Hoboken {Secret} Travels: 5 Hot Spots for Your Next NYC Speakeasy Tour

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Our editor created a self-guided tour of some fun downtown NYC speakeasies…shh, don’t tell! Here she is to share the scoop:

Besides the fact that we think Hoboken needs a Speakeasy — guess New York City will have to do. Recently, I went on a {beginner’s} speakeasy tour, and decided I should share some the “secrets” of the tour. I did a little Thrillist research, created a map, and my husband and I went on the ultimate Speakeasy {his birthday} date night! Here are our favorite stops that you must check out:

 

1. Cienfuegos {Alphabet City — 443 E 6th Street}

cienfuegos speakeasy nyc hoboken girl travels

Cienfuegos was the first stop on our tour. It’s located and accessed above a Cuban sandwich shop called Carteles. The interior of this speakeasy is absolutely amazing; you enter by way of a dark staircase up… into a green and pink Cuban-inspired lounge. There is a white wrought iron gate that surrounds the entrance, making for quite the funky decor.

cienfuegos speakeasy nyc hoboken girl travels

As far as drinks, Cienfuegos’ menu boasts a food and drink selection that is nothing to scoff at. They serve rum punch bowls for $40 and then offer a few happy hour specials {2-3 different bowls at 50% off — just during happy hour, which we were luckily able to cash in on!}. Drinks are delicious, and the punch bowls are serve in just that, big bowls, with teacups for each patron. So fun and so refreshing!

 

2. Please Don’t Tell {113 St. Marks Place}

PDT is SUCH a cool bar, and for a speakeasy, very famous {think: you need reservations}. It’s located inside of a hot dog shop called Crif Dog Manor. You walk into the hot dog shop, look to your left, and you’ll see a phone. Pick it up, dial 1, and the hostess of PDT will answer. Usually you’ll have a wait {we were there on a Sunday evening of LDW and the wait was an hour}, so plan to hang for a bit. They took our cell number, so we were actually able to pop into our next Speakeasy spot on the tour before heading into PDT.

PDT Please Don't Tell speakeasy nyc hoboken girl travels

The drink menu is delicious, but even moreso is the fact that you can order tater tots and cheese fries a la carte from the hot dog shop next door {but eat them inside the speakeasy}.

PDT Please Don't Tell speakeasy nyc hoboken girl travels

I opted for some rose, and we shared the tater tots with melted cheese…holy amazing! The bar itself is pretty small, and I would say there were probably a total of 25 people in the small establishment, hence the wait/reservations needed. They don’t allow standing, only sitting at the bar or a table, FYI.

PDT Please Don't Tell speakeasy nyc hoboken girl travels

^Our tater tots + rose. Yuuup

3. Angel’s Share {6 Stuyvesant Street, East Village}

This hidden gem is tucked away inside of a Japanese restaurant called Village Yokocho. You have to walk upstairs into the restaurant and then open a small, unmarked, brown door to the left — and then lo and behold, it’s a speakeasy!

angels share speakeasy entrance hoboken girl nyc

The painted angels on the bar’s ceiling add to its fun ambiance, and there is a large window that overlooks the street {I feel like this could be awesome on a chilly winter’s night}. The bar doesn’t allow standing room, and it only seats parties of four or less.

angels share bar speakeasy nyc hoboken girl

The cocktail menu is pretty fun too, as they have a great assortment of Japanese liquor and very skilled bartenders. If you want a craft cocktail or a personalized creation prepared by artful and creative mixologists, serious about their practice, then this is the place for you.

 

4. Apotheke {9 Doyers St #1, Chinatown}

Elixirs and bartenders in lab coats…it doesn’t get much cooler than this. The bar space is anchored by a 30-foot performance bar made from imported Carrara marble. The hand-carved back bar is filled with hundreds of antique medicine bottles that were collected from around the world.

apotheke speakeasy nyc hoboken girl travels

It has a lounge feel with a taste of a chemistry lab, and it’s very off-the-beaten-path. Inspired by the history and rise of the apothecary in Europe as well as the artistic influence of absinthe dens in 19th century Paris, Apothéke houses specialty cocktails, absinthe drinks, and other elixirs made with exotic herbs and fruits.

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Apotheke might have been my second favorite stop — right after Cienfuegos!

5. Employees Only {510 Hudson Street}

employees only speakeasy tour

For our last stop on the tour, we headed to Employees Only {you’ll probably need an UBER like we did to get from Apotheke to Employees Only}. There, we had delicious cocktails, and I sat down with the psychic {who proceeded to tell me that I’m psychic myself —knew this already–and that I was going to have four children}. FOUR! Ahhh. It was good we were a few drinks in, because that is the 3rd psychic to tell me that in the last few years, and I’m beginning to believe it!

employees only speakeasy nyc hoboken girl

Either way you slice it, Employees Only is a very cool bar, and I will say it is “less”of a speakeasy feel — since you can stand around and it gets very crowded {most of the other spots listed here don’t allow patrons to stand, you must have a table/bar stool/seat in order to enjoy the fruits of the speakeasy}.

employees only speakeasy nyc

As you might have guessed, we would have continued our tour, except for the fact that trying a drink at every speakeasy makes for a daunting {and woozy} task…so we trekked back to Hoboken after this speakeasy, feeling pretty accomplished. It’s pretty incredible, however, to think that there are so many secret places to hang and wine/dine right under your nose in NYC! Truthfully, I couldn’t even tell you where the best mixologists or cocktails were, because all were so different, fun, and unique. You must try some of these places out, even if not in “bar crawl” form — one or two for the night would definitely suffice. There are so many other speakeasies to discover — more coming soon, promise!

Have you been to any of these speakeasies? Which did you like best?

Have a spot for us to check out in our Hoboken Travels section? Email hello@hobokengirl.com!

 


Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.