There are plenty of reasons to visit Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill, & Brewery. There's the views from the second story patio. There's the open-air bar. There's the fact that it's the southernmost brewery in the continental United States. There are the tasty hot wings, the fresh local fish, and the fruity drinks. And then there's the history. Housed in the same building that served as the birthplace and original offices of Pan Am Airways, it played an important role in opening up South America to the North. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, the place is named after someone with some "aviation" history of her own — owner and Top Gun star Kelly McGillis.
Tucked away behind Victory Sandwich Bar, Paper Plane is a like a ticket back in time. This smallish bar's interior is an ode to mid-century style, featuring oversized leather booths, simple stools, warm wood paneling, and a sleek countertop. And while the looks might recall an older time, the cocktails are decidedly modern, featuring inventive combinations of ingredients mixed with the utmost care. Should you get hungry, the food is far beyond typical pub fare, including seafood, lamb, and pork — just make sure you save room for an after-dinner drink.
The hamburgers are fantastic. The decor is eclectic, rich, and inviting enough that you want to stay all day. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. But you're not heading to Firkin for any of that. Instead, you're making the trip to this little spot north of Chicago for the top-notch beer selection, which includes one cask, thirty one draught, fifty-six bottle, and six can options that range from everything from rare microbrews to a healthy selection of Belgians. If, for whatever reason, you're not feeling a beer, they also offer a small selection of wines as well as a full bar.
Okay, so it's in a theme park — but if you're a fan of The Simpsons, you owe it to yourself to make a trip to Homer's favorite watering hole. Located inside Universal Studios Florida, Moe's Tavern is an authentic real-life recreation of the animated pub. Despite the family friendly atmosphere, Moe's is still a bar, serving up Duff and Duff Lite in pints, 23 oz. souvenir cups, and bottles, as well as Buzz Cola for the alcohol-adverse, and, of course, the Flaming Moe for those looking for an extra kick. Be sure to get your photo taken with Barney Gumble on the way out.
It's a hole-in-the-wall, to be sure — but don't dare mistake it for a dive. After all, what sort of dive offers over 120 Single Malt Scotches? Indeed, Birds of a Feather is a Fell's Point diamond in the rough, with a selection of booze that plenty of high-end bars would love to have. The owner of the place also happens to be the bartender — which is great if you're having trouble making a selection, or simply want to hear some interesting stories — the music tends towards classical and is played at an appropriate (background) volume, and the overall vibe is chill, making it a perfect place to truly enjoy a drink or two.
There are older bars in the US, but it's hard to knock the history at the Menger Bar. Opened in the Menger Hotel in 1887, this landmark bar is an exact replica of the since-demolished House of Lord's Pub in London, complete with dark cherry woods, beveled mirrors from France, and brass spittoons. Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders there, George Patton, Robert E. Lee, and even Babe Ruth have bellied up to the bar, and the bar was at one time the site of more cattle deals than anywhere else in Texas. But what's most likely to pull you in are the excellent, freshly-made margaritas, which taste even better when escaping the heat and crowds of the Alamo just across the street.
Bar-hopping can be a lot of fun, but what to do in the time spent traveling from place to place? Well, if you're aboard the Pedal Tavern, you'll be drinking to pass the time. This brilliant, roaming 16-seat bar transports its boozy passengers from bar to bar in the Third Ward and Walker's Point, and thanks to a newly-implemented piece of legislation, riders — who also use the built-in pedals to power the quadricycle — can enjoy a cold one while making their way to their next destination. The upside? We imagine all that pedaling might help sober you up as you move from place to place. The downside? Those extra beers surely won't.
We've seen bars hidden behind a phone booth, and even behind a wall of kegs — but never one tucked away behind a wall in a basement restroom. Until now. PortSide Parlour is one of the most difficult to find bars in London Fields, tucked behind the wall of an unmarked bathroom in the basement of Off Broadway. Once inside, you'll find yourself in a richly furnished and appropriately dim space, filled with terrific music, and featuring a bar that serves 50 of the world's finest rums — thanks to a partnership with Jamaica's finest Rum Appleton Estate — and cocktails worthy of a secret rendezvous.
Its sister Cafes are perhaps better known for their wine, but trust us, there's no shortage of other beverage options at Tria Taproom. Located not far from Rittenhouse Square, this sleek, intimate space offers over 40 taps dispensing a wide range of local and craft beers, ciders, and wines, ensuring every glass is as fresh as possible — no bottles allowed. And should you find yourself looking for a snack to pair with your drink(s), it also offers a menu of small bites, wood-grilled flatbreads, and cheeses.
If you call yourself a bourbon fan, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage to Bourbon Country. And once you're there, you should most certainly start your tour at The Old Talbott Tavern. Continuously operated since it was built in 1779, it's the world's oldest bourbon bar, having at one time been owned by Jim Beam's brother, having been frequented by the founders of Heaven Hill and Maker's Mark, visited by Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, French King Louis Phillipe, and Jesse James, drank in by countless many. Should you find yourself enjoying your bourbon a little too much, they also serve a menu of local food favorites and, as a last resort, offer five overnight rooms.
As far as Stateside Tiki bars go, it's tough to get more authentic than Hala Kahiki. Originally opened in 1963 as a neighborhood tavern, transformed into a Tiki not long after, and subsequently moved to its roomier current location, this classic Polynesian-themed bar offers over 100 tropical drinks on its extensive menu, as well as a full bar and a smattering of bottled beer. There's plenty of seating — 40 tables plus the bar inside, and another 15 tables in the garden outside — from which you can take in the terrific decor, including the largest collection of Witco art of any Tiki bar in the US.
Sometimes you don't need a huge list of beers or world-class cocktails to have a good time. Sometimes all you need is a good jukebox, a good crowd, and some drunken distractions. The Thirsty Beaver Saloon offers all three. Nestled in the Plaza Midwood area, this cinderblock honky tonk is a go-to for local beer drinkers of all ages, and is also home to occasional live music, a pair of pool tables, a Pac-Man machine, a surprisingly clean restroom, some picnic tables outside for al fresco drinking and/or smoking, and a crude painting of a beaver in cowboy boots and hat drinking beer on the side of the building. What more could you want?