The Best Hidden Bars and Secret Restaurants
Hidden bars and secret restaurants, concealed behind secret entrances, offer unique dining and drinking experiences. Discovering a unique spot off the beaten path is exhilarating. You get to be the insider in your friend group, the one who knows about the most exclusive place in town to spend a Friday night. Read on to learn about the coolest secret bars and restaurants across the U.S.
11 Must-See Underground Restaurants and Secret Bars
Safe House, Milwaukee
There’s no signage outside this Wisconsin bar and restaurant. Perhaps that’s because this establishment is for spies only. The spy-themed eatery makes a tasty martini and has become one of the hottest spots in Milwaukee. There’s no need to worry if you’re not 007, though. All you need to do is find the place and give the secret password. Agent MoneyPenny will fill you in on the password at the entrance. Enjoying a tasty libation is your mission if you choose to accept it.
Sidecar, Washington, D.C.
A secret gem with two locations in Washington D.C., this members-only private club is in the basement of P.J. Clarke’s downtown. There’s no sign for this basement bar turned restaurant. You must receive a referral or invitation to join this exclusive club. Their no-photos policy is a relief to D.C. VIPs and politicos.
Sunday Dinner Club Chicago
Sunday Dinner Club describes itself as a “dinner party-ish experience that currently operates in the great city of Chicago.” It started out as a dinner party for friends and family at home prepared by owners-operators Josh Kulp and Christine Cikowski. The menus focus on highlighting the best of the markets. SDC holds dinners around 10 to 15 times per month (not just Sundays!) with a maximum capacity of 24 guests.
Please Don’t Tell, New York City
This place is unapologetically odd. The hidden entrance to Please Don’t Tell is through the hot dog spot next door, Crif Dogs. Just call from the payphone inside Crif Dogs to enter. This hidden speakeasy features a James Beard Award winning bar program. Fancy craft cocktails and cheap hot dogs are a winning combination.
El Carajo, Miami
The BP gas station on 17th Avenue does not look like much. It hides one of the best-kept secrets in Coconut Grove, El Carajo International Tapas and Wines. The eatery is a must for anyone who loves Spanish food and wine. Wine lovers will appreciate the restaurant’s wine collection with over 2,000 vintage wines. It’s also an excellent place for a Cuban coffee.
The only vegetarian place on our list, Kalachandji’s Palace & Restaurant is in a Hare Krishna temple. Vegetarians in North Texas flock to this location for its beautiful garden courtyard and delicious Indian buffet.
Local Edition, San Francisco
San Francisco is all abuzz about this hidden speakeasy located in the historic Hearst Building. San Franciscans love to listen to live music and enjoy amazing and delicious cocktails. The décor takes a cue from the city’s history, featuring vintage paper presses and archival newspaper clippings that evoke the heyday of San Francisco’s newspaper business.
Blue Room, Los Angeles
This members-only speakeasy is found on the fourth floor of the historic Los Angeles Athletic Club. The beautiful Blue Room features historic LAAC athletic photos, vintage sports equipment, and antique lockers. Once you become a member, you can sip delicious whiskey-based signature cocktails while taking in LAAC history.
Grand Canyon Caverns Grotto, Peach Springs
If you want a truly unique dining experience, head to Grand Canyon Caverns Grotto in Peach Springs, Arizona. Just get on the elevator to travel 21 stories down and dine at this restaurant located in a cave. The elevator will take you to a network of caves that lead to the Grand Canyon. The cave network is known as Grand Canyon Caverns. The restaurant – just four tables and a menu of American comfort food – is a great place to grab a bite in between exploring the vast caves.
The Pink Door, Seattle
Hidden in an alley at Pike Place Market, the only way to recognize this fabulous restaurant is by its pink door. The menu features Italian classics made from ingredients sourced from small to medium local farms. Owner Jackie Roberts likes to delight her guests with unconventional entertainment with acts that feature trapeze, music, cabaret, and tarot.
Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse, Albuquerque
This underground steakhouse and vintage speakeasy is an excellent choice for a date night in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their extensive menu of steaks and seafood features all the classics for the perfect surf and turf dinner. The Vernon’s VIP Club is an exclusive club that gives members access to private dining, a private bar, driver service, a secret menu, and more.