Welcome, raconteurs and adventurers. Picture the pulsing heartline of the Best Bars in Chinatown, New York. Imagine the spill of neon on wet pavement, the labyrinthian streets throbbing with a rhythm all their own, whispers of the Orient swirling in the night air – it’s intoxicating, even before you’ve had your first drink or visited the bars.
This isn’t just any other metropolis – this is a city within a city, a world within a world. The city that never sleeps has a secret underbelly, where the most potent gin martinis are poured not by the jigger but by the heart of the bars. And only if you know where to look can you find these watering holes imbued with old-world grandeur, offering a kaleidoscope of drinking experiences deep in the concrete jungle.
Explore this vibrant, storied neighborhood from the worn, welcoming barstools of the 20 best bars in China Town, New York. Every drink you order tells a story, a nuanced tale of East meets West and everything in between. Sip the city’s history, toast to its resilience, and savor the rich fusion of culture and courage that melds this corner of the globe. You’re here for more than just a drink – you’re diving headfirst into a hallowed adventure that sparkles with life, tradition, and, occasionally, a glass of properly aged Scotch.
Best Bars In Chinatown New York
1. Apotheke Chinatown: A Symphony for the Senses
Address: 9 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013, United States
Tucked away in the antiquated arteries of Chinatown, New York, Apotheke is an exuberant sonnet to the storied past of the prohibition era when bars and drinking were illegal. Dimly lit and clothed in modern opulence, you’ll uncover an unexpected haven where classic cocktails and craftsmanship are at the forefront. Here, the bar’s alchemists ignite the senses, concocting potions from an array of medicinal herbs and organic produce sourced from local markets.
Stepping over the threshold is akin to plunging into a forgotten time. Mismatched vintage chaise lounges swaddle patrons while the pulsing chatter mingles harmoniously with the rhythmic outbreak of shaking tins. The scent of fresh basil and charred orange hangs in the air like a tantalizing secret of signature cocktails, underpinned by notes from a live jazz ensemble that invites guests to succumb to the allure of this haven.
Apotheke firmly solidifies its reputation as not simply one of the cocktail bars but an unraveled experience – a textured love note to Chinatown’s folklore, synonymous with sophistication and beguiling decadence. The bartenders are dressed like old-time chemists and serve cocktails you will surely enjoy.
2. Whiskey Tavern
Address: 79 Baxter St A, New York, NY 10013, United States
Let’s make acquaintance with Whiskey Tavern, a Chinatown charm that defiantly defies cliche. Veer off the beaten track and find yourself in this mural-kissed haven. It’s no dive bar, that’s for sure. Like the last bastion of an old-time New Yorker, everything about the tavern pulls you into its warm, intoxicating embrace – the worn-in wooden bar, flickers of neon, the chorus of friendly banter.
Each flask here is a passage to the inner sanctum of whiskey wisdom. Unveil the secrets of a century-old bottle, savor the smoky elegance of a single malt, or flirt with a rogue rye that tickles your palate. On some nights, the air hums with the infectious energy of live bands. On others, it’s the sweet serenity of the whiskey, food, and sly whispers, promising stories only the city night can offer.
A linger drinking here is not just another night at the bar, drinking downtown – it’s sipping on legacy, served with a side of unforgettable city tales. It’s a fantastic place to grab a table and do some people watching, cocktail in hand, as the day turns to night. Now, isn’t that just the whiskey talking?
3. The Basement
Address: 45 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, United States
Descending into The Basement is like stepping into an adjacent reality, where concoctions from the cocktail menu flow with an alluring other-worldly charm. Nestled in a quiet, neon-lit corner of Chinatown, this cocktail bar transforms the familiar cityscape into a heady dreamscape.
One of the most unique bars, this bar seems to whisper secrets of this hideaway, leaving a trail of mystery for the adventurous to pursue. The drinks, not merely cocktails but libations of fancy, transform palates jaded from their local dive bar.
Intricate flavors, artfully layered, reveal themselves on the drink menu like the unfolding of an intoxicating narrative. Far from the over-saturated bustle of New York’s typical hubs, this gem is a beacon to tastemakers and dreamers alike. The atmosphere hums with a pulsating melody, equal parts swagger and sophistication.
Here, the joie de vivre isn’t simply tasted; it’s experienced. A shift from the common to the extraordinary, all housed in one intriguing Basement. It’s about time you uncovered this hidden haven, grab a drink, and basked in its distinctive allure.
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4. Peachy’s: The Jewel Box of Chinatown
Address: 5 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013, United States
Sip your way to reverie at Peachy’s, a clandestine jewel box nestled under the swinging lanterns of Chinatown. An adjective does it no justice as it is less of a bar and more of a passage into a time-lapse of New York’s roaring underworld. Here lies a bewitching testament to the Eastern enchantment encapsulated within crimson-lit catacombs and jade-hued elixirs. The air is thick with ginger notes and a spirited playlist that pirouettes on the edge of audacity.
So grab a table, tell them what you’ll be drinking, and get a glass of your favorite. Their menu of cocktails is sure to delight. Unlike other bars on this list, Peachy’s is a restaurant. You can order small plates, traditional bar food, or get some great food.
Marvel at each sip, each cocktail potent with exotic ingredients. They will captivate your palate much like how an opium den might have ensnared hushed whispers in moonlit lore. Each visit to Peachy’s is akin to cracking open the pages of a well-guarded secret, unraveling itself one enigmatic sip of their classic drinks at your table at a time. Peachy’s is a place deserving of habitual homage in your nocturnal script.
5. Clandestino: A Tapestry of Bittersweet Perfection
Address: 35 Canal St, New York, NY 10002, United States
Navigating the labyrinthine alleys of Chinatown brings you to Clandestino, a sanctuary of quiet rebellion in the cacophonic symphony of New York. As the long shadow of twilight plunges the Big Apple into an alluring chaos, you’ll find this abyss of culture hiding its light under a cloak of modesty.
At Clandestino, the air is heavy with the tantalizing aroma of the best cocktails, each reminiscent of a forgotten tale. Citrus peels, rustic barrels, sweet cherries, and a circus of bitters commingle in smoky crystal glasses as varied as their cocktail menu, their whispers murmuring stories of the city that never sleeps.
The sentimental dance between dim lights and nostalgic vintage decor of a full bar is punctuated by the slow hum of the lo-fi jazz, gifting an atmosphere as intoxicating as their pours. They may not have a dance floor, but there’s nothing to stop you from swaying to the rhythm of the bar.
The walls bask in the warm hugs of past visitors, every inch bearing the fingerprints of countless lives crossed. This is not just a bar to wet your whistle. Clandestino is an emblem of soulful camaraderie, a pit stop in the grand marathon of life, where strangers become friends and late-night conversations grow into legends.
6. Bar Belly – A Potent Chronicle of Libations
Address: 14 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, United States
Striding into the cynosure of Lower East Side’s nocturnal charm – Bar Belly – is akin to stepping through time. Dusted with an unpretentious bohemian sheen, this kaleidoscopic cocktail bar serves up an intoxicating narrative of New York’s bar history with its full menu of inventive potations paired with various bar snacks and a moodily intimate soundtrack – an ensemble you’d offer your soul for in a hushed cityscape.
Here, dim, enchanting candlelight dances mischievously over the wood paneling an antique, weathered bar counter, revealing an array of the city’s most audacious cocktails. Each inventive blend etches an intimate tale of the neighborhood, showcasing artistry that sparks a spirited conversation between your palate and the soul of the area.
Should your stomach yearn for companionship beyond drinks, their eclectic, gourmet tapas food menu harmonizes with the liquid symphony, the small plates soulful and evocative. Bar Belly promises a mesmerizing footnote in your travelogue, regaling tales of time in sips of beers and bar bites – daring you to lose yourself in its narrative into the wee hours of the morning.
7. Pulqueria Restaurant & Agave Bar
Address: 11 Doyers St, New York, NY 10002, United States
Dive into an intoxicating paradox, a murmur of Old Mexico whispering through the labyrinthine arteries of Chinatown. Behind these unassuming doors lies Pulqueria Restaurant & Agave Bar, a world where the ordinary transmutes into an extraordinary symphony of flavor and color. Hidden like a rumor of a carnival unfolding amidst the city’s towering giants, it asks you to shed off the urban dust and embrace its tempting allure.
On entering, the symbiotic rhythm of clanking shakers and hushed conversations roll off its faded indigo walls, while overhead, a constellation of lanterns casts a warm, ethereal glow. Their yummy drinks and live music make it a great place to lounge on a late night.
To sit inside and sip from the brimming chalice of their agave creative cocktails is to court danger and sophistication in equal measure. Each pulsating beat of Mariachi live music seems to stir the pulse of the city, compelling its guests to partake in its gloriously bittersweet pulque agave nectar, the house’s treasure.
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8. The Crown
Address: 50 Bowery, New York, NY 10002, United States
Welcome, fellow wayfarer, to The Crown—a mecca for the joyously inebriated and suave socialites seeking refuge in neo-bohemian opulence. A place where patina’d woods, dimly-lit brass lamps, and velvety booths cocoon intoxicatingly hushed conversations and unrestrained laughter. Here, craft connoisseurs become lost in a labyrinth of avant-garde concoctions, each one a liquid sonnet waking up the taste buds to a symphony of unexplored flavors.
Gaze out the glass to the pulsating allure of Chinatown, still serenely ensconced in your high-backed, eternally comfortable throne from one of the top cocktail bars in the area. All while the ethereal echoes of languid jazz wrap around you with a gossamer touch, infusing staggering depth into this charming, immaculately curated corner.
The Crown transcends being just a bar—it’s a journey, a destination, for those who wish to drift away on the rhythmic current of convivial camaraderie and those seeking a glorious rebellion against the menu of the mundane. Let The Crown exalt your nights into tales of unforgettable whimsy.
9. Up Stairs – The Soulful Escape
Address: 59 Canal St 2nd fl, New York, NY 10002, United States
Dare to ascend into a whimsical world of fun bars where neon lights flirtatiously glow against darkened corners. Up Stairs, an enchanting gem secreted away in Chinatown’s vibrant labyrinth is an immersive haunt with a compelling karaoke twist. It is not exactly a dance floor, but the live music and classic cocktails more than make up for it.
It’s a spot where obscure whiskey and vibrant cocktails flow, creating the liquid symphony of an evening well spent. Their drinks spectrum, mysteriously vast and incredibly persuasive, whispers tales of distilleries from distant lands.
Yet, the pulsing heart of Up Stairs is none other than the unyielding beat that emulates from its karaoke sanctuary. Here, off-key crooners and spellbinding chanteuses alike find solace within their sweet, shared musical discord. It’s a raucous, soulful corner where nostalgic ballads intertwine with modern anthems, spinning a weave of fresh air and sonic enchantment in the backdrop of Chinatown nights.
Dive into this cosmic haunt on the building’s top floor, let it lure you with its potent charm, and never look back. Whether you’re a seeker of melodious adventures or a purveyor of fine wine and spirits, Up Stairs is an irresistible siren to those who enjoy bar hopping, an uncharted galaxy hidden in the vivid cosmos of Chinatown’s nightlife.
10. Winnie’s Bar
Address: 58 E Broadway 2nd fl, New York, NY 10002, United States
Emerging from the quiet street corners of Chinatown, you’ll stumble upon a hidden gem—the enigmatic and delightfully nostalgic Winnie’s Bar. Classic tunes mix with pop ballads, wafting through the air as you enter this time-honored establishment. The atmosphere is wonderfully intimate, filled with a melodic hum of locals and seasoned tourists alike, all seeking the allure of the evening at this revered karaoke haunt.
The decor evokes a sense of nostalgia, an homage to New York’s original dive bars, while molasses-like memories hang as thick as the graffiti adorning the crimson walls. Enjoy a carefully crafted drink from their renowned cocktail selection, each sip resonating with the heartbeat of this lived-in labyrinth.
This is one of the best cocktail bars in the area. Taste the richness of Chinatown’s history unfolding in every shared song or drink on the two floors, each narrating a distinct story of the collective human experience. Make no mistake: it’s intricate, unvarnished, and as raw as humanity itself—Winnie’s Bar, an uncharted constellation in the night sky of Chinatown’s nightlife and bars.