You have to know what you’re looking for to enjoy these secret bars in cities around the world.
Some of the world’s most intriguing bars are in locations you might not expect, hidden in taco joints and noodle shops, or disguised as everything from umbrella shops to video stores.
These tucked-away watering holes invite those who find them to enjoy craft cocktails in settings that range from a cozy Prohibition-era hideout to a 1950s airplane cabin.
Related: 17 Unreal Bars for a Drink You’ll Never Forget
These 35 bars around the world can often remain a secret thanks to their concealed locations, but here’s the inside scoop on how to find them.
Courtesy of Adults Only
Adults Only is an upscale dive bar located in the corner of a Hollywood strip mall on Sunset and La Brea. Look for a neon pink light, and don’t be surprised when you find yourself surrounded by skin flicks: The bar’s entrance is made to resemble the adult section of a fake Hollywood video store, with a wide selection of VHS tapes and movie posters.
Walk through the entrance and you’ll arrive in the bar, where hanging cathedral lamps and reupholstered church pews catch the eye. Films are projected inside as well, where there’s dancing late into the night and drinks that range from spicy mezcal margaritas to stone fruit mojitos.
Courtesy of Backdoor43
BackDoor43, in Milan, italy, claims to be the world’s smallest bar. At just 13 square feet, once you step in you’ll feel as though you’re having a drink in the comfort of your own home — or maybe your own walk-in closet.
The intimate bar can only be reserved for up to four guests at a time. You’ll need a key and the secret password to make a reservation, but if you don’t have a reservation, don’t hesitate to knock on the door. When you do, you may meet a bartender in a V for Vendetta mask through a small opening on the door who can take a to-go order for you.
Patrick Diokno/Courtesy of Bank Bar
A 7-Eleven might not seem like the most upscale place to get a drink, but make your way to this convenience store in the Phillipines and you’ll find a hidden entrance in the storage room that leads to an awesome drinking den.
Inside, you’ll find velvet furnishing and a chic crowd at Bank Bar, which claims to have the widest selection of cocktails in Manila. Small bites are also offered here, from crispy truffle French fries to salted egg yolk rock shrimp tempura and ox blended cheeseburger sliders.
Can You Keep a Secret?
This is one secret you don’t need to keep. This shop and bar in Brisbane, Australia, lets you peruse through handpicked vintage items while enjoying a drink. There’s a selection of small batch wines, spirits, and craft beers to choose from, while live bands and DJs will keep you entertained throughout the evening.
Courtesy of Foxglove
Take a step back in time at Foxglove, in Hong Kong, which harkens back to the glory days of travel. The space is designed to evoke the luxury of first class plane and train cabins of the past, and a VIP room features dark red seats and custom lights resembling vintage car headlamps.
To get here, though, you’ll first enter into what appears to be an upscale umbrella shop, with one of the meticulously carved silver umbrella handles holding the key to the entrance. Push on the handle, and a door will open to let you in. Once inside, make sure to keep your eye out for a floral painting on the wall. Put your hand on it, and another door will open to let you into a secret room where a library-style setting offers emerald seats and bookshelves that line the walls and ceiling.
Drinks on the menu include intriguing selections like The Northside, made with mint-infused Citadelle gin, raspberries, ginger, lemon, sugar, and seltzer. You’ll also find a seasonal menu of bites that range from caviar and sea urchin to braised beef cheeks.
Finding the front section of London’s Callooh Callay, which has a Victorian feel with its plush lounge seating and exposed brick walls, isn’t tricky, but it’s what lies beyond that you’ll want to explore. Guests can access a second bar through a Narnia-style wardrobe closet, and another, third bar, awaits visitors up a set of stairs.
Drinks here range from the Miltomate — Ketel One vodka, grene tomato, tomatillo, apple acid, and orange bitters — to the Swallowtail, made with Tanqueray gin, Amontillado sherry, Butterfly sorrel, hazelnut orgeat, blackberry, anise, and lemon.
To find Gyu Bar, in Niseko, Japan, look for a tiny, red freezer door sticking up from a snowbank to enter. The bar is also known as the Fridge Door, thanks to its location, and is renowned for its rare Japanese whiskey selections.
Inside, gentle lighting offers a warm atmosphere as you look through drink menus filled with hand-written texts, and hand-drawn maps and illustrations.
Courtesy of Jules Basement
This speakeasy sits underneath of an unassuming taco spot in Mexico City’s Polaco neighborhood. Look for a cooler door and make your way past a set of curtains to enter. Inside, you’ll find an edgy design that includes glass display tables with giant white skulls underneath. Along with an array of entertainment, from DJs to jazz performances, there’s an extensive drink selection from mezcal and champagne to single malts and cognacs.
Michael Luongo/Bloomberg via Getty Images
At this buzzing Buenos Aires spot, you can get your shopping and drinking done all at once. The storefront that leads into this bar is actually an operating wine and floral store. Make your way past the bottles and daffodils that line the shelves and look for the freezer door of the refrigerator.
The bar celebrates the immigrant history of the city, with a drink menu that includes specialties from France, England, Spain, Italy, and more.
The secret entrance to this bar in Moscow is inside a noodle shop called Lucky Noodles. A curtain takes you downstairs into the expansive bar, where a brick vaulted ceiling and multiple nooks offer an unexpected escape.
Mixologists here specialize in absinthe, and drinks come with displays that can be as elaborate as the ingredients themselves. You’ll find DJs playing here late at night, while live piano and jazz concerts are also a regular weekday occurrence.
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The Green Door
If you’re looking for a groovy time in Berlin, keep your eyes peeled for the Green Door, which sits behind an unnamed green door in Schöneberg. Ring the doorbell and you’ll be escorted inside, where the 1970s theme includes plaid wallpapers, pincushion couches, and eclectic telephone lamps.
Courtesy of Local Edition
At Local Edition, drinkers are invited to learn of San Francisco’s rich history through newspaper clippings lining the walls. The bar is located within the old printing room of The Examiner, in the historic Hearst building. Vintage paper presses and typewriters line the space, while drinks like the Ava Gardner — jasmine tea infused vodka, coconut milk, lemon, ginger, bitters, and basil — pack a vintage punch.
Courtesy of Panda & Sons
Panda and Sons
You might easily walk past Panda and Sons, which is disguised as an old-school barber shop on Queen Street, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The entrance to the bar is behind a fake bookcase that opens once you pull down on a book. Drinks are playful, like the Tiki Takeaway, made with Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum, almond syrup, soy sauce, lime juice, and bitter lemon, and served in a Chinese takeout box.
Courtesy of Operation Dagger
To find Operation Dagger in Singapore, keep you eye out for the unmarked entrance and set of stairs located behind an Oxwell & Co that will lead you down to the basement. House-made meads and house-infused spirits are a specialty here, and can be sampled in drinks like the Chocolate Mint, which is made with cold brew cacao, mescal, house-made mint Amara, and distilled mint ice.
Courtesy of Spirito Club
This bar in Rome is hidden behind an unassuming door at the Premiata Panineria al Pigneto sandwich shop. The door leads to a casino-themed bar where drinks are served off of blackjack and roulette tables. Visitors are invited to trade their winning chips in for drinks with unexpected ingredients like Kaffir lime oil and bacon- and fig-infused Laphroaig.
Courtesy of Future Bars Group
The Ipswitch is located inside Bourbon and Branch, in San Francisco, and is accessed through a trap door in the floor of the bar. The two-seater bar used to be an operating speakeasy during the Prohibition era.
This hidden bar is located inside the Los Angeles Athletic Club and has been a feature of the private club since it began operating back in 1912. It was originally a drinking spot for the Uplifters Club, a private group consisting of everyone from Walt Disney to Will Rogers and Clark Gabel. The bar is open to hotel guests or to members, though they also host public tasting events.
Once inside, you’ll find a combination of modern American and British décor, with bowler hats and old tennis racquets lining the walls.
To find this cozy space, you’ll need to enter the Neighborhood restaurant in San Diego’s Gaslamp district. In the back of the restaurant, near the restrooms, there’s a door that hides the entrance to Noble Experiment. Push on the right side of the door and enter the bar with plush furnishings and walls lined with golden skulls.
Clemens Bilan/Getty Images for Porsche Design
Tausend, in Berlin, sits behind an unmarked door underneath of the Friedrichstrasse train station. An iron door under the train underpass leads to the space lined with glass walls and 3D-art installations.
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
This spy-themed space in Milwaukee takes cracking the code to the next level, as visitors are invited to locate its unassuming entrance with an unmarked buzzer and give the secret password. If you can’t figure out the secret password, you can also take a variety of fun clearance tests to enter.
The bar is spread into different international sectors, and is filled with artifacts that include a cell door from a KGB prison and spy-related memorabilia. If you’re celebrating a birthday, make sure to ask for the interrogation room.
Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Please Don’t Tell
If you’re looking to enjoy a savory bite with a craft cocktail in New York City, head to PDT, short for “Please Don’t Tell.” Enter the bar through Crif Dogs on St. Marks street, where there’s a telephone booth with a buzzer to ring to get inside.
Paul Louis Villani
The Croft Institute
If you find yourself wandering into a graffiti-decked alley in Melbourne’s Chinatown, you’re on the right path to the Croft Institute. The bar has three floors, the first of which looks like a science lab and is filled with items from a decommissioned hospital. The second floor is modeled after a gymnasium and includes a grassy lawn where DJs will often play into the evening.
Courtesy of Wodka Tonic
If you’re a fan of whiskey, Wodka Tonic is the spot for you. Nestled on a quiet lane in Tokyo’s Nishi-Azabu neighborhood, the bar offers more than 1,000 bottles of whiskey. There’s an array of rare Japanese selections, like the Yamazaki 1980 single malt, while food options include deep-fried pasta with truffle salt and whiskey beef bowls served until four in the morning.
Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball
At first glance, this quirky spot in New York City just seems like a playful laundromat with a few pinball games. Head to a set of machines that line the back of the room, though, and take a closer look. There aren’t any clothes being whirled in the machines, though: This is the entrance to the bar, which offers beer, wine, and food like pizza from Roberta’s.
Courtesy of The Baxter Inn
The Baxtern Inn
The Baxter Inn is a whiskey lover’s haven in Sydney, Australia, with so many varieties that there are sliding library-style ladders that bartenders climb to access the top shelves. The basement bar is located in an indiscreet alley and also offers a variety of prime local beers to sample, while dim lighting and hidden corners provide a cozy feel.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
This London spot is located inside of The Breakfast Club cafe in Spitalfields. A fake fridge door hides the entrance to the bar, which staff will let you into if you give them the magic password (ask to see the mayor). Once inside, you’ll be able to sip on exotic infusions like the Pigelin, which includes Advocaat, lemon, pear, and custard.
C. Gabello for Visit Philadelphia™
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company, in Philadelphia, masquerades itself as a detective agency, and invites you to enjoy its noteworthy drinks once you’ve located the unmarked entrance. The underground bar has leather seating and intriguing drinks like Painting The Roses Red, a concoction made up of mezcal, crème de cacao, citric acid, and butterfly pea syrup. In the space’s upstairs bar, you’ll find a tiki hideaway with palm-thatched tropical touches and a selection of classic tiki cocktails.
Cyrus McCrimmon/Denver Post via Getty Images
Williams & Graham
Step into a small bookshop in Denver and a bookcase will creek open to let you into this popular wood-paneled bar. The space has tasty drinks with playful names like I’m Going Ananas, made with Flor de Caña rum that is aged four years, sake, Diplomatico rum, Bols yogurt liqueur, lemon juice, Demerara, and tiki bitters. They’ve also got food selections like poached Spanish octopus served with Marcona almonds, roasted bone marrow with bacon jam, or roasted lamb chops served with a Mediterranean couscous and a salad.
Roberto Herrett / Alamy
The Vault at Milroy’s
To find the Vault, you’ll need to stop into Milroy’s of Soho, London’s oldest whisky shop, first. The shop was founded in 1964, and has quite the array to offer shoppers, but what you’re really looking for is hidden behind a bookcase. A secret staircase leads to a bar with cocktails that vary each season.
Courtesy of The Hobo Club
Courtesy of Trillby & Chadwick
Trillby & Chadwick
This Prohibition-style bar in Helsinki is styled after a 1920s London detective agency. You won’t find any sign on the door, but once you spot the blacked-out windows, head inside and you’ll see an antique telephone you use to state you’ve arrived. From there, you’ll be taken into the dimly lit space where drinks come with unexpected ingredients like popcorn, red pepper, chickpea foam, and avocados.
Little Red Door
The name of this chic Parisian drinking establishment will give you a clue to its location, which you’ll be one step closer to once you spot the little red door at its address. The true entrance is located right to the left of the bright red door, leading you into a stone-and-brick bar where velvet and leather seats and a drink menu inspired by famed works of art make for a charming ambiance.
Courtesy of The Garret
The Garrett (West)
The Garrett has two locations, one of which is hidden inside of a Five Guys on Bleecker Street, in New York City. To find the bar, head past the ordering station and look for staircase. Once inside the bar, choose from cocktails like the First Lady, a mix of gin, combier, match green tea, lemon, egg whites, and fresh basil. You can also grab Five Guys burgers you won’t find anywhere else, like one smothered in Sriracha, mustard seeds, and a five-spice blend for extra heat.
Courtesy of La Trastienda
Meaning “backroom” in Spanish, La Trastienda sits in the back of a shop that sells wine, cheese, and ham, in Granada, Spain. The space was originally a grocery store dating back to 1836, until the owner, Fernando Miranda, decided to add local wines and ham dishes for customers waiting in line.
Courtesy of The Washhouse
The entrance to The Washhouse, which is disguised as a laundromat in Manchester, England, is through a passageway that resembles a giant washing machine. Leather seating and mood lighting set a relaxing tone, while those with a sweet tooth will find cocktails that come topped with everything from cakes and Wizz Fizz to lollipops and miniature ice cream cone desserts.