It's easy to focus on bars that have the most beers, but what good is that if they're not actually, you know, good? The Publick House is known for having the best beers in Beantown, serving from a carefully selected list that includes a number of imports and craft beers both on tap and out of a bottle or can. Apart from the beer selection and the inviting, warm decor, you'll also find a food menu that rivals the beer for quality and includes a particularly great mac and cheese, with a huge number of toppings for you to choose from.
A slightly divey atmosphere meets upscale drinking options at The 403 Club. Located in Strawberry Hill, This small yet lively establishment offers a surprisingly robust beer selection, including a number of beers from local brewery Boulevard, Left Hand, Odell, Green Flash, Deschutes, and Abita, all of which are served alongside always-cheap High Life, PBR, and well drinks. Better yet, it's also home to a pool table and a whole row of pinball machines, and hosts a tournament every Wednesday. It's not fancy, but if you're simply looking for somewhere fun to grab a drink, it's hard to beat. [Scouted by Alex]
Don't expect to be overwhelmed by the wine list at Kir. We're not really sure the intimate, impeccably decorated venue could even provide space for such a thing. But that's no bother, as the selection — which changes daily and focuses on European and ecclectic vintages — is almost always excellent. Should you find yourself wanting to try several glasses — or are just looking for something to pair your glass with — the equally economic menu of small plates is an ideal place to look, offering treats like roasted pistachios, summer squash and leek soup, and cider-braised pork belly.
With a name like that, you'd expect a place to serve a mean cocktail. And you'd be right. Distil takes its spirits seriously, serving up healthy menus of both classic cocktails like the Moscow Mule and Pimm's Cup and newly-crafted recipes like the Wisconsin Pumpkin Pie. The spot also offers a surprisingly sophisticated menu of small plates and sandwiches, as well as platters of meats and Wisconsin cheese. And don't worry if you suddenly decide for something a little less refined — they still have their hometown Schlitz available if you need it.
Let's not beat around the bush — the Alley Cat Lounge is a dive bar. The kind of bar that's cash only, has an all-day, every day $2 beer special (Hamm's, if you're curious), has bathrooms that are covered graffiti and possibly bodily fluids, offers great cheeseburgers and fries, and smells, as one patron put it, like "old beer and sadness". So if you're looking for somewhere to drink, and drink heavily, don't debate — just so. Hell, you might even run in to the High Life Guy.
Leave it to a city known for its financial prowess to come up with a bar like this. The Exchange Bar & Grill puts the economic principles of supply and demand front-and-center in a way we've never seen before. Thanks to unique, fully-automated drink market software, the prices of drinks rise the more they're ordered and fall when they're not, letting you watch the ticker above the bar to pick just the right time to place your order. Oh, and be sure to keep your eyes open for the Market Crash, when everything hits rock-bottom pricing. They also offer a menu of tasty bar food and plenty of TVs for watching the big game, if you can take your eyes off the ticker, that is. [via]
Some bars pride themselves on their drinks, others on their food, and still others on their ambiance and views. Bar Orca offers all three. Set on the shores of Guanabara Bay, overlooking the Christ the Redeemer statue and Fort of St. John, this friendly neighborhood bar serves up fantastic caipirinhas that you can take down to the sea wall, as well as a host of seafood and fish dishes that pair perfectly with the surroundings.
No, it's not really a blacksmith shop. Instead, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is one of the oldest bars in the country. Built between 1722 and 1732, this shop is named for the pirate and hero of the Battle Of New Orleans Jean Lafitte, who used purportedly used the location as a base for a smuggling operation run by Jean and his brother. Now, it serves up potent drinks to Bourbon St. revelers, looking much the same as it did in olden times, and serves as one of the only National Historic Landmarks where it's entirely okay to drink way too much.
High class cocktails? Craft beers? Small plates of immaculately-prepared food? You won't find any of those things here. What you will find at Marie's Riptide Lounge is a lively crowd, a killer old-school jukebox, cheap drinks, karaoke, holiday decorations, and, depending on what time you arrive, plenty of drunk people. This time capsule of a dive is open irresponsibly late — until 5am on Saturdays — and is a perfect place to finish off the night should your prior drinking establishment of choice declare last call before you're ready.
It's not quite a speakeasy, at least by original standards, but that doesn't mean the ambiance inside Employees Only is any less impressive. This bar/restaurant/club has long been an after-work hang out for service industry types, and for good reason. The drinks are strong yet crazy delicious — the Ginger Smash is a particular favorite — and the food doesn't disappoint, either. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out for an impromptu burlesque show, which seem to happen from time to time.
Named after the seven Trappist monasteries allowed to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo, it's unsurprising that 7 Monks Taproom is a great place for beer lovers. 46 taps on the wall offer a great mix of local and other interesting beers, and the bottle selection is quite impressive, as well. There's upscale bar food available for those looking for a bite to eat, and there's also wine, cider, and local mead on tap if you're wanting to stay clear of the hops. Just don't expect to show up in a robe — just because it's named after a group of monasteries doesn't mean they adhere to the same dress code. [Scouted by Joe]
You'd expect a wine bar located in the Pacific Northwest to focus on wines from that region... and Poco Wine & Spirits is no exception. Located on Capitol Hill, this smallish spot — there's only 16 seats downstairs and 26 on the second floor, so get there early — serves up a selection of reds and whites with a focus on regional vintages, a number of cocktails (spirits is in the name, after all), and a small number of craft beers, as well as some small plate-style foodstuffs. And while we're not normally ones to push the social networking, your first Foursquare check-in will net you a free bowl of truffled rosemary popcorn with your drink — so in this case, it might be worth it.