The World’s Most Iconic (Cocktail) Bars

@RobertSimonson made a survey.

I think the Mai Kai should be number 11, but otherwise, this is the list as far as I know. I can think of at least a smattering of additional “iconic” cocktail bars, but in each case, I can see how they are not on the same tier.

I find it a bit depressing that only three of the ten—or rather, four of the eleven, in my opinion—are in the United States, and I find it a bit irritating that Hemingway’s imprimatur looms so large. But those are the facts.

Some second tier icons I can think of off the top of my head (that are relevant to cocktails):

  • Bemelman’s Bar, NYC
  • The Bar at The Grill (formerly the Four Seasons Restaurant), NYC
  • PDT, NYC
  • Sazerac Bar, New Orleans
  • Tujague’s, New Orleans
  • Comstock Saloon, San Francisco (maybe)
  • Schumann’s Bar, Munich
  • Victoria Bar, Berlin
  • Buck & Breck, Berlin (maybe)
  • Sloppy Joe’s, Havana (maybe)
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Thanks. Mai Kai is a worthy suggestion. There’s always a deserving no. 11 or no. 12 left off on these lists. But most of the bars in this article were clear and indisputable choices. I had my own ideas coming in, and they was largely confirmed and echoed by the experts I sounded out. Most stumped for a favorite bar or two of more modern vintage. But, really, I feel no modern bar can be called iconic yet beyond Milk & Honey/Attaboy. Give it ten more years and that may change.

If it were a top 20 list, Bemelman’s would definitely be there, and probably Schumann’s (the recent controversy notwithstanding). Tujague’s would have, but now that it’s moving from its wonderful old digs, I think it’s out of the running permanently. PDT will get there if it hangs in for another 10. Ditto, Death & Co and Pegu Club. A couple people suggested the bar at the Raffles Hotel.

Alas, none of these probably will.

Not so sure. So far, they have been luckier with their landlords than most. Fingers crossed.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Pegu Club 2005-2020