New York City is home once again to the world’s number one bar.
Dante, a Greenwich Village institution that first opened in 1915, won the night at the World’s 50 Best Bars awards with an eight-position jump to No. 1. Over the past century, the restaurant/bar (image below) hosted many of New York’s finest, from Bob Dylan and Al Pacino to Ernest Hemingway and Patti Smith. A few years ago, the space took on new owners who worked to recapture its roots in an authentic way, which included crafting an epic list of Negronis. The gambit clearly worked as Dante took over the top spot from London-based Dandelyan, which surprisingly closed its doors this past year.
This marks the third time a NYC bar topped the list since it debuted in 2009, with Dead Rabbit claiming the No. 1 spot in 2016 and the quasi-speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in 2011. The only other city to claim a No. 1 bar is London, which took the top spot eight times with four different bars. Artesian ruled for four straight years between 2012 and 2015, but with some blaming major staff departures, the London bar missed the 50 Best entirely in 2016.
London did take the No. 2 spot with the Connaught Bar and No. 5 with the 19th century-born American Bar, and the U.K. claimed a list-leading 10 entries overall. NYC alone claimed six bars, with NoMad finishing strong at No. 4, while the U.S. also landed La Factoria (San Juan, Puerto Rico) at No. 32 and Trick Dog (San Francisco) at No. 42.
South America claimed several entries with Florería Atlántico (Buenos Aires, Argentina) at No. 3, Licorería Limantour (Mexico City, Mexico) at No. 10, Carnaval (Lima, Peru) at No. 13 (image above), Guilhotina (São Paulo, Brazil) at 15 and Presidente (Buenos Aires) at No. 33. Carnaval and Guilhotina both made their 50 Best debuts, and the Peruvian bar won the award for Highest New Entry.
Asia’s 13 entries included four in China, two in Japan, one in Taiwan and six in Singapore, including Operation Dagger (home of the Cyprus Hill) at No. 30. Electric Bing Sutt (Beirut, Lebanon) scored the lone Middle Eastern entry at No. 46. Spain’s three entries included Madrid’s Salmón Gurú at No. 19 and Barcelona’s Paradiso (image below) and Dr. Stravinsky at Nos. 20 and 25, respectively. Jumping 28 spots since 2018, Salmón Gurú won the award for Highest Climber.
Rome, which narrowly made the list with Jerry Thomas Speakeasy at No. 50, might have a future entry on its hands with Drink Kong (No. 82 on the extended list), which scored One to Watch honors. If there was an award for best bar name, however, London would clearly have a contender with the enticingly named Satan’s Whiskers (No. 78).