According to IBISWorld, there are 59,052 bars and nightclubs in the United States.
So to claim that you have narrowed down the best bars in America to just 27 establishments is a very bold statement.
That, however, did not stop the fine folks over at Esquire from doing such a thing, and hey, if they say these are the best bars in America – out of 59,052 – then these 27 joints must be pretty dang special. So I share.
This year’s Best Bars are a reflection of the desire to experience wonder once more—in being introduced to mind-expanding wines and whiskeys, downing pints in old churches, or hunkering in jazzy spaces again—and to be grateful for places that managed to remain intrinsic to the fabric of drinking culture in America. A pioneering cocktail den in Harlem, one of the oldest sake bars in America, and a quintessential Mission District dive are all part of this year’s list, our fifteenth.
Dang. They’ve been bold enough to do this for 15 straight years? In the age of social media? Talk about gluttons for punishment. But I digress… here are the 27 bars they chose.
Watchman’s – Atlanta, Georgia
Fadensonnen – Baltimore, Maryland
Ministry of Brewing – Baltimore, Maryland
Hunky Dory – Brooklyn, New York
Lazy Bird – Chicago, Illinois
Comfort Station – Cincinnati, Ohio
Tender Mercy – Dayton, Ohio
Noble Riot – Denver, Colorado
Thunderbolt – Los Angeles, California
Trouble Bar – Louisville, Kentucky
Crooked Ram – Manchester, Vermont
White Limozeen – Nashville, Tennessee
Elysian Bar – New Orleans, Louisiana
67 Orange Street – New York, New York
Double Chicken Please – New York, New York
Decibel – New York, New York
Viridian – Oakland, California
Con Alma – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Scotch Lodge – Portland, Oregon
J & Tony’s – San Diego, California
Phone Booth – San Francisco, California
I literally could not find this bar anywhere on social media. Which probably means that it’s a really great place.
Kona’s Street Market – San Francisco, California
Roquette – Seattle, Washington
Vaquero Bar – Solvang, California
Valley Bar + Bottle – Sonoma, California
Tiki TNT – Washington, D.C.
Serenata – Washington, D.C.
Read all about why each bar was chosen over at Esquire.com.