The best bar in North America is officially Double Chicken Please, a relative NYC newcomer that specializes in food-inspired cocktails. That was one of the big takeaways from the second annual North America’s 50 Best Bars 2023 ceremony, which was held on Thursday in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
New York City bars actually accounted for 12 of the top 50, with the United States as a whole taking home 28 spots on the list. The Lower East Side cocktail den Double Chicken Please, which came in at number 17 last year (and, interestingly, at number 6 on the global World’s 50 Best Bars list), features a drinks program based on the concept of “hacking design” (basically, deconstructed and then creatively reconstructed cocktails) that are heavily inspired by food (witness the Key Lime Pie, NY Beet Salad and Cold Pizza tipples).
If you want to grab a drink there, we’d recommend reservations for the back room, but the space is closed until May 8 because of construction.
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“We commend Double Chicken Please and its visionary founders, GN Chan and Faye Chen, for reaching the peak of cocktail excellence on the North American continent,” Mark Sansom, content director for 50 Best, said in a statement. “Double Chicken Please is truly pushing the boundaries of flavor in cocktails and doing so with staggering creativity and precision, not to mention a wonderful sense of humor, humility and always flawless hospitality. This remarkable achievement did not come overnight. The duo persevered through the very challenging days of the pandemic, never once compromising their original vision for cocktails inspired by food dishes, even though their dream bar’s very viability was at risk. They not only survived but thrived.”
Other highlights from the awards:
- This year’s list featured 28 U.S. bars, 14 from Mexico, seven from Canada and one based in the Caribbean
- Handshake Speakeasy, at number two, won The Best Bar in Mexico
- Civil Liberties, Toronto, at number 12, earned The Best Bar in Canada
- La Factoría, Puerto Rico, at number 24, is named The Best Bar in the Caribbean
- Rayo, Mexico City, earned the London Essence Best New Opening
- Allegory, Washington, D.C., won the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu. The menu allegorically tells the story of Civil Rights Activist Ruby Bridges as seen through the lens of Alice in Wonderland.
- For New Yorkers: last year’s winner Attaboy is now at number 13. The city also saw two new entries — Martiny’s (number 29) and Milady’s (number 50).
- In a previously announced award, Christine Wiseman of Bar Lab Hospitality in New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles, was celebrated as the winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.
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