You Me Us Now
Andrew Zimmer
BTU Brasserie
Coup d'État
Laura Hayes
Robert Donovan
Zack Benson
Luke Gibson
Claire McCormack
Flickr/Christopher Michel
Marc Brubaker
Meta
Frances F. Denny
Parliament
Greg Rannells
Pleasant Rum Bar
Jude Goergen
Kristian Melom
Sara Essex Bradley
Two Bits
Boston Nightlife Ventures, Inc.
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1. Analogue 2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Cajun is the name of the game at this Logan Square restaurant and cocktail lounge. You could to Analogue for just a drink, but you’d probably find the dinner menu, heavy on crawfish, po boys, and catfish, too tempting to pass up. The weekend brunch is one of the best, mainly because of the beignets, biscuits, and house-made bacon.

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2. Black Crescent 76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

A fire in 2015 couldn't keep Black Crescent down -- the Lower East Side raw and cocktail bar came back with a thirst for sating yours. Notable on the corner of Rivington and Clinton for the serpentine mural that covers the building's edifice, the spot is low-key on the interior, with simple wood and chrome accents. Oyster happy hours are made happier by strong riffs on classics, like a take on the Negroni called the Hempen Halter, with hickory-smoked Italian vermouth, sweet vermouth, Campari, and gin.

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3. BTU Brasserie & Brewery 5846 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213 (Ne Portland)

BTU brings a wholly unique concept of combining a brewpub with high-end Szechuan bites. The seven-barrel system pumps out Chinese-style rice lagers, blondes, and IPAs designed to pair up with spicy takes on classics, including Dan Dan noodles, smoked duck bao, and wok-tossed lamb & leek.

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4. Coup d'état 2923 Girard Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411 (Uptown)

Coup d’etat, a modern American eatery in the heart of Uptown serves food and cocktails with a whole lot of class.

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5. Dram & Grain 2007 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

Dram & Grain is a badass underground whiskey den run by Trevor Frye and Nick Lowe of Jack Rose Dining Saloon (which just so happens to be on top of said whiskey den). If you can get the secret phone number via secret business card, you can text these guys on their burner phone (!) and get yourself into one of three seatings on Saturdays only. Expect creative cocktails (red-hot pokers, smoke-filled concoctions), whiskey on tap, and only one vodka drink called the Training Wheels.

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6. Edmund's Oast 1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403 (Charleston)

This modern warehouse/barnhouse/beer hall hybrid tucked inconspicuously amongst North Charleston's office parks and empty lots serves New American fare, beer brewed on-site and craft cocktails. Cult-ish domestic crafts like Coast, Evil Twin, and Prairie Artisan Ales are posted next to hard-to-find imports (De Struise, Nøgne ø, J.W. Lees...), all available alongside house-made jerky, charcuterie, and other indulgent bar snacks. Snag a seat on the patio for a relaxed dinner and stay out late with a young-professional crowd.

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7. Fairweather 795 J St, San Diego, CA 92101 (East Village)

Located above Rare Form, Fairweather isn't perched very high for a rooftop bar, but it does offer a killer view of Petco Park. Cozy dotted blue sofas and fruit displays offer bright bursts of color amidst white marble benches and a mosaic-tile bar backdrop. You can take your pick from over a dozen specialty cocktails, like the honey-and-lime flavored King Bee or the sugary Oh Captain My Captain, and if you get peckish, just head downstairs for a grilled cheese or hummus plate.

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8. Good Times at Davey Wayne's 1611 N El Centro Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Straight out of The Brady Bunch set, this 70's living room-themed Hollywood bar is decked out with hammocks, an Airstream Trailer, and a DJ spinning Bee Gees-esque beats. It's hard to tell what's cooler: the epic secret entrance through a refrigerator door or the no-cover. Weekend nights usually draw the biggest lines, but Good Times is open on weekend afternoons, aka the perfect time to kick back on the patio and order up some Tex-Mex street food and craft cocktails.

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9. Half Step 75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

The inside of the little blue house that is Half Step is dark and lined in tea-stained wall paper. Cool off with one of the meticulously crafted cocktails, like the NOLA-born Sazerac (rye whiskey, sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe rinse), and remember what the glowing sign that greets you on the way in says: "You earned it."

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10. The Interval 2 Marina Blvd, Fort Mason Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Cow Hollow)

Deep in Fort Mason, The Interval is part museum, part coffee shop, and part bar. Bartender Jennifer Colliau is a straight-up cocktail geek and all of her drinks, some with quirkier names than others (Decanted Mother-in-Law, Mexican Firing Squad Special) have a story. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves make you feel like you're in someone's personal library. It's the kind of place you go to think while you drink.

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11. Julep 1919 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007 (Washington)

Julep's got an old-school, punky Southern charm that's soaked in bourbon, just like you'll be after a few masterfully crafted cocktails and cold seafood dishes from former Pass & Provisions Chef Adam Garcia. Housed in an industrial 1880s uniform factory, the space features a gorgeous copper bar and a sophisticated back porch. There are masterful odes to the bar’s namesake drink, but the list runs on into a boozy Southern history book with classics born in the region and a seasonal lineup that plays with Southern inspirations.

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12. Meta 425 W Chestnut St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Meta is a wonderful world of contrasts -- a marble-barred, copper-penny-floored temple of swank drinking lodged next to a strip club. But it’s not just bravado and balls that make Meta the best damn cocktail bar in a city that was doing craft cocktails long before they were trendy. The signatures are all grounded in tradition, but with a nice kick in the knickers. Take, for example, The High Pant, which augments some Old Fitzgerald with fernet and ginger to transform the Old Fashioned into something completely new. And hey, with cocktails this good, that strip club next door just keeps getting less lurid by the sip.

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13. The NoMad 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 (Nomad)

Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.

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14. Parliament 2418 Allen St, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

With craft cocktail icon Eddie "Lucky" Campbell at the helm, this bordello-lit drinking den in State Thomas boasts a lengthy leather-bound menu that has something for everyone. If you appreciate history and cocktail artistry, go for a Ramos Gin Fizz. And if you appreciate a good deal, there's an incredible happy hour where you can score standards like Old Fashioneds and gimlets for half their typical price.

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15. Two Bits 1520 Demonbreun St, Nashville, TN 37203

Two Bits is part bar, part restaurant, and part arcade. And Not only is it stocked with classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Galaga, and Space Invaders, but they also have board games and even Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles.

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16. Planter's House 1000 Mississippi Ave, St Louis, MO 63104

Planter’s House is a cocktail bar that pays homage to the landmark Planter’s House Hotel, an iconic St. Louis establishment that closed during Prohibition. Out of the hotel came the first-ever cocktail book, whose recipes live on at its craft cocktail protégé in Lafayette Square. The full bar serves Prohibition-era classics like Hemingway Daiquiris, Vieux Carres, swizzles, and fizzes, mixed with new-school moves from the kings and queens of cocktail: Dale Degroff, Giuseppe González, and Audrey Sanders. And then there’s the Bullock Room, a speakeasy-esque bar located just upstairs. Full menu, low lighting, can’t lose.

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17. Pleasant Storage Room 208 W 4th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Warehouse District)

Pleasant Storage Room is a throwback to "golden age Cuba and the Caribbean", where you can find yourself dining on island street foods, like their ceviches, while sipping on a sweet rum cocktail.

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18. Slippery Slope 2357 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Skee-ball, tamales, and and an expansive, crimson-lit dance floor await at this two-story club made to replace what Bonny's once was. The beer is cheap, the wine is boxed, and we promise this will probably be one of the only times you'll hear "Mother-In-Law" (a tamale-chili combo) and not be filled with dread.

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19. Third Rail 628 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Dogpatch)

This great SF cocktail bar serves up delicious libations -- get anything with Mezcal, and cheers to it!

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20. Tiki Tolteca 301 N. Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Hidden above the downtown Felipe's, this tiki haven serves flaming bowls of booze, like the mezcal and tequila Escorpion Punch and the Zombie Punch that comes with a giant rum-filled gummy brain (don’t worry, the straws have spoons on the end so you can eat every bit). It looks like a Polynesian dream from Tiki cocktails' heyday in the 20th century. The drink menu itself draws from both Tiki and Latin American influences.

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21. Wink & Nod 3 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116 (South End)

Boston Nightlife Ventures' new speakeasy has made a home for the pop-up Whisk, so you can enjoy your cocktails made with Cutty Sark Prohibition Scotch alongside bites like squid ink tagliatelle pasta with baby octopus.

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