There is no shortage of whiskey in New York. Even during the days of Prohibition, there were believed to have been up to 100,000 hidden speakeasies in the city. While the number of speakeasies has declined, today, there are more types of whiskey in New York than ever before. The eternal question becomes, then, which whiskey bar is the best?
The Flatiron Room, Flatiron
The Flatiron Room houses one of the largest and most impressive whiskey libraries in the world: 1,000+ bottles, if you can believe it. Step through the curtain into the dimly lit lounge and you might think you’ve been transported back in time to the 1920s. A lounge singer performs on the stage against a bright red curtain backdrop, which subtly matches her lipstick. Every wall is lined, from edge to edge, with bottles of liquor—some of which are so rare you’ll pay thousands of dollars for a single pour.
If you’re in New York for longer than a few days, you can buy a full bottle at a reduced price and take advantage of their bottle keep program—they’ll hold onto the bottle, safe and secure, and you’ll be able to access it with your VIP card on your next visit. Whether you’re out with a few friends or closing the deal with a client, The Flatiron Room is one whiskey bar that should be your first (and maybe last) stop.
Copper & Oak, Lower East Side
Copper & Oak is the Lower East Side’s answer to the classic whiskey bar. There may be no finer place in this part of the city to enjoy one of 600+ spirits, almost half of them whiskeys. Classic tunes from the ’80s ooze from the speakers, reminding you that this is a place for those who appreciate the finer things from bygone eras.
Copper & Oak is an intimate space with knowledgeable bartenders who will help you find exactly the whiskey you’re looking for. It may not look like much from the outside, but the modest exterior conceals a treasure trove of spirits, beautifully displayed and illuminated in glowing amber hues. Once you know about this place, it will be hard to decide whether to tell your friends or keep this gem all to yourself!
Noorman’s Kil, Williamsburg
Noorman’s Kil specializes in two things: whiskey and grilled cheese. What more could you want? With more than 400 types of whiskey available, you’re reminded that Brooklyn’s bars can compete with Manhattan’s any night of the week.
This 19th-century bar was gutted, restored, and turned into the beautiful venue that you see here today. The rustic wood decor is an elegant homage to the aging process that every fine whiskey goes through, and out back, you’ll find a spacious green courtyard that is just perfect for a summer drink.
American Whiskey, Midtown West
Though they carry whiskeys from all over the world, American Whiskey specializes in one thing—celebrating whiskey’s American roots. Carrying upwards of 350 spirits, and serving burgers and hot wings, this whiskey bar is part sports bar, part gastropub, and part roadhouse diner. Mounted buffalo heads and plenty of TVs adorn the walls of this elegant bar—so take a seat, order a bourbon, and honor America’s whiskey heritage.
Hudson Bar and Books, West Village
Where do gentlemen and ladies convene when they just want a whiskey and a cigar? In a library, of course. This civilized whiskey bar serves at least 250 types of whiskey in a cozy, sophisticated setting. While other bars may have more extensive collections, with this expertly curated list you could happily drink here every day for six months and never repeat a single dram!
Find yourself a comfortable seat on a leather-bound barstool, and light up a hand-rolled cigar from their extensive collection of local and international smokes. This is the perfect place to find a bit of civility amid the loud bustle of the city.
If sipping on whiskeys at Hudson Bar and Books has awakened your appetite, walk one block over to Bespoke Kitchen, where you can enjoy innovative farm-to-table cuisine and indulge in a meal crafted especially for you, based on your palate and preferences.