If you’re the type to get really excited about really good cocktails (and having your pick from a menu of around 40 of them), Raines continues to be an excellent choice for special occasion drinking. We prefer Raines Law Room over some of the other OG speakeasy-type cocktail bars for birthdays because it’s a bit bigger, with booth seating for small groups and an under-the-radar back courtyard. Either make a reservation (Sundays - Tuesdays), or arrive on the early side to makes sure your wait time is manageable.
More spots in Union SquareSee more
Shuko, an unmarked Japanese spot near Union Square, is our favorite omakase experience in NYC.
Ribalta is big Italian spot near Union Square that serves solid Neapolitan-style pizzas and works for fun group dinners.
Suggested by our writers
The NoMad Bar
Thanks to the prices, this casual(ish) bar in The NoMad hotel probably isn’t a place that you can afford to visit often. But when you do, eat dessert.
Death & Co
Death & Co. feels like it was built just for us. The drink list is ridiculous…it’s nearly impossible to settle on something because each beverage is intriguing and awesome. And thankfully the food doesn’t suck either.
These days, Employees Only is not the hotspot it once was. But while the crowd might have lost a step, the cocktails have not, and it’s still packed with people every time we stop by.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more