When New Yorkers want to head out for a drink, they are often reluctant to check out the many bars located in Midtown Manhattan—the reason, of course, is Times Square, or rather, the tourist swarms that accumulate around this glitzy little section of this neighborhood. After all, we just want to be knock off our beers and cocktails in peace—we certainly don’t want to be surrounded by map-wielding sightseers Instagramming every moment of their time in the city.
However, as hard as it may be to believe, there are a few choice bars in the Midtown West area where you can both enjoy a drink and avoid the tourist troves. Most of them are small, intimate spaces, either hidden inside a hotel or tucked away in a nook of the street—you’d probably miss them if you weren’t actually looking out for them. But these bars are definitely worth searching for—check out our list for our favorite places for a drink in the Midtown West neighborhood.
Named after a respected city councilor in Scotland in the late 18th century who led a secret life as a burglar, the bar called Deacon Brodie’s lives up to its name by looking like your average New York townhouse from the outside, but is actually one of the more “happening” bars in Midtown Manhattan. With a full bar that boasts of a good collection of beers, Deacon Brodie’s offers a relaxed, chilled-out spot that’s perfect for taking a break from all the madness that is characteristic of New York City.
Okay, so maybe you’re not a fan of beer brews—are you a whiskey connoisseur instead? In that case, head straight to On The Rocks—this dimly-lit, dark-painted establishment will delight you will its 80 different varieties of your favorite brown spirit. But if you prefer a cocktail instead of a stiff Scotch, not to worry, the bartenders here will offer you drinks that are catered to your specific taste and interest. Much like Deacon Brodie’s, this bar is also quite unassuming from the outside—but don’t let that fool you.
First of all, we have to admit that we find it a little pretentious that Lantern’s Keep refuses to call itself a bar or a lounge, and instead prefers to call itself “a salon devoted to the art and enjoyment of great cocktails.” While we are certainly frowning at their highbrow attitude, we must still give this “salon” credit for their very fine cocktail selection. As reluctant as we are to admit it, this “salon,” hidden within the walls of the Iroquois Hotel, is an intimate, beautiful area that is very far removed from what is normally assumed of a “salon” in Midtown Manhattan.
We won’t judge you if the la-di-da ambience of Lantern’s Keep doesn’t interest you—but if that is indeed the case, then maybe you’d prefer the more relaxed, laid back aura of the Réunion surf bar in Hell’s Kitchen. This bar’s surf shack-like interiors are great for drinking everything from a frozen piña colada to a cheap $5 Nicaraguan beer—and yes, food is served here as well. Despite its kitschy, fun appeal, tourists haven’t yet discovered this place—which should be all the more reason for you to check it out today.
Fancy some good music to go along with your drink? Then make your way to the Rum House—this dive bar, which is funnily enough located within the rather classy confines of the Edison Hotel, has live bands playing almost every night. As tunes by everyone from jazz quartets to folk bands play on, this bar, which is located very close to Times Square, is a safe haven from all the hustle and bustle of the streets outside, and you get to enjoy a heady mix of fine drinks, seated far away from all the madding crowds of Midtown Manhattan.
Have we included your favorite Midtown Manhattan bar in the list above? If not, let us know in the comments below!