clock menu more-arrow no yes

The 30 Hottest Cocktail Bars in America Right Now

View as Map

Eater's second-annual Cocktail Week starts right now with the 30 hottest new cocktail bars across America:

cocktailheatmap2013.jpg

Here are 30 of the hottest cocktail bars in the United States right now. It's been nearly a year since the last update of the national cocktail heatmap, but now it's time once again to hone in on the new and the most buzzed about bars. This selection includes everything from New York City's award-winning best new bar (The Dead Rabbit), José Andrés' innovative new cocktail bar in Washington, DC (barmini), several restaurants with excellent bar programs (Atlanta's Kimball House, Denver's Acorn), and a couple of new distilleries that are shaking up cocktails with their very own liquor (Chicago's CH Distillery, Detroit's Two James Spirits). There's also a big emphasis on tiki drinks at cocktail bars across the country, including a tiki bar within a bar in Minneapolis (The Torpedo Room), Chicago's Hollywood-like tiki room (Three Dots and a Dash), and a New Orleans venture that has been described as "proto-tiki" (Cane & Table).

As always, the bars listed below opened within the past year (or so) and are listed in alphabetical order. Here now, the Eater Heatmap to the United States' new cocktail bars.

Tried any of the places on the list or feel there are any glaring omissions? You know what to do.

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

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 2 Birds 1 Stone

Copy Link
1800 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
With this Fall's much-anticipated opening of street food restaurant Doi Moi, so also came the opening of one of the city's most highly anticipated cocktail bars. 2 Birds 1 Stone is the playground of Adam Bernbach, who has designed the beverage programs for Doi Moi and its sister restaurants Estadio and Proof. This sleek space is located just underneath Doi Moi and has a hidden entrance around the corner.
[Photo]

2. Acabar

Copy Link
7651 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 876-1400
Visit Website
Set in a pretty wildly stunning Moroccan-inspired space, Acabar has captured LA's attention with its cocktail program since it opened this past Summer. Eater LA explains that the drinks at this new Hollywood restaurant and bar are organized by era, such as the Archaic Era and the Modern Era, so expect anything and everything.
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

3. Acorn at The Source

Copy Link
3350 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216
Cocktails were among the many reasons Denver denizens anticipated the opening of Acorn, a new project from the team behind Boulder restaurant Oak at Fourteenth. Acorn swung open in September 2013 with a cocktail menu that includes a whiskey soda on tap and a variety of craft cocktails from beverage director Bryan Dayton.
[Photo: Adam Larkey/Eater Denver]

4. Atomic Liquors

Copy Link
917 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 384-7371
Visit Website
The legendary Atomic Liquors reopened in June, three years after its original owners passed away. Eater Vegas reports that this is the city's oldest freestanding bar — opened in 1945 — that served as " a hangout for the Rat Pack and the Smothers Brothers as well as Barbra Streisand, who had her own seat that was been restored and is on display."
[Photo: Chelsea McManus]

5. barmini

Copy Link
855 E St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-4451
Visit Website
José Andrés' flagship restaurant minibar reopened earlier this year in a brand new space and with it came the surprise opening of barmini. This is the José Andrés take on a bar, meaning the cocktails and snacks here are inventive, the space is playful, and it's so popular it's hard to get a reservation.
[Photo]

6. Bergerac

Copy Link
316 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 255-9440
Visit Website
One of San Francisco's most anticipated bar openings this Fall, Bergerac opened back in September near the wildly popular Bar Agricole. Bartenders Russell David and Yael Vengroff are mixing up unexpected cocktails (such as red wine, Coke, and cinnamon syrup) and even drop shots.
[Photo: Patricia Chang]

7. Cane & Table

Copy Link
1113 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 581-1112
Visit Website
Cane & Table opened its doors in New Orleans this past July, just in time for the boozy madness that is Tales of the Cocktail. This rum bar is what cocktail man Neal Bodenheimer calls "proto-tiki," in a style that Eater NOLA describes as the "classical-meets-modern ideal." Food offerings include jerk chicken, ribs, and more.
[Photo: Daniel Krieger]

8. Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge

Copy Link
308 1/2 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
Earlier this year, Houston got a new and exciting cocktail destination in Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lounge. Justin Burrow, previously seen at the likes of Anvil and Haven, is a co-owner in the bar that was predicted upon opening to become a Houston classic
[Photo: Gary R Wise]

9. CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar

Copy Link
564 W. Randolph St
Chicago, IL
(312) 707-8780
Visit Website
CH Distillery got a lot of press recently when forced to change the name of its Oxycontin cocktail over a trademark infringement dispute, but the cocktail bar within a distillery has also won the attention of Chicago locals. Beverage director Krissy Schutte and consulting mixologist Kyle Davidson are mixing up all kinds of creative drinks using the house-made vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey. There's also a small menu of bar snacks.
[Photo: Marc Much/Eater Chicago]

10. Expatriate

Copy Link
5424 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 805-3750
Visit Website
Bartender Kyle Webster teamed up with chef Naomi Pomeroy earlier this year to open Expatriate just across the street from Pomeroy's Portland restaurant Beast. According to Eater PDX, Expatriate is "an internationally inclined cocktail lounge where both food and drink show off a Southeast Asian influence."
[Photo: Dina Avila]

11. Kimball House

Copy Link
303 E Howard Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 378-3502
Visit Website
Kimball House opened its doors in Decatur in late September, one of Eater Atlanta's most anticipated Fall openings. Along with an inspired food menu, cocktails here have gained enormous buzz over the past month thanks to the involvement of Leon's Full Service's Miles Macquarrie. Kimball House has already gotten great early feedback from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and snagged a new bartender over from Atlanta's Holeman & Finch.
[Photo: Blake Burton/Square Feet Studio]

12. Multnomah Whiskey Library

Copy Link
1124 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 764-9374
Visit Website
Multnomah Whiskey Library is Portland's brand new offering to the world of insane liquor libraries. Carrying more than 1,500 bottles of liquor — the largest section being whiskey — this bar from Alan Davis, featuring a list curated by Tommy Klus, opened in October. True to its name, the design mimics a library, complete with ladders and large study tables. There's also table service here and a cocktail list that tends toward the classics.
[Photo: Dina Avila]

13. Music City Tippler

Copy Link
1922 Adelicia Street
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 457-3406
Visit Website
The Music City Tippler — a Nashville expansion of the New York City bar Tippler — opened in late Summer to much fanfare. From the 100-year-old cherry mahogany bar, order an impressive array of craft cocktails including the city's only cocktails on tap. And, already in its short lifespan, Music City Tippler has become a celebrity hangout.
[Photo: Will Vastine Photography]

14. Patpong Road

Copy Link
1661 Meridian Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 763-8147
Visit Website
Patpong Road is the first bar from 50 Eggs Restaurant Group owner John Kunkel, who is also behind Yardbird, Khong River House, and Swine. And, much like those restaurants, Patpong Road has been quite the hotspot since its August opening. Located just above the Khong River House, this bar is inspired by Thailands's Red Light District and is known for serving bagged cocktails like you might find in Southeast Asia.
[Photo: Cortney Cates]

15. Percy's & Co.

Copy Link
5233 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 420-3750
Visit Website
Percy's, an "apothecary-inspired" bar from two big-time local restaurateurs, finally opened in Seattle back in August after much anticipation. Creative infusions abound on this cocktail list, such as basil-infused tequila, sage-infused bourbon, dill-infused vodka, and more. They'll also add herbal tinctures that boost things like brain power, libido, and energy. A small plates menu here includes dishes such as potted pork rillettes and confit chicken leg.
[Photo: S. Pratt]

16. Polite Provisions

Copy Link
4693 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 677-3784
Visit Website
Though it has been open since February, Polite Provisions is still the hottest spot for cocktails in all of San Diego. The cocktail menu here — courtesy of Erick Castro and Consortium Holdings — includes punch bowls, cocktails on tap, beer cocktails, and more.
[Photo]

17. School House Pub

Copy Link
2207 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 469-7630
Visit Website
From the team behind Mi Madre's and Zanduga, the much-anticipated School House Pub opened in Austin in late August with a school-themed cocktail menu. Drinks include the College Drop Out (Scotch, ginger, lemon, honey) and Intro to Spanish (Mezcal, St. Germain, mango, Jamaica marmalade), alongside burgers, sandwiches, wings, poutine, and more.
[Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX]

18. Smyth

Copy Link
4513 Travis St.
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 520-0900
Visit Website
Open since March, Smyth is still the hottest thing in Dallas right now when it comes to cocktails. Owner Michael Martensen — who Eater Dallas calls a "cocktail wizard" — continues to live up to a reputation earned with the likes of Cedars Social. This speakeasy-like bar is reservations only and doesn't have a cocktail menu. Bartenders instead make your drink according to your taste preferences.
[Photo]

19. The Broken Shaker

Copy Link
2727 Indian Creek Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(305) 531-2727
Visit Website
Still just under a year old, The Broken Shaker remains one of Miami's hottest cocktail bars, and for good reason. The James Beard Award-nominated bar — from the team behind the also-popular Bar Lab — offers crafted cocktails infused with herbs and spices from their own garden.
[Photo: Cortney Cates/Eater Miami]

20. The Dead Rabbit

Copy Link
30 Water St
New York, NY 10004
(646) 422-7906
Visit Website
The Dead Rabbit isn't just New York City's hottest cocktail bar, it's also one of the hottest cocktail bars in the world. Co-owner Jack McGarry won International Bartender of the Year at this year's Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, while the bar itself took the title for World's Best New Cocktail Bar. McGarry is an alum of Milk & Honey and has cultivated a drinks list that includes punches, sours, slings, and so much more.
[Photo: Daniel Krieger]

21. The Portland Hunt + Alpine Club

Copy Link
75 Market Street
Portland, ME 04101
The Scandinavian-influenced Portland Hunt & Alpine Club opened in early September of this year. Eater Maine describes it as "a stylish Old Port craft cocktail bar," with food options that include open-faced sandwiches and meat boards. Beyond the bar, there's also a members-only Lodge.
[Photo: Tom Minervino]

22. The Torpedo Room

Copy Link
2600 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408
The Torpedo Room is a small bar within a bar that is gaining a huge following in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Housed in a small room at the also-popular Eat Street Social, The Torpedo Room is a tribute to tiki cocktails; Eater Minneapolis describes the drinks here as "Minnesota Exotic," featuring ingredients like sweet corn cream rather than coconut cream.
[Photo: Katie Cannon]

23. Three Dots and a Dash

Copy Link
435 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 610-4220
Visit Website
Three Dots and a Dash is a tiki bar that is serious about being a tiki bar. Open in Chicago's River North since late July, the bar from bartender Paul McGee and the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group is what Eater Chicago describes as "a forties-esque island-themed tiki bar straight out of a Hollywood set." There are shrunken heads as decor, straw-roofed bars, tiki drinks, and "Polynesian-inspired" snacks. The lines here are justifiably insane.
[Photo: Marc Much/Eater Chicago]

24. Tiki Iniki

Copy Link
5-4280 Kuhio Hwy
Princeville, HI 96722
(323) 272-3128
Visit Website
Tiki Iniki opened just last week on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. As the name might suggest, this is a tiki bar that Honolulu Magazine writes is "serving both classic Donn Beach and Trader Vic tiki drinks and modern interpretations." Names attached to the project include rocker Todd Rundgren.
[Photo]

25. Trick Dog

Copy Link
3010 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 471-2999
Visit Website
Opened in January, Trick Dog has been heating up San Francisco's cocktail scene throughout the year. Whereas the cocktail menu started off printed on Pantone color swatches, now the menu has changed into a record album. So, for example, the "Eye of the Tiger" cocktail involves mezcal, honey, mustard, apple, and lime.
[Photo: Blair Sneddon]

26. Two James Distillery

Copy Link
2445 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 964-4800
Visit Website
Two James Spirits is the first distillery to hit Detroit in nearly 100 years, which means the buzz is as high as can be. They're producing vodka, gin, bourbon, rye, and single malt whiskey. Cocktails are available in the tasting room, including a 28 Island Punch.
[Photo]

27. Velveteen Rabbit

Copy Link
1218 S Main St
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 685-9645
Visit Website
One of Vegas' most anticipated nightlife openings of 2013, Velveteen Rabbit opened up in the Arts District back in May. It has since proven itself as a laid-back hangout where locals can grab a classic cocktail and lounge on the bar's vintage couches.
[Photo: Chelsea McManus/Eater Vegas]

28. Warehouse

Copy Link
45 1/2 Spring Street
Charleston, SC
(843) 202-0712
Visit Website
There was some serious anticipation in Charleston for the opening of Warehouse, a new downtown bar with a seasonally changing cocktail menu and a twist on pub food from chef Eva Keilty. Cocktails include things like a caper berry-studded martini in this 3,000-square-foot bar.
[Photo: Rémy Thurston/Eater Charleston]

29. Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny

Copy Link
115 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 797-4120
Visit Website
Pok Pok's Andy Ricker opened Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny — the Brooklyn outpost of his Portland, Oregon bar — back in August amid much excitement from the New Yorkers who have come to know and love Ricker's food and dining aesthetic.
[Photo: Daniel Krieger]

30. ZZ's Clam Bar

Copy Link
169 Thompson St
New York, NY 1000
(212) 254-3000
Visit Website
One of the hottest places to get into in New York City right now, period, this seafood counter from the Torrisi crew is also getting a lot of buzz for its cocktail menu from Death & Company's Thomas Waugh. Fitting in with the ornate ambiance, drinks here run at $20 but the early reports indicate that it seems to be living up to the hype.
[Photo]

Loading comments...

1. 2 Birds 1 Stone

1800 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
With this Fall's much-anticipated opening of street food restaurant Doi Moi, so also came the opening of one of the city's most highly anticipated cocktail bars. 2 Birds 1 Stone is the playground of Adam Bernbach, who has designed the beverage programs for Doi Moi and its sister restaurants Estadio and Proof. This sleek space is located just underneath Doi Moi and has a hidden entrance around the corner.
[Photo]
1800 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

2. Acabar

7651 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Set in a pretty wildly stunning Moroccan-inspired space, Acabar has captured LA's attention with its cocktail program since it opened this past Summer. Eater LA explains that the drinks at this new Hollywood restaurant and bar are organized by era, such as the Archaic Era and the Modern Era, so expect anything and everything.
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]
7651 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046

3. Acorn at The Source

3350 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, CO 80216
Cocktails were among the many reasons Denver denizens anticipated the opening of Acorn, a new project from the team behind Boulder restaurant Oak at Fourteenth. Acorn swung open in September 2013 with a cocktail menu that includes a whiskey soda on tap and a variety of craft cocktails from beverage director Bryan Dayton.
[Photo: Adam Larkey/Eater Denver]
3350 Brighton Boulevard
Denver, CO 80216

4. Atomic Liquors

917 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
The legendary Atomic Liquors reopened in June, three years after its original owners passed away. Eater Vegas reports that this is the city's oldest freestanding bar — opened in 1945 — that served as " a hangout for the Rat Pack and the Smothers Brothers as well as Barbra Streisand, who had her own seat that was been restored and is on display."
[Photo: Chelsea McManus]
917 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101

5. barmini

855 E St NW, Washington, DC 20004
José Andrés' flagship restaurant minibar reopened earlier this year in a brand new space and with it came the surprise opening of barmini. This is the José Andrés take on a bar, meaning the cocktails and snacks here are inventive, the space is playful, and it's so popular it's hard to get a reservation.
[Photo]
855 E St NW
Washington, DC 20004

6. Bergerac

316 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
One of San Francisco's most anticipated bar openings this Fall, Bergerac opened back in September near the wildly popular Bar Agricole. Bartenders Russell David and Yael Vengroff are mixing up unexpected cocktails (such as red wine, Coke, and cinnamon syrup) and even drop shots.
[Photo: Patricia Chang]
316 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

7. Cane & Table

1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Cane & Table opened its doors in New Orleans this past July, just in time for the boozy madness that is Tales of the Cocktail. This rum bar is what cocktail man Neal Bodenheimer calls "proto-tiki," in a style that Eater NOLA describes as the "classical-meets-modern ideal." Food offerings include jerk chicken, ribs, and more.
[Photo: Daniel Krieger]
1113 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

8. Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge

308 1/2 Main St., Houston, TX 77002
Earlier this year, Houston got a new and exciting cocktail destination in Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lounge. Justin Burrow, previously seen at the likes of Anvil and Haven, is a co-owner in the bar that was predicted upon opening to become a Houston classic
[Photo: Gary R Wise]
308 1/2 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002

9. CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar

564 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL
CH Distillery got a lot of press recently when forced to change the name of its Oxycontin cocktail over a trademark infringement dispute, but the cocktail bar within a distillery has also won the attention of Chicago locals. Beverage director Krissy Schutte and consulting mixologist Kyle Davidson are mixing up all kinds of creative drinks using the house-made vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey. There's also a small menu of bar snacks.
[Photo: Marc Much/Eater Chicago]
564 W. Randolph St
Chicago, IL

10. Expatriate

5424 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211
Bartender Kyle Webster teamed up with chef Naomi Pomeroy earlier this year to open Expatriate just across the street from Pomeroy's Portland restaurant Beast. According to Eater PDX, Expatriate is "an internationally inclined cocktail lounge where both food and drink show off a Southeast Asian influence."
[Photo: Dina Avila]
5424 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211

11. Kimball House

303 E Howard Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
Kimball House opened its doors in Decatur in late September, one of Eater Atlanta's most anticipated Fall openings. Along with an inspired food menu, cocktails here have gained enormous buzz over the past month thanks to the involvement of Leon's Full Service's Miles Macquarrie. Kimball House has already gotten great early feedback from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and snagged a new bartender over from Atlanta's Holeman & Finch.
[Photo: Blake Burton/Square Feet Studio]
303 E Howard Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

12. Multnomah Whiskey Library

1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205
Multnomah Whiskey Library is Portland's brand new offering to the world of insane liquor libraries. Carrying more than 1,500 bottles of liquor — the largest section being whiskey — this bar from Alan Davis, featuring a list curated by Tommy Klus, opened in October. True to its name, the design mimics a library, complete with ladders and large study tables. There's also table service here and a cocktail list that tends toward the classics.
[Photo: Dina Avila]
1124 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

13. Music City Tippler

1922 Adelicia Street, Nashville, TN 37212