217 E. 3rd St., nr. Ave. B; 917-882-7395
Like many of the city’s speakeasy-ish haunts, Elsa has a find-me-if-you-can location in Alphabet City. This hideaway just happens to be friendlier than most. The décor has the requisite Fitzgerald-era feel, the bartenders and waitresses are chatty, the specialty-cocktail prices are reasonable (two standouts: the applejack-heavy Jascek and the jalapeño-and-bourbon Blackbook, both $10), and the drink list is edited down enough to soothe any indecisive orderer.