The highly anticipated North America’s 50 Best Bars 2022 list, sponsored by Perrier, was announced during an awards ceremony in New York on Tuesday 7th June broadcasted worldwide on Facebook and YouTube.
The inaugural ranking celebrates the continent’s top spots for all kinds of libations – from tiki bar cocktails to a classic Manhattan. Browse the ranking in photos from No.50 to No.1 for the ultimate liquid-led bucket list
No.50 Genever, Los Angeles
This bar is a dream realised by Patricia Perez, Roselma Samala and Christine Sumiller, three Filipina American friends who wanted to pay tribute to their gin-appreciating heritage. Genever serves approachable drinks within the confines of its beautiful, gilded interior.
No.49 Bar Kismet, Halifax
Founded by Annie Brace-Lavoie and partner Jenner Cormier, Bar Kismet’s menu fits the pristine whitewashed interior, brightened by greenery and the spectrum of a deep back bar. Its deep-rooting in nature extends to its practices, earning Bar Kismet the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2022.
No.48 Teardrop Lounge, Portland
Ensconced in concrete, wood beams and hanging plants amid candlelight, Teardrop Lounge features a centre, appropriately teardrop-shaped bar. An impressive 30 cocktails comprise its menu, with sections denoting “bright & crisp” to “supple & herbal” and “deep & dark”.
No.47 Bar Mordecai, Toronto
Bartender Christina Veira – the winner of the Roku Industry Icon Award 2022 – has made a name at Bar Mordecai (and raised many thousands of dollars) with community events that support causes that are important to women, people of colour and the LGBT community.
No.46 Julep, Houston
True to name, Julep exudes the elegance of the Whiskey South. Flowers make the bright, airy room even more welcoming and provide a hint at the menu to follow. Owner Alba Huerta is a master at creating unique flavours by incorporating herbs, spices and even vegetables into drinks.
No.45 Cloakroom Bar, Montreal
A chain-stitch in a larger concept of sister tailor shops-cum-bars, Cloakroom is like a sophisticated, clandestine set from the Kingsman films come to life. There's the requisite amount of cloak-and-daggery, as a host emerges from an innocuous wood-panelled area next to the tailor shop.
No.44 Bitter & Twisted, Phoenix
Each of Ross Simon’s drinks are complex, invoking the bar’s famed multilayer flavours that require intricate preparations – even the five varieties of ice are nano-filtered. Despite the name, Phoenix’s Bitter & Twisted is incredibly friendly and quite well-ordered.
No.43 Clover Club, New York
Julie Reiner and Susan Federoff trailblazed the New York craft movement with Pegu Club in the mid 20-aughts. Cocktail aficionados will delight in their nine-section menu featuring some rarer historical categories like fizzes and punches.
No.42 Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu
Co-founders Justin and Tom Park shared a vision for creating a bar inspired by their travels. Among the signatures is Justin’s E Ho’O Pau Mai Tai – made with raisin-infused rum, coconut water syrup, spiced orgeat, vanilla ohia blossom honey, lime, absinthe and wood smoke.
No.41 Bar Raval, Toronto
With its Gaudi-esque organic decor and tapas-bar vibes, Raval isn't just a bar – it feels like an independent world. Try the Raval Martini, of olive oil-washed gin with balsam fir liqueur, vermouth and an orange tincture, to taste how deftly Spanish can be spoken on this multi-cultural corner of Canada.
No.40 El Floridita, Havana
El Floridita is synonymous with its Havana, Cuba home and cocktails themselves. Opened over two centuries ago, its bona fides are legendary. Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos and Graham Greene were all regulars here.
No.39 ABV, San Francisco
ABV is a Mission District bar in San Francisco by Ryan Fitzgerald, Erik Reichborn-Kjennerud and Todd Smith, presenting a casual outlook on delicious cocktails. The menu is organised not only by spirit but also by highballs and low-ABV cocktails as well as fortified wines.
No.38 Mother, Toronto
This bar evokes feels from maternal cosiness to culture-starting magic with the moniker ‘Mother’. For a custom drinking experience, choose ‘Symbiosis’: you'll be guided through a selection of base spirits, rotating seasonal ingredients and mixology styles for a personalised cocktail.
No.37 Arca, Tulum
Imagine an oasis carved out of the heart of the jungle on the Yucatan Peninsula’s Quintana Roo. Strong Oaxacan ties among the team are evident in an excellent mezcal selection and standouts such as the Lone Palm (mezcal, hibiscus, piloncillo and chipotle syrup, lemon and chapulín salt frost).
No.36 Death & Co, Denver
At Death & Co, the star of the show is the main lobby, an expansive space filled with bountiful natural light, plush velvet couches and rows of palatial chandeliers for extra sparkle when the sun sets. The bar is a buzzing hub for locals and tourists alike.
No.35 Mace, New York
Founded by Greg Boehm and Nico de Soto, downtown NYC’s Mace is an ode to cocktail culture with an emphasis on herbs and spices. The well-chosen selection of concoctions has made Mace this year’s winner of the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award. De Soto’s magical combinations challenge drinkers to embrace flavour profiles more often associated with food.
No.34 Death & Co, Los Angeles
Death & Co has developed a well-deserved reputation in Los Angeles for presenting refined cocktails in a speakeasy vibe. Its extensive, full colour menu features over 25 cocktails – complete with an illustration of its glass next to each one – and is tailored to serve customers’ mood of the moment.
No.33 Friends and Family, Oakland
Friends and Family is a fun-loving and playful white-hued bar furnished with wooden banquets, rose-hued tables and purple neon lights. Owners Blake Cole and Kimberly Roseselle’s cocktail menu features an unmissable Mezcal Margarita.
No.32 Broken Shaker, Miami
Colourful tiki drinks round out the tropical vibe with original recipes such as the Shaker Hopper. True to Miami style, bottle service, replete with a dazzling array of mixers, is also available at table. Don’t expect formality; the vibe at the lounge from Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta is fun.
No.31 The Dead Rabbit, New York
Named The World’s Best Bar in 2016, Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon’s hotspot redefined the notion of an Irish pub. Street level in the Taproom, the vibe is that of a popular, crowded neighbourhood bar, but things get progressively more serious as you move up the floors. The Irish coffee is widely lauded as the NYC’s finest and scores of Irish whiskeys line the back bar.
No.30 Employees Only, New York
Bar director Steve Schneider’s drinks list includes some modern creations, like the beloved Ginger Smash, however Employees Only’s true signatures are perfectly mixed Manhattans and Martinis. Those preferring their spirits neat will discover a world-class list of rare whiskeys.
No.29 El Pequeño Bar, Montreal
From iconic cocktail classics of the Gothic Revival era to the pressed Cubano sandwiches, each note of this bar's offering rings as true as the clarion call of a jazzy trumpet riff. There are no reservations here, but you may be able to book the bar out for a private tasting experience.
No.28 Herbs & Rye, Las Vegas
Herbs & Rye, first opened at the end of 2009, has become a Las Vegas institution known for its classic cocktails and steaks. Tributes to each historic cocktail era are denoted by how the cocktails are organised on the menu, from the Golden Age to the Rat Pack Era.
No.27 Overstory, New York
Overstory’s bar director, Harrison Ginsberg, creates cocktails using rare ingredients and complex methods. The bar’s 360-degree sightlines of the New York skyline are unparalleled and helped contribute to its win of the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award 2022.
No.26 Dear Irving, New York
Dear Irving presents a journey through luxury across different historical eras, spread across four distinct rooms. Bar director Meaghan Dorman’s menu includes a static ‘Tried & True’ section. Crowd favourites include her Steely Dan-inspired Deacon Blues and the Marie Antoinette.
No.25 The Keefer Bar, Vancouver
The Keefer Bar is found on the fringe of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, a location that permeates every aspect of the bar. The menu features drinks like the Tokyo Drift, which stirs together Toki, amber vermouth, kumquat gomme and tobacco-inspired bitters.
No.24 Jewel of the South, New Orleans
Jewel of the South is a temple to New Orleans culture and the cocktail skills of co-founder, cocktail pioneer Chris Hannah. Located in a renovated 1830 ‘Creole cottage’, Jewel’s courtyard and parlour rooms provide a true oasis within the bustling French Quarter.
No.23 Amor y Amargo, New York
Translated as ‘love and bitters’, this NYC institution is aptly named. The room is minuscule, eight seats; yet the bitters selection is one of the largest on the continent. Behind the Spanish tile bar, a single bartender conjures cocktails like no other.
No.22 Selva, Oaxaca
If one were to distil the essence of Oaxaca, it would taste like a Selva cocktail. The bar’s mid-century modern decor is offset by selva and agave plants outside and painted onto the stuccoed walls. Small touches like indigenous art complement out the decor.
No.21 El Gallo Altanero, Guadalajara
The very spirit of Jalisco feels manifest in El Gallo Altanero. The menu changes daily and focusses on small, independent tequila producers, but some items repeat, like Untal Santos’ riff on the Killer in Red and the Torero.
No.20 Sabina Sabe, Oaxaca
Sabina Sabe touts one of the largest libraries of mezcal in the world. Remarkably, the staff is intimately familiar with each and every expression. They also offer cocktails, with a Negroni-heavy list along with some very modern takes on mezcal.
No.19 Raised by Wolves, San Diego
Raised by Wolves is bringing back an opulent, old-world vibe to cocktail imbibing. Cocktails are divided into refreshing, decadent, spirit-forward and reserve sections as well as non-alcoholic. A seat here is so in demand, reservations to secure a table average a month booking in advance.
No.18 Service Bar, Washington DC
Spearheaded by industry veterans Chad Spangler and Glendon Hartley, Service Bar has become the go-to local for thirsty patrons in The District for three reasons: the famous fried chicken, the lively, unpretentious ambiance and outstanding but reasonably priced cocktails.
No.17 Double Chicken Please, New York
In 2020, GN Chan and Faye Chen turned their pop-up concept into a permanent bar on the Lower East Side. Each libation is designed to represent a drinkable meal: consider the French Toast or Japanese Cold Noodle.
No.16 Hanky Panky, Mexico City
Behind a secret door in Mexico City’s Roma neighbourhood, bar manager Gina Barbachano and head bartender Ismael Martínez present a cocktail programme that showcases the team’s deep knowledge of Golden Era mixology, like the namesake Hanky Panky cocktail.
No.15 Café de Nadie, Mexico City
On Café de Nadie’s menu, original drinks are each inspired by song, like the easy drinking Commodores homage, Sunday Morning (vodka marinated with strawberries, vermouth with macadamia, chardonnay foam and vanilla).
No.14 Sweet Liberty, Miami
Nestled in the heart of South Beach, Miami, Sweet Liberty’s spirits list alone includes nearly 1,000 different bottles. The voluminous menu also features a healthy bubbly selection, a variety of spritzes and a Martini menu.
No.13 Kaito del Valle, Mexico City
Kaito began as an upstairs izakaya to accompany a stellar sushi restaurant. But, over time, the bar grew into a constellation of its own. Drawing their inspiration from Japan’s fabled female pearl divers, bar manager Claudia Cabrera’s all-woman bar team is mixing up one-of-a-kind Japanese inflected cocktails.
No.12 La Factoría, San Juan
Whether you’re seeking a night of festive dancing over Lavender Mules with friends, or a quiet contemplative cocktail for date night, La Factoría – named The Best Bar in the Caribbean, sponsored by Disaronno – is a must-visit. After opening in 2013, the charming-yet-gritty bar now feels as though it’s been around for centuries.
No.11 Zapote Bar, Playa del Carmen
In Mayan culture, the fruit of the Zapote tree, mamey, is a symbol of hospitality and head bartender Joshua Monaghan’s beverage programme offers innovative libations worthy of the elite service. Try the margarita-inspired Wana Bana with tequila, soursop juice and lemongrass. This top spot in Playa del Carmen has been selected the London Essence Best New Opening 2022.
No.10 Civil Liberties, Toronto
This excellent bar eschews any traditional speakeasy livery for a simple illuminated sign of a pineapple, a universal symbol of hospitality. Ask any question about any bottle, and the team will be pleased to tell its story. The bar team’s expertise and one-of-a-kind cocktails earn Civil Liberties the title of The Best Bar in Canada, sponsored by Naked Malt.
No.9 Thunderbolt, Los Angeles
Thunderbolt offers a deliciously approachable cocktail list and Southern-inspired food menu. Canned cocktails, at least one frozen cocktail pick and an extensive by-the-bottle selection, including a vast selection of Madeira, feature here. Named the Campari One To Watch at The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021, Thunderbolt is now crowned The Best Bar in West USA, sponsored by Asahi Super Dry.
No.8 Dante, New York
Credited with revitalising the Negroni’s popularity in the US as well as introducing a generation to the Garibaldi, Dante lives up to its accolade of The World’s Best Bar 2019. The delicious duo are just the headliners on one of the city's best selections of aperitivos.
No.7 Baltra Bar, Mexico City
At Baltra Bar, the maestro beverage director José Luis León employs a soft touch to the menus. The lists are rotated seasonally and encompass a tapestry of themes that are woven together to create an overarching picture.
No.6 Café La Trova, Miami
Julio Cabrera is a celebrated ambassador for Cuban culture in the cocktail world and on arrival, one is instantly transported to the Caribbean via sight and taste. Bartenders are busy throwing Hotel Nacionals through the air or dramatically shaking a Daiquiri. Ranking high on this year’s list, Café La Trova is named The Best Bar in South USA, sponsored by Rémy Martin.
No.5 Kumiko, Chicago
Infused with owner Julia Momose’s signature elegance and razor-sharp attention to detail, Kumiko is a sophisticated cocktail bar that blends Japanese and American cocktail influences with style and finesse. An unmissable drinks spot in ‘The Windy City’, Kumiko is named The Best Bar in Midwest USA, sponsored by Nikka Whisky.
No.4 Katana Kitten, New York
Dive bars serving craft cocktails are nothing new, but Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award winner Masahiro Urushido’s Katana Kitten takes the concept to the next level. Welcome to a Japanese dive bar serving some serious drinks: try the trademark Megroni #2 or the Hinoki Martini.
No.3 Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
Limantour may be a crowded scene, but an elite bar staff ensures that drinks flow fast – and perfectly. Founder Benjamin Padrón and bar manager José Luis León crafted a menu celebrating their Roma, CDMX home with highlights like the Mezcal Stalk and Margarita al Pastor.
No.2 Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
Behind the wall of an unassuming cigar shop in Colonia Juarez, one finds Handshake Speakeasy. While many of bar director Eric Van Beek’s creations look simple enough, upon sipping one is treated to an explosion of unexpected flavours. Ranked at No.2 on the list, this standout bar is also named The Best Bar in Mexico, sponsored by Torres Brandy.
No.1 Attaboy, New York
Hidden amidst the narrow streets of the Lower East Side, Attaboy’s unmarked entrance is nondescript, a mystery for many. However, the bar’s legendary history is well documented.
Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy were joined by bar manager Haley Traub to create modern classics such as Ross’ Penicillin and Paper Plane. Of course, none of these drinks can be found on the menu. In fact, there is no menu at The Best Bar in North America 2022, sponsored by Perrier. Rather, each drink is custom tailored for the guest after a brief conversation.
Now recap the list by watching the video:
The first edition of North America’s 50 Best Bars was announced at a live awards ceremony in New York City on Tuesday 7th June 2022. To stay up to date with all news and announcements, browse the website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.