Declaring a “best” bar can be tricky. The things valued by a bunch of Miller Lite chugging Milwaukee Brewers fans (like a TV that’s showing the not-so-big game) is going to be a lot different than what a bunch of Cognac-sipping London bankers are after (like really private bathroom stalls). But every year, Drinks International enlists their 476 industry experts to cast votes and decide the question once and for all.
For the 2016 rankings, the US has something to celebrate: Manhattan’s Dead Rabbit brought the top spot back to New York City for the first time since 2011. Granted, the next three bars on the list are all in London, but let’s not let that detract from The Big Apple’s moment in the sun.
The Dead Rabbit has held down spots in the top five since 2013, including the number two spot the past two years, but finally ascended to number one this year thanks to the fall of London’s Artesian – which went from being ranked number one for four years straight to falling entirely off the list, an unlikely change on a list where bars tend to shuffle about more than they plummet. “This time last year, the two head bartenders that were very influential at [Artesian] created the concept, the menu, the ethos, the philosophy...they quit that night after winning for the fourth time, and they were followed out the bar by another nine bartenders,” World's 50 Best Bars editor Hamish Smith told CNN, explaining the dramatic downfall. “In this industry, it's about the people, it's not about the four walls.”
That said, with its distinct multiple levels, iconic mixed drinks menus (most recently in the form of comic books) and knowledgeable friendly staff serving up cocktails that are almost a little too good, The Dead Rabbit is certainly worthy of topping any list of bars. However, more casual drinkers can definitely find reasons to bemoan a ranking that focuses almost entirely on major international hubs. For instance, despite the United States claiming 14 spots on the list, those bars only cover five cities: New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. And only one bar in the top 10 doesn’t come from either New York or London. Come on, won’t somebody think of the Brewers’ fans?
Check out the full top 10 below.
1. The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog – New York
2. American Bar – London
3. Dandelyan – London
4. Connaught Bar – London
5. Attaboy – New York
6. The Gibson – London
7. Employees Only – New York
8. NoMad Bar – New York
9. The Clumsies – Athens, Greece
10. Happiness Forgets - London
Click here for the rest of the top 50.