In the Top 50 establishments of 2023, a grand total of 22 are in Europe. Spain tops the list while the UK, Italy and Greece are also doing pretty well. Here's the lowdown on the 15th edition of The World's 50 Best Bars. How many have you been to?
The 15th edition of The World’s 50 Best Bars has announced this year's top watering holes.
The list for 2023 features bars from 28 different cities around the world, and the World’s Best Bar happens to be in Europe: Barcelona’s Sips.
Double Chicken Please in New York came in second, and Handshake Speakeasy from Mexico City is third on the list.
London and New York have been dominating the lists ever since 2009, but Barcelona bars have climbed the rankings in the last two years. This is the second year in a row that a Barcelona bar has claimed the crown, as Sips jumped to the top from No. 3 last year. Last year’s top-ranking joint, Paradiso, is also located in the Catalan capital. This year, it took fourth place.
In the Top 50 establishments, a grand total of 22 are in Europe, with the UK (London and Edinburgh) tallying six entries; Italy not far behind with five; Spain and Greece neck and neck with three; and France with two. Germany, Norway and Sweden each have one in the Top 50 entries.
North and South America accounted for 14 slots; Asia came up ten times, while Australia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, lodged two spots each.
The top ten bars were all located in Europe and North and South America only.
This year’s list compiled votes from 680 industry experts across the globe, including bartenders and bar owners, plus “drinks writers” and “well-travelled cocktail experts,” according to the 50 Best website.
Here are the Top 50 Bars 2023 – for those of you wishing to tick them off your to-drink list. We’ve even highlighted the European ones.
1. Sips, Barcelona
“When two of the industry’s most creative minds come together, expect the spectacular. That’s exactly what happened when Simone Caporale and Marc Alvarez created Sips in 2021. Just two years into its existence and it’s named The World’s Best Bar and The Best Bar in Europe 2023, sponsored by Perrier. Within the drinkery, it’s all about serious cocktails served in unserious forms, such as the Primordial – a blend of 12-year-old Scotch, Ruby Port and peranashi – which is served to visitors in a metal cast of two hands.” @sips.barcelona
2. Double Chicken Please, New York
3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
4. Paradiso, Barcelona
“Behind the fridge door of a pastrami shop in Barcelona, you’ll find this Gaudi-inspired speakeasy. Inside, a wonderland of cocktails awaits, dreamed up by the Paradiso team, led by husband-and-wife duo Giacomo Giannotti and Margarita Sader.” @paradiso_barcelona
5. Connaught Bar, London
“Perhaps the quintessential luxury hotel bar experience, Connaught Bar has perfected luxe hospitality and service. Led by legendary bartending trio Agostino Perrone, Maura Millia and Giorgio Bargiani, there's a good reason why this bar has remained at the top of the game for the last 15 years.” @theconnaught
6. Little Red Door, Paris
“One of the few venues with over 10 appearances in The World’s 50 Best Bars rankings, Little Red Door doesn’t just keep its standards unimpeachably high, it reinvents itself as a matter of routine. These days this cosmopolitan nightspot is a leading voice in sustainable bar practices.” @littlereddoorparis
7. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
8. Tayēr + Elementary, London
“Alex Kratena and Monica Berg’s east London venue is more than just a bar. From the ingredients-led seasonal cocktails to the modernist, sustainably-minded techniques that underpin them and the bespoke bar stations from which they’re served, everything about this two-for-the-price-of-one bar is progressive.” @tayer_elementary
9. Alquímico, Cartagena
10. Himkok, Oslo
“Translated as ‘homecooked’, Himkok is a masterclass in building the ultimate cocktail experience from scratch. Expect everything from gin and vodka taps cascading over the entrance to house-frozen ice and barrels of aquavit maturing around the premises.” @himkok.oslo
11. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires
12. Line, Athens
“A former art gallery, now bar, Line is home to some of the most thought-provoking drinks around. Everything, from its beloved distillates to its bread-based snacks, is made in-house, resulting in an experience worth the short trip outside of Athens city centre.” @line.athens
13. BKK Social Club, Bangkok
14. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
15. Maybe Sammy, Sydney
16. Salmon Guru, Madrid
“Having recently undergone a two-month-long refurbishment, the refreshed Salmon Guru is back and better than ever. A new, more discreet philosophy now guides Diego Cabrera’s Madrid bar, but its dedication to and execution of unfaltering hospitality remain untarnished.” @salmonguru
17. Overstory, New York
18. Zest, Seoul
19. Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, Bangkok
20. Coa, Hong Kong
21. Drink Kong, Rome
“Picture a stereotypical Roman bar. Now picture a jet-black, neo-futurist space, saturated by glowing neon and 1970s Japanese design motifs. Drink Kong, masterminded by Patrick Pistolesi, may be unlike anything else in the historic Italian capital, but it’s forged a loyal following for its unique concept and dependable libations.” @drinkkongbar
22. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
23. Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne
24. Café La Trova, Miami
25. Baba au Rum, Athens
“Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, Baba au Rum is an Athenian bar stalwart, thanks in part to stellar leadership from legendary local bartender Thanos Prunarus. With both an ever-evolving menu and an immaculately designed interior, the legendary bar is not planning on going away any time soon.” @baba_au_rum
26. CoChinChina, Buenos Aires
27. Katana Kitten, New York
28. Satan’s Whiskers, London
“All are welcome at this east London bar, dedicated to delivering accessible drinks with serious precision. It’s also home to one of London’s best bar soundtracks, spinning some legendary hip-hop that keeps the energy high.” @satans_whiskers
29. Wax On, Berlin
“With its sultry dark interiors and pared back philosophy, Sam Orrock and Damien Guichard’s drinks outpost is the archetypal ultra-cool Berlin bar. Don’t be fooled by its eight-drink menu built on the classics: the on-site laboratory means these cocktails pack a real punch.” @waxonberlin
30. Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires
31. Röda Huset, Stockholm
“Stockholm’s ‘red house’, set across three floors in the Swedish capital, is a rising star in Scandinavia’s burgeoning cocktail scene, helmed by the indomitable Hampus Thunholm.” @rodahusethlm
32. Sago House, Singapore
33. Freni e Frizioni, Rome
“Standing apart from the historic and chic venues that form the bulk of Roman bars, Freni e Frizioni sits as a former mechanic’s workshop transformed into a neo-punk cathedral of rugged cocktails, fit to please enthusiasts and casuals alike.” @freniefrizioni
34. Argo, Hong Kong
35. A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London
“Marked not by words but rather shapes – a yellow triangle, red square and blue circle – this temple to Bauhaus, opened by Remy Savage and Paul Lougrat, is a staple of east London’s ever-cool bar scene. Expect minimalist cocktails injected with deadly scientific precision that keep the queues flowing out the door until its 4am closing time.” @a_bar_with_shapes_for_a_name_
36. The SG Club, Tokyo
37. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
38. The Cambridge Public House, Paris
“Half-traditional pub, half-cocktail bar: The Cambridge is a one-of-a-kind drinks outpost, located within Paris’ cultural Marais district. Within the space, the team have mastered the perfect pour of Guinness and remarkably balanced cocktails with equal expertise.” @thecambridge_paris
39. Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
“Iain McPherson, cocktail panda and cocktail technique wizard, delivers timeless hospitality and boundary-pushing concoctions at this Edinburgh-based drinkery. Science here isn’t just for show, with a serious selection of classics lining its menu, bolstered by ground-breaking methodology.” @pandaandsons
40. Mimi Kakushi, Dubai, UAE
41. Scarfes Bar, London
“Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023, Scarfes Bar, located within Rosewood London, makes its debut on The World’s 50 Best Bars ranking this year, thanks in part to its forward-thinking drinks list and masterful luxury hotel hospitality.” @scarfesbar
42. 1930, Milan
“Where the speakeasy label may be deployed too liberally today, 1930 may be the truest form of them all. Within its Prohibition-era themed interior, guests are subject to a contemporary menu that incorporates modern technique and a global pantry – if they can find the door.” @1930cocktailbar
43. Carnaval, Lima
44. L'Antiquario, Naples
“Helmed by local bar maestro Alex Frezza, L’Antiquario sits at the heart of the Neapolitan cocktail boom, offering a bespoke speakeasy experience inflected with trademark Italian hospitality, best sampled via its trio of Negronis merry-go-round.” @lantiquario_napoli
45. Baltra Bar, Mexico City
46. Locale Firenze, Florence
“Decorated with centuries-old chandeliers and antique furniture, set within the historic Palazzo Concini building, Locale Firenze is woven into the historic fabric of Florence. But behind the stick, head bartender Fabio Fanni’s menu is a contemporary, low-waste masterclass in cocktail creation.” @localefirenze
47. The Clumsies, Athens
“Founded in 2014 by Greek cocktail sector stalwarts Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis, The Clumsies has featured on every list of The World’s 50 Best Bars since its inception thanks to its playful and inventive spins on classic concoctions.” @the_clumsies
48. Atlas, Singapore
49. Jewel of the South, New Orleans
50. Galaxy Bar, Dubai, UAE
The World’s 50 Best Bars List has been compiled annually since 2009 by UK-based business media company William Reed.
The goal of the list is to “celebrate the excellence of the international drinks sector and pay tribute to the visionary bartenders, enterprising bar owners and trailblazing brands that lead the charge in shaping cocktail culture around the world,” according to a news release by the company.
Have fun. Drink responsibly.