Five "Secret" Restaurants and Clubs in NY

October 8, 2018 | By Bryan A.


This famous East Harlem Italian spot is historic, established in 1896. It only houses ten tables and you need to know someone to get a reservation. Getting a table requires a reservation from someone who owns a table there, which changes on a yearly baisis. Authentic Italian food makes Rao’s a high profile destination for VIPs to grab a meal.


Bohemian, located in the back of a NoHo butcher shop, serves as a “secret” bar/restaurant. The best way to get in is to get a phone number from someone who has managed to eat there before, but even then nothing is guaranteed. However, if you do manage to make it inside, they offer up some terrific Japanese food. It doesn’t get much more “low-key” or New York than Bohemian.

The Back Room at The Back Room

Ready to get crazy? This secret bar is found behind a fake bookshelf at The Back Room, a bar located behind a fake toy store on Norfolk Street. So, in effect, it’s a double-secret bar, for those of you who want to be extra exclusive. While the second Back Room is reserved for friends of the owners, it still helps to try. Getting into this space is a thrill, offering up a wide array of drink options and a picturesque setting to sit down and enjoy a nice beverage.


Tucked away in an alley off of the Bowery, Freemans is an incredibly photo-esque restaurant that seems hidden on first glance. Although it is not exclusive by any means, it may feel that way based off of the small space and private setting in the middle of downtown NYC. The menu consists of delectable American food, and is served for brunch, lunch and dinner. Cozy surroundings and good service keep patrons coming back for more.

Beauty & Essex

While you may not expect to find a great meal in the city behind a pawn shop, this is New York after all! Beauty & Essex, located on Essex Street, has been rated as one of the best brunch spots in NYC, and it's hard not to see why. Accompanied by an interesting array of jewelry and other items adorning its walls, this hip spot is also quite formal. Be sure to dress nice, and enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne as well before enjoying an amazing brunch. Typically, if headed to a secret spot in New York, the speakeasie refers to the bar located behind the restaurant. At the Garret East, a bar found on Avenue A, you can walk through (and enjoy a quality drink on the way) to get to dinnertable. This small but cozy secret spot serves quality food, cooked right in front of diners. There is a wide variety of dinner options, and the bar offers up some amazing drinks as well.

La Milagrosa

This hidden Williamsburg bar offers up some Mexican ambiance that is a step above the rest. Found behind a deli, it may not be super hidden, but it is well worth a visit. A seven-drink cocktail menu, including mandatory margaritas, are crowd pleasers. The surroundings are high-end as well; referring to the bar as a “listening room”, La Milagrosa plays quality throwback tunes for the early portion of the night, only to switch to a live DJ for later hours. If you are looking for a trendy alternative to the Brooklyn bar scene, La Milagrosa is it.

Tags: Rent NY, Manhattan, Moving to NY

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