Can you keep a secret? We’re not very good at it either. That’s why we’re letting you in on a map of hidden drinking stops worth a little further investigation. Disguised, these watering holes are not left in plain sight, instead they thrive on the dedicated connoisseur.
Those willing to go a little further to discover a secluded spot or cocktail wonderland, step right this way. These are the secret bars all over the world worth visiting, an adventure or two to be had. Earn your drinks.
1930 Cocktail Bar – Milan
A speakeasy taking you back to the darker days of prohibition, you’ll be tucked into this venue with whisky in hand in no time at all. There’s Japanese whisky swilling in your glass, and British cocktail by your side and your in the fine Italian city of Milan, a trip away with every sip.
Blind Barber – New York
You’ll notice a trend of barber shops come bars as you scroll, but what’s not to love about a drink with utility. You wouldn’t know it’s a bar unless you were coming to get a trim or had been told by a friend, which is what makes it that much more wonderful. Hopefully your barber isn’t truly blind from all the quality booze when you ask for that close shave.
The Butcher – Amsterdam
A meaty offering where burgers sit perched on the countertops and hidden in a local market, you’ll be enjoying prime cuts with a fine brew. They’re open all day for whatever meal you require, but it’s a burger bar for a reason so that’s what we recommend the utmost.
Little Red Door – Paris
Nonchalance is a French core value, and at this hidden gem you’ll feel it in the air. It oozes cool from every brick and you feel spectacularly special to have found it. A red door lit by a single light guides you in, but it’s unassuming of course.The cocktails spectacular and the location still within reach of where you’re staying, what’s not to love.
Jazz Blues and Soul – Tokyo
A vinyl lovers paradise, where the walls are lined with records of years gone by. But beyond the overwhelming catalogue there’s that familiar Japanese hospitality muddling and pouring on your behalf. This place can get packed and it may feel cramped but that’s the experience.
Ladies and Gents – London
What may look like a public restroom to the unaware, is actually your destination. Seasonal cocktails, fresh produce lining every glass and a flair for everyone’s alcoholic love affair, gin. It prides itself on being a neighbourhood bar, so pull up a chair and make yourself right at home.
The Barber Shop – Sydney
Grooming meets drinking in this fine little establishment, where as you step beyond the first partition you’ll be immersed in your new cocktail environment. Drink you say? Why yes thankyou. The decor is timely without being dated and the drink selection almost too extensive to fathom. A clean cut drink is on the cards.
Green Door – Berlin
The land of quirk and inhibition, almost every bar is all about the personality rather than the drinks. It’s nondescript but it makes up for it’s lack of showmanship with a never-ending cocktail list and charming bartenders to pour it your way.
Frigobar – Sao Paulo
The original speakeasy, if you find yourself in Brazil this is where to enjoy a bevy or two. The service is old fashioned and so to the drinks, with each on crafted for your consumption. Wooden interiors and crystal glasses make it feel even further away then just off the beaten path.
The Union – Copenhagen
A place where dancing on the table is encouraged, the information about this Danish haunt is scarce. But that’s what makes it so much more exciting. Flapper style fun is a given at this dimly lit heaven. And they serve breakfast at The Union Kitchen in case you find yourself pulling an all nighter.
Stockton – Hong Kong
Away from the bright lights and the busy night foot traffic is a whisky bar where you can escape. To find it you’ll have to go on a bit of an expedition, but just know there’s an ice cold drink waiting for you, to claim your prize.
Circa 33 – Portland
When you think of thriving American bar scenes, you would seldom think of Portland, Oregon but oh how you’d be wrong. This stop is a foodie heaven so it’s no surprise Circa 33 stocks its bar menu with enough food to have you rolling home. French flair dusts everything on the menu and you’ll love it.
Giger Bar – Switzerland
What may look like an alien paradise or a scene from the Chamber of Secrets, is actually open for you to visit and drink as you please. Vertebrae arches and lingers across the room making the space feel somewhat of an internal display, no matter it’s size. Modelled after the work of HR Giger, this museum bar is far from stuffy.
Bar Mut – Barcelona
Spain has the most bars per capita, more than any other nation in the world, so you’d expect a couple to fall under the radar. This one’s more a case of the locals trying to keep the La Ramblas traffic out, but you’re more than welcome. Munch on tapas and keep your drink topped up by the warm barmen, just don’t start a discussion about Catalonian independence.
The Croft Institute – Melbourne
An asylum meets bar, however the main difference is that guests can leave when they please. The clinical interior is truly immersive, you’ll find yourself questioning your sanity after five drinks here. Which are serve shot up in a syringe, in case you enjoy novelty. We certainly do.
Madame Claude – Berlin
A venue that challenges perspective, this Berlin bar has furniture firmly planted to the ceiling and floor. The space feels expansive with this in mind and you’ll never have to fight for a seat.
Cave Bar – Dubrovnik
Sure you know about the Buza bars, the drinking spots with epic views nestled into the cliffside of Dubrovnik. But Cave Bar takes that a step further. The view outside is stellar as expected, but the cavernous interior is where the real fun happens.
Flask and The Press – Shanghai
Hidden in a sandwich shop (The Press) is a vending machine that will transport you like the wardrobe to Narnia. A Coca cola ice cold moment takes you down to the bar (The Flask) where you’ll likely not leave til early morn. But you won’t mind at all. The barmen here are particularly skilled in their craft.
Evans and Peel Detective Agency – London
If you have a case of the drinking blues, this detective agency is the one for you. Taking you down into another world where crime is all but left at the door. It’s old world charm mixed with modern day fun. Have a sip of the hard stuff.
Image source: Sensanostra, The Pouring Tales, Time Out, Archello, Pores For Thought, Vice, Eat Big Apple, U Trip, Simonde, Asia Bars, Brady Kennedy, The Alcademics, The Old Reader, Plate Selector, More of Thesa, Tunli, Social and Cocktails.