Food & Drink

Every American Bar Anthony Bourdain Has Ever Visited (on TV)

Published On 09/11/2015 Published On 09/11/2015
Bourdain
Travel Channel

Anthony Bourdain has never met a dive bar he didn't like. Through the course of his television career, he's visited nearly 100 such bars that serve as perfect places to waste away a morning, noon, or night. So as a road map for those looking to follow in Tony's oft-crooked path, we've combed through all of the American episodes of A Cook's Tour, The LayoverParts Unknown, and No Reservations and chronicled every dive, cocktail lounge, and juke joint haunted by TV's most adventurous culinary explorer. Read on to see if he's stepped foot inside your favorite spot and to learn about where you should be having your next drink.

Bellevue Bar (closed)

New York City, NY
A Cook's Tour - S01E20 & S02E05
“You always get a good crowd of people who are in the industry, and they always know they can drop by late at night and be treated really, really well and behave really, really badly.”
 

Vaughn's Lounge

New Orleans, LA
A Cook's Tour - S02E02
“I end up at Vaughn's, a favorite local night spot in the 9th Ward. If you hang with the locals down here, you're really in for a treat.”

Desmond's Bar

Desmond's Tavern

New York City, NY
A Cook's Tour - S02E05
“A no BS bar right down the street from Les Halles. Back in the days when I actually worked for a living, it was not unknown for me to wander down here in my dirty kitchen whites for a pint of Bass. And in fact, after the service period had unleashed that fever pitch of adrenaline and rage that might lead me to commit violence or mayhem on a waiter, strictly in the interest of not causing such violence or mayhem, I'd come down here and maybe have another pint or two.”
 

Dylan Prime

New York City, NY
A Cook's Tour - S02E05 
Bourdain doesn't talk much about the bar here, because he's too busy waxing poetic about a martini made by Dale DeGroff. Dale calls the martini the superstar of the cocktail. “It's like baseball, jazz, musical comedy, all in one glass. This is the American experience.” To which Bourdain responds that, “After one of Dale's martinis, you just might attempt all three of those activities.”
 

Corner Bistro

New York City, NY
A Cook's Tour - S02E05 
“The big cheese of bar burgers is at the Corner Bistro in New York City. What is one looking for in bar food? Well, you want to keep it simple. I don't want a tower of foie gras with micro greens here. I want blood and grease on my fingers and chin. Plus, I don't want cutlery. I want all my food in one hand and a beer in the other. Robust, honest, greasy, and good. Good!”
 

Rudy's Bar & Grill

New York City, NY
A Cook's Tour - S02E05 
“When you sit down, I don't know about a free hot dog. But after a few beers, it seems like a good idea. Great jukebox, one of the two or three best jukeboxes in New York City, ergo the world. And free weenies! I don't need onions or sauerkraut or any of that other nonsense. I'm a purist, so mustard is good enough.”
 

Chicama (closed)

New York City, NY
A Cook's Tour - S02E05
“A mojito is one of those drinks where you have one, then you have two, then you wake up with no clothes in another city wondering how you got there. This is alcohol's mission. It should transport you to a far away, hopefully warmer climate. What better way to do that than a mojito.”
 

Aquavit (closed)

Minneapolis, MN
A Cook's Tour - S02E06
“So what do you drink at Aquavit? Well, Aquavit, which is potato-based vodka. They make vats of this stuff. They make martinis with it, they have aquavit that's loaded into old Sherry casks and shipped out into the ocean for three months. Why? Because enough of this stuff and you'll make these sort of choices.”
 

Bemelmans Bar

New York City, NY
The Layover - S01E02
“Most people don't know that Bemelman essentially wrote the prototype for Kitchen Confidential. Bemelman had written a number of short stories about his experiences as a bus boy at a hotel. One of the reasons I'm obsessed with this place is because it's the only place you can see a public display of Bemelmans' artwork anywhere in the world.”

Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

La Birreria

New York City, NY
The Layover - S01E02
“Sitting atop Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's mammoth Italian superstore and restaurant megaplex, it's an insane Italian beer garden and rustic style eatery in the sky. And most of the beer is hand-crafted artisan stuff from people like the legendary Dogfish Head dudes.”
 

Subway Inn

New York City, NY
The Layover - S01E02
“The dive bar unfortunately is an endangered species in Manhattan. By dive bar, I mean a real dive. Irony free, not hipstery. No overpriced PBRs from some sockhead mixologist with a goatee. Subway Inn is one of the city's great anomalies, a genuine dive situated incongruously on the Upper East Side on 60th St, right across from Bloomingdale's.”
 

Tammany Hall

New York City, NY
The Layover - S01E02
Eddie Huang weighs in on this one: “Tammany Hall on Orchid is a dope little place, it has a lot of cool shows, we get drinks there a lot, low key easy stuff.”
 

Mac's Club Deuce

Miami, FL
The Layover - S01E04
"One of the last true dive bars in South Beach, this place never seems to change and is a glorious refuge for distinguished guests of all walks of life. Perfect for late afternoons or late nights. Remember what I said about Miami Vice and Michael Mann? The sign there is a leftover from a shoot."
 

The Room

Miami, FL
The Layover - S01E04
"A civilized alternative serving handcrafted beers and an eclectic selection of wine. The generally laid-back and pretty mellow crowd is hidden on a backstreet right around the corner from the rest of South Beach, but still far away from the madness."
 

The Raleigh Hotel Bar

Miami, FL
The Layover - S01E04
“Collins Ave can get mad late at night, but I usually keep my head down and retreat to the discrete little bar in my beloved Raleigh Hotel. The Negroni being the perfect nightcap and aid to digestion of the rigors of my last day in Miami.”

Flickr/neekoh.fi

Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
“Hotel whore that I am, I'm fond of the Fairmont on Knob Hill. Big, old, built in 1907 with loads of history, lots of character, and most importantly, a Tiki bar in the cellar. The indoor rain showers and thunder, the stage that floats over the pool, it's just waiting for Don Ho to sing 'Tiny Bubbles.' This is like the greatest place in the history of the world. You don't drink Scotch on the rocks here: it's girl drinks with umbrellas and shit, and you drink them proud.”
 

Toronado Pub

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
“Known mostly for beer, of which they stock 50-plus microbrews and about 100 bottled beers, and most importantly they boast a no Grateful Dead policy on the jukebox, which ensures me the peace of mind and spirit I need for a late-morning buzz.”
 

Zeitgeist

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
"The Zeitgeist is a beer garden with a juke loaded with work from local bands and a huge back patio filled with picnic tables. The regulars are usually bike messengers and locals only."
 

Pier 23 Cafe

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
"If the weather is nice, Pier 23 might be what you need. Avoid the slow movers and touristas at Fisherman's Wharf and get your views here."
 

Li Po Cocktail Lounge

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
"Named after Li Po, the famous Chinese poet who drowned while attempting to embrace the rays of the moon in the water. San Francisco's Chinatown is the largest in North American, which is a good thing. Places like Li Po just wouldn't exist without a large buffer zone on all sides. The special Mai Tais are notoriously lethal here.”
 

Bender's Bar & Grill

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
"I could've gone to Bender's for late drinks. They have live rock and roll there, but this show is so cheap ass that we couldn't afford to pay the music rights.”

Flickr/Alejandro De La Cruz

Comstock Saloon

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
"Named after silver-lining magnate Henry Comstock. Owners Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin carefully craft their cocktails, but Comstock is at root, an old-school, no-nonsense bar.”
 

Mr. Bing's

San Francisco, CA
The Layover - S01E05
"What type of psychotic fucking freak would not love this place? If you can't find it in your heart to immediately recognize that this is a fine drinking establishment, there's no hope for you.”
 

Jumbo's Clown Room

Los Angeles, CA
The Layover - S01E10
"A last refuge for the ancient art of burlesque. This ain't no strip club. The girls here take their acts very seriously and athletically. And I mean that sincerely. This is the type of place I'd bring a date. It's very fun.”

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

The Varnish

Los Angeles, CA
The Layover - S01E10
“If beer out of a can is not what you want, there is the Varnish in Downtown. The speakeasy hidden away in the back of Cole's restaurant is where the bartenders Eric Alperin and Chris Bostick are putting on a show of their own. Bespoke spirits and fresh juices, purees, and syrups. The drink menu is short and sweet, but the bartender's choice is often the way to go.”
 

Old Town Ale House

Chicago, IL
The Layover - S02E01
“On a quiet corner of the Old Town neighborhood sits one of the most storied, legendary drinking establishments in the nation. A touchstone of our country's cultural history. Many iconic figures of literature, comedy, stars of stage and screen, along with philosopher poets for whom recognition never came, have at some point, however briefly, rested their noble brows upon its bathroom walls."
 

Billy Goat Tavern

Chicago, IL
The Layover - S02E01
“Even though we arrive at noon, it already feels like nighttime here. No windows, neon lights, obvious regulars already settled into the bar. Given the close proximity to the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times building means that it's been ground zero for drunk-ass journalists since the beginning of time.”
 

The Hideout

Chicago, IL
The Layover - S02E01
"The Hideout began in 1934 as a factory bar, looking after the alcohol needs of local steel  and cabinet making industries in the area. Now due to its nice, out-of-the-way location and enlightened hospitality policies, its an eclectic refuge for a cross section of local Chicagoans blissfully free of ironic goatees and haberdashery."
 

The Mutiny

Chicago, IL
The Layover - S02E01
“The Mutiny in Bucktown has been open 23 years, a deep, dark cavern of a place where musicians go to relax and try out new songs and ideas. Thirty-two-ounce beers for three bucks, punk bands, and the mysterious Chicago Malort, a must try.”
 

Simon's Tavern

Chicago, IL
The Layover - S02E01
“Like so many bars around town, it was born at the end of Prohibition in 1934 and operating steadily ever since. Decorated in what might be called mid-period viking old wood, you walk in the door and it's like getting a big boozy hug from Pippy Longstocking.”
 

L&L Tavern

Chicago, IL
The Layover - S02E01
"Given its proximity to Wrigley Field, you'd assume its a diehard Cubs bar, but in fact things are more complicated than that. Turns out they play both sides of the city, probably wise, too, when the Cubs are getting their brains beat out."

Johnny Brendas

Stateside

Philadelphia, PA
The Layover - S02E03
"Offers only spirits and craft beers from the USA, with an emphasis on great whiskeys and bourbons."
 

Dirty Frank's

Philadelphia, PA
The Layover - S02E03
“A favorite establishment of the culinary elite.”
 

Johnny Brenda's

Philadelphia, PA
The Layover - S02E03
“Fish Town in North Philly was an Irish Catholic enclave and later a place to score dope. But these days, as with so many places, the artist and hipster creep has begun to outnumber fisher folk or junkies. Anyways, Johnny Brenda's goes on. A late-night lounge with live music upstairs and local beers, all sourced within 90 miles."
 

Southwark

Philadelphia, PA
The Layover - S02E03
"An upscale neighborhood joint with solid straight-ahead cocktails. No nonsense, no TV, and a good place for an after-dinner Manhattan."
 

The Pen & Pencil Club

Philadelphia, PA
The Layover - S02E03
"The P&P, as it's called, is a private social club technically open to an association of journalists, though welcoming as well to the service-industry workers too.”

Sebastian Davis/Thrillist

The Porter Beer Bar

Atlanta, GA
The Layover - S02E07
“They've got like 36 beers on tap and 700 in the bottle. Beer nerds and beer geeks alike will love their craft beers and local brews like Sweetwater, Terrapin, and Monday Night Brewing."
 

Victory Sandwich Bar

Atlanta, GA
The Layover - S02E07
“Over in Inman Park is Victory Sandwich Bar, another late-night favorite for the service industry. The slushie is very popular I hear, a frozen concoction of Jack and Coke.”
 

Clermont Lounge

Atlanta, GA
The Layover - S02E07
“This place should be a national landmark. The most beloved institution in the entire city. A place of Renaissance-era beauty and erotic and sophisticated nightlife. Where the shots flow out in tiny plastic cups. It's not like other strip clubs: it's operating on a whole other level.”
 

The Earl

Atlanta, GA
The Layover - S02E07
"For the pants-on variety of live entertainment, head over to The Earl in East Atlanta. Opened in 1999, this rock and roll club/neighborhood dive is famous for cheap beer, strong drinks, and live music.”

Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel

Sazerac Bar

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
“The Roosevelt Hotel houses the Sazerac Bar, a place that has just about as much history as the cocktail it's named for.”
 

Arnaud's French 75 Bar

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
“If you must stay in the French Quarter, go check out French 75 Bar. Part of old-school institution Arnaud's restaurant, it's just far enough from Bourbon St that locals still come for a proper drink and the classic vibe of a French restaurant.”
 

Borgne

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
“For a 21st century bar with food, try happy hour at Borgne, the latest joint from John Besh focusing on the Spanish influences of traditional New Orleans food.”
 

Maple Leaf Bar

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
“One cannot, repeat, cannot go to New Orleans and not see some live music. The Maple Leaf Uptown is what a New Orleans club is all about. This place was one of the first to reopen after Katrina, with an emotional performance powered by generator by legendary local bluesman Walter Wolfman Washington.”
 

One Eyed Jacks

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
"Jacks is in an old movie theater converted into a music venue. It looks like a whorehouse and its seating plan and easy access to alcohol sort of invites people to fall all onto each other, but hey, there's the fun."

Flickr/Will Gurley

Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
“Where it's Christmas every night of the year. Official hours are 7pm to 7am, but anything can happen.”
 

Tipitina's

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
"Dedicated to piano legend Professor Longhair and named after one of his songs, this is one of the best spots to catch local and national acts from across the full spectrum of music."
 

R Bar

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
“The bartenders, as in most good bars, know their subject, know their town, and have something to say.”
 

Le Bon Temps Roule

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
"You want live music with your midday beverage, over at Le Bon Temps Roule Uptown there's usually live jazz, a brass band, and other local acts. Regulars hang all day in the front room playing pool and digging into oysters."
 

Three Muses

New Orleans, LA
The Layover - S02E09
"... or you could head over to Three Muses jazz club on Frenchman St, where you might well find David Rogan playing a set."

5 Points Cafe

The 5 Point Cafe

Seattle, WA
The Layover - S02E10
“It's a dive bar that opens at 6 in the morning and has breakfast happy hour from 6am to 9am, which is pretty hardcore. Craft beer, or like, normal beer, whatever, they're there for you whatever your beer needs.”
 

Unicorn

Seattle, WA
The Layover - S02E10
“They have hipster-inspired drinks called Unicorn Tits and My Little Pony.”
 

Shorty's

Seattle, WA
The Layover - S02E10
"A legendary spot that draws all types of personalities, from professional cooks to hipster douchebags."
 

Sun Liquor Distillery

Seattle, WA
The Layover - S02E10
"There, the décor is Tiki bar/opium den. The bar makes its own gin and vodka, which goes nicely with fresh juice squeezed to order, and appropriated they make a mean Mai Tai.
 

Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium

Seattle, WA
The Layover - S02E10
"If you prefer brown liquor, then Canon is a must-do. A self-proclaimed whiskey and bitters emporium, Canon stocks whiskey from all over the world. Ones for mixed drinks, and others like this pre-Prohibition era whiskey, Valley Ford."
 

Cutter's Bar and Grill

Detroit, MI
Parts Unknown - S02E08
Tony talks mainly about Detroit politics here and doesn't remark much on the bar itself, while having a glass of vodka on the rocks for dinner.

Al Powers, Powers Imagery

The Marquee

Las Vegas, NV
Parts Unknown - S03E02
“Come, ye lords and princelings of douchedom, hear my clarion call. Aniontith thyself with gel and heavenly body spray. Maketh the sign of the devil horns with thine hands. Let there be high-fiving and hugging of many bros. For this is the kingdom and the power. Now frolic and make it with to rain.”
 

Huntridge Tavern

Las Vegas, NV
Parts Unknown - S03E02
“Where those who have to live it and see it, the things that men do day after day, night after night, in a town where people are encouraged to do their worst. Where they can drink the stain away. This is the side of Vegas I like. People here are really cynical, they have a dim worldview. Even more dim than me.”
 

City Grocery

Oxford, MS
Parts Unknown - S03E05
Here in the upstairs bar, Bourdain holds court with a group of fellow writers, who, as writers are wont to be, are very excited about the free food sent from the kitchen downstairs.
 

Rampage Lounge

Oxford, MS
Parts Unknown - S03E05
Bourdain postulates that the mystery of Mississippi could be found “in the dark spaces across the tracks and on the other sides of town,” then a bluesman plays at Rampage, which is such a dark space that there's no record of it on the Internet.
 

Po' Monkey's Lounge

Merigold, MS
Parts Unknown - S03E05
“What is a juke joint? You've heard reference to them no doubt. But what is it? First thing you need to know is that it's pronounced “juk”, and this is a good one. Thursday night is family night, mostly locals, a mixed bag. The music is classic R&B and pre-disco soul. The attitude is loose. Just familiarize yourself with those rules, and there won't be a problem."
 

The Atlantic House

Provincetown, MA
Parts Unknown - S04E08
“Known always and forever by locals and visitors alike as the A-House, it's America's oldest operating gay bar. Everyone has come through these doors so to speak, most notable a naked and frolicking Tennessee Williams.”

The People's Pint

​The People's Pint

Greenfield, MA
Parts Unknown - S04E08
“In Downtown Greenfield, The People's Pint is an co-conscious, locavorian pub that brews its own beer, uses only farm-fresh ingredients, and composts its leftovers.”
 

Old Colony Tap

Provincetown, MA
Parts Unknown - S04E08
"As brawny, hard-working men of the sea, we deserve these beers and the finest of all oysters.”
 

Satin Dolls

Lodi, NJ
No Reservations - S01E03
“Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben, Cairo has the pyramids. But when you talk about New Jersey, there's perhaps no more significant monument, no more important temple of all things New Jersey, than the Bada Bing! Club. Tony Soprano's office, by the way. Otherwise known as Satin Dolls.”
 

TB's Bar and Grill (closed)

Del Rio, TX
No Reservations - S02E08
“I'm a New Yorker, and I used to have the type of preconceptions about Texas you might expect. But I learned to look at Texas as a foreign land, as different from mine than another country. When I started to look at Texas with the same respect as I have for other lands, I found much to love.”
 

National Restaurant & Night Club

Brighton Beach, NY
No Reservations - S03E09
“If you really want to step back into another world, the bizarro fabulous time warp of kitsch, pomp, and circumstance, you've got to hit the National Night Club.”
 

Siberia Bar (closed)

New York City, NY
No Reservations - S03E09
“A place I often end up at the butt end of an evening. Siberia Bar, supreme among dive bars. A late-night hang for journalists, restaurant people, musicians, and the lost. Where you can, depending on the night, run into just about anybody.”
 

Sakagura

New York City, NY
No Reservations - S03E09
“One of my long-time haunts is tucked away in the bowels of an ordinary-looking office building. You want sake, then Sakagura is the place to go.”
 

Vic's Kangaroo Cafe

New Orleans, LA
No Reservations - S04E05
“This evening finds me at Vic's Kangaroo cafe, a bar in the Warehouse District of New Orleans and a favorite after-hours destination for the many restaurant crews in the area. The bartender is Bill Dykes, who by trade is a stand-up comedian who has performed in venues across the South, but New Orleans is his home."

La Mariana Sailing Club

La Mariana Sailing Club

Honolulu, HI
No Reservations - S04E09
“One of the few remaining old-school, non-ironic Tiki bars in Hawaii, La Mariana is hidden in an industrial area next to the airport. The fake waterfall still gushes, and the zombies and Mai Tais still flow. Sure, the cocktails can be a little awkward to drink, but that's a small price to pay for authenticity.”
 

Ski Inn

Niland, CA
No Reservations - S04E15
“There's an undeniably spartan cultural scene in Bombay Beach. I'm sitting in what amounts to the Bombay restaurant scene.”
 

Sophie's

New York City, NY
No Reservations - S05E08
“Sophie's in the East Village remains a good place to stop time. Is there any place left in New York where an old guy can go in the afternoon to have a drink? Where have those places gone?”
 

Persian Aub Zam Zam Club

San Francisco, CA
No Reservations - S05E15
“Run by a legendary, unfriendly owner, the notorious guardian of another age, Bruno. He was famous for running things his way and only his way. Bruno's gone, died in 2000, but he's not forgotten.“
 

Murray Bar

Livingston, MT
No Reservations - S05E17
“Once I find an eccentric old hotel, I stay local and I go back whenever I can. Yep, it's a great hotel, and every great hotel needs a great hotel bar.”
 

Jade Island Restaurant

Staten Island, NY
No Reservations - S05E19
This Tiki bar has been “untouched by time and unsullied by irony.”
 

Rondout Bay Restaurant & Marina

Kingston, NY
No Reservations - ​S06E05
“It's time to get as far away from the taste of higher education as a man can get, to wallow in the seedy but forgiving embrace of a friendly public house. The Rondout Bay Marina Bar was just such a place."
 

J's Oyster

Portland, ME
No Reservations - S06E12
“The kind of place that's not hard to get me into. A loud local joint with lots of raw shellfish, pints of cold beer, a good crowd, and a real passion of mine: steamers.”
 

Rumors Cocktail Lounge

Joplin, MO
No Reservations - S07E05
“Tonight, wiry dudes and muscle-bound ladies alike pony up a $10 entry fee for an arm-wrestling tournament. People come here to wrestle, or 'pull,' as they like to call it. Men, women, all ages, all sizes.”

Erie Pub

Eire Pub

Boston, MA
No Reservations - S07E07
“Where the barkeeps still wear uniforms, the sandwiches are thick, and the whiskey and beer flow freely.”
 

Murphy's Law

Boston, MA
No Reservations - S07E07
“Finishing off the evening at Southie bar Murphy's Law is ill advised even for locals, so we decided to start off our crawl there. It's a comfortable place to while away an afternoon over a pint or two or more. “
 

L Street Tavern

Boston, MA
No Reservations - S07E07
“A wonderful public house where wearing other bars' sweatshirts isn't tolerated. But the 18-year-old Jameson makes up for it, as well as the flawlessly poured Guinness. Any thoughts that this place got ruined by the movies disappears as the crowd closes in bearing drinks and more drinks.”
 

Quencher Tavern (closed)

Boston, MA
No Reservations - S07E07
“A tiny bar squeezed between two houses, the Q got its start as a booking joint, now it's a neighborhood treasure filled with friendly faces with thick necks.”
 

Pappy and Harriet's

Pioneertown, CA
No Reservations - S07E13
“You've gotta automatically love any place called Pappy's and Harry's. Here you're likely to get a beer and a beating, as well as see an impromptu performance by a band like the Arctic Monkeys. And if it's biker babes, booze, or barbecue you're looking for, you'll probably find it at Pappy's.”
 

The Cigar Box

Kansas City, MO
No Reservations - S08E02
Tony doesn't have much to say about the Cigar Box, except that “this is not Kansas, this is Missouri. A whole different story.”

Mike Cortez/Thrillist

Draught House Pub & Brewery

Austin, TX
No Reservations - S09E01
“They've got like 50 different brews of varying wonderfulness. Sure to please even the most demanding or annoying of beer wonks. Good crowd of locals, the perfect spot for a band in need.”
 

Lala's Xmas Bar

Austin, TX
No Reservations - S09E01
“This is Lala's, a place where it's Christmas all year long. It's been Christmas every day since 1972. And if you know anything about me, you know that I love the holidays.”

Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. He once met Bourdain, and can assure you he is just as well-hydrated as he looks. Follow him to more humble brags at @Dannosphere.

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