Lonely Planet Experiences: New York Speakeasy Cocktail Tour

4.3 / 5

7 reviews

Lonely Planet Experiences: New York Speakeasy Cocktail Tour

From $89 per person

This happy hour tour takes you to the center of New York’s booming cocktail culture and to some of the best bars in the city. You’ll sample delicious libations, hear tales of speakeasies and gangsters, and shop for new locally produced spirits en route.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 2.5 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Taste delicious craft cocktails at some of New York’s best bars
  • Learn how Prohibition shaped NYC, and about the speakeasies and gangsters who influenced the city’s cocktail culture
  • Discover new spirits from local micro-distilleries
  • Find the best tucked-away places to grab a drink in New York’s East Village
  • Learn how bartenders are revolutionizing cocktails in the U.S. with fresh, artisanal ingredients
Full description
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Your 2.5-hour craft cocktail tour starts in the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park, known as a gathering place for political radicals and socialists. These same people are credited with the creation of the city’s cocktail culture, so it’s an appropriate place to begin. New York’s East Village was once an immigrant neighborhood, but today is one of the city’s prime nightlife districts, home to great restaurants, bars, and theaters. Discover the best local haunts! Start out at a drinking fountain dedicated to a temperance advocate who extolled the virtues of water over whiskey. Instead of following this recommendation, you’ll visit 3 of New York City’s best cocktail bars, where you will sample drinks, meet the people behind the bars, and learn how they make their craft cocktails. Along the way, your guide will tell you how the modern cocktail came to be, how Prohibition in America affected the bar scene, and how cocktails are enjoying a resurgence as a result of the craft distilling and cocktail movement. Visit the sites of former speakeasies (hidden illegal bars that operated during the Prohibition Era) and hear tales of the gangsters and politicians that kept the liquor flowing regardless of the law. Swing by New York’s premier wine and spirits store, Astor Wines, where experts can help you pick out the perfect souvenir to take home after the tour. They’ll show you what to look for when buying different spirits and will introduce you to new local micro-distillers that are producing fine whiskeys, rums, vodkas, and gins. In between stops, learn all about the East Village, its history, and where to eat, drink, and play.
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • 3 cocktails
  • Gratuities
  • Food and additional drinks such as bottles of spirits
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Customers must keep distance in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • Customers are required to bring and wear masks

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Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

206 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009, USA. Corner of Avenue A and St. Mark’s Place at the entrance to Tompkins Square Park. Meet on the park side of the intersection (east side).

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card

Know before you go

  • Dress should be appropriate for a night out. Please avoid wearing shorts, baseball hats, t-shirts, or flip-flop (thong) sandals.
  • Child Policy: Travellers under 21 years of age are not permitted to join this tour.
  • Guests must bring government-issued photo identification as proof of age. Passports and/or driver’s licenses are acceptable.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 7 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization
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We enjoyed this tour, and the tour guide, so much that we signed up for a second tour later in the week. This is great value for money and time well spent if you’re interested in seeing part of the city from a local’s perspective along with rich history and cocktail tasting.

September 2, 2019

Fun tour with Mary Hannah

Had a great tour with Mary Hannah. Great information and cool places to go. Very accommodating when I failed to book the right number of tickets. Great other tips for parts of the city to explore.

May 23, 2019

Nice bars with interesting stories

The young woman who led me through the bars (there were only two of us) could tell beautifully about the past of the bars. The cocktails were quite tasty, especially the punch in the Havana bar. We had a nice evening.

October 1, 2018

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Product ID: 53812