Looking for a place to unwind after a hard day’s work? Or an energizing venue where you can meet up with friends? A cocktail bar provides the perfect atmosphere for socializing and relaxation. And chances are, you’ll find a watering hole near you serving up tasty drinks, whatever your pleasure. According to IBISWorld, 71,634 bars and nightclubs currently operate in the U.S. That number represents an increase of 2.1% from 2021, possibly indicating the bar business is on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
Those bars are spread throughout the country. Yet some stand out over the competition. To determine the best bars in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed articles and rankings on America’s best bars on North America’s 50 Best Bars, Eater, The Daily Meal, Men’s Journal, Mashed, and The Culture Trip, as well as numerous local and regional websites.
Unsurprisingly, populous states host the most bars to satisfy thirsty residents. Vinepair.com counted 3,389 bars in New York State and 3,370 in California. Per capita, North Dakota has the most bars at 49.73 per 100,000 residents. (Also probably unsurprisingly, New York accounts for many of the entries on this list of the best bars in America right now.)
Click here to see the best bar in every state
One thing that separates these bars from the rest – besides their unique personalities – are some very distinctive signature cocktails (and their names). The mixologists at Psycho Suzi’s Waterfront Lounge in Minneapolis conjure up the Paralyzed Politician, a mixture of four rums, hibiscus, grapefruit, and citrus. In Philadelphia, the Tattooed Mom serves up a Mandalorian Punch, no doubt named after the popular TV series. It’s made with boba pearls, rum, raspberry liqueur, peach brandy, pineapple, cranberry, and lemon. These libations, however, probably don’t number among the most iconic drinks in each state.
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