The Biggest Surprises From The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 Winners List

The annual rankings put cocktail dens in Mexico and Spain on par with the United States, but England truly dominates

Winners from the World's 50 Best Bars were announced live in London on December 7th. The Connaught Bar in London took home top honors for the second year in a row.
Unlike last year, the 2021 World's 50 Best Bars event was held in person
Paul Clarke / World's 50 Best Bars

It’s not a surprise that Connaught Bar topped this year’s World’s 50 Best Bars list. After all, the London bar won last year as well.

The bigger surprise? In a year that saw limited travel opportunities, 17 countries were represented in the list, along with a whopping 18 new entries.

First, the big winner: Connaught Bar, which was joined at the top by another London bar, Tayēr + Elementary, in second place. “Connaught Bar, we salute you — to be named The World’s Best Bar for two consecutive years is a feat that previously only two bars have achieved in the awards’ 13-year history,” as Mark Sansom, Content Editor for The World’s 50 Best Bars, said in a statement. “It’s a testament to Ago Perrone and his team’s continued pursuit of excellence, which is encapsulated in the way they have developed and modernized the Martini cocktail.” (You can find a cold weather recipe from the Connaught here.)

The biggest surprise from this year’s list? The United States only saw four bars in the top 50 and only one in the top 10 (New York’s Katana Kitten). Mexico, meanwhile, had the highest entry in North America, with Mexico City’s Licorería Limantour at no. 6.

Some other interesting notes:

  • While London had the top two bars and three in total, it was Spain that performed best overall in Europe, with four entries.
  • Hanky Panky in Mexico City won the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award, coming into the list for the first time at No.12
  • The only United States bar not in New York on the list was Miami’s Café La Trova, a new entry at no. 28.
  • Singapore had the biggest impact on the list, with six entries. China (including Hong Kong) was next, with five.
  • Thunderbolt in Los Angeles was named the winner of Campari One To Watch, which is given to a bar outside the main list that the 50 Best team believes “has the ability to break into the ranking in future editions.” 

Our thoughts? This years was truly a global list, and it was great to see a lot of newcomers. One small concern: The bars here are all pretty much located in extremely large metropolitan areas — not a surprise, but there are certainly worthy candidates in places more akin to Milan, Italy (the only real outlier city location in the top 50, besides perhaps Miami).

The 13th list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, was announced at a live awards ceremony on December 7th in London, after a virtual ceremony last year due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. However, some changes in voting guidelines and requirements were made due to limited travel opportunities. This year’s list was based on members of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy’s bar experiences across a voting period between March 2020 to September 2021, and for this year there was no requirement for The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy to cast international votes; overall, they were asked to vote for seven bars in order of preference.


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