5 Tips for Choosing Cocktail Bars

choosing cocktail bars

29 Aug 5 Tips for Choosing Cocktail Bars

With so many cocktail bars to choose from in big cities like NYC, Chicago, Boston, or L.A., making a decision can be a tough call. Here are 5 helpful tips for choosing cocktail bars to help you narrow down your selection!

5 Tips for Choosing Cocktail Bars

No matter where you’re at, these five tips can be applied to any lounge you might be considering.


choosing cocktail barsSome cocktail bars source local, fresh ingredients and rotate their cocktails throughout the season. In general, these lounges are aimed at cocktail enthusiasts. Their menus may be more experimental than the average lounge. If you’re looking for a truly unique drink, then a specialty lounge is certain to deliver.

When a cocktail lounge takes pride in the ingredients used, you have found a place that prioritizes the drink as an art form as well as a unique experience. If nothing else, you’ll likely have the freshest tasting cocktail in town!


This tip is pretty straightforward. When choosing cocktail bars, take note of where it’s located in relation to your home or hotel. You want to pick a place that’s not too far out of the way in case you need to take a taxi home.

Choosing a location in reasonable distance also plays into safety considerations. Your friends and family can quickly meet you if your safety comes into any kind of question.

Everyone’s maximum comfortable distance is going to be different. Think about what you’re OK with, and always go with your gut instinct.


When planning a party, you’ll quickly notice that everyone’s taste is very different. Accommodating everyone’s palate can be a challenge. That’s when looking at the menu of your potential lounge is most useful.

Check to see if the lounge in question has wine for Kendra and vegan options for Larry in addition to great cocktails. Rule out the lounges that have too narrow a menu, or don’t have food or drink options to make everyone happy.


The combination of ‘affordability’ and ‘cocktails’ probably seems like an oxymoron. In fact, even high end cocktail bars range in price. If affordability is a factor you’ll need to consider when planning your outing, then you can easily rule out top-end cocktail bars.

Remember that resources like Yelp and Google can help you quickly filter out expensive lounges and fine-tune your options.


At first glance, mixology may seem like a fancy way of saying ‘making cocktails’. In fact, mixology is its own separate art form, elevating cocktails from art to masterpieces.

Mixology uses innovative techniques and unique combinations of ingredients to create works of art for diners. If you want a truly unique experience, then look for a lounge that advertises itself as having a mixologist on staff or specializes in mixology.

Our Top Picks for NYC Cocktail Bars

If you’re in NYC, then you are probably already familiar with how many cocktail bars and lounges there are to choose from. Here are our top picks.

Atwood NYC

Offering seasonal cocktails in addition to their regular menu, Atwood NYC is a can’t-miss cocktail lounge located in Midtown East. Step into this glamorous, Hollywood-inspired spot and sip cocktails in a comfortable, timeless setting.

Explore Atwood NYC»


Situated atop a Lower East Side rooftop, Monarch is a fantastic, intimate setting to sip cocktails with friends or your date. Comfortable seating and elegant yet welcoming Scandinavian-inspired decor make this venue perfect to spend several hours with your friends.

Explore Monarch»

Gansevoort Park

If your group can’t agree between a chilled lounge or a high-energy nightclub, then look no further than Gansevoort Park. Featuring four separate, themed rooms – each of which has its own unique vibe and energy – you and your friends can choose the perfect spot for your mood while enjoying sunset views.

Explore Gansevoort Park»

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