New York City for Harry Potter Fans

Spread the love

Anyone who knows me could tell you—I am a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan. I literally have the Dark Mark tattooed on my arm, and have seen the movies so many times I can say the lines before the characters do. Sorcerer’s Stone was the first real chapter book I read, and I have incredibly fond memories of midnight release parties as a kid. I’m also a big fan of witchy vibes in general (got a sorta gothy-grungy meets VSCO style—I identify as a basic witch). So when I moved to the City, it wasn’t long before I started rooting out all the NYC locations that make me feel less like a muggle. From restaurants to bars to shopping, here are my recommendations for Harry Potter fans visiting or living in the greatest city in the world.

Death and Company: One of my favorite speakeasies in the City. Speakeasies in general tend to have a kind of wizardy energy because they’re often hidden, and usually kind of dark. Death and Company isn’t too difficult to find, although it’s not terribly obvious if you aren’t looking for it. I would describe the mood as classy goth. If I wasn’t somewhat grounded in reality, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy having a few cocktails there. It’s that kind of place—overpriced and creepy. But even though the drinks are expensive at around $17, I think they’re worth it, especially for a special occasion. It’s super romantic too, so good for date night. The bartenders are also really good at ad-libbing. Tell them what kind of liquor you want and any other preferences, and they’ll make you something amazing.

Death and Company Harry Potter New York bar

The Ace Hotel Lobby: Okay…to anyone who reads my blog regularly, I’m sorry I’ve mentioned this place like five times. It may be my single favorite location in the City. Although it is a hotel lobby, at any given time the majority of people there aren’t hotel guests. It feels more like a workspace than a hotel. It’s dark and stormy, incredibly hip, and always abuzz with energy. The Ace looks like the kind of place a young, stylish witch or wizard would go to finish up work after leaving their nine to five at the Ministry of Magic. So gorgeous, great bar, and very attentive wait staff—they’ll come around repeatedly if you stay a while and make sure you’re all set on drinks and snacks, so you can each lunch and end the workday with a glass (or a bottle) of a classy red that may or may not be goblin-made. There’s also a photo booth, which is fun, and so many cozy couches. It’s also the perfect place to transition day to night, from work to play. There have been days, I shit you not, I’ve stayed there for like sixteen hours. Be warned, it can get VERY busy, and right now they’ll likely ask for your vaccine card.

Ace Hotel Harry Potter New York

Enchantments: There are quite a few new age / witch shops in the City, but this is the classic, and IMO the best. It feels incredibly authentic—very, very Diagon Alley. There are no photos allowed. Petting the resident cats is very much allowed. The people working there are always friendly and helpful, and prices are decent. You can find everything from books on white magic to “potion ingredients” (herbs and such) to rune stones to magic glitter meant to be poured in a bath. One time I did this at a hotel and the cleanup was brutal, so the bath glitter may be the one Enchantments product I do not recommend. Even if you’re not a believer in magic (gotta admit that although I’m open to the paranormal, I don’t believe in witches 😫), it’s a super fun, unique place to stop next time you find yourself in the East Village.

Enchantments witch store Harry Potter New York

Rose room at the NYPL: Another favorite workspace. The New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and Bryant Park is beautiful in a vaguely creepy way on the whole. There are twin lions outside guarding the entrance, and they look like they might come to life to welcome true Gryffindors to the library. But my favorite spot is the Rose Reading room on the third floor. It looks like you’re at Hogwarts, and is great for studying or doing research because there’s a pretty great desk-side book delivery service that allows you to request a book from the massive catalog, which a staff member will then bring to you. The ceiling is a giant, Sistine-Chapel like mural of angels and a bunch of other ethereal, heavenly shit. There’s gold everywhere, and the light streaming in through giant windows just caps it all off. Very much the kind of place Fleur Delacoeur would spend her time.

Rose Room NYPL Harry Potter New York

Freeman’s: This dark, down-to-earth but always hip new American restaurant is the epitome of Wizarding New York. I’ve also had conversations about Harry Potter with bartenders there on multiple occasions (it’s a Slytherin heavy establishment). It’s hidden from muggles at the end of a nondescript alley strung with fairy lights. Everything I’ve tried there has been straight up incredible. Drinks are strong, and the menu is modest but satisfying. I particularly recommend the Mac n’ Cheese, and although I would never eat a whole fish with eyes, my best friend reallllly enjoyed the grilled trout.

Freemans restaurant Harry Potter New York

Oddfellows: This ice cream shop, with locations in Dumbo and Williamsburg, might as well be the sister shop to Florean Fortesque’s. They’re the Bertie Bott’s of ice cream parlors. Within reason—there’s no soap or vomit flavored ice cream, or any of the other fucking nasty stuff BB thinks should be made into candy. But there are flavors like PB&J, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, in addition to the classics. They also have boozy ice cream, and ship nationwide. Perfect for a summer day bumming around Brooklyn.

Oddfellows ice cream Harry Potter New York

Lillie’s Victorian Establishment: While this Times Square bar and restaurant is actually meant to evoke Victorian vibes, as the name suggests, it’s definitely the kind of place a high-class society witch would go for drinks with friends. It’s not horribly expensive, and despite being pretty fancy, very low-key and welcoming. It’s also one of the few places around Times Square I actually like; the perfect spot to take guests arriving at Grand Central or Port Authority. Their cheeseburger is dank AF (juicy juicy) and the cocktails are works of beauty. Since I’ve stopped drinking, I’ve also been impressed with the mocktails they can throw together. The bartenders at Lillie’s are both friendly and creative. I wasn’t aware of this until very recently, but they do also have a location in Union Square.

Lillie’s Victorian bar Harry Potter New York

Evolution: An dark, eclectic, kinda creepy oddities shop in Soho, and a great place to waste money on cool shit you don’t need. Imagine if Bellatrix Lestrange got into a tough spot financially and had to sell a bunch of tchotchkes and jewelry to make ends meet—that’s what Evolution is like. You’ll find everything from skull shaped rings and pendants to taxidermy and vintage science posters. It’s very cool. Think Borgin and Burke’s but hipster. I always stop in when I pass by because there’s always cool stuff to look at—kinda like a little museum, where you can take the exhibits home with you.

Evolution store Harry Potter New York

The Slaughtered Lamb: If Death and Company feels like the kind of place the Malfoys would frequent, the Slaughtered Lamb would be probably be more appealing to the gross trashy death eaters. But in a good way. It’s kinda werewolf themed, so you might be drinking with the likes of Fenrir Greyback. Keep your wits about you, and have some mozzarella sticks. In addition to classic (and very good) pub food, they have a great menu of creepy cocktails…there’s one meant to look like blood, one with a plastic syringe in it—you get the idea. They go crazy at Halloween, and surround the place with a ton of jack-o-lanterns. It’s not quite a dive bar, but close. Very no-frills, dark and casual. But the bathroom doesn’t smell like piss and the toilet paper roll isn’t just sitting on the back of the toilet. Very much the kind of place you’d go before sighting a monster out on the moors.

Slaughtered Lamb pub Harry Potter New York

Griffins, Goblins, and Gold at the Met: There’s a Harry Potter themed tour at the Met, which already has a majestic, castle-y energy. There’s a beautiful grand staircase, and a fancy, dimly-lit cocktail reception on Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve actually yet to do the tour, but it’s highly rated and a great way to see the Met, especially with kids. It is, currently, a virtual tour, which personally isn’t something I would pay for. I’m fully assuming that relatively soon, they’ll resume in-museum tours. The tour description says that it includes potions, objects that may hold dark magic, and unspecified activities for children. Lots of fun HP trivia too.

Please Don’t Tell: One of my favorite bars in the City. It’s a speakeasy, with expertly crafted cocktails and very wizardy decor, but the coolest part is honestly its location and how to get in. First of all, it’s hidden in a hole-in-the-wall hot dog shop (Crif Dogs 🌭); and like the Ministry of Magic, you enter through an English style phone booth. Dial the appropriate number, and the back of the booth opens up to a beautiful bar with a scary taxidermied bear on the wall. PDT is very popular, so it’s usually good to make a reservation in advance. Pro tip—call around 3:00 PM the day before you want to go. Many memories of great nights that ended poorly. Please Don’t Tell is perfect for witches and wizards with a little money to spare who want to get hammed in style.

Please Don’t Tell Harry Potter New York

Apotheke: A VERY wizardy cocktail bar in Chinatown, located in what used to be an opium den. It’s technically themed to resemble an old apothecary, but the atmosphere and drinks are wizard-chic encapsulated. Wouldn’t be surprised if they had a location on Diagon Alley. The cocktails are expensive, but they’re amazing, and on occasion it’s a good place to indulge. Apotheke specializes in absinthe, and categorizes their cocktails according to effects (although these categories are mostly just a schtick). There are euphorics and aphrodisiacs, among other types. Apotheke also has mixology classes, which I suspect kinda feel like adult potions class, and an event space that can be rented out. They have a location in Los Angeles too, for any west coast witches and wizards.

Apotheke bar Harry Potter New York

The Cauldron: Basically the ultimate Harry Potter themed New York experience. I’ve actually never been but have been meaning to go for quite a while, and it’s highly rated by customers. Make sure you make reservations—reservations are required. You can easily book events for moderately large groups, and they do have a good food menu as well as cocktails. Potion making classes are really mixology courses, but they’re much cooler than your average bartending lesson. Participants receive a wand, which is used during the almost two hour potions experience. You can choose two “potions” to make from the menu of cocktails, and a mixologist will walk you through the whole thing. While the Cauldron is mostly for adult witches and wizards, they do have family friendly experiences (ages 8 and up) at select times, and can easily make most cocktails non-alcoholic.

The Cauldron bar Harry Potter New York

Harry Potter Store: Lastly, the new HP store in Flatiron. It’s incredible. Three large floors of pretty much every type of Harry Potter merchandise you could want. There’s a wide variety of house themed items, in addition to a large Honeydukes candy section, and everything from makeup to personalized jewelry and Hogwarts uniforms. They carry several brand collaborations, my favorite of which is the Pottery Barn Teen HP collection. I know I’m kind of rambling here, because there’s so much cool stuff I can’t remember half of it. The elevators are designed to look like floo power fireplaces, and there are little easter eggs at every turn. They also have a butterbeer bar with souvenir mugs, ice cream, baked desserts like cauldron cakes, and of course, ice-cold butterbeer. FYI, the butterbeer is delicious but VERY rich and sweet; like heavy cream soda with caramel in it. I could only finish half. One thing to know before you go—it is, unsurprisingly, a very popular location, and combined with social distancing measures, you can’t just go and walk in. You need to arrive at the store early, in my experience before ten if not nine in the morning, and put your name down on a list. You will receive a text when it’s your turn to enter.

Harry Potter store New York
Harry Potter store New York

Expecto Patronum!!! Have fun, and watch out for dementors. Plenty of soul-sucking creatures in this God-forsaken city. ⚡️

2 Replies to “New York City for Harry Potter Fans”

Comments are closed.