Best New York City Bars to Drink Cocktails This Fall

There are always uncountable bar and restaurant openings in New York City, it may be hard to figure where one should go for the best cocktails. This season, there are a number of anticipated openings and reopenings, from a celebrated Chicago transplant to an old-school speakeasy that’s been shuttered for a decade. We have listed the noteworthy spots to go and grab a cocktail at the moment:

Bar Moga
The new Bar Moga in West Village serves Japanese-inspired cocktails and Yoshoku comfort food (Western-style Japanese dishes). Their cocktails incorporate Japanese spirits into Prohibition-style drinks, like the barley shochu used in Woman in the Dunes, combined with coffee liqueur, Amaro, toasted almond, and heavy cream.

The West Village speakeasy finally reopened its doors after a decade. The food alone is worth going for, but don’t miss the drinks while you’re at it. Cocktails like Chaplin transitions fall flavors with blended scotch, Fernet, maple, orange blossom water, and frozen chocolate. Their Scotch & Soda section offers some nice variations of the highball drink. One called Timmy’s in the Well mixes Highland Park 12 with green apple, agave, orange bitters, and soda.

The original Elsa in East Village closed three years ago due to the real estate market, but it has now reopened with a space in Brooklyn. There are barrel aged Negroni and Manhattan on tap and there’s still time to enjoy their frozen cocktails, but don’t miss other concoctions like Queen of Swords, made with lemongrass hibiscus infused whiskey, matcha horchata, amaro, and bitters.

Diamond Reef
The team behind Lower East Side’s popular Attoboy has now opened Diamond Reef in Brooklyn. The bright space is in contrast to the dimly lit Attaboy, but the quality of cocktails will remain the same. At Diamond Reef, the menu is more casual and fun, complemented by the grill in the back. Find frozen drinks like Banana Hammock, or stirred concoctions such as the Ostrich with gin, vermouth, and amaro.

Eleven Madison Park
Eleven Madison Park is known for delivering on all aspects, from the food to service to incredible cocktails. The world acclaimed restaurant temporarily closed this summer, but the renovation of Eleven Madison Park promised a redesign of the bar to feel more like a lounge. The bar tables can also be reserved for the five-course tasting menu at $145 per person, making it a more affordable way to taste Daniel Humm’s cooking. All this means the bar will be some of the most coveted bar spots in the city.

Ghost Donkey
Ghost Donkey is the go-to bar in Nolita for all things agave. The cocktails also incorporate many ingredients from Mexican cuisine and the bar isn’t shy at experimenting. Try the Mushroom Margarita made with huitlacoche infused mezcal or the Salted Caramel Horchata. Start off the night with some their nachos with cheddar and black truffles.

This Gramercy Tavern restaurant from celebrated Israeli chef Meir Adoni opens with cocktails incorporating Middle Eastern ingredients. The Clore Park Swizzle is made using Chateau Musar Arak, rum, grapefruit, bitters, and burnt lime, while other drinks are enhanced with spices such as cardamom, spiced coffee, and harissa.

The Aviary
Even though The Aviary has not opened yet, it is already sure to be the hottest bar in New York this season. The Aviary from Chicago’s Alinea group is known to be one of the best cocktail bars in the world, and the New York outpost will be on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, complete with a view of Central Park. Expect the same innovative, impeccable cocktails served in custom-made vessels as the Chicago bar.

The Crown
There are a few more days left to enjoy warm weather with some rooftop drinks. Dale Talde’s rooftop bar at Chinatown’s Hotel 50 Bowery offers a view of the Empire State Building and drinks made with ingredients and produce that can be round in Chinatown. The Crown Manhattan accentuates the classic cocktail with Szechuan tincture, while drinks like Black Dragon Tea combines vodka with oolong tea, green tea, and spiced kalamansi.

The Office
The Office was the first bar from Chicago’s Alinea group to open in New York City. The Office and The Aviary will both be located at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Much like the Chicago counterpart, The Office is an intimate bar with a classic speakeasy vibe serving food and cocktails a la carte, juxtaposing The Aviary’s experimental menu with a nod to classic drinks and the past. The menu is geared towards a luxurious experience, including a whole section devoted to cocktails made with rare spirits that may go up to $500 an ounce.

The Pool
The seafood-focused, opulent restaurant is the latest Midtown destination that boasts a central pool and a Calder mobile. The cocktail menu showcases a particular produce or spice such as chamomile, jalapeno, or banana.  As autumn arrives, try the Sour Apple with rye, calvados, and basil or the Cinnamon combined with extra anejo tequila and grapefruit.