15 Hidden Speakeasy Bars You'll Want to Find
These speakeasy-style bars around the United States aren't just cool, they play hard to get, too. On your next trip to these cities, see if you can find these tricky-to-spot bars hiding in plain sight.
Photo By: Nick Cote
Photo By: Janette Casolary
Photo By: Jordan Copp
Photo By: Stowe Mountain Lodge
Photo By: Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel
Photo By: Kevin Kramer
Photo By: Erin Kent
Photo By: Idaho Tourism
Photo By: Brooklyn's on Boulder St.
Photo By: Christian Harder
Photo By: Justin Driscoll
Photo By: Anthony Farinas
Photo By: Kevin Lofgren
Photo By: Gerry Kim
Photo By: Mata Hari
Braise, Albuquerque, NM
No, you can’t take a selfie. Braise, expertly hidden in downtown Albuquerque, is meant to be the kind of place where anyone can go to relax without worrying about ending up on a stranger’s social media feed. That’s why you won’t find photos of it on Instagram or Facebook, and why even its website is password-protected for members only. Members also gain access to a thumbprint reader that allows entry to the bar without first having to ply the employees in the shop where the entrance is hidden; the door is disguised and always locked from the outside. Here’s a hint: Look for a place where you can buy New Mexico-made beers and liquors downtown. Be savvy, though. Asking, "Hey, how do I get into Braise?" is frowned upon and likely won’t get you an honest answer.
Little Tin Goods & Apothecary Cabinet, Seattle
From the street, Little Tin Goods and Apothecary Cabinet in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood looks like nothing more than a daytime floral shop. But inside is an exquisite bar in which owners Frankie Goodman and Kalei App have orchestrated every detail: All the cocktails are vegan, made with juices, purees and tinctures made in-house, jazz bands play live music every night and on "Aloha Fridays," they serve food and drinks inspired by Apo’s hometown of Kauai. It gets its name from the little tins of foreign delicacies they import for bar snacks, like octopus, mackerel and spiced sardines.
Prohibition, Murray, UT
Every day, people wander into Prohibition’s antique store front in Murray, Utah, without wondering whether there’s more than meets the eye, and that’s exactly what its owners want. To get into the '20s-style bar, you need a "prescription" for alcohol. And a bit of creativity: You’ll have to play along and explain what’s ailing you in order to get one.
The Linehouse at Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe, VT
You’ll want to be on your best guest behavior at Stowe Mountain Lodge: If you’re not an owner, the only way into the hidden Linehouse speakeasy is to be invited by a staff member. Some cocktail recipes date back to Prohibition times, and some of the glasses might, too; each one was sourced from local antique stores.
Melinda's Alley, Phoenix
The only thing that clues you into the existence of Melinda’s Alley, in downtown Phoenix, is a single red light above a door disguised by a massive mural. The speakeasy is home to a slice of Phoenix history, even though it only opened in 2016, under the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. It’s nestled in the basement of what was once the Hotel Adams, with the building’s original foundation—more than 100 years old—serving as the bare concrete walls.
Al's Place, Minneapolis
The entrance to Al’s Place, a Minneapolis speakeasy named after the notorious Prohibition-era gangster, might have the cleverest disguise of all the spots on this list. Let’s just say you’ll need to take your photo inside the ground floor restaurant, Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room, in order to get in. Al Capone’s business cards listed him as a used furniture dealer, and Al’s Place stays in character. So when you do eventually knock on the right wall, leading you to the doorman guarding the entrance, play it cool: You’re in the market for a new sofa or maybe some, ahem, bar stools, and you heard Al’s might have what you’re looking for.
Jack's Hideaway, Harrisonburg, VA
To find Jack’s Hideaway, a gem in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia, you really have to look for it or know who to ask: You’ve got to knock on the right unlabeled door to get in. Jack’s Hideaway is cozy, set up almost like a mountain cabin you’d expect to find deep in the woods. Expect to wait to get in if you’re going on a weekend because the bar keeps strict tabs on how many people are inside to make sure it never feels overcrowded.
Craft Lounge, Nampa, ID
In the basement of a historic building in downtown Nampa Idaho, you might stumble upon a speakeasy disguised as the one thing curious minds often don’t care to snoop: a janitor’s closet. Make sure you order a G & T: Craft Lounge makes its own tonic.
Brooklyn's on Boulder St., Colorado Springs
Brooklyn’s on Boulder St., in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, may appear to be a haberdashery to passersby, but anyone who looks closely at the hours should figure out immediately something else is up; they’re only open from 5 p.m. to midnight. Inside, you’ll find a smart bar owned and run by Lee Spirits Co., a craft gin distillery also based in Colorado Springs.
The Magdalenae Room at The Dean Hotel, Providence
Even guests of The Dean in downtown Providence and frequent visitors to its Boombox karaoke bar can easily walk right past the Magdalenae Room without realizing what it is. Hidden behind a nondescript door and thick velvet curtains, you’ll find a swanky speakeasy illuminated only by candlelight, with risqué decor that pays homage to the hotel’s former life as a gentleman’s club. It's the opposite of your average hotel bar. If you’re feeling indecisive and adventurous, let the bartender use your glass as a canvas. You won’t regret it.
This ultra-hip Japanese cocktail bar in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood is reservation-only, so even if you do find it, you can’t just waltz right in—unless you’re a regular with a special keycard or your retinas on file for the scanner. Celebrities frequent Himitsu, which means "secret" in Japanese, for the sophisticated atmosphere and artful cocktails, which might be some of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen.
The Drifter, Chicago
The Drifter, in Chicago, has some teeth to its claims to authenticity: during the Prohibition era, the building housed an actual speakeasy. Now, the small-capacity basement bar underneath the Green Room Tavern offers an intimate setting for craft cocktails listed on tarot cards that serve as the menu. An eclectic set of performers entertains the crowd each night.
Truth and Alibi, Dallas
Truth and Alibi in Dallas might appear to be a candy shop, but hidden behind that front is a classy speakeasy. Make sure to check their Facebook page for the weekend’s password before showing up; you’ll need it to get in.
What looks like a normal freezer door in Denver’s Frozen Matter ice cream shop is actually hiding a small, intimate bar called Retrograde. Flip the switch to request access and grab a cup or cone while you wait. The cocktail menu is creative, and so are the bartenders—if you’re in the mood for "something with lavender," they’ll build something off-menu right in front of you.
The Mata Hari, Savannah
To get into the Mata Hari in Savannah, you need a key—or a friend who has one. The bar doesn’t have a website—or list its address online—and it’s hidden behind a studded wooden door with bars over the tiny window. Inside, you’ll find a posh, Prohibition-style speakeasy, right at home in this city dripping with history. No doubt, you’ll think you’ve been whisked back in time to the 1920s.