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The 27 Hottest Cocktail Destinations Across the Country, Fall 2014

Where to drink cocktails, right now.

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It's Cocktail Week, everyone, so here now are the 27 hottest places to get cocktails in America right now. From a dark New York City stunner (The NoMad Bar) to a sun-soaked rooftop in San Diego (Fairweather), the bars and restaurants on this list share a commitment to excellence in the field of mixed drinks. As always, the bars and restaurants listed below opened within the past year and are presented in alphabetical order. Here now, the Eater Heatmap to the United States' newest cocktail destinations.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Half Step

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75 1/2 Rainey St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 391-1877
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This is the cocktail bar from Chris Bostick, known for his work at The Varnish in Los Angeles. Eater Austin says Half Step has "friendly service and [an] intimate setting" and an ice program that "demonstrates a serious commitment to quality." [Photo: Shannon Kintner/EATX]

2. Abe Fisher

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1623 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 867-0088
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The Jewish deli theme of chef Mike Solomonov's new restaurant Abe Fisher carries through to its cocktail program, reports Eater Philly. Think ingredients like barrel-aged Manischewitz and dill pickle juice. [Photo: Eater Philly]
3174 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 400-4748
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A group of industry vets are behind this Mission hotspot. The lengthy beverage menu is organized by spirit, and cocktail recipes are "rooted in San Francisco and its history" writes Eater SF. [Photo: Patricia Chang]

4. Alden & Harlow

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40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-2100
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Eater Boston describes this restaurant as "hugely popular" with "a thriving bar scene." Not only is there an ever-chaning menu of cocktails, including one on draft, there's also an obsession-worthy burger. [Photo: Meg Jones Wall]

5. The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box

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644 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04101
This Kickstarter-funded bar is heating up the Portland cocktail scene with its house-made bitters and inspired drinks. The vibe here is " a cross between a hippie love fest and an exclusive speakeasy," reports Eater Maine, making it "unlike anything else in town." [Photo: Corey Templeton]

6. Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

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1 W Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(602) 340-1924
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The co-founder of Arizona Cocktail Week opened this stylish drinking destination in downtown Phoenix. The menu spans an impressive 25 pages, and the location is fittingly in a historic building that once housed the Prohibition Department. [Photo: Facebook]

7. Bound

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3595 S Las Vegas Blvd (inside The Cromwell)
Paradise, NV 89109
London's star bartender Salvatore Calabrese is a natural fit for Vegas, where he is behind this stunning cocktail lounge. The menu includes classics, espresso cocktails, and champagne cocktails. [Photo: Eater Vegas]

8. BrilliantShine

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522 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-0045
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This restaurant serves Peruvian-inspired food but according to Eater LA, you want to come here for the drinks. The menu leans towards craft whiskey cocktails, but there's libations of every stripe and a bartender's choice too. [Photo: Official Site]

9. CellarDoor

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921 Lafayette St
New Orleans, LA 70113
Housed in a former brothel, this restaurant proclaims on its website: "We serve craft cocktails and aren't pretentious about it." The cocktail menu boasts classic and original creations, plus at brunch the Mimosas, Bloodys, Screwdrivers, and Greyhounds are bottomless. [Photo: Eater NOLA]

10. Damn the Weather

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116 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA
(206) 946-1283
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This Pioneer Square bar has been making a name for itself in the Seattle cocktail scene since opening its doors this summer. Reasonably priced house cocktails share menu space with a quirky menu of bar snacks like the "FG & J" with foie gras, passionfruit jelly, and luxardo. [Photo: S. Pratt]

11. Detroit City Distillery

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2462 Riopelle Street
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 338-3760
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This is the second distillery to open in Detroit since Prohibition, reports Eater Detroit. Detroit City Distillery is making their own gins, whiskeys, and vodkas and serving them in a menu of classic and original cocktails. [Photo: Eater Detroit]

12. Dram and Grain

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2007 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
This is the reservation-only cocktail bar located under Eater DC 38 member Jack Rose. The somewhat experimental cocktail list at this exclusive haunt recently expanded, so keep an eye out for new offerings. [Photo: Dram & Grain]

13. Drawing Room Bar & Lounge

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1801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 531-1271
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Showman/bartender Albert Trummer has landed in Miami with the Drawing Room at the Shelbourne resort. This is an "apothecary" where "drinks are created with a special assortment of house-made elixirs and bitters" reports Eater Miami. [Photo: Official Site]

14. Edmund's Oast

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1081 Morrison Dr
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-1145
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At the restaurant/pub Edmund's Oast, 2013 Eater Young Gun and head bartender Jayce McConnell is serving a playful menu of cocktails like the popular Red Wedding: Elijah Craig 12 Year, Amaro Averna, orange peel, and hibiscus/thyme sweet tea ice cubes. [Photo: Rebecca Gallagher]

15. Fairweather

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795 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
This breezy and beautiful rooftop bar above the restaurant Rare Form is a "hidden gem bar-within-a-bar" writes Eater San Diego. Aside from the gorgeous setting, drinkers can expect to find an extensive cocktail list with a focus on mezcal, tequila, and rum.

16. Grandpa Johnson's

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1638 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Eater LA describes the cocktail menu at this small bar as "tight and well-curated." Located in Hollywood's Cahuenga corridor, the interiors here are a classy take on Art Deco style. [Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

17. Heyday

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2700 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 200-9369
This restaurant is divided into a dining room and a bar. Over on the drinking side of things, Eater Minneapolis writes the "drinks are both forward thinking and familiar at once" in a setting that's "fast become ground zero quintessential Minneapolis drinking." [Photo: Katie Cannon]

18. The Luminary

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99 Krog St NE Suite Y
Atlanta, GA 30307
At chef Eli Kirshtein's The Luminary there are top-notch cocktails from a bartender with serious bona fides: Ian Cox, formerly of Wrecking Bar and frequent in the bartending competition circuit. [Photo: The Luminary]

19. Moving Sidewalk

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306 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
(832) 708-6195
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At Moving Sidewalk, cocktail guru Alex Gregg is designing clever and sophisticated cocktails. Take, for example, the White Lady → Corpse Reviver 2, which Eater Houston describes as "a magic trick of mixology that starts out as a the first drink before fading into the second." [Photo: Facebook]

20. Nitecap

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120 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 466-3361
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This Lower East Side cocktail den has some serious fire power behind it: David Kaplan and Alex Day are both of Death & Co., and Natasha David is formerly of Maison Premiere. Per Eater Ny, the extensive menu is "organized by how far along you are in the evening: aperitifs to get you started, drinks to keep you going, and, obviously, a few night caps." [Photo: Daniel Krieger]

21. The NoMad Bar

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10 W 28th St
New York, NY 10001
New York City's biggest bar opening of the year is a stunner. Eater critic Ryan Sutton was impressed with the classy cocktail from the EMP team, writing: "Take a seat at the bar and ask for something with Islay Scotch, as few other bartenders make such compelling creations with the peaty potable." [Photo: Nick Solares]

22. Paper Plane

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72 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113
Paper Plane is the cocktail bar that neighbors sister project/brat and beer destinaiton Orignal Gravity. Eater contributor Jeffrey Cianci writes that "a large list of old school and experimental cocktails can be found here as well as barrel-aged cocktails and house punch creations." [Photo: Facebook]

23. Parliament

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2418 Allen St.
Dallas, TX 75204
(469) 804-4321
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This cocktail bar is "dimly lit and sexy with a friendly, welcoming vibe" reports Eater Dallas. The binder's worth of cocktails on offer range from the classic to the creative, like a whiskey cocktail made with deer antler extract. [Photo: K. Davidson]

24. Pépé le Moko

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407 SW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 546-8537
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Eater PDX calls this smash hit bar from the Clyde Common team a "not-so-secret speakeasy." The menu takes head on the drinks that bartenders often avoid, like the Long Island Iced Tea and flavored martinis. [Photo: Facebook]

25. Pinewood Social

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33 Peabody St
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 751-8111
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Two words: Cocktails and outdoor pools. That's what's happening at this restaurant and gathering space, where the bar program is headed by Rolf & Daughters alum Matt Tocco and drinkers can also try their hand at karaoke or bowling. [Photo: Eater Nashville]

26. Sportsman's Club

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948 Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(872) 206-8054
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This bar combines "elements of a cocktail lounge, classic Chicago dive, French hunting club and retail store" writes Eater Chicago. Keep an eye out for cocktails that utilize the bar's amaro machine. [Photo: Marc Much]

27. Trou Normand

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140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 975-0876
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This spinoff of essential cocktail destination Bar Agricole delivers when it comes to Armagnac, Cognac, and Calvados. Bonus: the charcuterie at this bar and restaurant is also on point. [Photo: Patricia Chang]

1. Half Step

75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
This is the cocktail bar from Chris Bostick, known for his work at The Varnish in Los Angeles. Eater Austin says Half Step has "friendly service and [an] intimate setting" and an ice program that "demonstrates a serious commitment to quality." [Photo: Shannon Kintner/EATX]
75 1/2 Rainey St
Austin, TX 78701

2. Abe Fisher

1623 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Jewish deli theme of chef Mike Solomonov's new restaurant Abe Fisher carries through to its cocktail program, reports Eater Philly. Think ingredients like barrel-aged Manischewitz and dill pickle juice. [Photo: Eater Philly]
1623 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

3. ABV

3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
A group of industry vets are behind this Mission hotspot. The lengthy beverage menu is organized by spirit, and cocktail recipes are "rooted in San Francisco and its history" writes Eater SF. [Photo: Patricia Chang]
3174 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

4. Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Eater Boston describes this restaurant as "hugely popular" with "a thriving bar scene." Not only is there an ever-chaning menu of cocktails, including one on draft, there's also an obsession-worthy burger. [Photo: Meg Jones Wall]
40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

5. The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box

644 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101
This Kickstarter-funded bar is heating up the Portland cocktail scene with its house-made bitters and inspired drinks. The vibe here is " a cross between a hippie love fest and an exclusive speakeasy," reports Eater Maine, making it "unlike anything else in town." [Photo: Corey Templeton]
644 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04101

6. Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

1 W Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
The co-founder of Arizona Cocktail Week opened this stylish drinking destination in downtown Phoenix. The menu spans an impressive 25 pages, and the location is fittingly in a historic building that once housed the Prohibition Department. [Photo: Facebook]
1 W Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85003

7. Bound

3595 S Las Vegas Blvd (inside The Cromwell), Paradise, NV 89109
London's star bartender Salvatore Calabrese is a natural fit for Vegas, where he is behind this stunning cocktail lounge. The menu includes classics, espresso cocktails, and champagne cocktails. [Photo: Eater Vegas]
3595 S Las Vegas Blvd (inside The Cromwell)
Paradise, NV 89109

8. BrilliantShine

522 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
This restaurant serves Peruvian-inspired food but according to Eater LA, you want to come here for the drinks. The menu leans towards craft whiskey cocktails, but there's libations of every stripe and a bartender's choice too. [Photo: Official Site]
522 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

9. CellarDoor

921 Lafayette St, New Orleans, LA 70113
Housed in a former brothel, this restaurant proclaims on its website: "We serve craft cocktails and aren't pretentious about it." The cocktail menu boasts classic and original creations, plus at brunch the Mimosas, Bloodys, Screwdrivers, and Greyhounds are bottomless. [Photo: Eater NOLA]
921 Lafayette St
New Orleans, LA 70113

10. Damn the Weather

116 1st Avenue S, Seattle, WA
This Pioneer Square bar has been making a name for itself in the Seattle cocktail scene since opening its doors this summer. Reasonably priced house cocktails share menu space with a quirky menu of bar snacks like the "FG & J" with foie gras, passionfruit jelly, and luxardo. [Photo: S. Pratt]
116 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA

11. Detroit City Distillery

2462 Riopelle Street, Detroit, MI 48207
This is the second distillery to open in Detroit since Prohibition, reports Eater Detroit. Detroit City Distillery is making their own gins, whiskeys, and vodkas and serving them in a menu of classic and original cocktails. [Photo: Eater Detroit]
2462 Riopelle Street
Detroit, MI 48207

12. Dram and Grain

2007 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
This is the reservation-only cocktail bar located under Eater DC 38 member Jack Rose. The somewhat experimental cocktail list at this exclusive haunt recently expanded, so keep an eye out for new offerings. [Photo: Dram & Grain]
2007 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

13. Drawing Room Bar & Lounge

1801 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Showman/bartender Albert Trummer has landed in Miami with the Drawing Room at the Shelbourne resort. This is an "apothecary" where "drinks are created with a special assortment of house-made elixirs and bitters" reports Eater Miami. [Photo: Official Site]
1801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

14. Edmund's Oast

1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403
At the restaurant/pub Edmund's Oast, 2013 Eater Young Gun and head bartender Jayce McConnell is serving a playful menu of cocktails like the popular Red Wedding: Elijah Craig 12 Year, Amaro Averna, orange peel, and hibiscus/thyme sweet tea ice cubes. [Photo: Rebecca Gallagher]
1081 Morrison Dr
Charleston, SC 29403

15. Fairweather

795 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
This breezy and beautiful rooftop bar above the restaurant Rare Form is a "hidden gem bar-within-a-bar" writes Eater San Diego. Aside from the gorgeous setting, drinkers can expect to find an extensive cocktail list with a focus on mezcal, tequila, and rum.
795 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

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16. Grandpa Johnson's

1638 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Eater LA describes the cocktail menu at this small bar as "tight and well-curated." Located in Hollywood's Cahuenga corridor, the interiors here are a classy take on Art Deco style. [Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]
1638 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

17. Heyday

2700 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
This restaurant is divided into a dining room and a bar. Over on the drinking side of things, Eater Minneapolis writes the "drinks are both forward thinking and familiar at once" in a setting that's "fast become ground zero quintessential Minneapolis drinking." [Photo: Katie Cannon]
2700 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

18. The Luminary

99 Krog St NE Suite Y, Atlanta, GA 30307
At chef Eli Kirshtein's The Luminary there are top-notch cocktails from a bartender with serious bona fides: Ian Cox, formerly of Wrecking Bar and frequent in the bartending competition circuit. [Photo: The Luminary]
99 Krog St NE Suite Y
Atlanta, GA 30307

19. Moving Sidewalk

306 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
At Moving Sidewalk, cocktail guru Alex Gregg is designing clever and sophisticated cocktails. Take, for example, the White Lady → Corpse Reviver 2, which Eater Houston describes as "a magic trick of mixology that starts out as a the first drink before fading into the second." [Photo: Facebook]
306 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

20. Nitecap

120 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
This Lower East Side cocktail den has some serious fire power behind it: David Kaplan and Alex Day are both of Death & Co., and Natasha David is formerly of Maison Premiere. Per Eater Ny, the extensive menu is "organized by how far along you are in the evening: aperitifs to get you started, drinks to keep you going, and, obviously, a few night caps." [Photo: Daniel Krieger]
120 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

21. The NoMad Bar

10 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001