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North America's 50 Best Bars Announced
This is the inaugural year for the award which celebrates excellence in cocktailing
Last week, the first edition of North America’s 50 Best Bars was announced in a ceremony in New York City, with bar professionals from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean recognized for excellence in their craft.
Among U.S. bars, New York’s Attaboy claimed the number one spot, followed by Katana Kitten also in New York, Kumiko in Chicago, Cafe La Trova in Miami, Dante in New York, and Thunderbolt in Los Angeles — all in the top 10.
Bars in Mexico hold eight of the top 20 spots, which may surprise consumers but not the judges. “Mexico’s cocktail scene is as highly regarded as New York,” says Mark Sansom, content director for 50 Best. “Many Mexican bartenders travel across the world, spending time in Europe and Asia to gather and share knowledge of the craft.”
North America’s 50 Best Bars is an extension of the World’s 50 Best Bars, which ranks bars globally since 2009. In addition, William Reed Publishing, the company behind the rankings, publishes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, annually.
Sansom explains that North America’s 50 Best Bars is designed to shine a spotlight on what he calls the home of cocktails: North America. “It’s the key to the cocktail renaissance. Publishing a North America guide was just a natural next step.”
Sansom says that he’s happy to report that the craft cocktail scene is expanding its reach beyond the usual major cities. “It’s been really good to see cities like Tulum, Halifax, and Honolulu make the list.”
To promote the future of bartending, 50 Best Bars has introduced a scholarship program. “In the U.S., bartending is regarded as a profession. In the U.S. it’s still considered a stopgap to something else. We’re hoping to professionalize bartending to show people how much craft and artistry goes into it.”
The top 10 Bars on North America’s 50 Best Bars are:
Attaboy. New York City
Handshake Speakeasy. Mexico City
Licoreria Limantour. Mexico City
Katana Kitten. New York City
Cafe La Trova. Miami
Baltra Bar. Mexico City
Dante. New York
Thunderbolt. Los Angeles
Civil Liberties. Toronto
Find the complete list of all 50 bars here.