The Cruise Room

Water has always been a precious commodity in the high-desert city of Denver, and what with the many nautically named bars and restaurants, it seems like an obsession: Oceanaire, Ocean Prime, The Ship Tavern, Adrift, Aqua Lounge. The Cruise Room bar at the Oxford Hotel probably has the most authentic watery derivation – it opened…

Williams & Graham

Denver’s premier speakeasy-style bar opened to raves in 2011 and just keeps getting better. In fact, it was named Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Spirited Awards. It’s easy to see why. The staff: bartenders, waiters and hosts are genuinely friendly and knowledgeable – eager to make your visit an enjoyable experience. The entrance…

Monk’s Cafe

Not the fictional coffee shop featured on “Seinfeld,” this real Monk’s Café in Philly is considered by many to be the best Belgian Café outside Belgium — and the first to popularize Belgian beers in America. Opened 19 years ago by Tom Peters, this award-winning bar in Rittenhouse Square is small and dark inside, and…

Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog

Once you visit the Dead Rabbit, you realize that all of the hype you’ve been hearing about the place is true. Here is a truly authentic Irish bar, created by two amiable gents from the auld sod, in a 188-year-old brownstone in Lower Manhattan’s Water Street. The first floor Tap Room is a sawdust-floored drinkery…

PDT (Please Don’t Tell)

Go to the East Village in New York City. Find the hotdog-shaped sign that says, “Eat Me” and duck into the Crif Dogs hotdog shop, a popular neighborhood take-out. Find the telephone booth. Pick up the phone and dial. Those are enough clues for you to find what is perhaps NYC’s quintessential secret bar. Once…

Chumley’s

This once-tattered, dark and smoky West Village speakeasy had been a beloved haunt for poets, novelists, journalists and activists since it opened in 1922. Willa Cather, e.e. Cummings, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, Ring Lardner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O’Neill, John Dos Passos, and John Steinbeck are just the shortlist of literary greats who hung out here….

Employees Only

Is Employees Only the best bar in the world? Serious cocktail enthusiasts seem to think so. And so do other bartenders from around the world – and local bar workers after their shifts — who stop by to pay homage to this much-lauded drinkery West Village. The suave, white-jacketed bar team cranks out top-notch classic…

Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern is the oldest bar in the oldest building in New York City. It was built as a residence in 1719 by Stephen DeLancey, using imported Dutch bricks, and subsequently converted into a tavern in 1762 by Samuel Fraunces. The place has been humming (and sometimes blasting) with activity ever since — and boy,…

McSorley’s Old Ale House

McSorley’s is the oldest Irish bar in New York City. And it feels it. The place is an authentic, operating business that has changed precious little in the more than 160 years it first opened its creaky doors. To walk into this dark saloon near Cooper Union is to literally step back in time – no…

White Horse Tavern

Erstwhile workingman’s bar in the West Village that became a refuge for writers and assorted bohemian types and labor rabble-rousers in the 1950s because the beer was cheap and the location convenient to where most of the clientele lived. Bob Dylan, Mary Travers, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, The Clancy Brothers,…

Carousel Bar and Lounge at the Hotel Monteleone

Only the actual bar and seats revolve at this venerable New Orleans landmark hotel in the French Quarter. The service area in the center of the carousel (and the rest of the room) remain stationary. Unless you’re aware of this fact, you will feel more than a little tipsy if you leave your seat to…

Orchid Bar

Key West is a tiny island located at the very end of the chain of Florida Keys. You can casually stroll from the Atlantic Ocean on the island’s south shore (at the southernmost point in the U.S.) to the Gulf of Mexico on its northern shore (at Sunset Pier) in about 20 minutes. That is, if you…

The Rum House

The old beer-stained dive bar at Hotel Edison was recently renovated into this intimate, noir-ish hideaway that, aside from a modest, vintage-looking neon sign hanging outside, makes no attempts to lure the passing Times Square tourists into its dark and cozy realm. Here, locals, hotel guests and theatre folk mingle at the copper-topped bar and…

Bemelmans Bar at the Hotel Carlyle

Ludwig Bemelmans, the author and illustrator of the popular “Madeline” books for children, painted the 1940s Central Park scenes on the walls and lampshades of this iconic upper east side, upper-crust New York hotel bar. The artist’s charmingly loopy style creates the perfect vibe for getting a cheery buzz from the bar’s impeccably mixed and…

Buena Vista Café

It is a traveler’s bucket-list thrill to glide down the hill on Hyde Street to Fisherman’s Wharf in a clattering, breezy, open-air San Francisco cable car to the last stop at Beach Street where the cozy Buena Vista Café awaits. It’s probably crowded inside, especially if there’s a foggy chill in the air. The old-style barroom…