Josie Morgan blog: NYC’s coolest cocktail bars

Molly and I take a walking tour of the area, including our most favorite bars, the Manhattan and the Morimoto. The Morimoto was revamped three years ago, since the previous owner brought much of his mom’s sushi tradition to the spot. The Manhattan is a classic Manhattan that feels special on it’s own, but Molly and I split it and drank the first cocktail that was made in Manhattan by [Beverage Director] Patrick Verspin. $18 for a Manhattan, which is pretty cheap for New York. $11 for a Manhattan. Molly whispers her thoughts to me, “This is why I love NYC,” and she just tells me all of the places where I had my first drink, and I couldn’t agree more! Here are my favorite midtown Manhattan cocktail bars: Downtown Manhattan


Cleveland Street

A wide variety of places, but my favorite place is Purple Room, NYC, at 46 Orchard. They are at the top of their game, serving artisanal cocktails to a mix of college kids and professional cocktail connoisseurs. The Purple Room’s location in the heart of the district has been a key to the success of the bar. Apparently, in an experiment, some of the patrons of the bar spilled their drinks on the hallway. This is the result. I have never seen such a good cleaning crew. This bar is famous for their custom creations, and the bartenders have a loose and friendly attitude about serving you cocktails. Not your average night, but a break from the usual New York bars. Place info: 216 Orchard Street

Stuyvesant Town


New York Ave

There are three locations, but when we are trying to find the ’round one’ we head to P.A.C. because it’s a great space with a great vibe, especially on a Friday night. P.A.C. is known for their five star service. I love them for the Mini Marengo, even if it is only $7 a pop.

Jackson Heights

33 Griffintown


When we try a bar in NYC it tends to be different at each one. To the left is the Aporia/Trebor bar, to the right is the Plaza Tavern and to the right is the like Alain Ducasse. Located on the 24th street corner, Aporia is a dive bar, so it’s worth trekking on this side walk for their Cosmopolitan, a martini to give you wings or wing and a half, with Captain Morgan.

Hyde Park

The Topps


For the bar we hit The Topps, down at the corner of 59th street. However, the Topps, still technically a cocktail bar, has a great vibe. The bartenders in here are so happy to see us and encourage us to grab a drink. It’s super intimate and very laid back. I can sit and read a book, or sip a Boston Cream. $5 Cocktails, $8 Specials and $10 Specials are also available, so this is a cheap, social spot. Place info: 4969 Manhattan Avenue

23rd Street


A breeze of refreshing drinks and signature appetizers, Sandra’s is a busy mainstay. The vibe is friendly, but not a frat party. Everyone shares opinions and is really willing to let you know what your favorite cocktail is. The bar is located in the Briar Street roundabout at 23rd and 7th. Place info: 300 South Street

Wandering through the hidden corners of Manhattan, searching for one of your classic ‘boozy’ cocktails and a tasty snack sounds like a great way to kick off your Thursday in NYC. I’m a big fan of Southernsbar at the base of the Empire State Building. You could almost break up a shot glass with a straw just because there is so much food to indulge in.

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