Cigars are typically reserved for special occasions (weddings, holidays, raises, promotions), but it doesn’t have to be that way: NYC has plenty of cigar shop options for casual smokers and aficionados alike. Whether you’re a regular at vape shops and smoke shops or you’ve never even set foot in a cigar bar, here are the best shops for stogie-savoring or discovering a new favorite flavor.
Best cigar shops in NYC
This family-run midtown shop has been making cigars since 1974, two years after owner Don Antonio Martinez arrived in the U.S. from the Dominican Republic. His son, Jesus, carries on the tradition roughly 40 years later, rolling everything on-site in a comfortable, barbershop-like space. They specialize in custom bands for everyone from brides and grooms to U.S. Marines (yep, they’ll ship them overseas). Feel free to submit your artwork if you have a special occasion coming up, and they’ll adorn your next box for a reasonable fee.
The New York location of this hotel-style bar (which also has locations in Prague and Warsaw) is a comfortable, book-filled space where you can enjoy an expertly poured cocktail while you smoke: We recommend the Vesper, Ian Fleming’s original recipe (gin, vodka, Lillet Blanc), to go along with their frequent James Bond movie screenings. Ladies who stop by on Monday nights get a free cigar—a great reason to switch up your wine bar routine every once in a while.
While the Native American statue outside and neon “cigars” sign inside this midtown townhouse are eye-catching, the rest of the atmosphere in this family-run, 86-year-old shop is of a different time—one where you could legally enjoy a smoke in your suit after business hours (or during lunch). It offers an affordable variety of brands (from $5 to $50), such as the mellow, medium-bodied Sterling Selection, as well as hand-rolled cigarettes that will put those bodega smokes to shame.
This members-only club is what you’re looking for if you want an exclusive place to puff and escape for a couple hours: It boasts private lockers and a walk-in humidor, ensuring that all sticks stay as fresh as possible. The downstairs lounge boasts a grand piano, exposed brick walls and red leather seating—the perfect venue to savor a creamy Padron or Arturo Fuente with a glass of scotch.
The lounge at the 2nd Avenue location of this small but well-stocked and approachable shop has televisions and comfortable couches, great for meeting new friends and catching up on sports and current events. That’s part of the appeal: Become a regular, and you might find yourself going on golf outings or out to dinner with other patrons. You can also pick up other men’s necessities here, such as cufflinks, shaving supplies and money clips.
Magnificent yet intimate, the Carnegie Club is an Ivy League–worthy venue to kick back in: It has a huge bar, comfortable seating and an abundance of live music (everything from orchestra and jazz to Sinatra Saturdays). Though reservations are needed if you want good seating, it’s worth planning ahead to feel like Don Draper on a trip back in time.
You’ll want to clean up a bit before heading to this upscale Upper East Side lounge: It has a stricter dress code than some of the others. (Read: A pinstripe suit and cufflinks are strongly recommended.) Once you’re inside, though, you won’t have to shell out for expensive smokes: You can have one for as little as $11. They proudly offer one of the most extensive selections in the city (besides Macanudo, you’ll find Cohiba and La Gloria Cubana), so go ahead and indulge if your wallet can handle it.