Feature

The Hottest New Bars in 15 American Cities

By Zagat Staff  |  March 21, 2017
Credit: Nick Solares

Spring is bringing a whole new crop of hot new cocktail, beer and wine joints around the U.S. Check out our round-up of the hottest bars in 15 American cities below.

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  • Credit: Evan West

    Atlanta: 9 Mile Station
    Why it's hot: Perched nine stories above Ponce City Market, this rooftop beer garden offers a broad selection of brews, plus wine and craft cocktails, paired with sandwiches, sausages and shareable New American plates. The expansive indoor/outdoor setting includes fire pits, communal seating and Adirondack chairs for taking in views of the skyline, and admission is by advance reservation only (unless you enter through the Skyline Park amusement area).
    Must-drink: The majority of the beers on tap are either German, Belgian or Georgian (the state, not the country). Brews rotate regularly and are described in detail on the menu, so order up a pint of whatever sounds intriguing.
    Insider tip: Lunch and dinner reservations are only available through the online booking system Tock, and require a deposit ranging from $15–$30 per person depending on time and day. The amount is fully credited to the final bill. The beer garden also accepts walk-ins from Skyline Park, the amusement park atop Ponce City Market.

    299 N. Highland Ave; 404-600-5895

  • Credit: Lazarus Brewing Co/Facebook

    Austin: Lazarus Brewing Co.
    Why it's hot: This funky East Austin brewery has a well-curated cozy living room vibe with comfortable couches, antique rugs and warm woods throughout. The craft beers are strictly on-premise (not sold in stores), and they also offer housemade root beer, kombucha, espresso and street tacos.​
    Must-drink:
     With 16 taps of exquisitely crafted brew constantly flowing, it's hard to choose. Luckily, you don't have to if you opt for a flight of favorites like the Amandus (Belgian strong golden ale) and seasonals like the Naked Sapphire (single hop German pils).​
    Insider tip: For $1,000, you can become a Patron Saint of Lazarus by adopting one of just 300 hand-blown, gold leaf chalices. The perk? Lazarus beer for life.​

    1902 E. 6th St.; 512-394-7620

  • Credit: Courtesy of Lion's Tail

    Boston: Lion's Tail
    Why it's hot:
    The South End's Ink Block complex is home to this chic, leather- and metal-adorned cocktail den pouring classic cocktails (like the eponymous bourbon-based drink) and creative tinctures that make ample use of locally distilled spirits, accompanied by a menu of mostly shared plates and funky bites for noshing.​
    Must-drink: You need to try the bar's namesake cocktail, of course, a mixture of bourbon, housemade allspice dram, lime and silky gum syrup. It'll leave you roaring. ​
    Insider tip: How about Taco Tuesday (almost) every day? On weekdays from 5–6:30 PM, you'll find $3 tacos at the bar. 

    354 Harrison Ave.; 857-239-9276

  • Credit: Deadbolt

    Chicago: Deadbolt
    Why it's hot: From the same folks as Furious Spoon next door, this Logan Square cocktail lounge features crafty drinks and ‘stoner’ snacks (burgers, omelets, chicken nuggets). Live music and spinning vinyl juice up the intimate, funky setting decked in chandeliers, horseshoe booths, a distressed tin ceiling and brick walls.
    Must-drink: Unique cocktails by local bar star Dustin Drankiewicz include a standout pisco sour enriched with brown butter and cinnamon. To eat, try the asparagus and Asiago omelet. 
    Insider tip: Deadbolt features live music seven nights a week at the bandstand. Follow @deadboltbar on Twitter to see who’s playing.

    2412 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-698-6101

  • Credit: Hide

    Dallas: Hide
    Why it's hot: Deep Ellum's entry into molecular mixology, this handsome hangout boasts dimly lit nooks looking onto the bright stagelike atmosphere of the main bar. In addition to bar bites and classic cocktails, offerings include specialty drinks utilizing homemade bitters, syrups and tinctures, plus liquid nitrogen, smoke infusers and carbonators.
    Must-drink: Walking up to a bar and proclaiming, "Tickle My Berries" is fun on its own, but when you get a cocktail in return, even better. Mezcal, Dubonnet Rouge, blueberry shrub, clarified lemon, plum and wormwood bitters combine for a complex yet refreshing beverage.
    Insider tip: Enjoy discounted craft cocktails and other libations every Sunday through Friday, 5–7 PM.

    2816 Elm St.

  • Credit: Cheluna Brewing Company

    Denver: Cheluna Brewing Company
    Why it's hot: Factory meets hacienda at this brewery and taproom in Aurora's Stanley Marketplace, where colorful tiles and tin pendant lights brighten the steel-beamed backdrop of the industrial setting (a former aviation plant) while German-, Belgian- and Mexican-inspired beers flow from the taps.
    Must-drink: The Coco-Xoco porter, Tamarindo gose and Rozha Hibiscus lager are early faves.   
    Insider tip: Charmingly enough, in keeping with the name, the brewery offers growler refills based on the lunar calendar.

    2501 Dallas St., Aurora; 303-895-4456

  • Credit: Courtesy of Biggio's

    Houston: Biggio's
    Why it's hot: Named for partner and former Houston Astros player Craig Biggio, this bustling hangout inside Downtown's Marriott Marquis hotel puts out stadium staples such as hot dogs and nachos, plus steak, seafood and chicken dishes, to go with local beer and cocktails. The bi-level setting has a polished look, with rich woods, leather furniture and creatively placed baseball memorabilia, and naturally it comes equipped with plenty of flat-screens for watching the game.
    Must-drink: Sip the tropics with a Galveston Breeze featuring Herradura Blanco, Mahina coconut rum and housemade pineapple syrup.
    Insider tip: Though the bar is generally first come, first served, guests can call ahead to reserve the leather recliners on the second floor for big-ticket games. Note that food and beverage minimums apply.

    1777 Walker St.; 713-654-1777

  • Los Angeles: Mikkeller DTLA
    Why it's hot: 
    Denmark's 'gypsy brewer' Mikkel Borg Bjergso and Mikkeller San Francisco’s Chuck Stilphen transformed a former auto repair shop on the outskirts of downtown's Jewelry District for this outpost of the famed beer bar, which has soaring ceilings, communal seating and more than 60 beers on tap. For food, there are smoked sausages, pickles, burgers and more.
    Must-drink: The food's all beer friendly, from the pickled cucumbers and marinated olive snacks, to the house-smoked pastrami on rye, the burger with cheddar and bacon, and especially the bratwurst and other sausages with a side of pomme frites.​
    Insider tip: Next door is Kaffebaren, a full-service cafe for draft cold brew, kombucha and green tea, plus pastries, sandwiches and salads.​

    648 South Broadway; no phone

  • Miami: Employees Only
    Why it's hot: New York City's famed speakeasy makes its way to the Magic City with this close replica at the Washington Park Hotel in South Beach, complete with art deco decor, white-jacketed bartenders and nightly psychic readings. The original prohibition-style libations headline the menu, backed by elevated bar fare such as hand-cut steak tartare, bone marrow poppers and bacon-wrapped lamb chops.
    Must-drink: Try the Ready, Fire, Aim, one of the bar’s signature cocktails, made with mezcal, honey pineapple syrup and pink peppercorns.
    Insider tip: As the night winds down, around 3:45 AM, Employees Only offers the remaining patrons a cup of chicken soup while playing music by Tom Waits — a musical tradition that began with Igor Hadzismajlovic, one of the bar’s original five founders. The soup is homey and comforting thanks to warming additions like allspice, cardamom and clove, and serves as a gesture to say thank you to those that have made it to the end of the night.

    1030 Washington Ave.; 305-421-6108

  • Credit: Nick Solares

    NYC: Diamond Reef
    Why it's hot: Spun off from Attaboy, this Bed-Stuy bar serves tropical cocktails and slushies in a lofty, wood-paneled space dotted with bright turquoise seating. A backyard with a parked food truck is in the works.​
    Must-drink: Slushie Penichillin
    Insider tip: Check out the daily happy hour.

    1057 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn;

  • Philadelphia: Friday Saturday Sunday
    Why it's hot: The iconic Rittenhouse corner standby is reborn following a change of ownership and a swank makeover, with a bright marble bar on the ground floor and a chic dining room upstairs. Chef Chad Williams, a Jose Garces alum, helms the kitchen, serving elegant New American fare ranging from seafood plateaus and tartares to inventive pastas and mains, all paired with expertly crafted cocktails and well-chosen wines.    

    Must-drink: The Carte Blanche cocktail features an unusual blend of Angostura bitters, Green Chartreuse, lime and smoked eggplant.                   

    Insider tip: There are over 50 wines on tap if cocktails aren't top of mind. 

    261 S. 21st St.; 215-546-4232

  • Credit: Nason's Beer Hall

    San Diego: Nason's Beer Hall
    Why it's hot: 
    A variety of craft brews (including German-style imports) are offered alongside elevated pub fare like savory Belgian waffles and eggplant schnitzel at this hip option in the Gaslamp's Pendry San Diego hotel.​
    Must-drink: Any one of the craft beer selections on tap like Hofbrau Munchen Original or Radeberger pilsner
    Insider tip: Aside from beer, the bar serves a limited selection of cocktails such as a classic daiquiri and wine.

    675 West Beech St. 619-269-2202

  • Credit: The Riddler/Facebook

    San Francisco: The Riddler
    Why it's hot:
    Hayes Valley is home to this chic champagne bar presenting bubbles by the glass or bottle, along with a slim wine and beer menu, complimentary popcorn and New American snacks that range from high-end caviar to hip tater tot waffles. Outfitted with rustic wood, sleek marble, floor-to-ceiling windows and splashes of gold, the sophisticated space skews upscale but maintains a playful neighborhood vibe.
    Must-drink: Champagne; "cham-bongs" (trust us, it's fun, if sloppy); bump and a shot (various caviar paired with different levels of sparkling wines or the "champagne of beers," Miller High Life)
    Insider tip: Come a little hungry. The tiny kitchen makes great tater tot waffles and complimentary popcorn with various dustings, all known to ruin dinner appetites.

    528 Laguna St.

  • Credit: No Anchor

    Seattle: No Anchor
    Why it's hot: This pocket-sized beer bar in Belltown is the spot to nerd out on esoteric beer choices. Pair crazy beers (and beer-based cocktails) with a killer upscale pub menu and you've got yourself a perfect spot to hole up and chill during winter rainstorms. Further amuse yourself by checking out the multiple curio cabinets stuffed with curiosities, sourced from all over the globe. 
    Must-drink: Beer, served at precisely 42 or 52 degrees, depending on the variety; anything off the Captain’s List of hard-to-find bottles
    Insider tip: Make your own boilermaker by pairing a beer with one of No Anchor’s sipping spirits. We’re especially drawn to the Westland Peated American whiskey. ​

    2505 Second Ave.

  • Credit: Dana Bowden

    Washington, DC: Dock FC
    Why it’s hot: Set in one of Hecht Warehouse's original loading docks in the super-hot neighborhood of Ivy City, this sports bar from Ari Gejdenson (Ari's Diner,  Ghibellina) draws inspiration from Europe’s soccer-focused "football clubs," showcasing international matches, along with football and hockey games, on giant screens and TVs suspended from high ceilings or tiled walls. Fans can order local and foreign beers, cocktails and light Mexican bites from next-door sibling La Puerta Verde.
    Must-drink: Tiki-Taka & Tonic, a Spanish-style G&T with extra citrus and botanicals
    Insider tip: It might be a sports bar, but don't be afraid to order a cocktail here. After all, this hangout is from the same group behind well-regarded cocktail dens Harold Black and Denson Liquor Bar.

    1400 Okie St. NE; 202-450-2150