The People's Best New Bars: Northwest/Mountain Contenders

By F&W Editors Posted September 17, 2014

The People’s Best New Bars award, presented by Roca Patrón, is Food & Wine’s first-ever poll to rank the most incredible drink destinations in the country. We want to know what you think are the most innovative new bars in the Northwest region.

The People’s Best New Bars award, presented by Roca Patrón, is Food & Wine’s first-ever poll to rank the most incredible drink destinations in the country. We want to know what you think are the most innovative new bars in America.

Regions:
Northeast, Midwest, West/Southwest, Southeast, Northwest/Mountain

Ava Gene’s

Photo © Stuart Mullenberg

Ava Gene’s

Portland, OR
Barman Evan Zimmerman’s carefully curated cocktail list has just nine drinks meant to showcase Italian aperitivos and digestivos like Cynar and grappa. avagenes.com

Bar Code

Photo courtesy of Bar Code

Bar Code

Bellevue, WA
In a venue known for its reinvention of the classic gin and tonic, bar manager Evan Martin makes a version with lime, lemongrass and spices. Other stellar drinks include Greenpoint (with rye, Chartreuse, vermouth and bitters) and No. 5 (with rum, elderflower cordial, bitters, grapefruit and lime). barcodebellevue.com

The Berry & Rye

Photo © Dillon Gitano

The Berry & Rye

Omaha
Pre-Prohibition drinks are the specialty at the Berry & Rye, in Omaha’s Old Market. The impressive list of handcrafted cocktails includes Flowers for Chavela (photo), made with mezcal, hibiscus and raspberry syrups, lime and rose water. theberryandrye.com

Clover

Photo © Paul Harrington

Clover

Spokane, WA
Cocktail mastermind and co-owner Paul Harrington describes the cocktails on Clover’s comprehensive menu as crisp, exuberant, effervescent or current. The crisp, gin–based Jasmine (photo) includes triple sec, Campari and lemon juice. cloverspokane.com

Damn the Weather

Photo © Eleanor Lonardo

Damn the Weather

Seattle
This Pioneer Square restaurant and bar has an exposed-brick interior, and offers house cocktails such as The Woodwork: Made with rye and orange Curaçao, the drink is dedicated to the company that built the bar and tabletops. The Agricultural Punch (photo) includes rhum agricole, raw sugarcane juice and lime. damntheweather.com

Expatriate

Photo © Dina Avila

Expatriate

Portland, OR
Expatriate’s decor puts Kyle Linden Webster’s cocktails (like the Royal Hawaiian, a mix of gin, fresh lemon and orange, pineapple gomme syrup, fresh orgeat and bitters) at the forefront. Patrons can order anything from the menu, but only the liquors used in his signature drinks are displayed behind the bar. Naomi Pomeroy, an F&W Best New Chef 2009 (and Webster’s wife) designed the snacks menu. expatriatepdx.com

Hilltop Kitchen

Photo © Rachel Franz

Hilltop Kitchen

Tacoma, WA
Inspired by travels to Latin America, Hilltop Kitchen features drinks emphasizing mezcal, tequila, rum and cachaça. The extensive cocktail list includes classics like Caipirinhas and margaritas, in addition to originals like the Goji Pisco Sour (photo). hilltopkitchen.com

Imperial
People's Best New Bar Winner

Photo © John Valls

Imperial

Portland, OR
In the lovely Hotel Lucia, bar manager Brandon Wise prepares inspired craft beverages, like A Radish Walks into a Bar… (photo: vermouth, Ransom Old Tom gin and radish gastrique) as well as cocktails on tap and a nice selection of mocktails. imperialpdx.com

Montgomery Distillery

Photo © Cathrine L. Walters

Montgomery Distillery

Missoula, MT
After five generations of family distilling, Montgomery Distillery still produces top-notch, small-batch vodka, gin and whiskey. Visitors to the tasting room bar can sample the popular Go Gingerly cocktail (photo) made with Whyte Ladie gin, muddled ginger, basil and grapefruit. montgomerydistillery.com

Multnomah Whiskey Library

Photo © Dina Avila Photography

Multnomah Whiskey Library

Portland, OR
Bartenders climb brass ladders to grab liquors from shelves holding more than 1,500 bottles. The staff helps patrons navigate the inventory via cocktails made tableside, spirits tastings and pairing dinners. multnomahwhiskeylibrary.com

Pépé le Moko

Photo © Jeremy Pelley

Pépé Le Moko

Portland, OR
Headed up by the mixologist and star booze blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the basement bar Pépé Le Moko serves classic cocktails, plus its stellar signature drink, an Amaretto Sour (photo) made with overproof bourbon. pepelemokopdx.com

Percy’s and Co.

Photo © Chris Jordon

Percy’s and Co.

Seattle
This apothecary-style bar is housed in a building that’s more than a century old. Barmen Kyle Taylor and Joe Petersen serve inventive cocktails using infused spirits, fresh fruit and tinctures, including Thymes Up, made with herb-infused gin, and the Sankey Sour (photo), with bourbon, Aperol, fresh orange juice and house-made sour mix. percysseattle.com

Radiator Whiskey

Photo © Nick Jurich

Radiator Whiskey

Seattle
In the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Radiator Whiskey boasts an impressive list of assorted spirits. The cocktail list offers five spin-offs of the classic Manhattan, made with spirits like smoke-infused rye and moonshine, as well as cocktails like the Water Line (photo), which includes rye, aquavit, Cynar, Cointreau and orange and black walnut bitters. radiatorwhiskey.com

Raven & Rose

Photo courtesy of Raven & Rose

Raven & Rose

Portland, OR
Inspired by the 1883 building that houses Raven & Rose, some of bar director David Shenaut’s concoctions are complex and Victorian-themed, like the frothy Absinthe Frappe. Others are bright and fresh: the Garden & Farmers’ Market Cocktails section of the menu includes the Improved Cape Codder (photo), with vodka, cranberry, Jacobsen sea salt and Campari. ravenandrosepdx.com

The Rose

Photo © David Agnello

The Rose

Jackson Hole, WY
This plush, old-fashioned lounge in the Pink Garter Theater features elegant cocktails like the Burnt Bush, made with Irish whiskey, sarsaparilla, allspice and Sriracha bitters. therosejh.com

Rumba

Photo © Luke McKinley

Rumba

Seattle
Seattle’s self-described first rum bar, Rumba provides a selection of more than 250 rums and specializes in island drinks such as tiki cocktails, punches and more. The list has both traditional and original daiquiris, like the Presidente (made with rum, Curaçao, grenadine and vermouth), and other Caribbean classics like Queen's Park Swizzle. rumbaonpike.com

St. Jack

Photo © Lisa Calagro

St. Jack

Portland, OR
Created as a special tribute to cafés in Lyon, St. Jack offers a variety of French-inspired cocktails, from the Savoie Spritz, made with vermouth, Génépy, cucumber, lemon, Douglas fir and sparkling wine, to the Cognac-laced Champagne Punch (photo). stjackpdx.com

Stoneburner

Photo courtesy of Stoneburner

Stoneburner

Seattle
Located in the Hotel Ballard, the Italian-themed Stoneburner’s interior elements were sourced from a Buenos Aires embassy, a tank factory in upstate New York and the old New York Times building. Bar manager Erik Carlson makes innovative cocktails such as the Roman Punch, made with rum, Cognac, black tea, lemon, Curaçao and raspberry gum. stoneburnerseattle.com

The Trap Room

Photo courtesy of The Trap Room

The Trap Room

Omaha
Reminiscent of a basement lounge from the ’70s, with vintage lighting, a mountain scene on one of the walls and a sound system that was purportedly once owned by the Carpenters, the Trap Room boasts a large cocktail menu that features Moscow Mules in copper cups, classic Old Fashioneds (photo) and margaritas on tap. thetraproom.com

Witness

 

Witness

Seattle
Witness is decorated like a Southern Baptist church, and its menu offers a variety of cocktails including I’m Your Huckleberry (berry-infused vodka, lemon and huckleberry cordial drizzle) and Soul Tonic (with aromatic lime cordial). witnessbar.com

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