Food & Drink

Best Cocktail Bars in the World

Best Cocktail Bars in the World

Whether you like them sugary and sweet, sour and salty, or creamy and rich, cocktails come in many forms (and flavours). From bitter beverages (like the paloma and negroni) to fun, fruity blends (such as piña coladas or strawberry daiquiris), there’s a tipple to satisfy every tastebud. And beyond the bar menu classics, mixologists have long been concocting even more creative combinations. So, where can you find these high-calibre cocktails? London and New York are well-known for playing host to some of the best cocktail bars in the world, while Barcelona and Mexico have fast become cocktail bar connoisseurs. Read on for our round-up, selected from the World’s Best Bar winners. Cheers!


  1. Paradiso, Barcelona
  2. Tayēr + Elementary, London
  3. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
  4. Little Red Door, Paris
  5. Double Chicken Please, New York


Paradiso, Barcelona


Dimly lit with a dark wood interior, the setting of Paradiso is as dramatic as some of its cocktail creations. The bar takes the form of a speakeasy, situated in Barcelona’s hip El Born district and accessed via a fridge door within a traditional Spanish pastrami shop. Inside, the trendy décor consists of curved wood panelling across the ceiling, lily-pad clad light fixtures and palm-tree patterned wallpaper. If you’re keen to learn more about how they craft their eclectic drinks, book onto one of their mixology courses, or simply sit back and enjoy some award-winning alcoholic concoctions (they currently hold the title of ‘World’s Best Cocktail Bar’). In keeping with their innovative style, reservations aren’t accepted and instead you’re invited to join a virtual queue by scanning a QR code at the door.


Tayēr + Elementary, London


A bar of two halves, Tayēr + Elementary in London’s Shoreditch neighbourhood fuses casual, easy-going eats with more serious, cutting-edge drink innovations. Elementary is the light and bright area, serving up beer, wine, coffee, cocktails on tap and delectable snacks, while the more atmospheric and moodier Tayēr sits behind a concrete partition. With complex and incredible flavour combinations, the drinks here don’t have names but are instead displayed as a list of ingredients, resembling a restaurant menu. And to accompany your tipple, the kitchen serves up Portuguese/Chinese fusion dishes (think Iberian pork katsu sandwiches and kimchi croquettes). No wonder it’s recognised as one of the best cocktail bars in the world.


Licorería Limantour, Mexico City


Retaining its spot on the World’s Best Bars list since 2014, Mexico City’s Licorería Limantour is somewhat of a cocktail-crafting institution. The modern and chic bar is packed every day of the week, as locals and travellers congregate to sample out-there drinks and moreish snacks from its lengthy menu. Some of the crazier creations have stood the test of time and remain solid favourites, such as the Margarita Al Pastor, inspired by al pastor tacos and made by combining pineapple juice with smoked paprika. All of the bar staff are skilled mixologists and the menu is ever-evolving with seasonal additions, so it’s easy to see why people often return more than once.


Little Red Door, Paris


An intimate nightspot tucked away in Paris’ fashionable Marais district, the Little Red Door is another long-standing nominee on the list of the best cocktail bars in the world. While the establishment is, as you’d expect, fronted by a red door, the actual entrance is located to the left and takes you into a cosy space that gives off shabby chic living room vibes (we’re talking exposed brick walls and velvet-backed bar stools). Take your pick from the array of armchairs, stools and chaises, and peruse the well thought-out menu, which is a work of art in itself thanks to the accompanying illustrations by local artists. The bar’s farm-to-glass model places produce at the centre of their libations and has garnered awards for their sustainability focus.


Double Chicken Please, New York


With a name that sounds more chicken shop than cocktail bar, Double Chicken Please is an immaculately styled, archetypal New York joint (think exposed filament lightbulbs and plush leather booths). The bar stays true to its name as well, serving up outstanding chicken sandwiches (some of the city’s most popular), alongside somewhat eccentric beverages. It’s the back room that really wows, however, with a menu based around the concept of turning solid foods into liquid cocktails. Inventions include Mango Sticky Rice (mango rum, sticky rice pu’erh tea wakame, cold brew coconut) and Cold Pizza (tequila, Parmigiano Reggiano, burnt toast, tomato, basil honey, egg white). Unsurprisingly, reservations are hard to come by, but the front room does operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Written by Luisa Watts