We’ve got all the best bars in the world on our site (1,850 and counting) but what are the best of the best? Who better to ask than some of our favourite guys/chicks in the biz who travel the world all in the name of alcohol...
Naren Young – Owner of Fork and Shaker
“My fave bar is Tommy's in San Francisco because it feels like home. Service is always friendly, Julio is the best host in the world, they do the best Margaritas on the planet and there is always the chance to try really rare tequilas. There's magic in that bar that is hard to explain.”
“I'm going to go with Swift, in NYC. It's an Irish Pub just off the Bowery in the East Village and it's the best. They are open until 4AM no matter what, serve delicious bar food until close, they have 12 rotating beer taps, plus another 30 or so in bottles, great selection of spirits, cosy booths, and excellent service. You can't go wrong with this place. It's kinda like Cheers, everybody knows your name, and you just feel comfortable and relaxed. Great crowd of regulars as well.”
“China Tang at Dorchester Hotel - the actual bar is simply the best stage ever build for a Barman, Luca Cordiglieri is an amazing host who mentored all his staff to follow the same path, the food is unreal and I love Asian & Art Deco - this bar combines both in terms of décor.”
“My favourite bar has to be Cafe Pacifico in London. I basically grew up in the place. It was the first bar my mother sat me upon as a baby, and it was a regular destination for many of our family gatherings. The bar hasn't changed much over the years, and whenever I return there is a sense of comfort I feel… I can't describe it other than that "at home” feeling.”
Tomas Estes – Ocho Tequila
“Hands down it is La Capilla Bar in Tequila Town due to the respect/love that the proprietor shows to his guests.”
“If I had to choose just one bar it would be Happiness Forgets. That bar has it all for me, it always feels like home, the passion of the team is not only in the drinks but also how they make you feel, it’s comfortable whoever you are with. It’s an absolute honest bar for me run by people who love what they are doing.”
Sandrae Lawrence – Cocktail Lovers
“Artesian, I love their style, hospitality, glass of Champagne on arrival and the fact that everyone behind the bar is an absolute star.”
“My favourite bar in the world is Trailer Happiness in London. It's quite simple, actually. If I have enough strength to whisper the worlds "177 Portobello Road" to the taxi cab driver, I know that I'll be safe and no matter who is working there, I'll be taken care of. That sort of hospitality aside, the bar is known for pumping out some of the best bartenders on earth, as the alumni of greats in our industry have set foot behind such a storied bar. The drinks are tiki-inspired and made quickly, the music is pumping and most importantly, the people are happy.
It reminds me of an experience I had at TH during the Notting Hill Carnival, 2013. It was the night after TH hosted its annual Rematch Beeyatch. The place was packed with people and the bartenders were cranking out tiki drinks and serving guests with a smile. I stood by the exit and witnessed people dancing, partying and they were all just so happy. I decided to leave and head to East London. After about 4.5-5 hours, I decided to return to Trailer Happiness only to find that nothing had changed. The bar was packed with the exact SAME PEOPLE at the same spot of the bar, still dancing and enjoying their night. To me, that's a testament to the bar's ability to understand people's needs to have a good time. I love it and it is my favourite bar in the world. Cheers to responsible binge drinking at TH for 5 hours!”
Matt Fitzgerald - Head bartender at Palmer & Co Sydney
“My favourite bar would be The Connaught Bar. Reason being it's one of those bars that really make you feel special. It makes you feel like a million bucks from when you walk in until when you leave. The service is amazing and the venue is just astonishing to look at. I'd fly back from Aus just to have one of Ago's Mulata Daisys. 11/10.”
My personal favo is Nomad in NYC - stunning property, super delicious cocktails and food, but what makes this place to stand out is the insanely amazing service. Karen Fu & Leo Robitchek are my heroes!”
Dan Warner – The 86 Company
“It’s a place called the The Last Resort in the British Virgin Islands. Why? What's not to love? It's on its own private island so you have to get there by boat, which beats catching a cab to your favourite bar any day. Rum cocktails flow free and easy and the vibe is beyond chilled, customers are often encouraged to help themselves to drinks. The sun pretty much always shines if you need refreshment other that the type you drink, the Caribbean Sea is ready and waiting for a dip, and… it's where I started out in this industry when I did a season working there in 1996. I went back to visit a few years back and the place is still as magical as I remember it being when I was 20 years old.”
“What classes as my favourite is a place where I feel comfortable, with good drinks, great service, good music, and atmosphere... I would have to say Happiness Forgets... it is the one bar that I feel the most relaxed in. They always give me (and everyone else) a warm welcome. Drinks are spot on, in fact it is one of the only bars that I order from the cocktail menu and not just my usual Daiquiri, because the menu is delicious.... and because Ali cares so much and it shows...”
Nidal Ramini - Head of Trade Advocacy at Brown Forman
“Very hard to pick just one, but if I had to, I'd say Employees Only, NYC. Anyone who's opened a bar in the last 5 years must've been influenced by them. Everything about that place is special, Eric the manager is a legend, Dev, Milos, Brad and Steve are the boys I know best behind the stick and those guys are awesome. They know how to look after people, consummate hosts one and all. And Dushan? What can you say about him? He's created a bartender's bar that Joe public love too. That is a skill and a half. I literally love this bar”.
Erik Lorincz – Head bartender at the American Bar, The Savoy
“Earlier this year I visited a bar called Trench in Japan, Tokyo and with their hidden location in Shibuya and understanding of the craft of classic cocktails, but also the innovation that gave me the great experience that a favourite bar should have. With their tiny room, but very well-designed book library above the bar and small stage for a jazz band, I felt that this is my kind of bar where I can enjoy myself and bring my friends.”
“Currently my favourite place to enjoy a skilfully crafted, little internal illumination, is the bar in the La Pergola restaurant at the top of the Cavalieri Hotel which is high on a hill with a sensational view of Rome. Sipping on a cocktail with a view of The Vatican in the distance below and Rome in all its throbbing glory is beyond heavenly. And of course entirely guilt free”.
What are the BarChick's Favourite Bars?
Gabriella – Web and Content Manager
“El Rancho Dominicano. Because it’s really weird. It’s situated on this street in Bastille that’s full of boozers, not great bars. But this place really sticks out because of all of the plants and sh*t that’s going on outside. Turns out that it’s all happening inside too, and it’s just super weird and there’s loads of green lighting and the drinks are cheap. At the front it has this nonchalant chilled out vibe, but you could definitely picture some debauchery going down too”.
Hannah – Head of External Content
“Hula Hula, Croatia knows how to throw a sunset party, every damn day. It doesn’t get much better than sipping a Negroni while dancing on the rocks, or jumping off them into the Adriatic Sea”.
Suzie – Editor and Head of UK
"My favourite bar is one that I stumbled across by mistake while en route to one of Barcelona’s hot spot drinking holes. Tucked away in the Gothic Quarter you’ll find The Box. Unlike The Box in NYC and London, you won’t find any nudity / sex shows, but you will find a hot young couple who are as passionate about their bar as they are the rum that rules the back bar. They mascerate rum in huge jars with every kind of flavour you can think of and then with a pipette fill up shot glasses for customers to knock back, and damn they are delicious! It’s a fun time party bar that is not to be missed if you’re in town”.
Jennie – Content Manager and Brand Relations
"Bar Mutis – Barcelona. It takes forever to find this place, and once you do find it you will definitely deserve a drink. Hidden within a residential apartment block, this is the epitome of a speakeasy. Drinks are awesome, the crowd is fun, décor is beautiful (they manage to pull off a disco ball without looking cheesy) and they’ve got live music too. Book in advance first and bring your bank card cos it’s damn pricey but totally worth it”.
Tyler – Head of international
“The Franklin in New Orleans for saving our bacon after being mugged with rounds of free (and epic) Negronis while we waiting for the cops! It also happens to be an awesome bar run by great people”.
Louise – Brands and Industry Relations
“El Bandito in Liverpool is all I need in the bar. It’s a little hard to find, a little on the small side and enough tequila to last you all night. It stays open the latest and has stairs you can stumble up on your way out. Luckily Liverpool’s so small you can always find your way home…”