(NEXSTAR) – They’re really raising the bar.
Fifty of North America’s best pubs, speakeasies and cocktail lounges were honored in New York City last week during a beverage-industry event presented by William Reed Ltd., a U.K.-based multimedia firm specializing in the food and drink sector.
North America’s 50 Best Bars 2022 — organized by William Reed’s “50 Best” brand — held its inaugural award ceremony on Tuesday.
California was a clear winner according to William Reed, taking five of the 50 spots on the list. Four of those five bars are located in Southern California alone.
Los Angeles’s Thunderbolt (No. 9), Death & Co (No. 34), and Genever (No. 50) nabbed three spots on the list and San Diego’s Raised By Wolves (No. 19) grabbed the fourth slot for SoCal. In Northern California, ABV in San Francisco rounded out the list of California bars and speakeasies, coming in at No. 39.
The top honor on the list went to Attaboy, an unmarked bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side with no real cocktail menu to speak of.
“Rather, each drink is custom-tailored for the guest after a brief conversation,” 50 Best writes of the bar, whose patrons can often be found waiting in line on the street for a table.
Overall, more than half of North America’s “best” bars were found in the United States, with New York and California representing the lion’s share of the country’s contributions. Other honorees included cocktail spots in Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland and Puerto Rico.
The “best” bar winners at Tuesday’s event were chosen by a voting body of 220 “expert panelists,” the night’s emcee announced at the top of the ceremony. The awards are the first in what’s intended to be an annual celebration of the industry’s “superb bar talent in specific regions, showcasing the subtlety and complexity of bar craft from around the world,” according to 50 Best.
50 Best has also released annual rankings of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the World’s 50 Best Bars. The latter’s 2021 edition recognized Attaboy at its No. 34 spot. The 2022 list will be unveiled in October.
The complete list of North America’s 50 Best Bars can be found at the 50 Best website.