The anticipated list of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021, sponsored by Perrier, was revealed on Tuesday 7th December at an awards ceremony in London and shared digitally around the globe.
Following the announcement of the 51-100 extended list, explore the bars that take the top spots, forming a list that spans 17 countries and includes 18 new entries and 2 re-entries
No.50 Quinary, Hong Kong, China – RE-ENTRY
A stalwart of the Hong Kong cocktail scene, Quinary celebrates nine years in the city in 2021. Fronted by bartending legend Antonio Lai, who runs several other of the city’s leading bars, Quinary is where Lai pioneered his distinct style of molecular mixology.
No.49 Darkside, Hong Kong, China – NEW ENTRY
As its name suggests, Darkside is focused on all things dark – rare aged spirits, chocolate and vintage cigars – as well as being a play on the colloquial name for the Kowloon side of Hong Kong where the Rosewood is situated.
No.48 Union Trading Company, Shanghai, China – NEW ENTRY
Southern hospitality is in the bones of Union Trading Company, with American comfort food, warm woods and modest decor making it a cosy spot to park up at the bar or strap in for a long and raucous night. You might find yourself with a long drink made of local ingredients, such as baijiu with jasmine coconut water tea and peach bitters.
No.47 Sidecar, New Delhi, India – NEW ENTRY
A long wooden bar flanked by dark wood furniture and a back bar lined with a remarkable selection of spirits, house-made vermouths and bitters, make Sidecar the kind of bar that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling you’re looking for when you want to escape the hubbub of the city outside.
No.46 Re, Sydney, Australia – NEW ENTRY
Underpinning everything at Re is an ethos of reusing, recycling, and regenerating — leading it to be awarded the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2021. Re also makes use of produce that would otherwise be destined for landfill, such as fruit and vegetables that are at their optimum in terms of freshness and flavour but are blemished or unwanted.
No.45 Galaxy Bar, Dubai, UAE – NEW ENTRY
A Dubai-based venue but not of Dubai, Galaxy Bar stands out from the run-of-the-mill influencer hotspots that define the UAE, in that its vibe is more that of a glamorous neighbourhood bar. This intimate venue, with a marble bar and ceiling of glowing lights recreating a night sky, is an homage to Greek architecture.
No.44 Above Board, Melbourne, Australia – NEW ENTRY
Above Board is an intimate space — the bar seats just 16 people — propelled by the vision and personality of owner and bartender Hayden Lambert. The cocktails are a mix of classic preparations and signature drinks Lambert has perfected over decades of bartending.
No.43 Tippling Club, Singapore – RE-ENTRY
This may be one of the oldest cocktail bars in Singapore, but innovation and modernist techniques are the name of the game here, with sustainability also a priority. The latest menu, A Guide to Modern Drinking, Vol II, is inspired by celebrated modern artists and their oeuvres; each drink tells the story of the piece it pays homage to.
No.42 Charles H, Seoul, South Korea
Hidden in the Four Seasons Seoul hotel, Charles H is a glamorous affair. Helmed by the ever charming and dapper Keith Motsi, it is a homage to bon vivant and world traveller Charles H Baker Jr., who travelled the world documenting the food and drink he encountered from the 1920s to 1950s.
No.41 Epic, Shanghai, China – NEW ENTRY
Homey vintage decor is punctuated with edgy street art and a funk and disco playlist that the bar has become renowned for. Fun and bright hospitality with a dash of mischief is reflective of Epic’s out-there cocktail menu, which is non-conformist to say the least.
No.40 Tjoget, Stockholm, Sweden
Right now, the menu at Tjoget is inspired by fragrances and flavours from southern Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East and can keep you absorbed, in more ways than one, for a very long time. The signature and award-winning cocktail Beets by Tjoget mixes beetroot and vodka with coconut and ginger.
No.39 Sober Company, Shanghai, China
Shingo Gokan’s second Shanghai outpost, Sober Company is the most recent in his impressive stable of eight bars across China and Japan. The three-tiered concept is made up of a cafe, restaurant and bar. New York-style Sober Cafe serves breakfast and coffee until the late afternoon, when aperitivo and coffee cocktails are the name of the game.
No.38 Baltra Bar, Mexico City, Mexico – NEW ENTRY
Although this intimate bar in Mexico City’s chic Colonia Condesa has been open for nearly eight years, drinking here still feels like stumbling upon an unexpected treasure. It’s probably because the award-winning staff, led by bar director José Luis León – also of Licorería Limantour fame – keeps reinventing the menu, giving guests new reasons to come back.
No.37 Sips, Barcelona, Spain – NEW ENTRY
Despite only opening this year, Sips’ menu is gaining traction not just among local Catalans, but around the world. One of the star performers of 2021 is the Sips Espresso Martini, which is quickly becoming a classic – partly due to its generous dollop of freshly whipped cream, which towers over every glass.
No.36 MO Bar, Singapore – NEW ENTRY
The lack of travel has not stunted MO Bar’s latest menu. Currently on their third volume, Adrian Besa and his team have created an ensemble of cocktails, most using some very advanced scientific equipment, which are all part of a narrative with origins throughout Asia.
No.35 Lucy's Flower Shop, Stockholm, Sweden – NEW ENTRY
Hidden away deep underground in a 20th-century building in the heart of Stockholm, Lucy’s Flower Shop is the very definition of quiet confidence. With the muted, velvety decor in purple and red and the precise movements of the bartenders behind the long, wooden bar, it’s like something out of a 1960s spy novel.
No.34 Attaboy, New York, USA
From the beginning, Attaboy had an everyman appeal, with laid-back vibes, exposed brickwork and minimal fuss. Here, there’s no menu, so just give the bartenders a few clues and they’ll find answers from their repertoire. Attaboy has endured for good reason, resulting in it being named the Rémy Martin Legend of the List 2021.
No.33 Tres Monos, Buenos Aires, Argentina – NEW ENTRY
A pint-sized spot in the über-trendy Palermo Soho barrio of Buenos Aires, Tres Monos (three monkeys) has been the talk of the town thanks to its punk attitude and neon fetish fused with warm porteño hospitality since its 2019 opening.
No.32 Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo, Japan
The Benfiddich day often begins at 7am with an hour-long drive to the Kayama family farm where the key ingredients grow: the bison grass for the homemade faux Zubrowka, the hops for the balls of ice that slowly release their bitter notes, the gentian, the tea trees, the wormwood, the star fruit and passion fruit orchards.
No.31 Kwānt, London, UK
Descending the steps and opening the doors to Erik Lorincz’s Kwānt is to find yourself in a different time, a different place. And the name Kwānt? It’s a derivative of ‘quaint’ and, in feel, decor, and the vintage spirits collection it is just that, though the cocktails have one foot in the past and one in the future.
No.30 Dante, New York, USA
A century-old Italian café and something of an institution of the Greenwich Village locale, Dante reopened in 2015 under the modernising influence of Australians Linden Pride and Nathalie Hudson. While the fundamentals remained, in came new food, world-class cocktails, a fresh crowd and a new lease of life.
No.29 Little Red Door, Paris, France
Since the pandemic, Little Red Door has pivoted towards a more localised and seasonal approach. If that evolution began last year, the latest menu, Grounded, digs deeper, exploring how an urban bar can forge productive and lasting relationships with farmers.
No.28 Café La Trova, Miami, USA – NEW ENTRY
Situated in Miami’s Little Havana neighbourhood, Trova specialises in the ‘cantinero’ style of bartending created in early 20th-century Cuba. Handsomely uniformed bartenders still ‘throw’ classic drinks, like the Hotel Nacional, through the air from tin to glass.
No.27 Camparino in Galleria, Milan, Italy – NEW ENTRY
With over a century of storied history since its opening in central Milan in 1915, this is a real experience for fans of the Italian aperitif tradition and the uninitiated alike. Newly renovated, the two-level venue boasts a terrace with the best view in Milan, looking out on to the square that houses the stunning Duomo cathedral.
No.26 No Sleep Club, Singapore – NEW ENTRY
Juan Yi Jun (formerly of Operation Dagger and 1880) makes amazing drinks using techniques that you or I may not be familiar with, however that doesn’t matter when the drinks are this delicious and, in bar parlance, totally “smashable”. The Tom Yum & Melon and tequila Espresso Martini (served in a coffee cup) come to mind.
No.25 Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City, Mexico – NEW ENTRY
It’s probably going to be love at first sight for anyone who steps inside this gorgeous speakeasy in Mexico City’s Colonia Juárez. The art deco space boasts stunning copper details and a glamorous Prohibition atmosphere.
No.24 Salmon Guru, Madrid, Spain
Salmon Guru is voted by the 600-strong 50 Best Academy as the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award winner 2021. Having celebrated its five-year anniversary throughout 2021, the bar’s eccentric drinks continue to play a central role in making it Madrid’s number one destination bar.
No.23 Cantina OK!, Sydney, Australia
Cantina OK! is a micro mezcal must-visit making creative use of a disused single car garage. With space for only 20 people inside, it’s a bar with big ambitions – the mezcal poured has been selected by owners Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd and their team over successive visits to far-flung palenques of Mexico.
No.22 Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
To describe Maybe Sammy is to talk about an experience. The cocktails are all of a calibre you’d expect from a bar on this list, the service attentive, the Art Deco interior beautiful. Maybe Sammy does all that a grand hotel cocktail bar does, but with more vibrance and whimsy.
No.21 Presidente, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Starting out, surprisingly, as the only non-hotel cocktail bar in Buenos Aires’ well-heeled Recoleta neighbourhood four years ago, Presidente oozes style and elegance. After climbing 29 places up the ranking from 2020, Presidente is named the Nikka Highest Climber 2021.
No.20 1930, Milan, Italy
One of the most mysterious bars in the world has been hidden away in Milan for years. 1930 takes speakeasy to a new level and is a true representation of the secret American bars of the 1920s, with exposed brickwork, leather wingbacks and a warming ambiance.
No.19 Drink Kong, Rome, Italy
As the first solo project by legendary Irish/Italian bartender Patrick Pistolesi, Drink Kong was never going to disappoint. Bearing one of the best bar names in the business, the Japanese Blade Runner theme with dark, simple furniture and bright neon signs also is one of the coolest decors, too.
No.18 The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan
Shingo Gokan’s flagship Tokyo bar spent much of 2021 boarded up with a “We regret to inform you…” sign outside. Unlike most bars in the city, though, it wasn’t closed. If you read the sign vertically, in Japanese, it said “We’re open”. Those who figured it out found the three-storey bar as busy as it’s ever been.
No.17 Zuma, Dubai, UAE
Modern Japanese izakaya Zuma has outposts all over the world, but it’s the Dubai venue’s cocktails and hospitality that really stand out. The high-energy square bar allows for a view of the action no matter where you’re seated. The menu is split into several sections, using unique ingredients to create signatures or give classic cocktails a Japanese twist.
No.16 Atlas, Singapore
A vaulted bar in an awe-inspiring location, Atlas never fails to wow, from the sheer grandeur of the space to the more than 1,300-brand-strong gin tower. If you’re lucky, head bartender Jesse Vida may take you on a tour of the tower and then make you a cocktail from the recent La Grande Nation menu inspired by artists of 1925, the beginning of Art Deco.
No.15 Manhattan, Singapore
The OG of sexy hotel bars, Manhattan is in its seventh year and still going strong. Helmed by bar manager Rusty Cerven (formerly of Connaught Bar and Gibson) and his extremely talented team, you can expect great service as well as yummy things to drink and eat.
No.14 Baba au Rum, Athens, Greece
Baba au Rum brought a revolutionary admiration of cocktails to the Greek capital when it opened 13 years ago, and to this day it remains the bar in Athens’ now thriving hospitality scene, held in highest regard. The Spicy Baba has been the bar’s most popular cocktail since 2010, but the recipe and ingredients have been continuously revisited and refreshed.
No.13 Insider Bar, Moscow, Russia – NEW ENTRY
Born as an ambitious idea to create a fantasy bar of the future, this is a place where ‘insiders’ meet to get inspired, share ideas, or just to have a drink out of exquisite Baccarat glassware. Landing in the list at No.13 in the best position of any bar that has opened within the voting period, Insider Bar is named London Essence Best New Opening 2021.
No.12 Hanky Panky, Mexico City, Mexico – NEW ENTRY
Named after the potent cocktail concocted by Ada Coleman at The Savoy in London in the early 20th century, this is the kind of speakeasy that makes you feel truly clandestine: a sexy, low-lit space with a long marble bar and red leather chairs. Coming in at No.12, Hanky Panky is crowned with the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award 2021.
No.11 Two Schmucks, Barcelona, Spain
With battered Converse hanging over steel girders and signs reading words inappropriate for print, Two Schmucks oozes irreverence. Its ‘five-star dive bar’ theme combines the relaxed party atmosphere of a classic kick-back boozer with the serious, professional drinks and service you expect to find in the world’s best hotel bars.
No.10 Katana Kitten, New York, USA
When you visit a bar named after a Samurai sword and a cat, you know you’re not in for a routine drinking experience. In essence, this Greenwich Village bar is a hybrid concept – half American dive, half Japanese highball bar, with the sort of quality-focused offering that magnetises off-shift bartenders.
No.9 Jigger & Pony, Singapore
As one of the top bars in Asia and largely home-grown, Jigger & Pony has always done things a bit differently. From introducing communal seating, to its Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz, to how it takes care of its own people, to its latest magazine menu, A Decent Menu – the list goes on.
No.8 El Copitas, St Petersburg, Russia
If El Copitas refers to a small sipping container for agave spirits, the bar that bears the same name isn’t much different. It all starts with a welcome copita and, once settled into the large communal table, the latest cocktail and taco creations are conveyed via a chalk board.
No.7 Coa, Hong Kong, China
Welcome to Jay Khan’s shrine to all things agave. From tequila to mezcal, raicilla and sotol, the vast majority of Khan’s collection of bottles have been hand-carried from Mexico. Don’t miss Coa’s addictive Paloma de Oaxaca – a cocktail so popular that a local brewery now cans it for retail.
No.6 Licorería Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
Having first opened a decade ago, Licorería Limantour has become an institution in Mexico City’s bubbling nightlife scene. Regarded as one of the city’s best party bars, its electric atmosphere complements a unique intimacy which welcomes in even those looking for a quiet drink.
No.5 Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Disguises are usually deceptive but by now, the blooming florist and well-stocked wine store on an elegant Retiro street barely camouflage Buenos Aires’ legendary speakeasy Florería Atlántico. Pull open the antique fridge door and descend into the underworld created by graphic designer-turned-bartender Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni and hotelier partner Aline Vargas.
No.4 The Clumsies, Athens, Greece
Part of The Clumsies’ undeniable charm is the ease with which it can do so many things so well. It's just as comfortable as a spot for a morning coffee and breakfast as a place in the evening to drink some of the most inventive cocktails that can be found anywhere, or for dancing on the bar at 2am.
No.3 Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
Paradiso’s front bar is the last thing you expect to see after walking through the fridge at the back of a pastrami shop in Barcelona. The venue has its own signatures, including the Supercool Martini, which uses ‘supercooled’ water to build an iceberg in the glass before creating a personalised Martini right at your table.
No.2 Tayēr + Elementary, London, UK
Alex Kratena and Monica Berg’s Tayēr + Elementary is the crowning work of bartending royalty. A venue of two parts, Elementary is the industrially styled space you first encounter: a casual all-day spot where cocktails are prepared in seconds thanks to a draught system. Through the partition at Tayēr, the drinks are even more loquacious.
No.1 Connaught Bar, London, UK
A triumph from the start, Connaught Bar still manages to edge closer to perfection every time its doors open. It is the quintessential London hotel bar, but in its poise, elegance and the leadership of Agostino Perrone, Giorgio Bargiani and Maura Milia, it has a distinct Italian accent. For the second consecutive year, Connaught Bar is named The Best Bar in Europe and The World’s Best Bar 2021, sponsored by Perrier.
Now recap the list by watching the video:
The list of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 was announced on Tuesday, 7th December at a live awards ceremony in London. To stay up to date with all news and announcements, browse the website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.