Upstairs bar, hidden bar in Queens

Inside a vintage airplane, behind a lingerie shop, and upstairs from a chicken restaurant are just a few of the places you’ll find hidden bars in Queens. Read on to discover where you can enjoy a drink while listening to live DJs, eating a fifteen-course sushi meal, or waiting for your flight!

Discover even more hidden bars of the five boroughs in the new edition of Secret New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants by Untapped New Uork’s founder Michelle Young and journalists Hannah Frishberg and Laura Itzkowitz

Hidden Bars & Restaurants

Secret New York Hidden Bars & Restaurants in NYC book cover

1. Astoria’s Secret, Astoria

Astoria's Secret, hidden bar in Queens
Photo by Alix Piorun

The most exclusive, elegant, and expensive thing at this Queens speakeasy is, refreshingly, neither a gimmick nor an exorbitantly priced cocktail but the guests themselves. This body-positive, locally owned lingerie shop, bar, and restaurant offers a welcomely unpretentious and straightforward take on the speakeasy venue model: the intimates sold in the front are genuinely for sale, and if you wear them in the back you stand to score a drink discount.

2. Sushi On Me, Jackson Heights

Sushi On Me, hidden bar in Queens
Photo by Alix Piorun

Sushi On Me brings more energy to its omakase servings than many NYC clubs or house parties. Between the unlimited sake and the chefs’ antics, the $89 cash-only price tag for the 15-course fishy feast feels more appropriate as an entry fee than the cost of what is functionally dinner and a show. There are flamethrowers, uni shots, raucous singing, and other antics galore while, simultaneously, sashimi and nigiri are served piece by piece, their presentation upstaged only by their flavor and freshness.

3. Upstairs Cocktail Bar, Jackson Heights

Upstairs bar, hidden bar in Queens
Photo by Ken Pao Studio

Upstairs Cocktail Bar is a cozy, craft cocktail lounge found above UFC Unidentified Flying Chickens on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. The dimly lit space is decorated with massive bookshelves holding tiny sculptures, books, small plants, and other knickknacks. With seating for four at the bar and tables for two, it’s a quiet and intimate space above the hustle and bustle of the street below. On the menu, you’ll find unique seasonal cocktails alongside a refreshing list of spritzes and classic drinks. You can go for the Dealer’s Choice and have the bartender mix a custom concoction with your alcohol of choice. Note that this bar is cash only!

4/5. Connie at the TWA Hotel and 1850 in the Centurion Lounge at JFK Airport

Hidden bar at TWA Hotel

JFK Airport has a couple of hidden bars where you can grab a drink before your jet! To get to the first one on our list, head to the JetBlue terminal and follow the signs for the TWA Hotel. The bar is located inside a 1958 TWA Constellation plane that is parked on a “runway” outside the former 1962 terminal building designed by Eero Saarinen. The menu features fun drinks with names like Aviation, Vodka is My Co-Pilot, and Control Tower Sour. You don’t need to have an airline ticket to access this bar.

Terminal 4 is where you’ll find the next, more secret airport speakeasy. Open to American Express card members only, the Centurion Lounge at JFK Airport offers a little bit of cordoned-off respite for weary travelers either starting or going home from their journeys. Located past TSA – and thus inaccessible to anyone who isn’t genuinely traveling – in the sprawling airport’s Terminal 4, the Lounge is located just beyond the security checkpoint to the left of the escalators leading to the gate level.

6. Record Room, Long Island City

Located on Center Boulevard in Long Island City, the Record Room is a new hidden bar in Queens that opened in May 2023. The bar is hidden behind a coffee shop that operates at the front of the building. The lounge space is accessed by a short hallway lined with a shelf of vinyl records. Once through the curtain, the space has an inviting retro vibe with low couches, velvet curtains, and a glowing neon sign. Live DJs spin while you enjoy a classic cocktail, beer, or wine.

Next, check out the hidden bars of Manhattan and Brooklyn!

This article contains excerpts from Secret New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants written by Hannah Frishberg and contributions by Nicole Saraniero