The bar, tavern, or pub is a business establishment that sells alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. In the United States, you have to be 21 years old to visit a bar. Bars typically attract a young, cosmopolitan crowd and are usually open until the early hours of the morning. There are over 60,000 bars in the United States alone with some dating back to the 17th century. Although most bars and pubs are pretty non-descript, there are a number of world-famous drinking establishments. You may be familiar with places such as Long Bar in Singapore and El Floridita in Cuba, but read on below to find out more of the world’s best-known bars:
10. Dante, New York City, United States of America
Dante’s in New York was voted the “World’s Best Bar 2019”. Situated in Greenwich Village and established in 1915, Dante’s was a favorite among the Italian community and went on to attract customers from all walks of life including, Bob Dylan, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jerry Seinfield. In 2015, the bar was taken under new management who revitalised the space, adding modern twists to its décor and produce, but still maintaining the Dante charm that its clientele has loved for decades.
9. Sean's Bar, Athlone, Ireland
Dating back to 900AD, Sean’s Bar holds the title of the oldest pub in Ireland and could possibly be the oldest surviving pub in the world. The institution remains quintessentially Irish by proving its customers with traditional ale and Gaelic music.
8. Green Dragon Tavern, Boston, United States of America
Although the original Green Dragon Tavern no longer remains (it was demolished in 1854), the pub is arguably the most significant pub in the world. Believed to be the “headquarters of the revolution”, the Green Dragon was where ideas for some of the most important events in American history were born. It is believed the famous Boston Tea Party took place here in 1773.
7. El Floridita, Havana, Cuba
This iconic bar is known for its famous clientele. One of its most famous patrons was the writer Ernest Hemmingway; memorabilia can be found throughout the establishment including, photographs and a life-size bronze statue. El Floridita is also famous for inventing the frozen daiquiri.
6. The Bar Hemingway, Paris, France
Another of one of Ernest Hemingway’s regular haunts, this sophisticated bar is home to one of the world’s most expensive cocktails: The Ritz Sidecar. Comprising Ritz Fine Champagne 1865 Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, the drink will set you back over $1,500.
5. Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore, Malaysia
Long Bar is the birthplace of the legendary Singapore Sling cocktail. In 1915, Ngiam Tong Boon created the pink drink for the ladies who frequented Raffles’ Hotel. At the time, women were not supposed to drink alcohol, so Boon created a drink that had the appearance of fruit juice. Over 100 years later, the Singapore Sling is world-famous and is still served at Raffles Hotel to this day.
4. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Chicago, United States of America
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge has a colorful history. During the Prohibition era, it enticed a number of infamous characters, including mob gangster Al Capone. At the back of the long end of the bar, there still remains a hatch that Capone used to escape the police. After Prohibition ended, the bar became a famous jazz establishment and now holds the longest-running poetry slam night in the country.
3. Harry's Bar, Venice, Italy
Not only famous for being the origin of the Bellini and Carpaccio, but Harry’s Bar is also renowned for having seen a wealth of celebrities pass through its doors. Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, and George Clooney are just some of the names to have regularly drunk at this bar.
2. The American Bar, The Savoy, London, England
Situated in the glamorous Savoy Hotel in London, the American Bar is the oldest cocktail bar in Britain. In its 130-year-old history, it has welcomed the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Neil Armstrong, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is said that some of the world’s most iconic cocktails were created here, namely the Prairie Oyster, the Moon Walk, and even the dry martini. The bar has a pervasive menu that features much-loved classics, as well as the “Savoy Songbook”, which is a list of 20 cocktails inspired by famous songs. Opt for the “Electric Lover”, based on Prince’s classic Purple Rain – it has glitter as one of its ingredients.
1. Al Brindisi, Ferrara, Italy
Al Brindisi is the oldest wine bar in the world. Established in 1435, the bar attracted some of the most important figures in the arts and sciences. The Renaissance sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, the painter Titian, and mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus often visited the bar. It is said Copernicus developed his heliocentric theory when he lived above Al Brindisi. One of its more recent notable customers is Pope John Paul II, who visited to celebrate the bar’s 500th birthday.
About the Author
Steph is a British-born-Lisbon-based writer who loves to travel. She enjoys exploring towns and cities in all four corners of the world.
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