You’ve just arrived home on a Friday, mentally spent after a week at your 9-to-5. So, you call up your crew, get dressed in your finest and are more than ready to let loose and toast to a carefree weekend. Then you face the dilemma that befalls many a thirsty group on the precipice of tearing up the town: where to go? What’s the best bar for a gorgeous night out?
Don’t fret; we’ve got your guide to the best bars across America, where decor is as enticing as the cocktails on the menu. From rooftop lounges overlooking cityscapes to buzzy nightclubs in the center of a bustling neighborhood, these hot spots have all the amenities that please. The setting is dressed to the nines, and the service is welcoming and attentive—depending on the volume of the crowd, of course. And the cocktail menu, which is perhaps the most important characteristic, is bar none (pun intended). Why settle for a vodka soda when you can have a berry-infused concoction created by a top mixologist? Indeed, the drinks and lively atmosphere at these locations are so alluring that they deserve repeat visits many times over.
Sure, any local venue with a liquor license and speakers can be fun, but if you’re looking for A-list watering holes to see and be seen in, there are only a select few that’ll really induce FOMO on Instagram.
NEW YORK: OPHELIA
Originally built in the 1920s, Ophelia has an old-world ambiance that calls back to the days of razzle-dazzle, when guests like Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis were patrons. The bar and lounge, which is located on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower, has recently gone through a glitzy, modern makeover, making it the toast of the town to a whole new generation. It features plush velvet banquettes, private rooms for more intimate get-togethers and, for the pièce de résistance, Art Deco windows that overlooks a breathtaking 360° view of the New York City. And when its warm, you can sit out on the terrace and enjoy the skyline even more.
3 Mitchell Place New York, NY 10017. Opheliany.com.
MIAMI: BROKEN SHAKER
Bask under the Miami sun or the glow of twinkling lights at Broken Shaker, one of city’s go-to nightlife destinations. Nestled at Freehand, an upscale hotel that is centrally located just a block away from the beach, the hot spot, which is run by Bar Lab, is the place to chill after a day boating or floating. The fun, laid back atmosphere is great for catching up with friends or making new ones over a drink or two. Indeed, the joint has a celebrated cocktail menu that features herbs and spices for it own garden, along with more exotic ingredients from around the world.
2727 Indian Creek Drive Miami Beach, FL 33140. Freehandhotels.com.
SAN FRANCISCO: CHARMAINE'S
Charmaine’s is a relative newcomer to the San Francisco scene, opening just last year, but it is quickly becoming the city’s premiere destination for all things fun and decadent. First off, the interiors are designed by designer Kelly Wearstler, who modeled the space after the Viennese Secession art movement. The drink menu, which is the brainchild of Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of BVHospitality, features unique ingredients in original combinations—like “The Grass Roots” and “Kissin’ in the California Sun.” Last but not least, the bar sits atop Market Street at the Porper Hotel, overlooking sweeping views of San Francisco Bay.
1100 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102. Properhotel.com.
DALLAS: LOUNGE 31
Lounge 31 is a Dallas mainstay located above sister restaurant Bistro 31 in the affluent Highland Park Village. It offers a heady wine list and impressive cocktail menu (make sure to try its Bloody Mary, which is considered to be one of the best in Texas). Additionally, the Spanish-style interior, with blue velvet benches and Carrara marble bar, epitomizes luxury and makes the clinking of glasses much more gratifying. Just don’t raise you voices too loudly, as the space has more of an intimate vibe. And should you and your group want to grab a bite afterwards, the tuna tower and lobster tacos are especially tasty.
87 Highland Park Village Dallas, TX 75205. Lounge31dallas.com.
In a classic, library-like setting with quirky furnishings (think: cowhide chairs crystal chandeliers and exaggerated portraits in gilded frames), Yvonne’s is where old meets new, where the guests can sit in an environment that is unlike others in the area. It almost has a speakeasy vibe of the ’20s and ’50s, where family-style crowds gather and order from a vast cocktail menu, enjoying each other’s company. And though it one of the newer bars in Boston, it has firm roots in the city, taking over the space formerly occupied by Locke-Ober, which was a cellar café that opened its doors in 1862.
2 Winter Place Boston, MA 02108. Yvonnesboston.com.