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Best Upscale Bars in New York

No riff-raff will be allowed to wander in with their video spun suspiciously to the side in these high-class establishments, but the trade-off is a higher tab for your high octane-drinks and swanky accommodations.

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thumb230 Fifth
(212) 725-4300
230 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY, 10010
With almost 15,000 square feet of wrap-around city view, two bars, seating for 500 as well as palm trees (palm trees!), you'll find a most festive outdoor atmosphere. One level below a gorgeous lounge that also seats 500 features cocktails and small Malaysian-style dishes. So that nothing interferes with your catching some rays, drinking cocktails and snooping on nearby buildings, you'll also find delicious Malaysian food circulating on trays around the rooftop.
thumbNo. 8
(212) 629-3333
357 West 16th Street,
New York, NY, 10011
A beautiful place full of beautiful people, cool and gorgeous at the same time. But if you're not somebody, do expect to be humiliated or at least put in your place by the door policy.
Cafe Carlyle
(212) 744-1600
35 E. 76th St.,
New York, NY, 10021
The nightly scene recalls an old MGM classic, camera ready pure Manhattan backdrop and a soundtrack that is classic cabaret. Café Carlyle is known for headlining incredible talents, including Eartha Kitt, Ute Lemper and Woody Allen, who regularly appears to jam with the Eddy Davis New Orleans jazz band. For over 30 years, Café Carlyle was synonymous with the legendary Bobby Short, whose spirit will live on through the music at Café Carlyle.
thumbEmployees Only
212-242-3021
510 Hudson Street,
New York, NY, 10014
Great West Village location and terrific food without attitude make Employees Only a favorite.
thumbFlatiron Lounge
(212) 727-7741
37 West 19th Street,
New York, NY, 10011
Featuring a rotating seasonal cocktail menu, this NYC-SF joint venture is the creation of celebrity cocktail stylist, Julie Reiner, and offers a pretty art deco-inspired décor.
thumbJoe's Pub
(212) 539-8770
425 Lafayette St,
New York, NY, 10003
Named after Public Theatre founder Joseph Papp, Joe's offers a posh cabaret setting with comfortable couches that let you sink in and enjoy the show. In addition, Joe's serves a classic Italian menu as well as a wide variety of specialty cocktails. The dinner menu is available until midnight.
thumbKiss & Fly
(212) 255-1933
409 W 13th St,
New York, NY, 10014
Bottle service and reservations are the way of things at Kiss & Fly, a nightclub with a European art-nouveau feel in Aer's old location.
Stone Rose
(212) 823-9769
10 Columbus Circle,
New York, NY, 10019
Opposite Per Se restaurant on the fourth floor of the Time Warner center, Stone Rose became an instant hit when it opened in 2004. With a gorgeous view of Central Park, the bar/lounge has seating for 300 and also a private room with 100 capacity. Owner Rande Gerber intended this 6,000 square foot glittering lounge of leather, wood, and glass to complement the Time Warner center's other spaces, and your experience at Stone Rose will be augmented with tasty appetizers from the nearby Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant.
thumbBack Room
(212) 228-5098
102 Norfolk St.,
New York, NY, 10002
This place is stylized as a lavish speakeasy where they serve alcohol in teacups and feature a rather plush decor—with velvet upholstered chairs, a central chandelier, bookcases, velvet paisley wallpaper, and a huge fireplace—so if it's a speakeasy, it's hardly the rough-hewn type we associate with the past. In terms of access to the actual "back room" here, access is granted exclusively to those who are friends of the owners.
thumbThe Delancey
(212) 254-9920
168 Delancey St.,
New York, NY, 10002
This three-level venue near the Williamsburg bridge offers a variety of atmospheres for the Lower East Side crowd. During summer months, the rooftop is the main draw, given that it is one of Manhattan's most nearly unique rooftop bars.