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NYC’s 5 Best Cigar Bars

January 24, 2012 12:42 PM

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(file photo credit: MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

(file photo credit: MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Since the restaurant and bar smoking ban took effect in 2003, it has been illegal to open new cigar bars. But here’s the catch – those that already existed before the ban are allowed to remain open, and new cigar stores are still allowed to open. You don’t have to be a cigar-lover, though, to enjoy these spots. Here are our picks for the top 5 spots in NYC to enjoy a cocktail and a stogie. – By Jonathan Pogash

See Also: The 5 Best Bars For Tasting Flights | NYC’s 4 Best Whiskey Bars

carnegie club NYCs 5 Best Cigar Bars

credit: Hospitality Holdings

The Carnegie Club

156 W. 56th St.
New York, NY 10019

The Carnegie Club, nestled behind Carnegie Hall on 56th St., not only offers quality cigars, but they have a list of creative cocktails, as well (full disclosure: author consults here). You can also try any one of their top shelf brown spirits along with your cigar. On Saturday nights you can enjoy one of the world’s best Frank Sinatra shows, performed by Steve Maglio and the Stan Rubin Orchestra.

hudson bar books NYCs 5 Best Cigar Bars

credit: Bar & Books

Bar & Books (Hudson)

636 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014

With three bar locations across Manhattan, the Bar & Books group offers a cigar and cocktail for every taste. You can visit them on Hudson St., Lexington Ave., or Beekman (1st Ave). Grab Ian Fleming’s favorite, the Vesper, or a whiskey tasting flight, along with a Cohiba black, and puff the night away.

club macanudo NYCs 5 Best Cigar Bars

credit: Club Macanudo

Club Macanudo

26 E. 63rd St.
New York, NY 10065

Club Macanudo on 63rd St. has a lovely selection of fine cigars and spirits. You’ll want to make sure to reserve your table for dinner, as well. With entrees like Peppercorn-Crusted Filet Mignon and Coconut Shrimp, you’ll soon see why this spot is for the cigar aficionado and foodie alike.

grand havana room cigars NYCs 5 Best Cigar Bars

credit: Grand Havana Room

Grand Havana Room

666 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10103

The Grand Havana Room has what any private cigar club should have: state-of-the-art humidors (650 of them), private rooms, live music in the Grand Lounge, and, of course, an extensive selection of cigars. You’ll rest assured that excess smoke won’t be an issue, as the club has a modern ventilation system. How do you join? Email them for more information, but do know that membership is limited.

89641809 NYCs 5 Best Cigar Bars

(file photo credit: MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Cigar Inn

1016 2nd Ave.
between 53rd and 54th st.
New York, NY 10022

The Cigar Inn doesn’t actually serve alcohol, but members are allowed to bring their own. Not only can you buy premium cigars and sip on a glass of wine you’ve brought in yourself, but you can also peruse the store and gaze at their selection of cufflinks, money clips, and pens. This spot truly is a cigar lover’s paradise.

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Jonathan Pogash, aka The Cocktail Guru, is a beverage consultant, writer, and educator.

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  • Alexei

    With 10 ”smoking” establishments in NYC at most the title should be called 5 out of 10 Best Cigar Bars…Author needs to do his homework better. As if we got hundreds of them…Besides me ”fuming” over idiot legislation I m glad EyeOnNy mentioned Circa Tabac in Soho. I go to CC, B&B a lot. I personally enjoy the back room at Davidoff from time to time, get a cigar and enjoy a whole ”under the radar cigar subculture”. De La Concha has an excellent selection too. B&B @ Hudson is the cutest, I agree. Funniest thing- while walking NYC Streets you are most likely to smell marijuana than a cigar aroma…so give me a break on no cigars at Parks and Beaches policy!

  • Ben Toro

    I want to congratulate Cigar Inn, you guys deserve it, Cigar Inn is truly a new york institution for Cigars I Guss Alan owns a Cigar Shop in New York and and his shop DIDN’T make it to CBS best of New York “NYC’s 5 Best Cigar Bars” so he’s JEALOUS.:)
    I been a Cigar Inn client for the past 3 years and I visit Cigar Inn at least twice a week with my own JOHNNIE BLACK and they never asked me to be a member:)

    Thank you Cigar Inn for providing us with a great and wonderful place to Smoke and Drink.
    Ben. T

  • SmokinCeegars

    It’s funny how the most talked about lounge on this list is the Cigar Inn. That alone says alot! The inn allows alcohol as long as you are a paying customer & they don’t charge a bottle service fee. A couple of cigars and when your done, some gratitude for the hostess goes a long way. No membership required.

    It’s worth every penny to become a member here. At least once a night I hear “We should get a box” while they down a whole bottle of their choosing. Get on the waiting list and pay your dues.

    • Alan


      I’ve been to the Inn a dozen or so times in the past few months as I just discovered it recently. Agreed, the place is very nice. I have nothing but conflicting info regarding their BYOB policy. Half of their reviews say you have to be a “member” and half say you don’t if you want to BYOB. I’ve even asked both on phone and in person about BYOB and both times I was told “Usually it’s just our members that can BYOB.” And when I asked for clarification I was told to “Talk to the manager.”

      I’d start going even more If I knew I could bring a bottle without risking being told I can’t drink it once I’m there.

  • EyeOnNY

    All the clubs listed here are quite nice and respectable. However, for the most part, if you blink, you might not know the difference from one to another. Basically they’re all Old Boys’ clubs. There is nothing wrong with that, if that’s your thing. But if you are looking for a more well rounded spot in NYC open to accommodating a more diverse crowd, from everyone from movie and music industry types to Advertising, Internet and Fashion folk, then Circa Tabac down in SoHo is your spot. Get there and you’ll rub elbows with even more types, like NYC’s service industry people, some hipsters, Occupy Wall Streeters and Wall Streeters themselves, and, yes, celebrities. I was there the other night and Carmen Kaas was chillin for hours. Nick Tosces is a regular. (As am I, I’m guessing you figured.) They even have good food and fair prices. I’d have to say though, Circa Tabac could be considered more of a cigarette lounge as opposed to a cigar club. Though there is a fair share of cigar smoking. If all that sounds like what you’re looking for, then Circa Tabac is your spot. I love the place, it’s great. When you walk in you might think you’ve travelled back to a different era, the time and place when smoking wasn’t looked down upon, when it was swank. The best way to say it is It’s a place for adults who are happy most when they’re hanging out with friends, meeting new friends, singing and drinking and smoking liberally… See you there, baby!

    • SmokinCeegars

      They really isn’t too many cigar smokers here. Great establishment but more for cigarettes. Last time I was there I was the only one smoking cigars.

  • Carl Nicola

    The Cigar Inn has always been the premier spot for great cigars, great conversation, and a cast of characters that symbolizes what New York City is all about. The Fahik brothers are probably the hardest working guys I know and deserve all the accolades and success that comes their way. I am a regular at the uptown Inn and I now live in Palm Beach and one of the few things i miss is “The Inn” but i do make it there every few months to enjoys the brothers and their customers.

    Carl Nicola . Palm Beach

  • Alan

    This article has false content regarding Cigar Inn.

    Cigar Inn DOES NOT “allow you to bring your own” alcohol. When clarifying this information, before making a trip from my Brooklyn home, I called and asked and was told “Yes, MEMBERS are allowed to bring alcohol. When I referenced this article which was forwarded to me by Cigar Inn the guy repeated himself and said “When you show up talk to the manager about getting a membership.”

    He wouldn’t give me a yes or a no. So, what I got from this was NO Cigar Inn DOES NOT allow customers to bring their own alcohol unless you are a member.

  • Ramsey

    I am jealous. L.A. needs to get with it.

    • Smokefree

      Nothing to be jealous about. Imagine what their lungs are entailing in those crowded stuffy places, especially the staff who may not be able to get work elsewhere due to the economy. They are only legal because they were grandfathered in when the NYC was able to protect all others from the toxic secondhand smoke.

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