Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Top 100 Bars in America


KatieLoeb
 Share

Recommended Posts

The newest edition of the Food & Wine cocktails book has just been released. Included within is a list of America's top 100 bars. I'm proud to say that Philly has four of them, one of which is my beautiful little bar at Chick's! I'm also pleased to see that there's quite a few other bars manned/owned/managed by eG folks mentioned on that list. Congrats to PDT, Pegu Club, Death & Co., Clover Club, Little Branch, The Violet Hour and everyone else. I am truly honored to be in your company. :cool:

I can't seem to find a link to the entire list. If anyone can find that link or has the patience to type it up, please post it, because I'm sure there's a lot of places on there I'd like to know about and visit when I travel to other cities.

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Katie,

I just read the list in the current issue of Esquire, and the list seems very, very short this year, in fact the middle of America seems to be left out entirely. I wonder if Esquire is going to expand upon the list in another issue?

Cheers,

Craig Hochscheid

Artisanal Beverages LLC

Cincinnati, OH

During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly... I admit to being a bit skeptical that there are as many as 100 great cocktail bars in America. I'd think it was more like 20 great ones, and perhaps another 30 where you can get a decent iteration of a very limited roster of drinks, or which are oldey-timey or iconic in one way or another.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly...  I admit to being a bit skeptical that there are as many as 100 great cocktail bars in America.  I'd think it was more like 20 great ones, and perhaps another 30 where you can get a decent iteration of a very limited roster of drinks, or which are oldey-timey or iconic in one way or another.

Is the list about great bars or great cocktail bars? One is a subset of the other: not all great bars serve cocktails any more than all great restaraunts serve prime beef and have a tasting menu. Or even tablecloths. Or clean forks.

I haven't seen the list so I don't know its parameters but my favorite place in town here has a good selection of whiskeys and beer but would (rightfully) ignore anyone who tried to order a Manhattan. And when I'm there, thats how I want it to be.

Being in Texas certainly gives a different set of criteria for quality in a cocktail place than NYC but I'd put the number higher than 50 (without having visited very many of these places at all). The great thing is that even five years ago you'd have been hard pressed to come up with 20 so let's all raise a glass to that.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I assumed it was cocktails-focused because, according to Katie, it appeared in the new Food & Wine cocktails book.

The Esquire list is not the same as the Food & Wine list, by the way.

Apparently 14 of the 100 bars are in NYC, consisting of: Apothéke, B Flat, Brandy Library, Clover Club, Death & Co., Dutch Kills, Employees Only, Little Branch, Milk & Honey, PDT, Pegu Club, Prime Meats, Rayuela and Tailor.

I suppose that if you just arbitrarily set the number at 100, at some point you take what you can get. But I guess in my mind a "great cocktail bar" should be on the level of a first-tier outfit in NYC, and I can't imagine that there are more than a handful right now outside of the City on that level. Any list that includes the likes of Apothéke, B Flat, Employees Only, Prime Meats and Rayuela (second tier at best in NYC, but all likely places that would be the #1 cocktail destination in most cities) but doesn't include Flatiron Lounge seriously calls the authority of the list into question, in my opinion. The inclusion of Dutch Kills strikes me as a bit suspicious, considering that it wasn't open when they sent the book to press. Meanwhile, with the opening of Mayahuel, the list is already out of date.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I assumed it was cocktails-focused because, according to Katie, it appeared in the new Food & Wine cocktails book.

The Esquire list is not the same as the Food & Wine list, by the way.

Ok got confused that there were two lists at stake here. The Esquire list I know has in the past been more holistic in it's scope.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The headnote to the list reads as follows:

A listing of the country's best bars, lounges and restaurants, many of which contributed the incredible cocktails and bar snacks in this book.

I can't truly speak to how accurate the list is, since I've only been to a handful of the places on it, but I still suspect it will be useful to all but the most die-hard cocktail aficionado. (Sam, I'm looking in your direction. :wink:) As you note, there are really only a couple of places on the level of a top-tier NYC bar outside of NYC, and really... why let the perfect be the enemy of the good?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The headnote to the list reads as follows:
A listing of the country's best bars, lounges and restaurants, many of which contributed the incredible cocktails and bar snacks in this book.

I can't truly speak to how accurate the list is, since I've only been to a handful of the places on it, but I still suspect it will be useful to all but the most die-hard cocktail aficionado. (Sam, I'm looking in your direction. :wink:) As you note, there are really only a couple of places on the level of a top-tier NYC bar outside of NYC, and really... why let the perfect be the enemy of the good?

Is there anywhere to see the list without buying the book? Did anywhere in TX make it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The headnote to the list reads as follows:
A listing of the country's best bars, lounges and restaurants, many of which contributed the incredible cocktails and bar snacks in this book.

I can't truly speak to how accurate the list is, since I've only been to a handful of the places on it, but I still suspect it will be useful to all but the most die-hard cocktail aficionado. (Sam, I'm looking in your direction. :wink:) As you note, there are really only a couple of places on the level of a top-tier NYC bar outside of NYC, and really... why let the perfect be the enemy of the good?

Is there anywhere to see the list without buying the book? Did anywhere in TX make it?

I don't know if there's anywhere to see the list online, but there are a couple of places in Texas: The Belmont in Austin; Backstreet Café and Beaver's in Houston.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if there's anywhere to see the list online, but there are a couple of places in Texas: The Belmont in Austin; Backstreet Café and Beaver's in Houston.

What Andy said - Anvil is spectacular, wouldn't waste a visit on Beaver's. Was hoping beyond hope they had found someplace in Dallas, but alas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Washington gets four, though they tend to be obvious choices and one, Bar Pilar, just lost its top bartender, who created the Tuesday night cocktail-fest mentioned in the article. Nonetheless, all fine places to get a cocktail.

Bar Pilar

The Gibson

Café Atlantico

PX

Missing: Cork, which, despite its wine bar roots, has an excellent bartender, and the Tabard Inn. Interestingly, Tom at Cork is brother to Derek at The Gibson who is engaged (or shacked up with or dating or whatever) to Chantal at the Tabard, meaning that almost 70% of the high-quality cocktails in DC are controlled, OPEC-like, by a single extended family.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was there a specific night when Bar Pilar was supposed to be good?  cause it sucked when I went there.

Tuesday nights the (now departed) bartender, Adam, devoted himself to original and classic cocktails. Most other nights Bar Pilar was pretty much a beer joint, though with better-than-average bar food.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was there a specific night when Bar Pilar was supposed to be good?  cause it sucked when I went there.

Tuesday nights the (now departed) bartender, Adam

Technically he's not departed until next week, but their cocktail program will most likely not be as solid as before, unless Adam's chosen his own replacement already. Edited by hannnah (log)
"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Washington gets four, though they tend to be obvious choices and one, Bar Pilar, just lost its top bartender, who created the Tuesday night cocktail-fest mentioned in the article. Nonetheless, all fine places to get a cocktail.

Bar Pilar

The Gibson

Café Atlantico

PX

Missing: Cork, which, despite its wine bar roots, has an excellent bartender, and the Tabard Inn. Interestingly, Tom at Cork is brother to Derek at The Gibson who is engaged (or shacked up with or dating or whatever) to Chantal at the Tabard, meaning that almost 70% of the high-quality cocktails in DC are controlled, OPEC-like, by a single extended family.

Going to be in DC in a couple of weeks and was interested in any updated insight on a good bar for a well made cocktail without the need for a coat and tie as it were. The scene tends to change quickly so I don't know how relevant these places might be. If it were somewhat near the College Park, MD area that would be a plus but not mandatory. Just hate to fight traffic and parking downtown or in Georgetown if I don't have to. Maybe something within stumbling distance of the Metro?

Any ideas?

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can check out this topic.

Thanks. Looked there for restaurant ideas but didn't even notice the drinks thread!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...