5 Swanky Speakeasies: From LA to NYC

There’s not much cooler than a speakeasy. From the hushed conversation to their illicit roots, they’ve been capturing our minds and serving our drinks for the better part of a century. Here’s a few of our favorite spots that may require that you procure a few passwords.

BOURBON AND BRANCH

San Francisco, California

photo via bourbon and branch

Going all the way back to the 1860s, and in the same spot an old speakeasy called The Ipswitch (known then simply as “a beverage parlor”) ignored the 18th Amendment back in the 20s. You’ll need reservations, and the door is unmarked.

THE NOBLE EXPERIMENT

San Diego, California

Noble Experiment Pat Loika

Forget unmarked doors, you’ll find this place conveniently behind a keg wall (exactly where you weren’t expecting it, right?). While you may not think of San Diego as a destination for craft cocktails, this place will change your mind in a hurry.

THE VARNISH

Los Angeles, California

The Varnish LA

Rounding out our trio of California Speakeasies, The Varnish is a place where, on top of getting a expertly-made drink, you’ll also speak easy. No, really. It’s enforced. And we kind of dig that—assuming we’re the ones not being too loud.

BATHTUB GIN

Seattle, Washington

Bathtub Gin Seattle

We could be biased because this place is so close to our office, but Bathtub Gin is a pretty amazing spot for a cozy cocktail in a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. Actually, it’s more of a hole-in-the-alley under an umkarked door that’s more easy to recognize by the bouncer standing outside. When you do make it in, though, your reward will be both cozy and delicious.

MANHATTAN CRICKET CLUB

Manhattan, New York City

Manhattan Cricket Club via Facebook

Where else to end a list of speakeasies than Gotham itself? You’ll find this spot inside an Australian-themed restaurant, and once inside, you’ll be treated to an amazing classic cocktail list and an atmosphere that’s straight out of the 20s.

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