The list of North America’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, was announced at a live awards ceremony on May 4, 2023, at Hacienda Los Picachos in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This represents the first time the awards ceremony was staged in Mexico and salutes its presence on the global cocktail scene. The annual ranking features bars from across the North American continent, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. New York City’s Double Chicken Please is crowned No.1 as The Best Bar in North America and The Best Bar in Northeast USA, sponsored by Perrier, with Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy ranking No.2 and claiming the title of The Best Bar in Mexico, followed by New York City’s Katana Kitten at No.3.
- Double Chicken Please, New York City, is crowned No.1 at the second annual North America’s 50 Best Bars
- This year’s list features 28 U.S. bars, 14 from Mexico, 7 hailing from Canada and 1 based in the Caribbean
- Handshake Speakeasy, at No.2, wins The Best Bar in Mexico
- Civil Liberties, Toronto, at No.12, earns The Best Bar in Canada
- La Factoría, Puerto Rico, at No.24, is named The Best Bar in the Caribbean
- Cuban drinks legend Julio Cabrera from Miami wins the Roku Industry Icon
- Manhatta, New York City, is awarded Campari One To Watch
- Rayo, Mexico City, earns the London Essence Best New Opening
- Yacht Club, Denver, wins the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award
- Allegory, Washington, D.C., wins the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu
- Overstory, New York City, is the Nikka Highest Climber
- Bar Pompette, Toronto, wins Disaronno Highest New Entry
Toronto’s Civil Liberties (No.12) wins the title of The Best Bar in Canada for the second year in a row, while Puerto Rico’s La Factoría, at No.24, retains its title of The Best Bar in the Caribbean. Overall, the USA leads the list with 28 bars, with Mexico fielding 14, Canada boasting seven and the Caribbean celebrating one top bar.
The brainchild of GN Chan and Faye Chen, Double Chicken Please is a groundbreaking New York City bar with an ingenious cocktail program based on the concept of “hacking design.” Here, cocktails are deconstructed and then reassembled in new, playful, and creative ways. At Double Chicken Please, drinks are inspired by food, and food is inspired by drinks, creating surprising, delightful, and unexpected sensory experiences. Their mind-boggling cocktails, like the Key Lime Pie and Cold Pizza, leave their guests delighted and utterly perplexed as to how these unique flavors are so accurately transmogrified into liquid works of art. Last year, the bar burst on the global stage at The World’s 50 Best Bars, coming in at No.6 and earning the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award, as well as placing at No.17 on the inaugural list of North America’s 50 Best Bars.
Mark Sansom, Content Director for 50 Best, says: “We commend Double Chicken Please and its visionary founders, GN Chan, and Faye Chen, for reaching the peak of cocktail excellence on the North American continent. Double Chicken Please is truly pushing the boundaries of flavor in cocktails and doing so with staggering creativity and precision, not to mention a wonderful sense of humor, humility, and always flawless hospitality. This remarkable achievement did not come overnight. The duo persevered through the very challenging days of the pandemic, never once compromising their original vision for cocktails inspired by food dishes, even though their dream bar’s very viability was at risk. They not only survived but thrived, sending joyful shockwaves through the New York City drinks community that has reverberated across North America and globally. We congratulate GN, Faye, and the team at Double Chicken Please for this deserved accolade, as well as all the other fantastic bars on this year’s list.”
Elisa Gregori, Perrier Global Business Unit Director, says: “Since its presence on the tables of the best bars and hotels in the 1800s, Perrier has always had deep historical roots with the North American continent. Today, Perrier is proud to be the leading partner of North America’s 50 Best Bars and excited to be able to return for a second edition in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It’s our honor to recognize the hard work, creativity, and innovation of the talented bartenders, mixologists, and professionals who continue to elevate the international bar scene daily. Having our roots in the French café society, we’re proud to commemorate and shine a spotlight on the exceptional talents behind the awarded North America’s 50 Best Bars. The entire Perrier team is grateful to the bar community for the hard work and dedication that goes into creating unforgettable experiences for all who enter your doors. We raise our glass to you, congratulations!”
USA: The Big Apple Accounts for a Lion’s Share of Top U.S. Bars
A stalwart of the craft cocktail movement, New York City continues to field the lion’s share, 12 of the 28 U.S. drinks listees, including the continent’s highest achievers. They include Double Chicken Please (No.1), Katana Kitten (No.3), Dante (No.6), and Overstory, winner of the Nikka Highest Climber that jumped 27 spots to No.7. These notable watering holes are joined by last year’s No.1 winner, Attaboy, now at No.13, Employees Only (No.14), Mace (No.18), new to the list Martiny’s (No.29) and Maison Premiere (No.39), The Dead Rabbit (No.44), Clover Club (No.46) and new listee Milady’s (No.50).
Other mixological hotbeds across the U.S. include New Orleans’ Jewel of the South, which bounced up 24 spots from last year to rank No.5 and earn The Best Bar in South USA, with Cure ranking No.36. In the Windy City, Chicago’s Kumiko (No.8) was named The Best Bar in Midwest USA, with new entry Milk Room ensconced at No.38.
Los Angeles’ Thunderbolt lands at No.10 and again wins the title of The Best Bar in West USA. Also representing the West are Las Vegas’ Herbs & Rye at No.27, San Francisco’s new listee Pacific Cocktail Haven at No.28, Los Angeles’ Death & Co at No.30, Phoenix’s new-to-the-list Platform 18 at No.48 and San Diego’s new entry, Youngblood, at No.49.
Now firmly established as a global cocktail destination, Mexico City accounted for more than half of the best bars in Mexico. Handshake Speakeasy (No.2) retains its position and is again named The Best Bar in Mexico, with Licorería Limantour at No.4. They are joined by Baltra Bar (No.16), list newcomer Rayo (No.17), Hanky Panky (No.20), Café de Nadie (No.25), Kaito del Valle (No.26) and new listee Brujas (No.47). That being said, cocktail excellence is rippling through the bar scene across the formidable Latin American nation. Playa del Carmen’s Zapote Bar places No.11, Guadalajara’s El Gallo Altanero comes in at No.21, Oaxaca’s Sabina Sabe secures No.22, Tulum’s Arca finishes at No.23, Oaxaca’s Selva ranks No.31 and Tijuana’s new listee, Aruba Day Drink, arrives at No.40.
Canada: The Most Northerly Nation on the Continent Boasts 7 Bars, Including 3 Newcomers
Toronto’s Civil Liberties (No.12) earns The Best Bar in Canada for the second year in a row. It is followed by a list of newcomers Bar Pompette (No.15), also in Toronto, Botanist Bar (No.19) in Vancouver, B.C., and Atwater Cocktail Club (No.32) in Montreal. These bars surged ahead of list veterans Cloakroom (No.35) in Montreal, as well as Toronto’s Mother (No.37) and Bar Mordecai (No.43). The Caribbean: All Eyes on Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s La Factoría (No.24) is once again crowned The Best Bar in the Caribbean as the sprawling complex of six drinking dens celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Among the glamorous evening’s highlights, New York City’s Manhatta was presented the Campari One To Watch, an accolade given to a bar outside the main list that the 50 Best team believes has the ability to break into the ranking in future editions.
Allegory (No.45) in Washington, D.C., earns the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award. The pioneering menu allegorically tells the story of Civil Rights Activist Ruby Bridges as seen through the lens of Alice in Wonderland. Any bar on the North American continent was eligible to enter this award, which is graded by a panel of Academy Chairs. The Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award was introduced in 2021 and rewards innovation, design, drinks craft, and idea communication.
Additional special award winners announced in the run-up to the May 4 event included Vancouver’s Botanist Bar, which was feted with the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award, and Christine Wiseman of Bar Lab Hospitality in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles, was celebrated as the winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.