Is there anything more glamorous than sipping martinis on a night out in New York City? We think not. Read below to find out which places are our favorite martini bars in Manhattan.
Bemelmans Bar (Upper East Side)
Set in the iconic Rosewood Hotel, The Carlyle, Bemelmans Bar is a nucleus for NYC’s socialites. The Upper East Side lounge retains its Art Deco grandeur with its dramatic black granite bar, 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling, and masterpiece murals by acclaimed Madeline children’s books illustrator, Ludwig Bemelmans. Consider trying Elaine’s Smokey Martini comprising Roku Gin, BenRiach 12yr Single Malt, and Noilly Prat Vermouth.
The Campbell (Grand Central Terminal)
Whether you’re waiting for a train or not, heading to The Campbell at Grand Central Terminal to take in the ornate 1920s interiors while sipping on a classic Campbell Dirty Martini — or two — is always a good idea. (PS: If you ever watched Gossip Girl, the famed steamy scene between Nate and Serena in season one was filmed here.)
Temple Bar (NoHo)
An iconic NoHo jaunt, Temple Bar is a new place to see and be seen in Lower Manhattan. The dark, wood-paneled bar is accented with retro black-and-white checkered flooring and an AndyWarhol disco ball, making this a fun site for cocktails and bar food bites. Martini-wise, the options are endless: from the Temple House Gibson Martini (50:50 Gin, manzanilla sherry, dash of sherry vinegar, & onions) to the Gin & Sin (Gin, dry vermouth, apricot, & absinthe), you simply can’t go wrong.
Dante New York City (Greenwich Village/West Village)
Caffe Dante, a legendary 1915-circa Italian cafe on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village, underwent extensive renovation to breathe life into its original space, along with opening its stylish West Village location, Dante West Village. Famed writers, actors, and celebrities alike, from Ernest Hemingway to Al Pacino, would visit the neighborhood haunt for a slice of Italy. The West Village flagship hosts a specialized “Martini Hour” from 3 pm to 5 pm where libations, including The Dante Martini (Fords Gin, Ketel One, Noilly Prat, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Nardini Cedro, and olive & lemon bitters), are only $10; don’t walk… run.
Darling (Central Park South)
Perched atop the sophisticated Park Lane New York in Central Park South, the Darling rooftop is the chicest spot to imbibe while taking sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. Inside, clandestine corners and swarthy-toned furnishings are contrasted by an airy outdoor lounge ensconced by lush greenery. A zingy Breakfast Martini stirred with prickly pear gin, fig jam, maple syrup, and English breakfast tea paired with Petrossian Caviar complete with Blinis and Crème Fraîche is an elite order.
Madeline’s Martini (East Village)
As mentioned in its name, Madeline’s Martini is the East Village’s unassuming martini-forward cocktail lounge ideal for kicking off a night out in New York. Dimly lit interiors backed by peacock-centric artwork spawn a moody ambiance for drinking innovative libations. We recommend the Bikini Martini made with vodka, coconut rum, fresh pineapple, and house grenadine as a refreshing concoction.
Bar Pendry (Manhattan West)
Inside the upscale Pendry Manhattan West, Bar Pendry is the hotel’s crown-jewel lobby bar. Glittering gold-hued accents and a custom art piece by local artists Nancy Lorenz give the counter-height bar and lounge space an effervescent glow. It’s a rather sumptuous imbibing experience, to say the least, so we order a timeless Belvedere Martini shaken and stirred with Belvedere Vodka, of course.
The Polo Bar (Midtown)
It’s only fitting that Ralph Lauren’s elegant restaurant, The Polo Bar, is a sceney Manhattan hotspot worth the hassle to get a reservation. While taking in this debonair atmosphere decked out with polo-themed artwork, order the Vesper (Stoli Elit Vodka, Monkey 47 Gin, Lillet Blanc, aromatic bitters, and grapefruit twist) to enjoy in your best dressed and most sophisticated manner.
Panorama Room (Roosevelt Island)
An elevated sky lounge at the Graduate New York, the Panorama Room delivers just that: 360-degree views of the Big Apple. Opt for the indoor contemporary-style lounge or the spacious outdoor deck — either way, there’s not a bad seat in the house for drinking a classic Espresso Martini while chatting with friends.
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