10 Best Speakeasies in and Around Delaware

During the Prohibition era speakeasies were the only places where a hardworking Joe could order a stiff drink. These secret bars operated during a time of opulence and excitement. It was a time when industry was booming, and there was a swagger in being part of a nation on the rise. So, what better state in which to recreate this feeling than the First State? Experience it all—the passwords, the classic cocktails, the intrigue—at the 10 best speakeasies in (and around) Delaware.   

Dead Presidents Pub & Restaurant, Wilmington, DE

Sure, this relaxed bar with an Oval Office theme seems like a festive enough spot. But, with all of the portraits of dead presidents adorning the walls, you can’t help but feel like conspiracies are being whispered into your ears. Don’t get too sucked into the dead men’s tales, though, as DPP offers some killer cocktail that will put your mind at ease, including their classic Cosmopolitan, Old Fashioned, and Prohibition era favorites.

Easy Speak Spirits, Milford, DE

Both a restaurant and a distillery, Easy Speak offers traditional and signature cocktails, as well as a wood-fired gastropub bar menu. All aperitifs are made with in-house distilled and infused vodkas, gins, rums, bourbons, and other spirits. Plus, you’ll gain access to Hand-rolled pretzels, angus steak, and crab & artichoke wood-fired pizzas with roasted garlic sauce.

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Copperhead Saloon, Greenville, DE

The cozy cocktail bar in Greenville is the place to go for cool speakeasy vibes and traditional cocktails. Try their Old Fashioned, which is crafted up with house-marinated Murano cherries, Mexican brown sugar, smoked ice, and a puff of smoke. This place will surely transport you back in time. 

The Speakeasy, Pittsburgh, PA

“Take a sip into history,” is the motto of this Pittsburgh speakeasy, and, true to the era, visitors can only find this 1920s-style lounge snuggly venturing underground beneath the Omni Hotel lobby. As Pittsburgh’s only speakeasy, the bar offers scarlet red seating and flamboyant decor. The place is both quiet and cozy, and, by many accounts, the hidden bar makes the best Manhattan and Rusty Nail in the city.

Hummingbird to Mars, Wilmington, DE

The place is actually at Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square, but it is hidden. And, if you know the secret passcode, you can gain access to this secret rooftop speakeasy that features unique house-made cocktails based on traditional Prohibition era drinks. We are talking about popular favorites like Poolside Kiwi Splash and Not Your Son’s Chocolate Milk, so step back in time to an era of elegance and sophistication and order from a wait staff dressed to the nines.

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The Bookstore Speakeasy, Bethlehem, PA

Offering Prohibition-era drinks with freshly squeezed juice and punch bowls with hand-carved ice, the Bookstore makes every effort to make you feel as if you have stepped back in time to the Prohibition era. From live jazz to the staff dressed in penguin suits and the gleaming copper bar, you’ll swear bootlegging is still real, and you’ve stepped through a time warp.  

Charlie was a Sinner, Philadelphia, PA

Charlie’s in an all vegan/vegetarian bar serving classic cocktails such as Penicillin and White Russians, and the speakeasy is, by all accounts, a warm and fun place with only one rule, “they don’t talk about Charlie.” As long as you abide by that, you’ll gain access to creative drinks like the Bramble (a wheatgrass and Genepy Des Alpes shot), Girl with a Grenade, and other Prohibition era cocktail riffs. 

The Franklin Bar, Philadelphia, PA

Don’t let its original name fool you, as the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company was simply a front for one of America’s largest illegal alcohol rings. In operation during the late 1920s, this bootlegging front was orchestrated by the local gangster, Max “Boo Boo” Hoff, and it was said to have run more alcohol through it than even Al Capone did in Chicago. 

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The Speakeasy Wooden Keg Tavern, Multiple locations

The Speakeasy Wooden Keg Tavern was established in 2005 in a historic 1860s hotel, adding to the air of a gone-by era. But, if you really want the speakeasy feel, you will have to ask for their private dining room modeled after a traditional 1920s secret bar within a bar. Adding to the mystery, the only way to enter this hidden chamber is through a secret bookcase, of course.

The Sturges Speakeasy, Harrisburg, PA

Family owned and operated since 2012, this hidden location could not be more popular among the locals. Unlike many speakeasies, this one is pretty easy to find, and the restaurant itself has two floors and a rooftop deck. Offering a rocking happy hour, this pub offers classic cocktail and traditional bar food like mac and cheese, surf and turf, prime rib, crab stuffed mushrooms, and more. 

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