clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Eater's 38 Essential Cocktail Bars Across the US

View as Map

In honor of Eater's Cocktail Week, here's the first-ever Eater map of the 38 essential cocktail bars across the country. This is your answer, and ours, to any question that begins with, "Can you recommend a cocktail bar ... ?" This group covers the entire country and a myriad of different cocktail bar genres including neo-speakeasies, dressed-up dive bars, and former brothels.

You'll find bars like Distil in the new cocktail hotbed that is Milwaukee, to the drink theater on display at chef Grant Achatz's The Aviary in Chicago, to the 1970s-inspired drinks served at Seattle's Dirk Diggler-y Rob Roy, to Leo Robitschek's recreation of the grand hotel bar at New York's The NoMad. The only criteria: cocktail greatness.

There are plenty of great cocktail bars that didn't make the list, so instead of readying your pitchforks, why not make your case for (or against) in the comments section.

· All Cocktail Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Cocktail Week on Eater [-E-]

Read More
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Smuggler’s Cove

Copy Link
[Photo: Jennifer Yin/Eater SF]

The Alembic

Copy Link
[Photo: Flickr/acnatta]

Bar Agricole

Copy Link
[Photo: Jennifer Yin/Eater SF]

Library Bar

Copy Link
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels/Eater LA]

The Varnish Bar

Copy Link
[Photo: 213 Nightlife/The Varnish]

Copa D'Oro

Copy Link
[Photo: Copa d'Oro]

Noble Experiment

Copy Link
[Photo: Flickr/nan palermo]

Teardrop Lounge

Copy Link
[Photo: Facebook/Teardrop Lounge]

Clyde Common

Copy Link
[Photo: Eater PDX]

The Woodsman Tavern

Copy Link
[Photo: Avila/Eater PDX]

Rob Roy

Copy Link
[Photo: Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle]
[Photo: A. Fawcett/Eater Seattle]
[Photo: Eater NY]

Death & Co

Copy Link
[Photo: Kalina/Eater NY]

Milk & Honey

Copy Link
[Photo: Eater NY]

Booker and Dax at Ssäm

Copy Link
[Photo: Edsel L/Flickr]

The NoMad

Copy Link
[Photo: Krieger/Eater NY]

The Hawthorne

Copy Link
[Photo: The Hawthorne ]
[Photo: CarbZombie/Eater National Flickr Pool]

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.

Copy Link
[Photo: Facebook/Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.]
[Photo: Kevin L./Yelp]

The Passenger

Copy Link
[Photo: Facebook/The Passenger]

The Violet Hour

Copy Link
[Photo: Facebook/The Violet Hour]

The Aviary

Copy Link
[Photo: Eater National]

The Barrelhouse Flat

Copy Link
[Photo: Tim Hiatt/Eater Chicago]

Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

Copy Link

This trapped-in-time cocktail lounge dates back to 1938. It's Milwaukee's oldest and perhaps the best place to grab an Old Fashioned—which, here in Wisconsin, is brandy-based, a tradition that dates back to the late 19th century. [Photo: Bryant's]

Whiskey is the core of the cocktail program at this newish Milwaukee bar, but what makes it unique is the program's quest to use ingredients—like Schlitz-Elderflower foam or Wisconsin Nueske bacon-infused bourbon—that make for drinks that have a sense of place. [Photo: Distil]

Bradstreet Craftshouse

Copy Link

This is another Midwest bar that can claim Toby Maloney (of Alchemy Consulting and formerly of Pegu Club) as a consultant. The arrival of Bradstreet in the Graves Hotel has instantly raised the bar for the Minneapolis cocktail scene. The menu focuses on twists on the classics and organizes drinks by approachability. [Photo: Bradstreet Craftshouse]

Manifesto

Copy Link
[Photo: Facebook/Manifesto]

Patterson House

Copy Link
[Photo: eGullet]

Taste by Niche

Copy Link
[Photo: Eater National/Niche]

Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Copy Link

Chris Hannah is one of the premier bartenders in the city, and Arnaud's French 75 has been named one of the best bars in the country by a handful of publications. Hannah is driven by a passion for the cocktails of the past, both the classics and the forgotten ones. – Gwendolyn Knapp [Photo: Arnaud's]

Cure is considered by many to be the best bar in NOLA. Bartenders Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal helped kick start a new era for craft cocktails in the city when they opened Cure; its beacon status endures. Their other two bars, Bellocq, which focuses on punches and cobblers and the newly-acquired Perestroika at Pravda are also among NOLA's best. [Photo: Cure]

Holeman & Finch Public House

Copy Link
[Photo: Eater Atlanta]

The Cedars Social

Copy Link

At the forefront of Dallas' cocktail revival is the Cedars Social and cocktail mastermind Michael Martensen, who's teaching a new generation of Dallas bartenders how to make some very old drinks. – Andrea Grimes, Eater Dallas [Photo: Cedars Social]

Midnight Cowboy

Copy Link
[Photo: Raymond Thompson/Eater Austin]

Anvil Bar & Refuge

Copy Link
[Photo: Gary Wise/Eater Austin]

Williams & Graham

Copy Link
[Photo: Adam Larkey/Eater Denver]

Loading comments...