America's Best New Bars

From a Dutch-inspired gin bar to a 19th-century-style saloon, these American best new bars celebrate the handmade, the historical and the locally sourced. Plus: a star chef's futuristic lounge.


For the Locavore

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

This 4,000-square-foot bar is deeply dedicated to the farm-to-shaker movement: Bitters, syrups and sodas are house-made, often with ingredients from the garden. The best drinks tweak the classics, like the rum Agricole Mule.

Weather Up, New York City

Customers come to this dark lounge for some of New York's most precise craft cocktails, made with hand-cut ice. The bar menu mixes the obvious (potato chips) with surprises (broccoli rillettes).

At Weather Up, a $6,000 machine creates 300-pound blocks of ice. Using saws, hammers and chisels, the staff carve out different ice shapes for different drinks.


© Michael Harlan Turkell

Vandaag, New York City

Aquavit and genever, neat and in cocktails, are the signature spirits at this airy, Dutch-inspired restaurant. Their heady flavors go well with the bitterballen (slow-braised oxtail croquettes).

Sable Kitchen & Bar

© Cris Molina

Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago

The 16-page drink menu at Hotel Palomar's bar quotes Jean-Jacques Rousseau, lists cocktails like the Chuck Yeager (rum with cinnamon bark syrup) and boasts one of the city's largest amber spirits collections.

The Tasting Kitchen; Venice, CA

Like the food, the cocktails at this casually hip restaurant are market-driven and fastidiously handmade, down to the extra-tart tonic water and "kola" in the highbrow Jack and Coke.

For the History Buff

1886 Bar

© Acuna-Hansen

1886 Bar at the Raymond Restaurant; Pasadena, CA

Taking its name and inspiration from the year the original hotel opened, 1886 Bar offers three-ingredient drinks, a version of Charles Dickens's favorite punch and a bar menu with crisp pork belly.

Oak at Fourteenth

© Jennifer Olson

Oak at Fourteenth; Boulder, CO

"We serve mocktails, low-alcohol drinks, high-alcohol drinks, eclectic wines and geeky beers. We basically want to turn people on to great imbibing options," says mixologist Bryan Dayton, an alum of Frasca Food and Wine. Among the boozier drinks at this New American bistro: the mezcal- and cardamom-laced Ginger's Lost Island—great with a dish from the wood-burning oven, like the lamb T-bone.

Too New to Review

The Aviary, Chicago

Inside star chef Grant Achatz's restaurant Next, this bar celebrates his mad-scientist molecular experiments. Its take on the traditional Christmastime Tom and Jerry drink calls for warm milk flavored with roasted bananas and a cream base aerated with nitrous oxide.

Plus: More Drink Tips


New Wine Bars

West Coast Wine Dispatch

West Coast Wine Dispatch

Bufala Negra
© Wendell T. Webber

Ultimate Cocktails Guide

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