The 13 Best Espresso Martinis in NYC to Kick-Start Your Evening

Move over, Aperol spritz—there’s a new buzzworthy drink in town, quite literally. If you’ve been to a cocktail bar in NYC (or been on Instagram), you’ve probably heard of the coffee-liqueur-vodka drink getting all the hype, and trust us, it’s worth every drop. Perfect for a brunch beverage or as a late-night-extender when you know you’ll need the energy, the espresso martini is a great way to escape the grind (pun intended). Dubbed the “drink of summer 2021” by The New York Times, the mixed drink can be found at most bars in the Big Apple—and it’s delicious year-round. From underground speakeasies to high-end lounges, here’s where you can get the 13 best espresso martinis in NYC.

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Courtesy of Employees Only

1. Employees Only

Don’t worry—despite the name, all are welcome here. Disguised as a West Village psychic shop, this speakeasy cocktail bar and restaurant has been named the “New Yorkiest” cocktail bar in the city. Known for its inventive drinks and 1920s flair, Employees Only’s espresso martini is no different. Made with fresh-pulled espresso and homemade cinnamon cordial, the cocktail has the perfectly velvety texture and rich, bold flavor. (And for your next drink, we recommend their award-winning twist on the Manhattan!)

510 Hudson St.;

Courtesy of FREEHOLD

2. Freehold

Located right off the water on the southside of Williamsburg, FREEHOLD’s 8,600-square-foot lobby, bar and expansive grassy courtyard are a fitting locale for the A-listers it often hosts. An award-winning coffee shop by day, it’s no shocker their espresso martini—made with Tito’s vodka and FREEHOLD’s famous house recipe (Counter Culture cold brew concentrate and Caffè Borghetti coffee liqueur) and topped with dark chocolate shavings—impresses. For our Manhattan locals, stop by FREEHOLD in the park, located in Union Square Park.

45 S 3rd St., Brooklyn;

Eric Medsker

3. The Raines Law Room

Did someone say wake-up call? With a Chelsea location and a semi-hidden location in The William Hotel, this Prohibition-era, speakeasy-style bar has to be one of the most romantic in the city. The staff-favorite espresso martini consists of all the classic ingredients: vodka, coffee liqueur, cold brew coffee, plus chocolate bitters. Cheers.

Multiple locations;

Giada Paoloni

4. Dante

The Greenwich Village icon (recently voted “World’s Best Bar,” NBD) combines fresh espresso of Dante’s signature coffee blend with Grey Goose vodka and Mr. Black coffee liqueur for its take on the caffeinated dessert cocktail. According to Bar Director Chris Moore, high-quality ice and a hard shake are what make for a rich, foamy head. The more you know!

79-81 MacDougal Street;

Eric Medsker

5. Dear Irving

This high-end, multi-level rooftop and cocktail bar has two elegant locations, but they keep it simple with their espresso martini: a mix of potato vodka, locally-sourced Irving Farm cold brew, Giffard vanille liqueur and simple syrup. Feel like trying something new? Sign up for one of their curated cocktail-making classes taught by industry-leading experts.

Multiple locations;

Courtesy of Endswell

6. Endswell

Visit this Fort Greene French-American bistro for their magical take on the pick-me-up cocktail, known as Le Rêve, which translates to the dream. With white rum, nocino liqueur, rice milk, vanilla extract, cold brew espresso and heavy cream, Endswell's original riff is likely what makes them one of the premiere cocktail bars in Brooklyn South. And if you’re a part of Bachelor Nation (who isn’t?), stop by on Monday nights to enjoy your specialty beverage with a side of The Bachelor, Bachelor bingo and more.

773 Fulton St., Brooklyn;

Nico Schinco

7. Dudley’s

Take a trip down under or, well, down to Lower Manhattan, for this classic espresso martini at Dudley’s, a super chic bar and café with an Australian influence. With vodka, espresso, vanilla syrup, Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur and a garnish of three coffee beans, it’s the perfect brunch or “brekkie” libation.

85 Orchard St.;

Courtesy of Macchina

8. Macchina

And now for something completely different… Macchina, an Italian-American restaurant and wine bar has put one of our favorite twists on the buzzy beverage: they serve a chai espresso martini. By combining vanilla vodka, Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur, house-made coconut chai syrup and espresso, they’ve concocted the ultimate spicy-boozy-bodacious cocktail. Though we’re not sure how they’ll pair with your drink, we recommend the burrata pizza and the chicken parm pizza at either of their Gramercy or Williamsburg locations.

Multiple locations;

Francesco Sapienza

9. Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor, an internationally-renowned steakhouse, opened its doors in the newly restored United Charities Maintenance building in Gramercy—a space that was closed off from the public for over a century—in September 2021. Their unique spin on the cocktail is known as an amaro corretto and was inspired by caffe corretto, a popular grappa-espresso drink in Southern Italy. With amaro, cognac, espresso and a raspberry powder garnish, this is what digestif dreams are made of.

109 E 22nd St.;

Courtesy of American Bar

10. American Bar

This West Village cult favorite bar and restaurant located just steps from Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic apartment offers an array of American classics with locally-sourced ingredients alongside premium cocktails. And it did not disappoint with its version of the espresso martini! With a serving of Caffe Lolita, a Mexican coffee liqueur, it has hints of chocolate, which blends effortlessly with the fresh espresso.

33 Greenwich Ave.;

11. Coffee + Cocktails

The name says it all, no? The new open-air café lounge in Gansevoort Meatpacking knows how to jump-start your night out. The C+C Martini, the venue's signature cocktail, utilizes bourbon as the main spirit, with white chocolate syrup, coffee liqueur and fresh coffee. With both indoor and year-round al fresco (heated) patio seating in the heart of the bustling neighborhood, stop by for a bite before shopping or hitting the Whitney.

18 9th Ave.;

Michael Condran

12. Peasant

Consider this a fair warning: If you stop by for a drink, you just might be up all night. This rustic Nolita Italian restaurant by Chef Marc Forgione likely has the greatest variety of espresso martinis in all of NYC. Inspired by a boozy lunch mishap elsewhere when Beverage Director Scott Woltz confused the espresso martini offer and the amaro list, Peasant now offers six distinctive varieties using amaro, an herbal Italian liqueur, instead of vodka: bitter orange, alpine (with foresty, herbaceous, piney notes), mint (which uses Fernet-Branca, a popular Italian digestif), blueberry, peppery (with an amaro that gives an assertive, zesty aroma), and an herbal option. Salute!

194 Elizabeth St.;

13. Olmsted

The acclaimed Prospect Heights restaurant from chef-owner Greg Baxtrom is known for its creative, vegetable-forward menu featuring produce from the lush backyard garden as well as local farmers and purveyors. Their take on the jolting cocktail is surely one for the adventurous espresso martini connoisseur: with Maker’s Mark, dark rum, creme de cacao, chipotle, L'Orgeat almond liqueur, Kahlúa and Olmsted’s exclusive Vietnamese cold brew coffee, it’s finished with a stencil of Gary (Olmsted’s quail mascot) in chocolate bitters. What’s not to love?

659 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn;

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Quinn Fish

Freelance PureWow Editor

Quinn Fish is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering all things New York City, from the tastiest espresso martinis to the best amusement parks to the perfect weekend getaways...
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