New York may be known as the home of the modern speakeasy, but those dark, intimate hideaways put a serious damper on the works of an aspiring Instagram star. Instead of setting up some elaborate portable lighting system in an effort to capture your cocktail in one of those hidden haunts, head to one of these bright, dazzling bars, where you can snap a pic that will blow up your feed in no time.
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Drop a pic of Le Coucou’s massive backlit back bar into your feed, and no one will even know you couldn’t score a res for a table. If you do land a table, be sure to snap a pic of one of the fancy French desserts served in coupe glasses next to your after-dinner drink for double the social drinking cred.
Any shot of a sunset from a Manhattan rooftop could bank you a few courtesy likes, but if you want to stand out from the pack and show you’ve got a little pull with the sky-high bouncers of the city’s hottest rooftop bar, make your way over to Williamsburg and post an awe-inspiring pic from Westlight. Perch your beverage of choice on one of the complementary yellow binoculars and get ready for Insta-fame.
Chic West Village local? Check. Inane neon sign? Check. Pink errywhere? Check. While We Were Young has all of the trappings of an Instagram sensation, with the rose-strewn bar and bright, cheery cocktails to back it up. They serve frilly cakes, Lucky Charms and a punch in a watermelon, all of which will kill on your feed.
All of the influencers on your feed seem to be able to afford island getaways, but if a staycation is more your speed, then this Jamaican bar and restaurant is your one-way ticket to tropical cocktail bliss. The Caribbean jerk shack slings punches and cocktails in a space decked out with Jamaican colors and ‘70s reggae albums. Set yourself up with a cocktail in a coconut or a Red Stripe, and let the island vibes wash over your Instagram pics.
Leave the bright, airy shots to the Hamptons crowd, and win Instagram with vibrant red string lights and porcelain donkeys. The scene inside Ghost Donkey can be dark and overwhelming (the strobe lights in the bathroom should come with an epilepsy warning), so don’t expect natural light to flood over your excellently manicured drinks. But lean into the sultry red hues, and your mezcal cocktail will pop off in your feed.
On first glance, you might think The Palm Court was a historic brasserie that has hosted countless Parisian photogs since La Belle Époque. While the space inside The Plaza Hotel is a century old, its convenient location on this side of the Atlantic (and recent refurbishment in 2013) make it an ideal spot for ‘gramming. You’ll be surrounded by generations of ladies “lunching” and tea parties galore, but we suggest you opt for one of the tropical Trader Vic tributes or a selection off the Martini cart, and snap a pic under the palms.
Plenty of barbershops and hair salons will provide you with a complimentary drink these days, but the cocktail program at the Blind Barber is on another level. The haircutting mini-chain is known for the speakeasy in the back of its original East Village location, but for a truly unique drink shot, take your beverage to the barber chair. If you can balance double fisting your camera with your cocktail glass all while you get your hair trimmed, you’ll be in for one heck of a post.
We’ve officially reached peak Millennial Pink. Every inch of this Nolita restaurant and bar is painted the it color of summer. Plop a Cosmo down next to a cocktail napkin that reads “Pink as F*ck” and know that all things are right in the world.
Ahoy, matey. Set sail with a beverage in hand on this floating bar for an instant splash of Instagram hype. Inspired by the floating oyster barges of Manhattan’s past, this grand daddy of a floating bar is the ideal spot for posting a seafaring sipper.
Dodge Lady Macbeth and make your way to the rooftop of the McKittrick Hotel for a cocktail among the foliage at Gallow Green. The extremely floral space serves up some cocktails to rival the performances you’ll see at Sleep No More, any of which would make for a showstopping post.
There’s a van permanently installed in the Nolita location of this Mexico taco chain where chefs dish out tortillas stuffed with pure joy, but the Piña Coladas at any of the outlets will earn you a few likes. Park yourself in front of the van to pose the perfect drink shot, or set your drink against the exposed white brick and bright lettering boldly printed on the walls. Your followers won’t know what hit ‘em.