If your ideal night out involves a craft cocktail in a beautiful bar, look no further.
Passionate mixologists around the country are creating some of the most innovative cocktails imaginable, and this list brings together the top 25 according to customer reviews.
The winners were selected based on data taken from Foursquare City Guide, which takes into account its users’ likes, saves, tip sentiment, and its “proprietary hotness score.”
If you’re looking for a fun night of cocktails, these are good places to start.
25. Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
- Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge / Foursquare
Bryant’s doesn’t use menus, though it does offer suggestions. It wants drinkers to go bespoke and order by “flavor or color, strength or texture, base or size.” Try a “Brain Buster” with rum and sweet citrus, and if you can finish it, they’ll give you a Bryant’s bumper sticker.
24. The Up & Up (New York, New York)
- Matthew R. / Foursquare
The Up & Up is an upscale cocktail bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Owner Matt Piacentini has brought this historic space, once home to the Gaslight Cafe – the birthplace of the Beat Generation and many other musical acts – back to life. Old Fashioneds are served in flask-like bottles.
23. Blueprint (Brooklyn, New York)
Small and charming, this bar is Park Slope’s best place to get a classic cocktail. If you’re feeling more adventurous, they also serve up an eclectic mix of house cocktails with more of a kick. “The Kickstarter,” for example, mixes rum and coffee bitters but has a lemony twist.
22. Featherweight (Brooklyn, New York)
- Lucian L. / Foursquare
It’s easy to miss the entrance to Featherweight, so keep your eyes peeled and look out for a white feather above the door. Behind the hidden facade is a 1920s speakeasy-style bar serving up interesting cocktails. Try the “Witch’s Brew,” made with jujube-infused gin, Gran Classico, and lemon.
21. Dutch Kills (Queens, New York)
- Cocktail Magic/Foursquare
Said to be the best cocktail bar in Queens, Dutch Kills has bartenders who will mix up whatever you fancy, so be as creative as you’d like. For those who want to stay on the menu, try out “The Brave Bull,” with tequila, chocolate bitters, and an orange twist.
20. Apothéke (Manhattan, New York)
“The presentation of a cocktail is just as dramatic as the cocktail itself,” says Apothéke’s website. These mixologists will make up your drinks like they are preparing potions. Shake off the day with a “Siren’s Call,” which has squid ink and roasted seaweed.
19. Achilles Heel (Brooklyn, New York)
- Noah W. / Foursquare
This cute corner cafe tucked away in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood is another piece of Andrew Tarlow’s empire, which also includes Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and Diner. The cocktail list is short and sweet, perfectly matching the micro-sized space. Try the “Genius Fauna,” made with vodka, damson plum, and grapefruit.
18. The Alembic (San Francisco, California)
- Monica K. / Foursquare
The recipe is simple, says the Alembic’s site: “Local foods, small dishes, big drinks and home brews.” But this bar is as much about amazing cocktails as it is about outstanding food. Try the “Southern Exposure,” with lashings of gin and celery juice.
17. The Wayland (Manhattan, New York)
- Sarah M. / Foursquare
This no-frills, live-music bar serves up cutting-edge cocktails every day of the week. You can even get your five-a-day with a kale-infused margarita.
16. Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston, Texas)
- Yimay Y. / Foursquare
With homemade bitters and countless spirits to choose from, Anvil is known for its original drinks. There are 100 different classic cocktails, and knowledgeable staff are on hand to make recommendations.
15. Canon (Seattle, Washington)
- Claire S./Yelp
Canon claims to have the largest collection of spirits in the Western Hemisphere: 3,500 and counting. And thanks to its well-stocked bar, visitors are able to request entirely bespoke cocktails.
14. Three Muses (New Orleans, Louisiana)
- Peter H. / Foursquare
This hole-in-the-wall bar offers an eclectic food menu to accompany cocktails. You can sip on its namesake cucumber-infused cocktail, “The Muse,” while listening to live jazz.
13. Multnomah Whiskey Library (Portland, Oregon)
With a collection of over 1,500 distilled spirits, Multnomah is well on its way to becoming one of the most exciting places to drink whiskey. The true aficionados choose to join its member’s club and drink with friends in the private lounge.
12. Hodge’s Bend (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
- Hodges Bend/Facebook.com
Part coffee shop, part cocktail bar, this Oklahoma favorite claims to be home to some of the best mixologists in Tulsa. You don’t need to stay on the menu, either, as they will serve up any cocktail of your choice. Don’t be put off by its smokey name – the signature “Tobacco Old Fashioned” is well worth a try.
11. Paramour (San Antonio, Texas)
This upscale rooftop bar overlooking San Antonio has become one of the city’s favorite destinations for drinking cocktails. If you’re heading there for brunch, try the spicy Bloody Mary.
10. Buffalo Proper (Buffalo, New York)
- Facebook/Buffalo Proper
Serving up craft cocktails and farm-to-table food, this spot is a favorite of Buffalo locals. Try the “Mr. Mule,” its very own version of the Moscow Mule, mixed with strawberry-basil shrub, ginger beer, and fresh basil.
9. Mezcaleria Las Flores (Chicago, Illinois)
- Facebook/Mezcaleria Las Flores
This former flower shop-turned mezcal bar serves relaxed cocktails with colorful garnishes. It’s the place to drink tequila and mezcal in Chicago. For a refreshing hit, try its “Just Basics,” pictured above. This comes with mezcal, pisco, sherry, and grapefruit, with a rim of spicy salt.
8. Clover Club (Brooklyn, New York)
- Alex K. / Foursquare
This former shoe store is now one of Cobble Hill’s best drinking spots. Sit along the 19th-century mahogany bar and sip on one of its many variations of the “Old Fashioned” cocktail.
7. Hotel Delmano (Brooklyn, New York)
- Andy K./Foursquare
It’s not easy to spot, but hidden behind this nondescript entrance is an ultra-stylish cocktail bar in the middle of trendy Williamsburg. The cocktail list changes with the seasons, and light bites are available all year round.
6. St. Mazie (Brooklyn, New York)
- St. Mazie/Foursquare
It’s not just the drinks that put St Mazie’s in the running. This lively, low-key bar has live music on the weekend and a vine-covered garden out back. Try the “The Hanky Panky” – it comes with gin, fresh orange, and house-made grenadine.
5. Dear Irving (Manhattan, New York)
- Foursquare/James H.
Step back in time at this Manhattan speakeasy. Inspired by Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris,” this bar has four rooms, each with its own theme. “Whiskey Business,” its signature drink, is flavored with ancho chile liqueur and well worth a try.
4. The Dead Rabbit (Manhattan, New York)
- Business Insider
Named after a gang of Irish immigrants, this three-level bar pays homage to late 1880s Irish pub culture in New York. Try out the “Laughing Hyena” – the smoothie of cocktails, it’s made with rum, whiskey, fruit and yogurt.
3. Curio (Columbus, Ohio)
- Adam S./Foursquare
An offshoot of the German pizzeria Harvest, this is considered to be the best place to grab a cocktail if you’re in Columbus. Try the “Cobra Kai,” with rum and fall-spiced bitters.
2. Scofflaw (Chicago, Illinois)
Gin lovers: head to Scofflaw for its signature gin-infused cocktails and hearty small plates. The “Velero” is a favorite, and it comes mixed with gin, macchu pisco, aperol, and lavender. If you make it to midnight, they also hand out freshly baked cookies.
1. The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach, Florida)
Miami’s favorite high-end hostel is home to one of the best cocktail bars in South Beach. Sit outside in their laid-back garden and sip on cocktails infused with homegrown herbs and spices. The innovative menu changes with the seasons.