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The 5 Best Cocktail Bars In Chelsea

Over the overwhelming club scene in the Meatpacking District? Wishing for a more intimate spot to enjoy well-made drinks with your significant other or closest friends? Check out Chelsea for a glimpse of glamour as you sneak into secret dens for expertly crafted cocktails. By Sarah Shaker.

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(credit: dbar)

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Donatella Arpaia's dark lounge features expert cocktails. Just tell one of the experienced mixologists what you're in the mood for, and expect serious ingredients, such as egg whites, fresh produce and house made syrups. This tiny bar is connected Donatella, a pizzeria bringing more than just pies to the neighborhood, via a secret door. And, yes, you can order from Donatella's menu to be delivered to the bar.

The Tippler
The Derek Smalls cocktail from The Tippler. (credit:

More: NYC's 6 Best Frozen & Dessert Cocktails

Tucked beneath Chelsea Market, The Tippler features brick archways and industrial undertones, including salvaged wood from a water tower and train rails from the High Line. Artfully prepared cocktails, craft beers and small bites are featured at this cool "secret" bar. Try one of the Tight, Rich & Boozy cocktails, like the Humdinger (White and dark rums, grapefruit liqueur, cardamom, hibiscus and egg white) or get adventurous with a choice from the Odd Balls, such as Mead 7 (Dansk Mjød, Viking Blod).

(credit: Dream Downtown)

Decked out in mirrors, glass chandeliers and a sweet view rooftop view, PH-D is the Dream Downtown's ultimate penthouse. From the guys behind Tao, Lavo, and Avenue, expect the club-vibe with a dance floor full of pretty people. The long and narrow deck around the left side of the venue is filled with banquettes, greenery and boasts one of the city's most spectacular views with clear shots of the Empire State Building. Cocktails like the Wet Dream (Belvedere Black Raspberr, White Cranberry, Elderflower) are offered for $18, so slowly sip to enjoy these pricey drinks for all they're worth.

Raines Law Room
credit: The Raines Law Room

Sneak into this cozy den, housed behind an unmarked door, for the ultimate in speakeasy sex appeal. The Raines Law Room isn't just another Prohibition-era style trend, with expert cocktails, but the perfect bar to impress your date or get to the good gossip with your best friends under the dark lighting. The menu lists cocktails by style, from Bright and Crisp to With a Bitter Edge to please just about anyone's boozy palate.

Bathtub Gin
Credit: Gin

Bringing us back to the Prohibition-era, Bathtub Gin upholds tradition by mixing their gin and other spirits with fresh fruits, juices, syrups and infusions in cocktails inspired by original recipes. Enjoy your gin shaken or stirred or try one of their Barrel Aged Cocktails for a seriously strong treat.

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Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.
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