Experimental Cocktail Club

The original (and still insanely popular) speakeasy that sparked the trend in 2007 and spawned an empire that now includes Beef Club, Fish Club, Prescription Cocktail Club and Curio Parlour. ECC sets the standard for tiny, dark and cozy bars with their intricate cocktails. Despite being the oldest of the new wave joints, it’s still one of the swankiest and hardest to get in.

Harry’s New York Bar

Famous for being a Hemingway haunt, Harry’s is responsible for the invention of the (now) classic cocktails the Bloody Mary, the French 75, and the Sidecar. Stiff, white coat clad bartenders keep a strict dress code in check so shorts aren’t going to cut it. Pants (sigh) are required if you’d like to make it through the door of this historic bar.

Candelaria

With its bright, bare-bones kitchen, crowded counter, communal table, and addictive salsas — all mercifully un-Frenchified — this upper Marais spot has officially changed the game, and people are lining up for tacos and agua fresca. Go through the unmarked door next to the stove and you’ll find a serious bar, staffed by Experimental Cocktail Club grads.