Gathering with family, friends, coworkers, and loved ones is a favorite pastime to socialize and let loose. Bars across America provide a special experience for every occasion.
The versatile venues celebrate birthdays, accomplishments, happy hour, date nights, or a casual night out with friends.
Each state offers a unique place where you can relax while enjoying some of the greatest brews in town. While on vacation, I look for the best bars to check out.
The following is my list of the most popular bars in America based on their originality, atmosphere, creativity, and best-tasting beers, wine, and cocktails.
Check out some of the most beloved bars in the United States.
8 McFerrin Ave Nashville, TN 37206
New York meets Nashville at this famous bar. The original location of Attaboy is in New York City and was recently brought to Nashville.
Attaboy is a special experience that has become widely popular and loved for its unique, minimalist speakeasy style.
Unlike a typical bar, you can’t open the door and walk yourself in. Guests must knock on the door and wait for it to be opened by a host.
Entry into this speakeasy feels exclusive. Once you settle into the cozy, dimly lit bar, you can get a taste of their highly praised crafted cocktails.
You don’t have to bother with a menu – the bartender works their magic and personalizes a drink for you based on adjectives of drinks you love.
Old Coast Ales
300 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080, United States
St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest city. The historic town is home to notable landmarks, art exhibits, museums, and the must-visit microbrewery, Old Coast Ales.
The microbrewery offers a variety of ales that are brewed on-site. Experienced bartenders walk you through the many options available and find the perfect drink for your palate.
The local favorite is Burt’s Summer American wheat ale, a light wheat beer that has a hint of apple, pear, and lemon with a full, soft finish.
The flavors of the unique brews are bold and delicious. The brewery also serves great-tasting wine, cider, and kombucha.
Best of all, you can order tacos from their neighbor, Osprey Tacos, while enjoying some of the best ale in town.
Brooklyn’s on Boulder
110 E Boulder St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, United States
Brooklyn’s on Boulder is another unique experience. The bar is a fun, clever speakeasy in Colorado Springs.
The hidden gem is concealed behind a custom tailor shop. Inside, you will find an elegant speakeasy. Brooklyn’s on Boulder is perfect for gin lovers as it only serves gin.
Each crafted drink is made with great knowledge and tastes amazing. Regardless of your feelings toward gin before entering this venue, you will leave a fan of gin.
3564 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202, United States
When you think of bars, you think of beer. Bars are mostly known for the brews, but Division Wines had their sight on another drink – wine.
Division Wines specializes in wine with a selection of over 800 bottles of wine. The expressive wine is consciously-made by sustainable, healthy farming.
The wine bar is at the center of a vibrant neighborhood. You can take a break from sightseeing and stop by the bar for a break. You can pick up a souvenir of the memorable wine at the shop next door.
Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar
629 Main St, Covington, KY 41011, United States
Kentucky is home to the best bar that serves the greatest bourbon in the state. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar has gained recognition and won awards for Best Bourbon.
The bar opened on Kentucky Derby Day 2012 and was the first bar in the area that was devoted to bourbon. Bourbon lovers from all over the world visit the bar.
The bar offers over 700 different bourbons and 200 American whiskeys. Also on the menu are cocktails, craft-local beers, wine, and non-whiskey spirits.
Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar is an inviting and cozy atmosphere where dogs are also welcomed.
You can enjoy some quality time with your dog while they sip on their bowl of water and you sip on your bourbon neat. Who doesn’t love a night out with their furry best friend?
103 E Plaza, Taos, NM 87571, United States
Discover your favorite wine, beer, and cheese at Parcht in Taos, New Mexico.
Parcht specializes in wine, craft beer, charcuterie, and artisanal cheese. The sophisticated wine selection pairs well with the small plates of cheeses offered at the bar.
The bar is conveniently located in the historic Taos Plaza. After taking in some history of the town, I stopped by the highly recommended spot.
Wine and cheese are one of my favorite combo snacks. I had high hopes, and the assortment of cheese and wine did not disappoint.
Bad Luck Bar Detroit
1218 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226, United States
Ambiance, exclusivity, originality, and creative drinks make Bad Luck Bar Detroit one of the best bars to visit.
The doors at Bad Luck Bar are always locked. You must knock for an exclusive entry into the seducing atmosphere.
The creatively made drinks are presented with smoke, fire, and sparkle. The drinks are strong, spicy, and delightful.
You can knock at the door for an invite in, but it is best to make a reservation – everyone wants a seat at the exclusive bar.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003, United States
McSorley’s Old Ale House is one of New York’s iconic bars. The bar is one of the oldest in the city and is a historic gem New Yorkers love.
The ale house has been serving two choices of beer – light or dark, since 1854.
McSorley created the light and dark brews during Prohibition and has served them to the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and John Lennon.
The room is full of memorabilia and a warm presence of its past. When you take a step into McSorley’s Ale House, you take a step into New York history.
Oddstory Brewing Company
336 E M L King Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37403, United States
Share your story at Oddstory Brewing Company. The brewing company acknowledges the beauty and history of storytelling while enjoying a beer with a friend.
Oddstory continues the tradition and encourages everyone to get together to share a story in a comfortable environment. The venue offers the perfect setting with couches, tables, and games.
The engaging bar was opened on the final night of 2016 and is a calming hangout experience with great-tasting brews.
Polite Provisions San Diego
4696 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116, United States
The chill yet lively vibe at Polite Provisions in San Diego keeps the place packed.
It is a popular spot for friends to get together and enjoy one of the many cocktails, wine, and mocktail options the bar has to offer.
The concoctions are extensive, vibrant, and delicious. The Tijuana Slowdance with blackberry and pomegranate soda was the perfect pair with their Blanco tequila.
My friends who prefer non-alcoholic drinks took delight in the rare mocktails. Moreover, all drinks were full of flavor.
With cocktails, wine, and mocktails, there is something for everyone at the hip spot of San Diego.
13 E Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74103, United States
You know a venue serves some of the best cocktails when you are met by a wall of liquor the moment you step in.
Valkyrie Tulsa is popularly known for its mesmerizing wall of liquor. You can get a distinctive taste from around the world with their brews and boutique wines.
The infinite options of drinks can seem intimidating, but the highly skilled and knowledgeable staff prepare exquisite cocktails that best fit your liking.
The lounge is perfectly located in the Tulsa Arts District of Downtown Tulsa, where you can shop, eat, dive into some history, relish in art galleries, and enjoy a good cocktail.
Velveteen Rabbit Las Vegas
1218 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89104, United States
If casual and low-key is your vibe, Velveteen Rabbit is the place for you.
Velveteen Rabbit is a cocktail bar located in the heart of the Arts District of Las Vegas.
The venue stays true to the artistic scene with local art, vintage furniture, and a pink outdoor patio design.
Innovative drinks are made during First Fridays when specialty cocktails created by the bartenders are offered.
The experts behind the bar are familiar with the flavors to concoct the perfect cocktail. The venue also offers a wide variety of specialty beers and bottled beers.
Anvil Bar & Refuge
1424 Westheimer Rd STE B, Houston, TX 77006, United States
The 100 List at Anvil Bar & Refuge has caught everyone’s attention in Houston, TX.
Bobby Heugel and Steve Flippo opened the first bar in Houston devoted to classic cocktails in 2009.
The duo initially developed The 100 List of favorite classic drinks as a training guide for staff and a list of suggestions for guests to explore all-time classics and favorites.
Guests were intrigued by the list of classic cocktails.
The list has become an iconic part of Anvil Bar, but it is the experts who craft a perfectly balanced drink that make Anvil the best bar to visit in Houston.
The carefully crafted cocktails are fitted with your palate in my mind. Describe your likes and dislikes, and the bartender will stir up one of the best cocktails you have ever tasted.
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar
813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States
New Orleans is a vibrant city with a long history. The city’s shops, museums, restaurants, and bars showcase the very best of NOLA.
Among the many venues, Arnaud’s French 75 Bar is one of the city’s most popular spots representative of its history and culture.
With a museum on the upper level, the décor and atmosphere at Arnaud’s French 75 illustrate the long history of the city.
The bar was custom-built in the late 1800s and was originally a gentlemen-only venue.
The bar is primarily NOLA, but it was also inspired by France. The bar’s handcrafted cocktails have a distinctive flavor and are made from locally sourced ingredients, homemade syrups, drams, and liqueurs.
The history, cozy, vintage décor, and high-quality cocktails put NOLA’s most popular bar in the top five list of the best bars in the country. It’s one of the best drinking cities in America for good reason!
Café La Trova
971 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33130, United States
The famous face of the Cantinero movement, Julio Cabrera, brings Cuba to Miami at Café La Trova.
Café La Trova celebrates Cuban culture with its drinks, food, and cantinero-style bartending. The bar remains true to the country’s homage and is primarily run by Cuban bartenders.
The bartenders dress the part and shake Daiquiri Clásicos like it’s 1924.
The Cuban bar located in Miami’s Little Havana embodies Cuba with live music, traditional foods such as empanadas and croquetas, and cantineros.
The Cuban style and personality are vibrant, exciting, and authentic to the culture at the famed Trova. My favorite part of the night was when the bartenders pulled out maracas and joined the live band.
The lively scene made it one of the most memorable nights I have ever experienced.
The Bar at Husk
76 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States
The Bar at Husk is a hot spot for visitors in Charleston.
The initial attraction came from Husk, the main dining space next door. The Southern dishes served at the restaurant pay homage to the south with authentic, mouth-watering meals.
Seating at Husk became exclusive with its popularity, and the cocktail bar was a welcomed and appreciated treat before dinner.
The brick walls and warm wood at The Bar at Husk create a warm atmosphere for guests. The cocktail bar serves the city’s best bourbon, cocktails, and rare artisanal microbrews.
There is also a second floor with lounge seating where you can overlook the streetside view while sipping on your perfectly crafted drink.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th St NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20009, United States
Jack Rose Dining Saloon is a legendary whiskey bar crafted by the famous Bill Thomas and Stephen King.
The whiskey bar is in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood of DC. It is known to have the largest selection of whiskey.
There are over 2,300 bottles of single malt, blended, international, and domestic drinks available. You can also get a taste of around the world with their international selection of spirits and wines.
There are multiple rooms for you to enjoy your whiskey at. There is the main bar with a wall of spirits. The tiki bar is a small and fun place to gather and has a terrace for you to get some fresh air.
An exclusive, limited 20-person room is a hidden speakeasy where guests receive a personal and memorable experience of the pre-prohibition era.
The whiskey and room you sit in at Jack Rose create an unforgettable night out.
531 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, United States
Katana Kitten is ranked as one of the best bars in the world. The venue landed the tenth spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list.
Masahiro Urushido has a globally stellar reputation. Urushido created a truly original experience by infusing an American dive bar with the likes of a Japanese highball bar at Katana Kitten in New York City.
The Japanese dive bar puts a twist on traditional drinks with Japanese techniques and ingredients. Toki highball is a popular highball drink with Toki Japanese whisky, lemon oil, and koume.
Their signature cocktail, a hinoki martini, is another favorite. The drink is crafted with fino sherry, grey goose, and Junmai daiginjo, among other ingredients.
Also on the extensive drink menu are boilermakers, signature cocktails, sake, beer, and wine.
Uniting American and Japanese elements has made Katana Kitten one of the most popular bars in the US.
108 Church St, Lexington, KY 40507, United States
The potted plants and chill atmosphere at Ona Lexington bar have the people in Kentucky buzzing.
Ona Lexington is a fairly new venue located in historic downtown Lexington. The bar opened in 2017 and is known for its originality with its beautiful plants, art décor interior, relaxed vibe, and unique cocktails.
The distinctive bar serves a variety of drinks, including bourbon, beer, and cocktails. Locals love the $5 cocktail special offered every night.
I made a stop at Ona after visiting the Lexington History Center. The artsy atmosphere gives it the chill vibe most people love about the place.
I tried the highly recommended Boat Drink, a fruity, frozen tropical drink that was refreshing and so good.
The Violet Hour
1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States
Another speakeasy with rave reviews is The Violet Hour in Chicago.
The Violet Hour’s popularity stems from the memorable experience it offers. Visitors get a thrill looking for the hidden venue with no sign.
The interior design is dramatic and takes you away from the present with velvet drapes and crystal chandeliers.
The bar’s mixologist is the famous Toby Maloney. The expert revamps the menu and creates drinks that are well-executed by the bar staff.
With a no cell phone rule, the atmosphere is focused on good conversation and great-tasting drinks.
Zig Zag Cafe
1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Seattle’s go-to place is Zig Zag Café. Tourists and locals love the warm, welcoming atmosphere the design of the bar creates.
Everyone feels seen and heard when sitting at the curved bar of Zig Zag Café. The quirky design goes along with the quirky drinks. Original mixtures are created with vintage cocktail supplies.
The great selection of drinks includes The Orinoco Flow, a cocktail of Polish vodka, tart pineapple, Fast Penny Americano Bianca, and Stiggins’ Fancy, and Café Tropical, an apple brandy with muscatel, P.O.G., Persian spices, falernum, and Gammel Dansk.
The long list can be intimidating, but don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation. The bartenders know their stuff and can recommend the best drink for your liking.
You will not be disappointed as every drink is a rare, savory creation.