Farmer’s markets, skateboarders, musicians, the occasional protester — Union Square has it all. If you find yourself thirsty while strolling through this cultural nerve center, head to these nearby bars. By Selena Ricks-Good.

(credit: The Raines Law Room)

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Step down an unassuming stairway and ring a doorbell to enter this basement speakeasy offering a swank array of velvet seating, private booths and antique touches. Sip vintage-inspired cocktails such as the American Trilogy (Laird’s Apple Brandy, Rittenhouse Bonded Rye and an orange bitters-soaked sugar cube) or the Philadelphia Story (Compass Box Peat Monster Scotch, Amaro Averna, St. Germain elderflower liqueur,  grapefruit juice and Angostura Bitters). Since drinks are mixed by bartenders in a kitchen in the rear, Raines is all about table service. On Sundays through Tuesdays, the bar accepts reservations by email (, otherwise tables are given on a first-come, first-served basis.


Just a block from the hustle of Union Square, this rustic American restaurant and tavern is a cozy retreat for a bite and a round of classic cocktails. Pair fun dishes such as fried mac ‘n cheese balls or kobe beef sloppy Joe sliders with the Jeeves (Espolon Silver Tequila, honey, lemon and smoked salt rim) or the Rye-Tai (Rittenhouse Bonded Rye, Santa Teresa Claro Rum, Velvet Falernum, housemade orgeat, Marie Brizzard Triple Sec, lime juice and a Gosling’s Rum float).

Credit: Lillie’s

This Victorian-style Irish pub is so ornate, it’s almost garish, but judging by the packed crowds, this Flatiron bar is clearly a hit. A long carved-wood bar sourced from Belfast serves a large selection of imported brews, wine and spirits, along with hearty pub fare such as bangers and mash.

Credit: Flatiron Lounge

This Art Deco lounge features a bar built in 1927 with cocktails to match. Opened in 2003, Flatiron Lounge was one of the first classic cocktail bars to open in NYC. The menu by co-owner Julie Reiner featuring drinks such as the Beijing Pitch (jasmine-infused vodka and white peach puree), spread a wave of infused cocktails across the city.


When you need an overstuffed sofa to relax on after a Union Square shopping spree, head to this plush lounge on the ground floor of the W Hotel. Plenty of cozy seating and wall-sized greenery offer the perfect setting for an apple cider martini or glass of wine while you look out on the square through 16-foot arched windows.

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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.

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