Down below: A guide to NYC basement bars

Unlike other hip lounges in NYC, customers can bypass the bottle service and grab table reservations by sipping some of Lilium’s fresh and scrumptious cocktails.

I have a few fears in my life: darkness, spiders, Ryan Seacrest and basements. I’m not sure what haunts me the most about those spaces, perhaps it’s the lack of windows or the fact that when I was a child, I used to believe that monsters lived in the basement of my house. Thank goodness that with time and maturity, I’ve grown out of that silly phase or else I would be missing out on numerous amazing bars and restaurants hidden at the sub terrain level.

With space always being an issue here in NYC, many bars and restaurants opt to take advantage of the lower levels of buildings to set up shop. Just a few steps downstairs can lead you to a cellar of delicious libations and an evening away from the chaos on the streets. Need a suggestion or two? No worries. I’ve visited a few of these spots and have the insiders scoops on the goods.

The Cellar at Beecher’s

900 Broadway New York, NY 10003

A few of my favorite things in life include alcohol, cheese and exposed brick. This bar has them all. Tucked underneath Beecher’s, known for their homemade cheese, is The Cellar which boasts a lively cocktail menu, wonderful wine selection and food made with their in house cheeses. Sit by the bar or opt for one of their large, comfortable leather chairs.  But get here on the early side because this spot only stays open until 11pm Sunday-Wednesday and midnight the rest of the week.

Little Branch

20 7th Avenue South  NY 10011

One of the earlier “speakeasy” spots in NYC, Little branch has been serving up some Gothamites favorite drinks in the city. This spot is known for its “Bartenders Choice” cocktails that never fail. The entrance is located at the corner of Leroy and South 7th avenue and you will often times see a few thirsty patrons lingering outside. The bar itself is small, so try your luck on a weekday evening on the early or later ends.

Lilium

W Hotel 201 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10003

Underbar got a well deserved face-lift with this new bar that opened a few months ago in the basement of the W Hotel in Union Square. Guests of the hotel can access a private elevator to take them to this underground oasis, otherwise walk through the revolving door on 17th street and head downstairs.  This bar is complete with a breathtaking metal ceiling design, video art installations from the Moma, and live DJs spinning tunes Wednesdays through Saturday. And unlike other hip lounges in NYC, customers can bypass the bottle service and grab table reservations by sipping some of Lilium’s fresh and scrumptious cocktails instead. Try the Black Lilly (vodka, fresh blackberry juice & champagne) or the Grassy Kroll (bison grass vodka, fresh muddled ginger and lemongrass) that are both winners in my book. Come or a drink, stay for a dance and get lost in a good time here.

Idle Hands

25 Ave B New York, NY 10009

Beer, bourbon and burgers? The best alliteration I’ve heard in a while. Located underneath Billy  Hurricane’s in the East Village, this bar keeps its customers satisfied and constantly coming back for more. With prices that are wallet friendly and a knowledgeable staff of bartenders, Idle Hands is known not only as a great spot to grab a drink but also a venue which opens its door to many charity events/fundraisers and classes about beer for the public. It’s a personal favorite of mine and after a visit, I have no doubt it will be one of yours.

124 Old Rabbit Club

124 MacDougal St New York, NY 10012

If beer is more your speed, then be sure to visit this bar located in the heart of Greenwich Village. With minimal signage denoting this spot, it remains tucked away from the crazy street of MacDougal. Get adventurous and try one of their various beer offerings from an extensive listing they put together. Don’t worry, the bartenders are there to walk you through the different tastes and types of brews and they won’t lead you astray.

Pulqueria

11 Doyers Street New York, NY 10013

Sometimes finding the basement to a building can be difficult, but try also finding a tucked away street in Chinatown with a hidden basement bar. Game on.  Named for pulque, a milk-colored, alcoholic beverage deriving from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, this point boasts a cocktail menu incorporating pulque into the drinks such as the Jicama (fresh jicama, pulque, tequila, agave, lime) and outstanding Mexican food. If you can’t get south of the boarder anytime soon, at least you can go south of the street level for a Mexican escape.

View Basement bars NYC in a larger map



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.