Double Chicken Please Is the Best Bar in North America
New York City has the best bars. That's what the second annual North America’s 50 Best Bars Awards confirmed last night by including 12 of the Big Apple’s finest watering holes on their list. Among them was the first place awardee, Double Chicken Please on the Lower East Side.
The winner, which began as a pop-up in 2017 and moved to a permanent space in 2020, made an impressive leap from No. 17 on last year's list to the top spot (though it did place No. 6 in last fall’s World’s 50 Best Bars ranking). The bar’s founders, GN Chan and Faye Chen, create drinks inspired by food dishes—cocktail, not food, menu items include the Waldorf Salad and the Cold Pizza (where tequila, parmigiano reggiano, tomato, and burnt toast, among other things, come together in a glass). These concoctions are served in both a back room, where reservations are hard to come by, or a first-come, first-served front room for walk-ins.
New York City's impressive overall showing on the list comes as little surprise—the city is the unofficial capital of the craft cocktail movement, with a litany of bars known for their inventive drinks and slinky settings. In addition to the top spot, the city is represented by Katana Kitten (No.3), Dante (No.6), Overstory (which jumped 27 spots to No.7. this year), Attaboy, (last year’s No. 1, now at No.13), Employees Only (No.14), Mace (No.18), Martiny’s (No. 29), Maison Premiere (No.39), The Dead Rabbit (No.44), Clover Club (No.46) and Milady’s (No.50). Martiny’s and Milady’s both ranked for the first time this year; and a 13th contender, Manhatta, did not place but was named the Campari One to Watch, meaning the team expects it may make the list in the future.
That’s not to say that other parts of the continent don’t have just as much to be proud of. New York’s biggest competition is Mexico City, which accounts for 8 of Mexico’s 14 places on the list—the top four spots on the list are passed between the two cities like a hot potato. Handshake Speakeasy takes No. 2 for the second year in a row, making it the Best Bar in Mexico, while Licorería Limantour comes in at No. 4. Outside of the nation’s capital, the next highest ranking bar in Mexico is Zapote Bar (No. 11) in Playa del Carmen.
Including the New York City entries, the United States counts 28 total bars on the list. New Orleans’ Jewel of the South is, at No. 5, the highest ranking U.S. bar outside of New York. Kumiko in Chicago is the Best Bar in the Midwest USA at No. 8, while Los Angeles takes No. 10 with Thunderbird.
Miami’s Café La Trova (No. 9) got special recognition in the form of the Roku Industry Icon award, given to founder Julio Cabrera in celebration of his work bringing the Cuban cantinero style stateside.
Julio Cabrera's Café La Trova is a bastion of the island's bartending tradition.
Civil Liberties (No. 13) in Toronto is the Best Bar in Canada two years running. The Great White North has seven spots on the list this year, including three new entries—Bar Pompette (No.15), also in Toronto, Botanist Bar (No.19) in Vancouver, and Atwater Cocktail Club (No.32) in Montreal. As the sole spot in the Caribbean on the list, La Factoría (No. 24) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, takes the crown for the region’s Best Bar.
Read the full list of best bars in North America below:
1. Double Chicken Please, New York City
2. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
3. Katana Kitten, New York City
4. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
5. Jewel of the South, New Orleans
6. Dante, New York City
7. Overstory, New York City
8. Kumiko, Chicago
9. Café La Trova, Miami
10. Thunderbolt, Los Angeles
11. Zapote Bar, Playa del Carmen
12. Civil Liberties, Toronto
13. Attaboy, New York City
14. Employees Only, New York City
15. Bar Pompette, Toronto
16. Baltra Bar, Mexico City
17. Rayo, Mexico City
18. Mace, New York City
19. Botanist Bar, Vancouver
20. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
21. El Gallo Altanero, Guadalajara
22. Sabina Sabe, Oaxaca
23. Arca, Tulum
24. La Factorìa, San Juan
25. Café de Nadie, Mexico City
26. Kaito del Valle, Mexico City
27, Herbs & Rye, Las Vegas
28. Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco
29. Martiny's, New York City
30. Death & Co, Los Angeles
31. Selva, Oaxaca
32. Atwater Cocktail Club, Montreal
33. Service Bar, Washington, D.C.
34. Sweet Liberty, Miami
35. Cloakroom, Montreal
36. Cure, New Orleans
37. Mother, Toronto
38. Milk Room, Chicago
39 . Maison Premiere, New York City
40. Aruba Day Drink, Tijuana
41. Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu
42. Yacht Club, Denver
43. Bar Mordecai, Toronto
44. The Dead Rabbit, New York City
45. Allegory, Washington, D.C.
46. Clover Club, New York City
47. Brujas, Mexico City
48. Platform 18, Phoenix
49. Youngblood, San Diego
50. Milady's, New York City
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler