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Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour

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New York, United States

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon2 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Experience the heart of Manhattan’s booming cocktail scene like an insider by visiting the top watering holes in the East Village with an in-the-know guide. New York is a true cocktail town, both for classic and cutting-edge libations, and with this tour you can enjoy three beverages and explore the dynamic neighborhood, learning about where the best restaurants and bars are in the area.
  • Taste three cocktails at some of the best bars and hidden gems in Manhattan
  • Discover locally produced spirits from microdistilleries with a guide
  • Learn how Prohibition-era speakeasies shaped New York City
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 ensures personalized attention
Meet your guide in Tompkins Square Park, the biggest swath of greenery in the East Village, and begin the tour. You’ll be introduced to a water fountain that was donated to the city by a temperance advocate who promoted imbibing water rather than whiskey.

Then head out, exploring the streets of the East Village. Learn about New York cocktail culture and the major players, the bartenders and mixologists of the drinking scene here. See former speakeasies (hidden bars during Prohibition) and listen to stories about politicians and mobsters who secretly kept the booze flowing during the period when alcohol was illegal.

Visit Astor Wines, one of the best wine and spirits shops in the city. Get introduced to micro-distillers and many of the alcohol companies that are local. And if you want to make a purchase, the guide is there to offer recommendations.

After visiting a few cocktail-centric spots, learn from your guide where are the best places to imbibe in the neighborhood.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Tompkins Square Park
We meet at this park in the center of the neighborhood which was once not such a safe place to hang out but today is full of dog parks, children’s playgrounds, street art, and sometimes we get to hear live jazz music in the park. Inside the park, we see an historic Temperance Fountain that is left over from the temperance movement trying to curb people’s consumption of alcohol.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
St. Mark's Place
Stroll down the main drag of the East Village where we talk about the New York cocktail culture, pointing out some of the most famous speakeasies and modern day restaurants.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
William Barnacle Tavern
This historic speakeasy from Prohibition has lots of history and stories, including the one we tell about the gangster who hid unpaid tax money in the basement. The modern day bar also serves as one of our tastings, where we try absinthe prepared in the bohemian style.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Theatre 80 Saint Marks
While sipping on absinthe made at the bar next door, we get to visit the lobby of the theater and learn the story of the gangster who tried to evade paying taxes during Prohibition. We hear stories of bootlegging, murder, and classic New York theater.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Museum of the American Gangster
We don’t visit the entire museum, but see the theater and bar that is part of it. We hear the story of the gangster who ran the speakeasy that was inside this building during Prohibition and how he attempted to evade paying taxes on the millions of dollars he illegally earned.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Astor Wines & Spirits
Inside an old landmarked printing press, is New York’s most famous wine and liquor store. Some nights we do a tasting and learn about how to make spirits and which local libations are the best to purchase. We come here for all your cocktail supplies.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Lonely Planet Experiences: East Village Cocktails & Speakeasies Small Group Tour.

Traveler Tips


  • "This was a really fun time and I would recommend this tour and tour company to help show you around and have a good time." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
113 Reviews
5 stars
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Reviews by Viator travelers
star-5
Speakeasy tour
kcunningham711
, Jan 2020
Shelley was a wonderful tour guide! Very knowledgeable and fun. Truly enjoyed the history and drinks. We had a great time!
star-5
Excellent Guide
782melodyb
, Oct 2019
Very personable, knowledgeable about Prohibition in the area; made all very interesting and entertaining.
star-5
Unique evening experience
Melbfamily
, Sep 2019
Really enjoyed our tour of East Village - bars and speak easy. Our guide, Sheli was a fantastic host and shared the history and experiences of the area. Gave us a great tip for dinner too. Highly recommended!
star-5
Amazing tour
lalive47
, Aug 2019
Brian was an excellent tour guide. At the beginning of the tour, he met us with yummy infused cupcakes ( outstanding). He shared with us the history of The East Village, very interesting. We went to several amazing speakeasy locations, super fun. I would definitely recommend.
star-5
We had a fabulous time on our Tour...
candicemillard1
, May 2018
We had a fabulous time on our Tour! I live in NYC and took this tour while my mom was visiting from out of state. All three of the locations I had never been to, and I learned so much about the history of speakeasies and cocktails in New York. I would definitely recommend if you're looking for something unique to do while in the city!
star-5
The tour exceeded my expectations...
Mira S
, Apr 2018
The tour exceeded my expectations. It was fun, informative and I learnt a lot more about history and life in New York even with my frequent visits to the city. I had a tour with New York City Urban Adventures for the first time. After this wonderful experience I will certainly try all the tours they are offering. Apart from having a very enjoyable tour, our very knowledgeable guide Brian Hoffman gave us many tips about New York and other cities we planned to visit in the States. Also the company Urban Adventures are established in some other European cities. Im definitely going to check them out.
star-4
Josh was a great guide and we...
Catherine B
, Feb 2018
Josh was a great guide and we enjoyed the tour. At this point I would warn people who book through Viator to be careful if they change the date. Poor josh waited for us on a very cold Thursday night and when we were a no show was unable to contact us as Viator dont release our details to tour operators. This meant when we turned up on the very cold Monday night there was no tour for us and the number we were given went to voice mail. Once we were home with an email address the problem was rectified and we had the tour the next night but this meant we missed other potential things to do on our last night in NYC. Fortunately I had kept all correspondence from Viator so there wasnt a problem proving I had changed the date but very inconvenient for Josh and us!
star-5
Had a great time on this tour. My...
Daniel S
, Oct 2017
Had a great time on this tour. My wife and I joined a group of 1 and another of 4. We met our guide Jillian at the entrance to the park and we proceeded traipse about the East Village, listening to a history lesson while we stopped at three speakeasy locations along the way. This was a really fun time and I would recommend this tour and tour company to help show you around and have a good time.
star-5
Amazing. It was just the two of us and...
SIMON J
, Oct 2017
Amazing. It was just the two of us and our guide. Very friendly and professional
star-5
Excellent tour. Our guide Jessie was...
Charles V W
, May 2017
Excellent tour. Our guide Jessie was terrific. We learned a lot about the history of NYC speakeasies as well as had some great cocktails and snacks.

Product code: 5713COCKTAIL

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