Marcus Fan > Top 10 Bars in America

Top 10 Bars in the US

A hard list to make with so many great places all with their own styles. Again these are all bars I have been to within the last couple of years and based on my taste.

1. Matt Biancaniello Pop-Up

Type: Low Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: Los Angeles, CA - map

Few bartenders have reshaped our view of what a cocktail can be like Matt. He has taken the cocktail and added the culinary eye like no one in the world. Utilizing ingredients that would stump most chefs he has created cocktails with more culinary daring then anyone in the cocktail world including the folks at the Aviary. His ability to meld wild flavors cohesively in a glass is nothing short of mind blowing. While it is now en-vouge to do "omakase" style cocktails he has been doing it for longer then anyone else save Columbia Room. His range goes beyond cocktails into things like sage beer and forever changed what a cocktail can be. Prepare to have a seat and drink copiously. Check his Facebook page to find out where he working at the moment. I can't recommend anything since everything is hyper seasonal meaning sometimes a drink is only available one day and that is it.

Matt Biancaniello Pop-Up

2. Death and Company

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 433 East 6th St., New York, NY - map

After all these years the cocktails here are as amazing as ever. Their impressive cocktail list is still is just about perfect. Everyone can find something they will love. They also have had a very amiable doorman which more bars need employ. A great drinking experience all around. It has won award after award and they deserve each one. It is still my favorite bar in New York.

Death and Company

3. Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog

Type: Medium Volume Bar
Location: 30 Water St, New York, NY 10004 - map

Located down in the Financial District all by it's lonesome is an amazing bar. Split into the casual downstairs and the more formal upstairs. They have two completely different menus. The upstairs bar is place where this bar really shines. A huge menu of 4 dozen cocktails (perhaps more) in a bound illustrated book. Irish whiskey is there main focus, but there is something for everyone.

Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog

4. Raines Law Room

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 48 West 17th St., New York, NY - map

Marked with a small framed note by the door. A buzzer press and a door-person lets you know the wait time. The place is sexy and beautiful. My favorite bit is the "bar" which is a remodeled or modeled kitchen. You can wait at the "bar" kitchen island for a seat if there is space. Fantastic cocktails.

Raines Law Room

5. Trick Dog

Type: Medium Volume Bar
Location: 3010 20th St., San Francisco, CA - map

Located around the block from Flour+Water you will spot it because of the line wrapped outside this otherwise lonely street. These people are waiting because the cocktails are really good. I tried the list and nearly everyone of them is delicious, everyone one of them balanced.

Trick Dog

6. Aviary

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 955 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL - map

This is a modern cocktail bar and I adore it. Remarkably well done work. Pricey? Perhaps. But cocktails are of quality worth the price. Sadly not as good as when Craig was running things, but still an amazing bar.


7. Columbia Room

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 124 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 - map

Perhaps one of finest bar experiences I have ever had. Located inside of Passenger Bar this six seat bar has the bartender area sunken so while seated you are at eye level with the standing bartender. This reservation only bar serves cocktails in courses. For a flat rate they will serve you two cocktails of their discretion along with a small bite of food. The third cocktail is either something you request or based on a taste you have in mind. After that additional drinks and food are a la carte. The closest to a Japanese style high end cocktail bar I have seen in America.

Columbia Room

8. No 9 Park

Type: Medium Volume Restaurant Bar
Location: 9 Park St, Boston, MA - map

Because this excellent restaurant does not post their cocktail list, nor does not offer you their full cocktail list at dinner unless you specifically requested, visitors may miss out on the finest cocktails in Boston. Ted put together the program here and it is a mighty fine program at that. While Ted is no longer here the program he put in place is still doing great work. They have a list of about 40 cocktails. I went through about 30 cocktails from their list and a few more off the list and had an immensely wonderful time.

No 9 Park

9. Canon

Type: Low Volume Bar
Location: 928 12th Ave., Seattle, WA - map

Wonderful cocktails. Amazing spirits selection. What else can one ask for?