Drinking and nightlife in Americas

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Atlanta

    New Realm Brewing Co

    Traditionally Atlanta has lagged behind more brew-friendly Southern cities like Asheville, Nashville or Memphis due to legislation that prevented on-site beer sales at breweries. With that law in the rearview mirror as of 2017, Atlanta is becoming the South's next best beer city, led by one of the most iconic names in American brewing, Mitch Steele, at New Realm Brewing Co. Hazy Like a Fox was the brewery's core beers © New Realm Brewing This 20,000-sq-ft restaurant and brewery along the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail is a coup for Southern hopheads. IPAs and small-batch brews are guzzled by a fun crowd ogling the Atlanta skyline from the upstairs terrace. But the fun doesn't end there: with dishes inspired by both the local diverse food scene and the brewmaster's craft beers, you could be tucking in to kale Caesar salads and crab soup, or heartier mains such as buffalo chicken pizza and wagyu burger. You could easily spend all day here.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Charleston

    Firefly Distillery

    The world’s first hand-crafted sweet-tea-flavored vodka came from this gem of a distillery, now situated in a brand-new location in North Charleston. Sampling this classic, which is made with tea grown on the nearby Charleston Tea Plantation, distilled four times and blended with sugarcane from Louisiana, is what brings most people to the door. Tastings are $6. Once inside, though, guests sample a great many other libations, including flavored moonshines (the peach is insanely delicious), liqueurs that taste just like pies, and craft beer.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Bogotá

    Azahar Café

    Possibly the finest shrine to coffee in Colombia, the recently amplified Azahar exudes taste, expertise and an undying passion for the country’s second-most-famous homegrown product (after cocaine). Busy baristas work behind a huge counter like alchemists in a chemistry lab, experimenting with French press, Chemex, pour-over and espresso. The attention to detail jumps out of the cup. Sit at one of the lovely wooden tables and watch as staff custom-brew your request and bring it to you in a fancy pot, cup or flask. The breakfasts – Spanish-style migas (bread salad), açai bowls and the requisite avocado on toast – are available all day and hard to pass up. Lunches mainly involve sandwiches and chicken.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Boulder

    Mountain Sun

    As Boulder as it gets, this is the town's favorite brewery. It cheerfully serves a smorgasbord of fine brews and packs in everyone from yuppies to hippies. Best of all is its community atmosphere. The pub grub, especially the burgers and chili, is delicious and it's fully family-friendly, with board games and kids' meals. There's often live bluegrass and reggae on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights. Cash only. If you want to skip the hassles of downtown parking, check out its more spacious pub, called the Southern Sun, at the southern end of Broadway, with free parking.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Around San Antonio

    Gruene Hall

    Folks have been congregating here since 1878, making it one of Texas' oldest dance halls and the oldest in continual operation. Toss back a longneck, two-step to live music on the wellworn wooden dance floor, check out the photos of past performers (love that 'do, Lyle Lovett!) or play horseshoes out in the yard. Music nightly. There's only a cover on weekend nights and when big acts are playing, so at least stroll through and soak up the vibe.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in North Beach & Chinatown

    Comstock Saloon

    During this 1907 saloon's heyday, patrons relieved themselves in the marble trough below the bar – now you'll have to tear yourself away from Comstock's authentic pisco punch and martini-precursor Martinez (gin, vermouth, bitters, maraschino liqueur). Arrive to toast Emperor Norton's statue at happy hour (4pm to 6pm) and stay for the family meal (whatever kitchen staff's eating). Reserve booths to hear when ragtime-jazz bands play.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Savannah

    El-Rocko Lounge

    One step in the door and you feel the '70s-inspired swank, but then realize the vibe – in true Savannah fashion – is absolutely chill. Friendly barkeeps mix fancy cocktails while DJs keep the energy high and dance moves steady with diverse jams on vinyl. The crowd is superhip and delightfully unpretentious, and the owner is as rad as they come.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Zeitgeist

    You've got two seconds flat to order from tough-gal barkeeps used to putting macho bikers in their place – but with 48 beers on draft, you're spoiled for choice. Epic afternoons unfold in the beer garden, with folks hanging out and smoking at long tables. SF's longest happy hour lasts 9am to 6pm weekdays. Cash only; no photos (read: no evidence).

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Treasure Beach

    Pelican Bar

    A thatched hut on stilts, built on a submerged sandbar 1km out to sea after owner Floyd saw it in a dream, is still Jamaica’s – and perhaps the planet’s – most enjoyable spot for a drink. You can carve your name into the floorboards, play a game of dominoes, or just chill with a Red Stripe while wading in the shallows. Getting there is half the fun: hire a local boat captain in Treasure Beach (around US$40) or Parottee (around US$20), who will call ahead to arrange things if you want to eat. This is essential for those who want to take a meal out here (mains are US$10 to US$20), which is novel but frankly not necessary – you’ll get better food on land. It's best to come here for a cold Red Stripe (or rum, if such is your fancy). The bar's fame has spread far and wide, and the clientele is a mix of enchanted travelers and repeat-business fishers who while away the hours exchanging pleasantries with the owner.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Brooklyn: Williamsburg, Greenpoint & Bushwick

    House of Yes

    Anything goes at this hedonistic warehouse venue, with two stages, three bars and a covered outdoor area that offers some of the most creative themed performance and dance nights in Brooklyn. You might see aerial-silk acrobats, punk bands, burlesque shows, drag shows, performance artists, or DJs as revered as Jellybean Benitez spinning disco, soul, house and other delights. Leave the baseball caps and sneakers at home – costumes or other funky outfits will get you priority admission most nights, and on Friday and Saturday they're required for entry. (An on-site pop-up costume shop will let you throw something together – ecofriendly glitter included – if you arrive unprepared.) This is an inclusive, open-minded and joyous crowd. Amplifying the feel-good factor, the venue has gone green with water refill stations, biodegradable straws on request and more.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Sunshine Coast

    Persephone Brewing Company

    Welcome to one of Canada’s only farm-to-barrel microbreweries. Among numerous sustainable practices, Persephone grows its own hops at an on-site 11-acre farm and harvests them specifically for its home-brewed beer. Try them in a pint of crisp Coast Life Lager in the brewery’s big red barn of a tasting room or add a sample to your four-taster flight. Hops are only half of it. Persephone also grow apples for cider and vegetables for food. The veg are served out of a sleek silver food truck either spread over crispy pizzas or hidden in well-stuffed tacos. All in all, this is an idyllic spot to imbibe, located five minutes from the ferry terminal, with picnic tables, a gabled barn and rows of hops blowing in the breeze. Tours are offered on Sundays. Kids are welcome (for homemade lemonade).

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in The Mission, Dogpatch & Potrero Hill

    Trick Dog

    Drink adventurously with ingenious cocktails inspired by local obsessions: San Francisco muralists, Chinese diners or conspiracy theories. Every six months, Trick Dog adopts a new theme and the menu changes – proof you can teach an old dog new tricks and improve on classics like the Manhattan. Arrive early for bar stools or hit the mood-lit loft for high-concept bar bites. Trick Dog has collaborated with SF muralists to create cocktails based on their artwork, and proceeds from the resulting Trick Dog Murals cocktail-recipe book benefit the Mission's own Precita Eyes and Creativity Explored arts nonprofits.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Illinois

    Scratch Brewing

    You'll find this farmhouse brewery hidden away amid horse- and sheep-grazing pastures just 5 miles outside Shawnee National Forest in Ava. Twigs, bark, berries and herbs from the farm are thrown into their foraged wild ales and sours (goblets and snifters from $5), often aged in their own split-out oak trees from the property. File under: travel-worthy beer nirvana. To accompany, wood-fired pizzas, goat-cheese platters and house-pickled veggies paired with their own sourdough bread. This is connoisseur territory (it's been touted as one of the most beautiful places to drink beer in the world) and the crusty, bohemian vibe feels as 'Drink Local' as it gets.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in French Quarter

    Bar Tonique

    'Providing shelter from sobriety since 08/08/08', Tonique is a bartender’s bar. Seriously, on a Sunday night, when the weekend rush is over, we’ve seen no fewer than three of the city’s top bartenders arrive here to unwind. This gem mixes some of the best drinks in the city, offering a spirits menu as long as a Tolstoy novel. The one drawback: if Tonique is crowded, it can take a while to get your drink. Deep breaths. These cocktails are made with love and care, and deserve a little patience. If it's too crowded, they may not even make you that Ramos Gin Fizz you're craving. If you can, go in the afternoon, when they have a great happy hour and plenty of time on their talented hands.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in SoHo & Chinatown

    Apothéke

    It takes a little effort to track down this former opium-den-turned-apothecary bar on Doyers St (look for the 'chemist' sign with a beaker illustration hanging above the doorway). Inside, skilled barkeeps work like careful chemists, using local, seasonal produce from greenmarkets to concoct intense, flavorful 'prescriptions.' The pineapple-cilantro spiced Sitting Buddha is one of the best drinks on the menu. The menu is just as much fun as sipping the drinks, divided into sections including 'aphrodisiacs', 'pain killers' and 'stress relievers.' Special nightly entertainment features the likes of a Prohibition-based theme on Wednesdays and 'Absinthe Minded' Sundays.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Kingston

    Dub Club

    Dub Club is the house party that's become a major Kingston brand. And what a house! Set high on Jack's Hill, it looks down over the lights of the city, twinkling in the night. The huge sound system treats you to the deepest dub and rootsiest reggae, with the selector standing at a pair of decks under a huge mango tree. There's a laid-back bar and I-tal food, and the doors open from 8pm, so you can treat it as a fine early drinking spot, though things don't get going until way after 10pm. Every reggae artist and DJ worth their salt rotates through the Dub Club at some time – if there's a cooler night out in Kingston, we'd like to know about it.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Calgary

    Betty Lou's Library

    Betty Lou's Library won't be for everyone, but if you like feeling like you've stepped back in time to Prohibition 1920s, then you'll get a kick out of coming here. The cocktails are superb; if you can't decide just ask one of the bartenders for a custom-crafted cup of yum. You'll need a password to enter, so call first. The entrance is actually on 16th Ave, not 17th. Look for a red light, a bookshelf and a phone. Note also that there are some house rules that are enforced – among them, no talking or making chitchat with other parties at the bar. That means this spot is best enjoyed with a friend or two, unless you like drinking alone.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Oaxaca City

    Mezcaloteca

    This swanky tasting room is by far the best place in the city to visit if you want to learn about mezcal. Not only can the staff here teach you about how mezcal is made, but you will get a crash course in how to taste it and what to look for in a quality product. Call ahead to book a tasting session. Pay based on how many mezcals you want to taste, and come prepared to ask questions. Hosts will offer you a selection from the house brands based on your tastes. They work with small-batch producers to create a number of unique, blended, wild-crafted and aged mezcals that can't be found anywhere else.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Midtown

    The Campbell

    In 1923 this hidden-away hall was the office of American financier John W Campbell. It later became a signalman's office, a jail and a gun storage before falling into obscurity. In 2017 it was restored to its original grandeur, complete with the stunning hand-painted ceiling and Campbell's original safe in the fireplace. Come for cocktails and you'll feel like you're waiting for Rockefeller or Carnegie to join you. Try to book ahead Thursday to Sunday. It's a little tricky to find: take the elevator in the corridor next to the oyster bar.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Hanalei

    Tahiti Nui

    The legendary Nui (rendered famous by its cameo role in The Descendants) is a tiki dive bar with heart and history, and a rather tasty dinner menu. Usually crowded from mid-afternoon onward, it gets rollicking nightly with live Hawaiian music from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. It’s especially busy on weekends, when it’s the only place open past 10pm. As for the food (mains $18 to $32), we love the seared ahi with wasabi cream and purple sweet potatoes, and the pizzas aren’t bad either. A small room opens up nightly at 5pm to serve as a separate wine bar.