal cocktail.