A Japanese whiskey bar in Atlanta, a rooftop bar in New Orleans and more speakeasies than you could dream of – these are just some of the best cocktail bars in America to explore.
To make sure your evenings never run dry, we’ve put together the official list of the best cocktail bars in America. Sip your way from Seattle to Chicago with our expert guide of the country’s must-visit cocktail bars for 2019. The best cocktail bar from every single state makes for an amazing roundup.
Whether you feel like a fancy martini or something a little unusual, these are the spots that will make your night out extra special…
The Best Cocktail Bars In AmericaHow do these rankings work?
Queen’s Park wonderfully carries on the spirit of its namesake, a cocktail created at the Queen’s Park Hotel, Trinidad. The bar is a tropical oasis of leaf print, pretty pink neon and cocktails in all shades of the rainbow.
The Strawberry Blonde (below) will be one of the best daiquiris you’ll try.
On the first floor of Williwaw (a bar, restaurant and music venue), there is a phone booth next to the elevator. If the blue light is on, The Speakeasy is open! It’s easily the most stylish bar in Alaska and one of the best cocktail bars in America.
Order the Smoking Gun: scotch, brandy, ginger liquor, orange bitters and aztec chocolate bitters.
Their drinks menu is wonderfully inventive and what arrives at the table often feels like a work of art rather than just a cocktail. It’s first come first served, so be warned that it is incredibly popular – best get here early.
Who knew you’d find one of the best cocktail bars in America in Arizona?
Bar Louie is a great option for cocktails, and they’re best known for their signature martinis. This laid-back bar has an indoor and outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the great drinks and friendly servers.
The best time to come to Bar Louie is during Happy Hour – you can try more than one of their tempting martini cocktails!
This place is loved by locals for its nightly piano singalongs to everything from ABBA to Eminem, with none other than Glee star Darren Criss playing the tunes. He fronts and owns this retro cocktail bar with his partner, Mia Swier. Most nights you’ll find him leading the crowd in songs that go on until the early hours.
The bar itself is covered in pink glitter and tattooed mannequin dolls – it’s impossible not to have fun here.
A super funky bar at Zeppelin Station market hall, Big Trouble is inspired by the drinking cultures and luxury of East Asia. It’s a fun and atmospheric bar with an East-meets-West vibe and some stellar cocktails.
We love the Fortune Cookie Mai Tai, which has “fancy rum”, sesame, curaçao, vanilla, and an “eerily predictive” fortune cookie.
Little River Restoratives brought a new twist to the local neighbourhood bar scene in Hartford and consistently serves up amazing cocktails, punches, possets, and grogs. Boozy punches include truffled honey with mezcal or a milk punch with vanilla and gin. It’s unique and a strong contender on this year’s list of the best cocktail bars in America.
Hummingbird to Mars is an elegant and sophisticated speakeasy on top of Catherine Rooney’s pub at Trolley Square. It really puts Wilmington on the map with its range of handcrafted cocktails, fine wine, and craft beer (largely locally brewed).
The cocktail menu changes seasonally with fun ingredients such as plantain infused ‘bootlegger’ rum.
If you enjoy 90’s music (most hip hop), great cocktails, and an awesome bar/club vibe, then come to Sweet Liberty. This all-ages bar brings together everyone in the neighbourhood for some loud, bass-thumping fun. Come a few hours before the party starts and swing by for $5 cocktails and $1 oysters at their happy hour.
At this party place, swing by the bar and grab a beer and spend the night dancing and singing away to old-school music hits.
A super Instagrammable bar that looks straight outta Blade Runner, this funky Asian bar pays tribute to the sci-fi movie in its decor and drinks, with bites to eat on the side.
Order the Split Personality cocktail, with rye, pineapple rum, Campari, mango, mint and lemon for a drink that a replicant would approve of, or try unusual sakes and Japanese whiskeys.
Bevy has some of the best (and longest!) happy hours serving up some of the best craft cocktails in Honolulu. The drinks at this watering hole are fantastic and the setting is dark yet hip at the same time.
Come here for happy hour every day (except Sundays) and enjoy a delicious craft cocktail for $6. For a bit of a spicy kick in your cocktail, give the Tequila Mockingbird (get it?) a try!
Press & Pony is a craft cocktail bar with Prohibition vibes and a creative menu made up of seasonal specials and classics. Go for the Premium Negroni featuring Big Gin Oaked Aged Gin and topped with a flamed orange swath, or – and you really should – try their Old Fashioned, which is by far the best in town.
An unforgettable experience, the cocktails here are beyond imaginative and taste just as amazing as they look. Prepare to be surprised as your drinks are presented in unique ways – a Manhattan is served inside a giant globe of ice and rum-jelly balls burst in your mouth in The Jungle Bird.
Libertine is one of the more hip and sophisticated bars in Indy with bartenders that come decked out to work in three-piece suits and carefully coiffed hair. This bar is popular for the creative cocktails they serve as well as the character and charm here.
With cocktails, wine, and beer to choose from, grab a drink of your choice and carefully make your way downstairs to the basement bar for another.
Hello Marjorie is bringing a real spark to Des Moines with its inspiration coming from the co-owners grandmother Marjorie, who was partial to a sloe cocktail. The bar has a sweet 1950/60s style, with pink furniture from a doctor’s waiting room in Miami.
Stop by for Happy Hour and indulge in a wonderfully priced $6 Old Fashioned, from 4-6pm daily. After that, stick around to raise a glass of ‘The Marjorie’: Absolut Pear, sloe gin, lemon juice and simple syrup.
Monarch Bar is a classy and modern bar that has just an incredibly easy going vibe. The atmosphere here is vibrant and fun probably because the cocktails are fabulous. The drinks menu is inspired by the the flight path of the Monarch butterfly, so there’s the ‘Migration’ section and the Trans-Atlantic Crossing. Simple amazing!
For their delish ‘Peaches ‘n’ Cream, they mix fresh peaches and mint into a purée and whip them into a coulis with Lazzaroni Triplo liqueur and a touch of creamy Greek yogurt.
This design-forward space is minimalist and chic. The bar serves handcrafted cocktails and sodas as well as wine, sake and beer. The menu is as whimsical as it is classic, so there is something for everyone at this downtown joint.
One of America’s best cocktail bars, you really can’t go wrong with anything you sip on here.
Attached to a hotel, Piscobar focuses on making New Orleans-inspired cocktails and pisco-based drinks. A little of the old and a little of the new combine to present a trend-forward yet unique bar. Visit the rooftop terrace on cool nights.
This Portland gem is an unusual cocktail bar on Congress Street, with candles, chandeliers and stacks of records. It feels a little like an antique junk store, but with talented bartenders and a friendly crowd. The cocktail menu changes weekly and drinks are inspired by all sorts, from the 17th-century to Game of Thrones.
Rye is a craft cocktail bar in one of Baltimore’s swankier neighbourhoods and are known for their innovative cocktails. This bar is definitely where the hipsters come out to play and Rye embraces it with their “Vote Against Prohibition” sign proudly displaying on the brick wall.
Since you’re at Rye, we’re guessing you’ll want a good rye drink here. They don’t disappoint with their Coin Operated Boy, a Rittenhouse rye-starring, cocktail.
A bar entirely dedicated to the craft of the cocktail, Drink blends time-honoured techniques and the classic cocktails of the prohibition era with a modern twist. There’s no drinks menu, so you don’t have a favourite drink in mind, let your bartender know a few likes (or dislikes) and they will create just the right cocktail for you.
Standby has only been on the Detroit bar scene for less than five years, but thanks to their tasty cocktails from contemporary bartending techniques, this modern bar is one of the city’s best. They have a selection of over 50 drinks, ensuring you will find something to your liking here.
Try their Kimchi Old Fashioned, a fun, funky, and surprisingly refreshing cocktail.
The popular cocktail bar in Martina restaurant is the creation of one of the world’s most well-known cocktail-making figures, Marco Zappia. Through his creation, this Martina serves up some of the finest hand-made cocktails in all of America and uses some premium quality liquors in their cocktails.
The overall presentation of cocktails at Martina’s is a delight and you need to come to experience one for yourself!
Step down into the basement of Restaurant Tyler to experience this secret speakeasy-style jewel of Starkville’s bar scene. The Guestroom serves up seasonally changing, hand crafted cocktails, making their own bitters, shrubs, ginger beer and more. The mango and habanero infused tequila steals the show in the Fuego y Hielo!
Planter’s House is up there for one of St. Louis’ favourite cocktail bars, with many saying it’s the best, period. It’s great because the bartenders are world-class in their mixology skills and can make a classic cocktail or you can let them surprise you with a drink of your favourite liquor.
Swing by the Planter’s House for some seriously amazing cocktails that are the best in St. Louis.
Enbar is a stylish yet riotously fun bar that serves up handcrafted cocktails made with Montana spirits. Cocktails change with the seasons and there’s often specials, but there are a few highlights to look out for. We love the Whiskey Hillz: Dry Hills Distillery Bin7 Wheat Whiskey, fresh squeezed orange juice and chai syrup.
Berry & Rye is an absolutely beautiful bar in Old Market, with their inspiration coming from Pre-Prohibition era-drinks. Bartenders here add a modern spin however, and are always experimenting with new creations. Note that it’s a seated-only bar, so make a reservation in advance if you’re coming with a few friends.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a funky and artsy bar that is run by two sisters who manage a rotating selection of cocktails that change seasonally. This bar is away from the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas where this place really fits in well with the local arts scene.
If you’re feeling a bit classy, try one of their seasonal cocktails here. If you just want to hang out, they have a good selection of beers on tap too.
The Birch on Elm is a modern American restaurant that dishes up incredible cocktails alongside its tasty small plates food menu. The drinks menu is a tempting read of the best tipples you could imagine. As well as classic styles, there’s a decent sprinkle of fun here.
Stop by for brunch to order to ‘Breakfast For Dinner’: botanical gin with cereal milk, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon and orange flower water.
Dullboy is an award-winning bar with a literary vibe (the name is a reference to The Shinging) and an impressive cocktail menu. Signature cocktail ingredients include sochu green tea and yuzu natural sake. You can also choose to ‘db’ any classic cocktail for a Dullboy twist.
Plus, each evening they feature a daily shaken and daily stirred variety. Keep an eye out for their monthly boozy Sunday Tea Party. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
This classy establishment sports a long collection of wines along with their own specialty drinks, which include premium cocktails that we just can’t get enough of.
Come here for their popular cocktails (specials include the “Faba Fizz” with gin, tamarind, fresh lime juice, Demerara simple syrup and aquafaba); stay for their live music featuring blues and jazz performers almost on a nightly basis.
Death & Company might sound a bit morbid but you’re in for a treat if you happen to make it to this appropriately dark-lit yet lively bar. Many locals say the bartenders here are some of the best in New York because of the consistency of cocktails.
Now that we’ve hyped up the bartenders enough here, try the Queensnake or Tigershark cocktails here.
Located on the 15th floor of the Charlotte Ritz Carlton, The Punch Room is a luxurious bar that only seats 37. Richly decorated and comfortable, this is one hotel bar definitely worth visiting. Order the Blue Ridge for a taste of the south, but the $500-cocktail, Touched by the 1700’s, clearly puts a price tag on a night out of luxury.
If you’re on the hunt for the best cocktail bars in America, you’ll find one in Fargo. Mezzaluna is an upscale eatery with a fantastic horseshoe bar where you can sip on some of the best cocktails you’ll try.
The menu constantly changes with the season, but your tastebuds are always in for an unexpected delight.
The Light of Seven Matchsticks is a Wes Anderson–inspired basement speakeasy with a 1920s vibe. Basically, it’s heaven. They do craft cocktails & small plates, but keep an eye out for the Secret Menu.
Opening hours vary so check their website in advance and be aware that there’s no cellphone signal, so you better be with someone you don’t mind actually talking to.
Mixed Company or shortly known as MixCo, is a classic cocktail bar that focuses heavily on crafting the perfect cocktail. Among their 12+ house specialty drinks, you’ll find literally a bit of everything, from bourbon, whiskey, vodka, and wine in their cocktails.
Try the Army of Me, a cocktail consisting of vodka and wine, and you’ll see why this is one of the best cocktail bars in America.
Teardrop Lounge is one of the original players in the craft cocktail scene in Portland and their influence has been large. The bar is in the shape of a teardrop (hence the name) and is modern and hip. The bartenders are friendly and carefully prepare the cocktails here.
Choose your drink of choice from their menu that is split into three categories: Classics, Originals, and Friends.
A true speakeasy, Ranstead Room is a dimly lit cocktail lounge located behind El Rey. Not everyone knows where to go or how to get in, but if you take the time to figure it out, the city’s best cocktails, crafted by some of the finest bartenders in the game, await.
This atmospheric bar in the West Side is what we all wish we had as our neighbourhood bar. Impeccable cocktails, warm service and a stylish speakeasy-style decor. Try their signature Ginger Sidecar, Mezcal Old Fashioned, or St. Avery Cosmopolitan.
Weekends are when crowds really head to The Avery, so come midweek for a quieter vibe.
One of Charleston’s best-known cocktail bars, The Gin Joint is set off of East Bay Street through a courtyard. The intimate space is cosy but fills up fast, so get there early. Expect fresh, well-balanced drinks made by expert staff.
If you don’t know what you want, try out their system by choosing two adjectives to describe the type of drinks you like best.
Blind Lion is a Prohibition Era Speakeasy that has a lot going for it: handcrafted cocktails, a cutting edge culinary program & live acoustic entertainment. Bartenders put a serious passion and effort into every drink they create here, from the ice carved from a sculptured block to final garnishes.
This bar is hidden in plain sight. Look for the yellow triangle painted over the front door rather than a sign. Old Glory serves adeptly mixed cocktails and bar bites in an industrial-chic setting. Take a seat on the patio on fair weather days.
Cocktails range from their unique take on classics (including a bagel-inspired martini) and signature creations. The 5-6-7-8 with wasabi, lemongrass and sake is a winner.
Make your way to downtown Austin’s historic warehouse district for a drink or two in this award-winning bar. Their knowledgeable bar staff will guide you through the expansive list of cocktails; there’s 53 classic creations as well as 10 unique cocktails.
Try all 50+ classic drinks and you’ll get your name on a plaque and a Roosevelt Room t-shirt.
Water Witch is part-craft cocktail bar, part-local neighbourhood bar. Yes, there’s perfectly made Negronis but there’s also Miller Lite, making it a melting pot of the city. It’s their cocktails that land them on this list of the best cocktail bars in America, of course.
There’s no cocktail list; instead, tell the bartender what you’re feeling and they’ll come up with something that makes drinking seriously fun.
For a true Vermont dining experience, you need to come to Hen of the Wood and feast on local bites to eat and these incredible cocktails. Sit at the bar and chat with their friendly staff as you watch them craft amazing cocktails that make use of local ingredients.
Those searching for a killer cocktail with a generous pour will find The Jasper by far the best option. There’s plenty of draft beer and wine, but the cocktail is king here. Classics have a place on the menu, but the house specialties are the way to go. Order an Unintended Consequences and see where the night takes you.
Canon Bar is a new-age bar that pushes its bartenders to explore new cocktails at the edge of their boundaries. The result is hyper innovative cocktails that pay homage to old and new.
Political activists will get a kick out of their Gnome Chomsky cocktail! Tasty, and smart.
This craft cocktail bar really puts Morgantown on the map with its small-batch & noteworthy spirits. The bar is an a former old pharmacy and its rotating cocktail list takes care to honour history, tradition, and creativity. The result? Tipples such as Little Jerry Seinfeld: pisco, lemon, raspberry mint syrup and egg white.
Bryant’s is about as classic a cocktail lounge as you’ll find in the States – it’s been open since 1938 and is still one of the best cocktail bars in America. There’s 400 specialty cocktails and expertly crafted classic cocktails to choose from, so ask the bartenders if you need a steer in the right direction.
The Rose brings a bit of NYC-cool to Wyoming with its craft cocktail vibes. It’s located inside the Pink Garter Theatre, and is continuously one of the best cocktail bars in America in our eyes.
All cocktails are made with fresh, hand made ingredients, with a menu that rotates seasonally and is enhanced by classic, such as an Old Fashioned, French 75, or a Boulevardier.