The 8 Best International Bars

Experience the highest echelon of mixology at these famed bars that our readers voted for as the very best in the Global Tastemakers awards.

Top International Bars

Courtesy of Connaught Bar

Global Tastemakers is our first-ever reader’s choice awards, celebrating the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. F&W readers voted based on travel completed within the past three years, on categories including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. Due to the limitations of pandemic travel, this year’s Global Tastemakers winners reflect a smaller portion of the globe. In many categories, we’re including an editor’s pick to shout out some more culinary destinations in places you can’t miss. See the full list of winners at

The modern craft cocktail movement has swept over every corner of the planet, which means you can now find thoughtful, well-composed drinks in any major city on Earth. And with such a wide breadth of options, you might just wonder: What are the absolute best bars of them all? We were certainly curious to find out, so we asked our readers to provide the answers in our inaugural Global Tastemakers survey. 

Now the numbers are in and the results have been tallied. We’re ready to reveal what you selected as the Best International Bars. Perhaps you’d be surprised to learn that the list is concentrated into just four separate cities across two total continents. Don’t be. Because these particular places — London, Paris, Mexico City, and Barcelona — have been dominant forces in the cocktail scene throughout the 21st century. As our poll makes plainly clear, if you want to experience the highest echelon of mixology, you’re going to have to pass through these towns and dedicate at least a few nights to a proper bar crawl.

01 of 09

Scarfes Bar At Rosewood London: London, England

Top International Bars

Durston Saylor

The Rosewood London is one of the most elegant overnights in a city renowned for such. Its off-lobby bar is entirely befitting of this environment, with a stately drinking parlor that feels more like a palatial library, featuring a buttoned-up brand of bonhomie. Its devotion to artfulness is felt both within and beyond the glass. The playful preparations here aren’t presented in menu form, but in an actual cocktail book (which you can purchase for £40). Current stars include the My Tie, riffing on the Tiki classic with mango, pepper, and clarified almond syrup, and the El Bandito, a force-carbonated mezcal and Campari adventure featuring a cornucopia of fruit essence. Doubling as a locale for live nightly jazz, the space takes its name from Gerald Scarfe, a legendary British caricaturist whose work you might recognize from Pink Floyd’s The Wall — or from along the walls of the bar itself.

02 of 09

Little Red Door: Paris, France

Top International Bars

Courtesy of The Little Red Door

The only unimaginative element of this celebrated speakeasy in the third arrondissement of Paris is its very literal name: You actually enter the space through an unmarked, little red door. Once you’re inside, prepare yourself for some of the most inspired cocktails anywhere on earth. The menu typically changes yearly, but currently, it focuses on farm-to-glass preparations. Each drink is defined by — and named after — the garnish it carries. The Raspberry, for example, combines grappa with a vermouth infused with the namesake fruit in-house, for a juicy yet spirited tickling of the tongue. Each offering is so beautifully rendered that you almost are reluctant to even drink them … Almost.

03 of 09

Bar Hemingway: Paris, France

Top International Bars

Bernhard Winkelmann

Situated inside the 120-year-old Ritz Paris, Bar Hemingway is a cozy, well-appointed portal to the past. No more than two dozen drinkers can occupy the space at any time, but those who do enjoy a spirited taste of the Lost Generation. It’s an elegant affair, to be sure; colorful cocktails arrive garnished with fresh flower petals, and it’s home to a €1500 sidecar, built from 19th-century Cognac. In fact, most of its ingredients would have been around back when Hemingway himself used to sit at the counter here. It was known simply as the Little Bar at the time. But then, as now, it still makes one of the most masterful martinis in town.

04 of 09

Licorería Limantour: Mexico City, Mexico

Top International Bars

Courtesy of Licoreria Limantour

When it opened in 2011, Limantour quickly established itself as one of the first craft cocktail destinations in all of Mexico City. To this day, it remains its best. That distinction is earned through innovation and consistency. Lead bartender Jose Luis Leon is a master at staying ahead of trend lines and now even enjoys the status to set some of them. If he’s not in the forest foraging fungus for his latest cocktail creations, you can be sure to see him behind the stick, pouring out the liquid magic with unflinching efficiency. He has no choice because his bar is packed each and every night.

05 of 09

Connaught Bar: London, England

Top International Bars

Courtesy of Connaught Bar

It’s impossible to step inside this swanky space without directing your attention to the roving martini cart. And while you’ll certainly want to partake in this table side pageantry — which involves choosing your own aromatic additive — this should merely be the starting point of your adventure. Ago Perrone and his talented team of artisans have formulated a full menu of adventurous assemblies, and there’s no weak point to be found. Just make sure you reserve your space early. Since earning accolades as the world’s best bar in 2020 and 2021, queues tend to build during primary drinking hours. 

06 of 09

Fifty Mils: Mexico City, Mexico

Top International Bars Fifty Mils

Gerardo Maldonado R.

This velvet-appointed tipple temple is a feather in the cap of the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City. Signature drinks include The Fenix — a vodka drink infused with bacon syrup and turmeric, which is literally lit on fire before it is served, and a collision of carrot juice, lemongrass, and gin, which is scented with Fernet. It’s playfully called the Bugs Bunny, but it’s seriously delicious. And when you’re craving something slightly less elaborate the Extraordinary Margarita is waiting for you, exactly as advertised.

07 of 09

Ritz Bar: Paris, France

Top International Bars Ritz Bar

Jean-Jacques Pallot

That other bar inside the Ritz is certainly nothing to scoff at. As our readers assert, it is, in fact, world-class in its own right. And it also provides a stark and stylish contrast to the classical leanings of Bar Hemingway down the hall. It’s worth checking out at any time of year, but fans of astrology ought to have an added sense of urgency in exploring the current menu, wherein beverage director Romain de Courcy has crafted a special creation for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac. Hopefully, you’re an Aries so you can enjoy the “impetuous” blend of barley brandy, port, sandalwood, and allspice fashioned just for you.

08 of 09

Paradiso: Barcelona, Spain

Top International Bars

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images

This fantastical speakeasy is hidden behind the fridge door of an unassuming sandwich shop. A whimsical den of delectable pleasures awaits on the other side, like something straight out of a Lewis Carroll novel. Underneath slats of slender, curved wood, the bar staff constructs a themed lineup of libations. Right now, the motif traces the “Evolution of Mankind” through 15 drinks. The Paradiso Express, for example, takes its cues from the Industrial Revolution: aged rum, vodka, PX sherry, coffee, banana, and sesame all come together in a steam train-shaped vessel. 

09 of 09

Editor’s Pick: Jigger and Pony, Singapore

Top International Bars

Lauryn Ishak / Getty Images

To serve the best cocktails in Singapore is no easy feat, as the city-state has rapidly become a giant in the cocktail world, but Jigger and Pony’s excellence feels effortless, with immaculate renditions of classics and forward-thinking marvels like the Soy Milk Punch (with Roku gin, lychee, oolong tea, and red wine float) and the Greatest of All Time, which sources locally produced Singapore goat milk to make custard cream that’s mixed with Nikka Coffey malt whisky and egg white. - F&W Editors

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