Special Report

Best Bar in Every State

Courtesy of Jane B. via Yelp

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.

Source: Courtesy of Tanjanica C. via Yelp

Alabama: Carrigan’s Public House
> Location: Birmingham (downtown)
> Sample cocktail: Southern Culture (gin, Harvest Roots kombucha, lime, celery bitters


Source: Courtesy of Williwaw via Yelp

Alaska: Williwaw Social
> Location: Anchorage
> Sample cocktail: Red Snapper (Crown Royal Canadian whisky, amaretto, cherry)

Source: Courtesy of Amanda A. via Yelp

Arizona: Bitter & Twisted
> Location: Phoenix
> Sample cocktail: Lemongrass Collins (vodka, lemongrass, vanilla, lemon, ginger beer)

Source: Courtesy of Zhicao F. via Yelp

Arkansas: Capital Bar & Grill
> Location: Little Rock
> Sample cocktail: Aviation (Bombay Dry Gin, crème de violette, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, lemon juice)


Source: Courtesy of Vicki T. via Yelp

California: Thunderbolt
> Location: Los Angeles
> Sample cocktail: Echo Park Trash Can (LO-FI Amaro, cognac, cacao, orange, coconut, vanilla)

Source: Courtesy of Rebekah C. via Yelp

Colorado: Death & Co.
> Location: Denver
> Sample cocktail: Monkey’s Fist (Monkey 47 Gin, carrot eau-de-vie, passion fruit, coconut, lemon juice)


Source: Courtesy of Allison C. via Yelp

Connecticut: The Port of Call
> Location: Mystic
> Sample cocktail: Cuba Libre No. 2 (The Real McCoy 5-year-old rum, house-made cola syrup, cinnamon, ancho and guajillo chiles, vanilla, clove, Appalachian Fernet, lime)

Source: Courtesy of Himadri P. via Yelp

Delaware: Hummingbird to Mars
> Location: Wilmington
> Sample cocktail: Not Really a Fall Cocktail (Tito’s Vodka, R&W Crème de Violette Liqueur, R&W Apricot Liqueur, orange flower water, cranberry juice)

Source: Courtesy of Café La Troya via Facebook

Florida: Café La Troya
> Location: Miami
> Sample cocktail: Hotel Nacional (rum, apricot liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup)


Source: Courtesy of Liselle B. via Yelp

Georgia: Parlor
> Location: Atlanta
> Sample cocktail: Smooth Operator (Old Forester Signature 100, passion fruit liqueur, hibiscus-mint, lemon)

Source: Courtesy of Maryanne D. via Yelp

Hawaii: Bar Leather Apron
> Location: Honolulu (Oahu)
> Sample cocktail: Yuzu Mojito (Cor Cor Red Okinawan Rum, yuzu, lime, mint, grapefruit soda, kinako soy flour)


Source: Courtesy of Amie P. via Yelp

Idaho: Press and Pony
> Location: Boise
> Sample cocktail: Ginger Drop (Beefeater Gin, Velvet Falernum, ginger syrup, lemon, Champagne)

Source: Courtesy of Megan K. via Yelp

Illinois: Kumiko
> Location: Chicago
> Sample cocktail: Hanamizake Martini (Rihei Ginger Shōchū, Kitaya Tokubetsu Junmai-shu, Mancino Sakura Vermouth, Hakuto Gin, and Suze Red Bitters)

Source: Courtesy of Sylvie D. via Yelp

Indiana: Sundry and Vice
> Location: Indianapolis
> Sample cocktail: Chet Baker (Jamaican rum, vermouth, honey bitters)


Source: Courtesy of Courtney M. via Yelp

Iowa: Hello, Marjorie
> Location: Des Moines
> Sample cocktail: Lost Luggage (Aperol, Havana Club blanco rum, toasted coconut cream, lime, strawberry nectar, goji berry)

Source: Courtesy of Greg G. via Yelp

Kansas: The Bourgeois Pig
> Location: Lawrence
> Sample cocktail: Dandy in the Underworld (Neisson rhum agricole, Velvet Falernum, Campari, lime, pineapple)


Source: Courtesy of Jess A. via Yelp

Kentucky: Never Say Die Bar
> Location: Louisville
> Sample cocktail: The Hondamatic (vodka, mango sake, elderflower, pineapple, lemon, house sorbet, coconut)

Source: Courtesy of Jane B. via Yelp

Louisiana: Carousel Bar & Lounge
> Location: New Orleans
> Sample cocktail: Vieux Carré (rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, Peychaud’s bitters

Source: Courtesy of Vena's Fizz House via Yelp

Maine: Vena’s Fizz House
> Location: Portland
> Sample cocktail: Maine Margarita (tequila, blueberry, pine, dry Curaçao, lime, Vena’s Bitter Tyrone)


Source: Courtesy of Sthevanie L. via Yelp

Maryland: Rye
> Location: Baltimore
> Sample cocktail: Giselle + Rio (cachaça, coconut cream, pandan, Suze, lemon)

Source: Courtesy of Christine F. via Yelp

Massachusetts: The Baldwin Bar
> Location: Woburn
> Sample cocktail: Kolkata Collins (mango chutney, Sagamore Rye Whiskey, coconut-washed Bénédictine, Topo Chico sparkling water)


Source: Courtesy of Bianca P. via Yelp

Michigan: Bad Luck Bar
> Location: Detroit
> Sample cocktail: Cosmic Gift (Clairin Haitian rum, Galliano, Green Chartreuse, carrot, Stakich Michigan raw honey, clove, lemon)

Source: Courtesy of Chassidie L. via Yelp

Minnesota: Psycho Suzi’s Waterfront Lounge
> Location: Minneapolis
> Sample cocktail: Paralyzed Politician (four kinds of rum, hibiscus, grapefruit, citrus)

Source: Courtesy of Vicki R. via Yelp

Mississippi: The Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs
> Location: Jackson
> Sample cocktail: Sgt. Pepper (bell pepper- and jalapeño-infused gin, lemon, pepper jelly, celery bitters)


Source: Courtesy of Misty S. via Yelp

Missouri: Sanctuaria
> Location: St. Louis
> Sample cocktail: Peach Be With You (J. Rieger Kansas City Whiskey, peach brandy, cinnamon, ginger beer)

Source: Courtesy of Janet R. via Yelp

Montana: Devil’s Toboggan
> Location: Bozeman
> Sample cocktail: Satan’s Whiskers (bourbon, sweet and dry French vermouth, dry Curaçao, orange bitters)


Source: Courtesy of The G. via Yelp

Nebraska: The Green Room
> Location: Omaha
> Sample cocktail: Atomic Pixie (absinthe, melon liqueur, pineapple, lime, simple syrup, citric acid)

Source: Courtesy of William P. via Yelp

Nevada: Herbs & Rye
> Location: Las Vegas
> Sample cocktail: Hemingway Daiquiri (rum, maraschino, lime, grapefruit)

Source: Courtesy of Samantha L. via Yelp

New Hampshire: CodeX B.A.R.
> Location: Nashua
> Sample cocktail: Coffee n’ Cigarettes (house-infused espresso vodka, sugar, fernet, Laphroaig scotch whisky rinse)


Source: Courtesy of Christine K. via Yelp

New Jersey: Wonder Bar
> Location: Asbury Park
> Sample cocktail: The Original Blue Hawaii (Cruzan coconut rum, blue Curaçao, lime juice, pineapple juice)

Source: Courtesy of Amanda S. via Yelp

New Mexico: Bar Uno
> Location: Albuquerque
> Sample cocktail: Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster (Citrus vodka, absinthe, lemon, simple syrup)


Source: Courtesy of Matt C. via Yelp

New York: Attaboy
> Location: New York City
> Sample cocktail: Paper Plane (bourbon, Italian orange bitters, amaro, lemon juice)

Source: Courtesy of Citizen Vinyl via Yelp

North Carolina: Session at CItizen Vinyl
> Location: Asheville
> Sample cocktail: Pineapple Milk Punch (rum, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, black cardamom, milk, cinnamon bitters)

Source: Courtesy of Ari G. via Yelp

North Dakota: Thomas & Moriarty’s
> Location: Mandan
> Sample cocktail: Devil in the White City (gin, lime, mezcal, elderflower, squid ink)


Source: Courtesy of Jenny Z. via Yelp

Ohio: The Light of Seven Matchsticks
> Location: Worthington
> Sample cocktail: Strategizing Behind Enemy Lines (olive-oil-washed mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, poblano liqueur, cryo-condensed grapefruit, lime, rabarbara rhubarb bitters, tarragon-infused agave)

Source: Courtesy of Chris L. via Yelp

Oklahoma: Valkyrie
> Location: Tulsa
> Sample cocktail: French Tenpenny (scotch whiskey, Drambuie, cassis, cava, lemon, connamon, absinthe, saffron bitters, cayenne)


Source: Courtesy of Adrian P. via Yelp

Oregon: Teardrop Lounge
> Location: Portland
> Sample cocktail: Bayou City Bandit (rye whiskey, apple brandy, Amaro Montenegro, Cocchi di Torino, Tropical Bitters, lemon oil)

Source: Courtesy of Michael M. via Yelp

Pennsylvania: Tattooed Mom
> Location: Philadelphia
> Sample cocktail: Mandalorian Punch (mango boba pearls, rum, raspberry liqueur, peach brandy, pineapple, cranberry, lemon)

Source: Courtesy of Courtland Club via Yelp

Rhode Island: Courtland Club
> Location: Providence
> Sample cocktail: Ants on a Log (house-infused peanut rye whiskey, sherry, celery, lemon)


Source: Courtesy of Evan G. via Yelp

South Carolina: Last Saint
> Location: Charleston
> Sample cocktail: Commitment Issues (mezcal, El Dorado 12-year-old rum, coffee liqueur, orange bitters)

Source: Courtesy of Holli Y. via Yelp

South Dakota: The Hello Hi
> Location: Sioux Falls
> Sample cocktail: Scorpion Bowl (rum, gin, brandy, orgeat, orange, lime; serves 2-3)


Source: Courtesy of Brother Wolf via Yelp

Tennessee: Brother Wolf
> Location: Knoxville
> Sample cocktail: Oaxacan Negroni (Sombra mezcal, Aperol, Contratto Rosso)

Source: Courtesy of Krystle M. via Yelp

Texas: Julep
> Location: Houston
> Sample cocktail: Bayou City Bandit (rye whiskey, apple brandy, Amaro Montenegro, Cocchi di Torino, Tropical Bitters, lemon oil)

Source: Courtesy of Sarah D. via Yelp

Utah: Copper Common
> Location: Salt Lake City
> Sample cocktail: Cynar Sour (rye whiskey, Cynar, lemon, bitters, egg, sugar)


Source: Courtesy of Ryan L. via Yelp

Vermont: Drink
> Location: Burlington
> Sample cocktail: Down by the River (Plantation Pineapple Rum, Lairds Apple Brandy, Punt e Mes, Luxardo Maraschino)

Source: Courtesy of Shawn H. via Yelp

Virginia: B Side
> Location: Fairfax
> Sample cocktail: No Church in the Wild (Montenegro Amaro, Old Overholt rye whiskey, cherry)


Source: Courtesy of Francis G. via Yelp

Washington: Zig Zag Café
> Location: Seattle
> Sample cocktail: Daddy Got Caught (Armagnac, Byrrh, Bénédictine, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters)

Source: Courtesy of Iron Horse Tavern via Yelp

West Virginia: Iron Horse Tavern
> Location: Morgantown
> Sample cocktail: Blueberry Lavender Martini (blueberry vodka, blueberry purée, lavender, sour mix)

Source: Courtesy of Alisa S. via Yelp

Wisconsin: Milwaukee
> Location: Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge
> Sample cocktail: Frank’s Drink (rye whiskey, Yellow Chartreuse, orange bitters)


Source: Courtesy of Cindy L. via Yelp

Wyoming: The Mint Bar
> Location: Sheridan
> Sample cocktail: Huckleberry Mule (vodka, lime juice, ginger beer, huckleberry juice)

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