La Milagrosa in Brooklyn

Tucked in a bodega behind a freezer door, below ground in the remnants of the oldest subway tunnel, behind a secret door that looks like a washer and dryer. Those are just a few of the places where you can find hidden bars in Brooklyn! Read on to discover more, including some featured in the new edition of Secret New York Hidden Bars and Restaurants!

Secret New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants

Secret New York Hidden Bars & Restaurants in NYC book cover

1. Sunken Harbor Club at Gage and Tollner, 372 Fulton St 2nd Floor.

Sunken Harbor, one of the hidden bars of Brooklyn
Photo by Alix Piorun

At Sunken Harbor Club, a hidden bar in Downtown Brooklyn found above the historic restaurant Gage and Tollner, in place of the arched mirrors and golden wallpaper, there are plush red booths, a backlit window of an underwater scene behind the bar, wave sounds gliding gently behind the music, and seven dining tables hand-painted with different vignettes from an 18th-century Dutch work about rare sea creatures. Although the cocktail menu is most easily labeled as tiki, it is also inspired by the travel writing of 20th-century culinary writer Charles H. Baker, Jr. and ‘cutting-edge mixological’ techniques. These ‘molecular’ methods include the high-pressure flash-infusion of spirits, acid adjustments, and forced carbonation.

2. The Hidden Pearl, 621 Manhattan Ave.

This hidden cocktail bar in Greenpoint is located at the back of the Japanese restaurant Wanpaku. Unlike most hidden bars that are often dark and dimly lit, this intimate space with room for less than 20 people is painted in a bright white and soothing blue. A visit to The Hidden Pearl will bring you on an “elevated, transportive and stylish cocktail journey in search of tropical Japan.” The menu includes a variety of different craft cocktails with names like Japanese Breakfast, Lost in Kyoto, and the Tokushima Mule. Other beverages and foods on offer include Japanese whisky, sake, shochu, and small plates to nibble on.

3. Water Tower Bar at the Williamsburg Hotel, 96 Wythe Ave.

Water Tower bar, one of the hidden bars of Brooklyn
Photo by Alix Piorun

The Water Tower tops the Williamsburg Hotel and offers patrons 360-degree views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Opened in 2018, this rooftop bar pays homage to New York City’s iconic water towers while also providing a unique dining experience. After you’ve climbed the winding steel staircase next to the rooftop pool to get inside, you’ll see that the window-encased room is decorated with an eclectic mix of reclaimed wooden, tufted velvet and leather couches, a marble bar, gold accents, and vintage-style pop art. The menu features a short list of classic cocktails, beer, and wine.

4. Mi Pequeño Chinantla, 4011 5th Ave.

Mi Pequeno Chinantla, one of the hidden bars
Photo by Alix Piorun

Smell stew? See a deer’s head? You’re in the right place. Tucked away in the back of a Sunset Park bodega, this minuscule Mexican eatery was built in homage to the owner’s native town and, over the years, has become a hit among foodies and fans of the hidden. The appeal is obvious for both parties: the itty-bitty eatery is unmarked, uniquely full of taxidermy, and serves up generous portions of its sprawling, homestyle food.

5. Mezcaleria La Milagrosa, 149 Havemeyer St.

La Milagrosa in Brooklyn

Mezcaleria La Milagrosa is a secret agave bar and listened hidden behind a freezer door within a Mexican bodega in Williamsburg. Once a laundromat, the space has been transformed into a bar and music venue with a cozy atmosphere that feels Hidden Bars author Michelle Young has described as “a mix between a forest cabin and a train car.” Mezcal and tequila are the stars of the menu. Nearly every night of the week there is a live musician or DJ playing music. You can see upcoming acts on their Instagram.

6. Sunshine Laundromat, 860 Manhattan Ave.

Sunshine laundromat in Greenpoint

You can multitask at Sunshine Laundromat, do your wash, and work on your improving your high score in pinball! Behind the laundromat facade of this Greenpoint site is a pinball arcade, bar, and art museum. The bar offers a wide selection of craft beers on tap, in bottles, and in cans. In addition to the pinball machines, Sunshine also provides a variety of board games to play while hanging out. Those with a competitive spirit can take part in frequent pinball tournaments!

7. Le Boudoir, 135 Atlantic Ave.

  • Le Boudoir, a hidden bar in Brooklyn
  • Le Boudoir, a hidden bar in Brooklyn

Besides being hidden, Le Boudoir is unique for a very special architectural feature. Accessed via a fake bookshelf within the restaurant Chez Moi, Le Boudoir is partly located inside remnants of the legendary Atlantic Avenue tunnel, the world’s oldest subway tunnel from 1844. The decadent decor of the bar is inspired by a secret boudoir of Marie Antoinette in Versailles.

8. Weather Up

Weather Up bar

Weather Up now has two locations, one in TriBeCa and the original in Prospect Heights. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the unmarked bar when you see a tiny building covered completely in white subway tiles. The tile motif carries on to the interior of the speakeasy where a Prohibition-style bar and artisanal cocktails await.

Secret New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants

Secret New York Hidden Bars & Restaurants in NYC book cover

Next, check out 10 Hidden Bars and Restaurants in Manhattan

This article was written by Hannah Frishberg and Nicole Saraniero