Bars

The tavern, saloon, public house, or bar occupies a key position in the development of society, dating back to ancient Babylon at least. From ancient times to the present, these were places for travelers and workers to eat, drink, relax, and socialize. Bars have been crucial gathering places throughout history; it’s said that the American Revolution got its start in the bars of Boston — alcohol specifically fueling the flames of independence. This section of the site comprises reviews of bars around the world — including bars focused on wine, beer, and (particularly) cocktails. If the bar is part of a restaurant, we’ll often cover the food offerings there, too.

Top Bar Posts:

Tasting the Classic Cocktails of New Orleans
Where to Drink in Asheville, North Carolina
Tyge & Sessil, Stockholm
The 404 Nashville
The Chandelier Lounge at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Dining with Sammy Hagar at El Paseo’s Wine Collectors’ Dinner

Bar Review: The Oakwood, Vancouver B.C.

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2016 |

Vancouver’s Oakwood is a Canadian Bistro by name, featuring a decent-sized restaurant serving Canadian classics next to a roaring fire. But across the aisle is a bar that’s worthy of your time in its own right. We picked an auspicious time to visit, as Oakwood’s former bartender recently left and was just replaced by a…

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Dining with Sammy Hagar at El Paseo’s Wine Collectors’ Dinner

By Christopher Null | August 30, 2016 |

What’s better than bringing a bottle of wine to dinner? Bringing about 30 of them, then passing them around so everyone can try a bit of each. Such is the idea behind the monthly Wine Collectors’ Dinner at Mill Valley, California’s El Paseo, a fine dining establishment perhaps best known for its celebrity ownership, local…

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A Visit to Anchor Distilling’s New Tasting Room

By Christopher Null | July 29, 2016 |

Anchor Brewing is icon of San Francisco, dating back to 1896. Of more recent advent is Anchor’s distilling arm, which got going only in 1993. A funny thing, though: Anchor Distilling is on pace next year to match Anchor Brewing on a revenue basis, the new kid done good in the end. The brainchild of…

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Bar Review: Whitechapel, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | May 31, 2016 |

Of all the gin joints in San Francisco, well, you probably walked into this one, the only temple to this classic white spirit in town — in fact, the only one I’ve ever been to at anywhere. Whitechapel opened in October 2015, part of the resurgence of classy, artisanal, and/or themed cocktail bars sweeping the…

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Tasting the Beers of Baeltane Brewing, Spring 2016 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 12, 2016 |

Baeltane Brewing is located right in my backyard in Novato, California — they have brewed their beer in an industrial park here since 2012 and even run a little tasting room out of the front of it. Baeltane can also be found in bars and stores around the Bay Area, all the way up to…

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Bar Review: Pagan Idol, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2016 |

For years, San Franciscans have had one primary spot for tiki drinks: Smuggler’s Cove. Now a new temple to rum and tropical fruit juices has opened: Pagan Idol. Pagan Idol is part of the Future Bars group, which owns Rickhouse, Bourbon & Branch, and other high-end bars. Pagan Idol fits right in, taking the tiki…

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Bar Review: Bar Mia, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2015 |

There are whiskey bars. There are rum bars. There are even vodka bars. Bar Mia is the first amaro-focused bar that I can recall ever visiting. Housed in San Francisco’s Mission District, Bar Mia only just opened, the libation side of Nostra Spaghetteria, the Italian-focused eatery which it shares space with. Under the direction of…

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Bar Review: The Franklin, Philadelphia

By Christopher Null | June 26, 2015 |

Philadelphia isn’t exactly known as a hotspot for craft cocktails, but those of discriminating tastes do know at least one spot to go for elevated libations: The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., a cheeky name for an underground bar and seemingly one of the only drinking establishments in Philly that doesn’t have a TV. I’ve…

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Bar Review: Third Rail, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | May 3, 2015 |

Here’s a cute idea: A bar that specializes in custom cocktails… and bespoke jerky. Third Rail, in San Francisco’s Dogpatch region, is a cozy little joint where you can get a small beer, shot, and a bit of jerky all for 10 bucks during happy hour. This seemed like the most popular choice among the post-work…

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Bar Review: John Colins, San Francisco

By Christopher Null | April 12, 2015 |

John Colins is a bit of a wacky place, located in the heart of San Francisco’s South of Market area. One wall beyond the bar shows off a moving beach scene. Upstairs there’s a sushi bar with 20 seats. Gourmet coffee is also available. And no, the name isn’t misspelled. John Colins has a (mild)…

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