So I usually get to NYC at least a couple times a year.
And of those trips, there are only a handful of must visit places.
The NoMad Bar at the NoMad Hotel is one of them.
The NoMad Hotel was opened in 2012 by the same group that owns Eleven Madison Park. One day, I’ll stop being cheap and go there, but in the meantime cocktails will have to suffice.
Why is NoMad such a must visit for me?
Well, there are a variety of reasons for this.
For one, it’s location is tough to beat. Right on the corner of Broadway and W 28th, so it’s a good central place to meet people regardless of which part of the city they are coming from.
It’s also relatively big as far as top bars go.
Trying to take a group of friends to say, PDT, is a challenge at best, and impossible at worst.
At NoMad I’ve never really had any trouble finding a spot to drink.
This is in part because there are actually two top bars there: The Nomad Bar and Elephant Bar.
There was a time when both of these were eon the list separately, and it actually took 3 visits before I even realized that The Nomad Bar was a thing. I was always jockeying for a spot at the smaller, Elephant.
These days they share the same menu, however.
And fortunately, what a menu it is.
Our original love affair with the NoMad starred with a single drink:
The Hotel Nacional.
It was by far the best variation of the Cuban rum drink I’ve ever seen, and it became one of those “must have” cocktails every time we’re in the City.
Check out my upcoming SpeakLow review for the story about how this drink came full circle years later on the complete opposite side of the world.
These days, it’s not quite what it once was (and usually isn’t even on the menu), but that was the drink that showed me just what NoMad was capable of.
One of the things I like about the menu is the fact there is truly something for everyone. And despite many of the ingredients on the menu being unfamiliar to the average person, you can bet that if something seems interesting? It probably will be.
And in most cases, even if you have no clue if something will be good or not, chances are it will not only be good, it will be great.
On our most recent trip to the NoMad we actually stayed at the hotel for first time.
This allowed us to make a reservation in the library, which was a nice experience and a cool space, but I still prefer sitting at the bar when possible.
Nomad is one of those bars that the average person might go and say “this is one of the best bars in the world?”
And I could potentially see why they might say that.
The bar spaces are attractive, but there’s nothing that jumps out and makes you say “oh my god, what is this place?!”
No, in my mind what makes Nomad great is the combination of all the little things.
The bartenders always know their stuff. If I tell them to make me a “smoky old fashioned” I trust that I’ll get something unique and delicious.
I’ve never had a cocktail on the menu I didn’t like. Even with ingredients like olive oil tequila, sherry, green tea, and sheep’s milk yogurt, as seen in the Third Pedal. I’d never expect to like that, but it’s one of my favorite drinks I’ve had on this quest.
After all, that’s what is so intriguing about cocktails for me, over beer or wine.
You’ll often taste something you never expected or have ever tasted before.
Combine the level of service, a nice space, and some of the most consistently good cocktails I’ve had anywhere in the world, and it’s clear why NoMad continues to climb in the ranks each year.