100 places to drink whiskey

100wBuddha never said, “It’s better to travel well than to arrive,” but it’s still a great maxim. To me it’s another way of saying we need to enjoy our journey in life. Often, that manifests itself in the consumption of cocktails with friends. The following is a list of 100 great places to do that. A while back, I created a Wunderlist of places I want to visit someday. I’ve been to some of these and heard about the others. The list finally hit 100, so I thought I would write a post about them. I’ve left Foursquare tips at many of these as well.

A list like this is often controversial. Surely a few of you have your own opinions on which establishments should be included. Feel free to chime in. 200 places to drink whiskey sounds like a great title for a follow up blog post.

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The list: 100 places to drink whiskey (grouped by city)

  • Morton’s The Steakhouse – Anaheim -Not saying you should go to Anaheim just to drink whiskey at Morton’s The Steak House. Just saying’, if you are stuck in Anaheim…
  • The Arvada Tavern – Arvada – Perhaps Winetka, Il, Stockton, CA, and Gilbert , AZ are the only suburbs that are more boring than Arvada, CO, yet this cocktail bar still rocks. Get the Sazerac. Order it with Sazerac Rye.
  • Local Three – Atlanta
  • Peché – Austin – Prohibition style libations including an awesome fig manhattan.
  • Thames Street Oyster House – Baltimore -You’re really here for the oysters, but the rye manhattans are solid and the atmosphere is just about perfect.
  • The Horse You Came In On Saloon – Baltimore -Actually, the entire Fells Point Neighborhood is a pretty great place to drink whiskey. This bar get’s extra points for being the oldest dive bar in the nation, and the last know sighting of Edgar Allen Poe… Just don’t order Jack Daniels.
  • 10 Barrel Brewing – Boise – Get the heymaker… and a cab.
  • Eastern Standard – Boston
  • Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar – Boston
  • Breckenridge Distillery Tasting Room – Breckenridge – Sample bourbon from the world’s highest distillery.
  • The Whiskey Room at Ri Ra – Burlington – Get a whiskey cider… up.
  • The Bar at Husk – Charleston
  • Big Star – Chicago – Because tacos and whiskey. That’s why.
  • Bullhead Cantina – Chicago – Because tacos and whiskey. That’s why.
  • Chicago Distilling Company – Chicago -Order a whiskey sour. Good stuff. If you plan ahead, you can even take a tour of the distillery.
  • Chicago Q – Chicago -One of the best bourbon lists in Chicago. In addition, the BBQ is outstanding.
  • Clark Street Ale House – Chicago – If you’re staying near the Mag Mile, this is one of the best bars in walking distance. Great beer and whiskey selection. Pro Tip: If you get hungry, have a thin crust pizza delivered from Pizano’s on State St.
  • Club Lucky – Chicago -Actual prohibition era speakeasy. Pretty damn good Italian food as well.
  • Delilah’s – Chicago – The mother of all whiskey bars in Chicago.
  • DrumBAR – Chicago – Great drinks, an even better view.
  • Emporium Arcade Bar – Chicago – Whiskey and Pinball.
Rye Manhattan, up at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steaks and Stone Crab in Chicago.
Rye Manhattan, up at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steaks and Stone Crab in Chicago.
  • Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Chicago -This is my favorite steakhouse in Chicago. The house rye manhattan (served up) is the only drink I order there.
  • Longman & Eagle – Chicago -Awesome food and plenty of great bourbon drinks. Pro Tip: The cool kids go to OSB in back.
  • Sable Kitchen & Bar – Chicago -Buffalo Trace Manhattans are excellent. The chicken and waffles are AWESOME.
  • The Aviary – Chicago
  • The Barrelhouse Flat – Chicago – Speak easy atmosphere with bespoke drinks.
  • The Berkshire Room – Chicago – It’s the lobby bar for the Acme Hotel. Need I say more?
  • The Koval Distillery – Chicago – You can’t order drinks here, but you can tour the distillery (by appointment). Buy a bottle of Oat Whiskey. It’s pretty much the best whiskey I have ever had.
  • The Southern – Chicago – Awesome place for brunch. Great patio and lots of good whiskey cocktails.
  • The Violet Hour – Chicago – It’s hard to find, which is one reason I like it. Best place to drink cocktails in Wicker Park.
  • Famous Steak House – Colorado Springs – Best manhattan in Colorado Springs
  • Cruise Room – Denver – This place is legit. Open since the day prohibition ended (and probably before that)

    A small sample of the cigar selection at Delaney's in Denver
    A small sample of the cigar selection at Delaney’s in Denver
  • Delaneys Bar & Cigar Lounge – Denver -Order a Vega Fina Toro 6X 50 and a Buffalo Trace on the rocks. Bonus points if it’s nice enough to sit on the patio.
  • Pinche Tacos – Denver – Because tacos and whiskey. That’s why.
  • Sputnik – Denver – Corn dogs, hipsters & whiskey. Great spot.
  • The Cooper Lounge – Denver – This place opened after we moved. Still want to check it out.
  • Williams & Graham – Denver -This place looks pretty awesome, but I’ll have to wait until the overblown hype cools off before I visit it. Not waiting three hours for a drink. I look forward to checking it out some day.
  • Anvil Bar & Refuge – Houston
  • Rainbow Lodge – Houston
  • Reserve 101 – Houston
  • Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange – Kansas City
  • The Chandelier – Las Vegas -Pro Tip: Start with The Verbena. Yeah, it’s not whiskey. No worries, the night is young.
  • The Lexington House – Los Gatos – This place just looks cool. Gonna try it someday.

    No shortage of bacon at Doc Crow's
    No shortage of bacon at Doc Crow’s
  • Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar – Lousville – Oysters, bourbon and bacon.
  • Haymarket Whiskey Bar – Louisville
  • The Silver Dollar – Louisville – Do NOT try to order Tennessee whiskey here!
  • Proof on Main – Louisville -This place has a cool, art gallery type vibe. The drinks were nice and strong like they should be.
  • Tongue & Cheek – Miami Beach – Fried chicken & whiskey sours? Yes, please.
  • Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Miami Beach – Fried Chicken and Waffles & Whiskey. I have to try this place some day.

    Shabby chic or classic dive bar? Either way, the drink list is epic at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee.
    Shabby chic or classic dive bar? Either way, the drink list is epic at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee.
  • Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge – Milwaukee – They have like a million different cocktails, but The Sinatra is the only whiskey drink that’s served on fire. I imagine this is what a Flaming Moe might taste like.
  • Great Lakes Distillery – Milwaukee – Kinnickinnic Whiskey is made here. Take a tour of the distillery and then drink even more in the bar. Pro tip: Get the squeaky cheese curds if available.
  • Prohibition Bar – Minneapolis – Haven’t been, but if I ever make it back to Minneapolis, I want to check it out.
  • Patterson House – Nashville -Because, bacon infused bourbon.
  • Barrel Proof – New Orleans
  • Bourbon House – New Orleans
  • Cure – New Orleans
  • Maison Bourbon Jazz Club – New Orleans – Order the Mint Juleps and listen to live jazz. Perfect.
  • Sazerac Bar – New Orleans – Best bar in NOLA. Order the Sazerac… duh.
  • Angel’s Share – New York
  • Death + Company – New York
  • Little Branch – New York – This place is really hard to find. That’s just one more reason why it’s awesome.
  • Maysville – New York
  • The District Lounge – Newport Beach – It’s a classic dive bar, but on the beach. Extra points if order your first whiskey before 9:00 AM.
  • Marion Street Cheese Market – Oak Park – Welcome to my hood. Order a Kinnickinnic manhattan, up. Best manhattan in Oak Park.
  • Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails – Phoenix – Because whiskey, chicken and waffles.
  • Hanny’s – Phoenix – Whiskey with Phoenix hipsters. Get the Ginger Creek.
  • Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library – Portland
  • The Old Gold – Portland
  • Southland Whiskey Kitchen – Portland
  • The Woodsman Tavern – Portland
  • Fairmont Le Château Frontenac – Québec – The locals will tell you there are better places to spend your money, but you’re not a local… are you?

    Saint-Alexandre Pub in Québec
    Saint-Alexandre Pub in Québec
  • Saint-Alexandre Pub – Québec -They have a great scotch selection, but honestly, it’s an even better place to drink beer. Just an awesome bar in general.
  • Gaslamp Speakeasy – San Diego
  • Noble Experiment – San Diego
  • Prohibition Liquor Bar – San Diego – I guess it’s hard to get in sometimes. We had no problem.
  • Seven Grand – San Diego
  • Tivoli Bar – San Diego – Oldest bar in San Diego and a damn fine dive bar to drink whiskey in.
  • Azucar Lounge – San Francisco – Because tacos and whiskey. That’s why.
  • Bourbon & Branch – San Francisco – What can I say? I’m a sucker for a speakeasy. Order a Revolver.
  • Burritt Room – San Francisco – Great cocktails and live jazz. Food is pretty good as well.
  • Rickhouse – San Francisco – Just a good old fashioned whiskey bar.
  • Rye – San Francisco – Small place, but awesome vibe and great drinks. It’s worth standing if you need to. Pro Tip: Get Thai food from the place on the corner.
  • The Lobby Lounge at The Fairmont – San Jose – Quite possibly my favorite lobby bar ever.
  • Café ZuZu – Scottsdale – The lobby bar at the Hotel Valley Ho. This is probably the best place west of the Mississippi to order an Old Fashioned and pretend you are Don Draper.
  • Canon – Seattle
  • Fets Whisky Kitchen – Vancouver – 420 different whiskies. #420
  • The Morrissey – Vancouver
  • Pourhouse – Vancouver
  • The Diamond – Vancouver
  • Narrow Lounge – Vancouver – It’s a speakeasy… with a beer garden. Sold.
  • barmini by José Andrés – Washington DC – Because… I like scenes.
  • Bourbon – Washington D.C. – Great selection and vibe. My favorite bar in DC.
  • Eighteenth Street Lounge – Washington DC
  • Harold Black – Washington DC
  • Jack Rose – Washington DC
  • Lincoln – Washington DC – Awesome food and service. Great for dinner and a few drinks.
  • The Gibson – Washington DC
  • Mad Hatter – Washington DC – Not sure how I feel about this place at night, but it’s perfect for a late “brunch.”
  • Old Glory – Washington DC – I have ended up at this place a number times. Never really planning to go. It just happens. Once I am there, I always have fun.
  • One Love Beach Bar – White Bay, BVI – No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem. All your friends will order sissy-boy rum drinks. Be a man and drink some whisky (spelled with no “e” out of respect for the Queen.  You are on British soil.)

“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.”
~ Johnny Carson

Author: @tcar

I will fill out my bio as soon as I have time.

3 thoughts on “100 places to drink whiskey”

  1. Controversy, schmontroversy. It takes a village to drink properly. I would add my kitchen as a great place to get a great Manhattan, but I will add “real” places insomuch as they differ from your list. 🙂

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