Drinks

The Best New Bars in the Country

From produce-driven cocktails to old-school-style ales, there's plenty to drink at these 9 watering holes
Best New Bars Fall 2017
Photo: Christian Seel

If you're dreading the end of summer like we are, look on the bright side: You're about to have plenty of new watering holes where you can drink away your sorrows. Colder days and longer nights are made for bellying up to the bar, and this fall, there are almost too many hot spots to try (although we have faith you'll find a way somehow).

We've narrowed the list down to the nine buzzy bars we'll be heading to first. From hyper-seasonal cocktails and new-age mead to sake and old-school-style ales, you won't go thirsty.

Goodnight Charlie’s
(Houston, TX)

 Get ready to two-step to this upcoming honky-tonk from master sommelier David Keck, set to open in Houston's Montrose neighborhood. Live music—think bluegrass and zydeco—will play on the weekends, and a jukebox will carry the room the rest of the week, as patrons sip on local brews and whiskey. 

Shadowbox
(Los Angeles, CA)

A new bar is opening in the historic Clifton's Republic space, and if you thought the taxidermic bison and 250-pound meteorite in Clifton's Cafeteria were sights to behold, wait until you see the cabaret in this cocktail lounge, accessible only by a secret passageway.   

Photo: Katie Burton/All-Wise Meadery

All-Wise Meadery
(New York, NY)

As big fans of mead here at Tasting Table, we're excited for Brooklyn's newest place to get some of that sweet—or not-so-sweet—honey wine, which falls somewhere at an intersection of craft beer, dry cider and natural wine. Get it on tap or by the bottle.

Tokyo Record Bar
(New York, NY)

Ariel Arce, formerly of Riddling Widow and Birds & Bubbles, is adding a 16-seat basement den to the new and Instagram-friendly Air's Champagne Parlor. Two seatings for an izakaya-style menu, where guests curate their own vinyl playlists, will give way to à la carte orders of sake, Japanese beer and cocktails in front of a live DJ set from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

⑤ The Aviary
(New York, NY)

The country's most important bar, Chicago's The Aviary from owners Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, is opening in NYC in the Mandarin Oriental. In addition to cutting-edge cocktails, the bar will stay true to the all-day ethos of a hotel bar and see Alinea's first foray into breakfast.

The Elvis Room
(Portland, OR)

This long-awaited two-story bar from one the owners of Portland's Sandy Hut and The Alibi lounge will serve an array of Champagne cocktails, boilermakers and locally driven snacks. Love Me Tender chicken tenders, anyone? 

The Snug
(San Francisco, CA)

Beer lovers have another reason to love SF these days, thanks to this bar from Zack Schwab (formerly of NYC's The Jeffrey) and Shane Matthews (of SF's Monk's Kettle and Mikkeller), featuring 20 taps and real, unfiltered cask ale. These guys don't mess around.

True Laurel
(San Francisco, CA)

For innovative cocktails, San Franciscans should head to the latest project from Lazy Bear chef David Barzelay and head bartender Nicolas Torres, who will be serving hyper-seasonal drinks like the Stalk Market, made with rhubarb pickling liquid, celery and chamomile.

The Dabney's Wine Bar
(Washington, D.C.)

Tucked in the basement underneath this D.C. gem, The Dabney's wine bar from co-owners chef Jeremiah Langhorne and GM Alex Zink will offer wines by the glass, house-made charcuterie, cheese and a raw bar. If it's anything like the restaurant itself, you'll want to linger.

Check out the rest of our Fall Preview to get dialed in to the best new restaurants, hotels, cookbooks and more.

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