With all respect to dives, haunts, and lounges, there’s something to be said for a beautiful bar. The most attractive ones are feats of bar design and places we not only want to imbibe in, but ones where we stare in awe at the many comforting details. With so many great options, deciding on the most beautiful bars in America was not easy.
What separates the elites from the rest? Well, the best bars in America wow us with a combination of outstanding drinks and remarkable service. They tend to excel at those things and offer a certain ambiance you just can’t find anywhere else. From the architectural details of an old, perfectly maintained structure to brilliant design approaches, these beautiful bars sing — visually, anyway.
When you belly up at one of these places, you’re treating all of your senses. The negronis are noteworthy, the lighting is perfect, and the overall atmosphere begs you never, ever to leave. It’s art in bar form.
From bars tucked into iconic train stations to those with perfect interior design scores, these are the most beautiful bars in America.
The list of the best bars in New York City features its own competitive cast of amazing establishments. This one has to be included, even perhaps right at the top. When you’re set within Grand Central Station, it’s hard to go wrong.
The Campbell is considered an institution, and for good reason — its Florentine design makes you feel like you’re drinking during the original golden era of cocktails, aka the early 1920s. Maybe best of all, the place is tucked away enough in the world-famous station that it feels like a hidden gem and one of the most beautiful bars in NYC.
Birmingham, Alabama’s finest Mexican-inspired establishment is also one of the nation’s prettiest bars. From the tropical plants and warm booths and lighting to the stained glass brought in from Mexico, Adiõs is inviting and stunning. There are murals from a renowned Oaxacan artist, the color scheme is ideal, and there’s even a beautiful Dia de Los Muertos-themed installment shining brightly in the corner of the bar. Adiõs’ website describes the vibe of the cocktail bar serving Mexican-made spirits as “an interactive opportunity for guests to experience the ingredients, music, and art that make up the vibrant fabric of Mexico City.”
Imagine the private study of an extremely wealthy whiskey enthusiast and you pretty much have Multnomah Whiskey Library. The Portland, Oregon bar boasts not only an extensive list of the beloved spirits, but also all the accouterments to make the sipping experience downright heavenly. From the brass sliding bar ladders to the towering brick walls and wonderful, lap-lit furniture, this is a bar you’ll want to spend the entire weekend in. But don’t think you can just walk in, Multnomah Whiskey Library is a private club, and you have to be a member to imbibe there. Get more information on joining the Multnomah Whiskey Library here.
This bar’s beauty almost comes naturally, as it’s set within the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in the RT Lodge in Tennessee. There’s so much to take in, from the lovely barstools and soothing green colors to the incredible light fixtures and built-ins you just don’t get anymore. It makes sense, as the place is modeled after some of the best public works buildings of the early 20th century. Oh, and the exterior is nearly as good, set atop a sprawling patio with gorgeous views. If you plan on experiencing this gorgeous bar, make sure to check the availability calendar, as it does close frequently for weddings and other private events.
This Milwaukee bar is one of the city’s oldest cocktail venues, a stellar spot full of great drinks, which are all made by hand, and an understated aesthetic. It began as a beer bar in 1938 and has since become the go-to spot in town for a great drink and superb atmosphere. While it’s not flashy, it does everything right, from the plaid-paneled lighting above to the elegant and sweeping L-shaped bar. If you go, make sure you follow what Bryant’s calls “cocktail lounge etiquette,” which their website says means, “yelling, swearing, and drunken renditions of Frank Sinatra’s My Way are not allowed.” Bryant’s knows what it is, and there’s no reason to be anything else.
Over-the-top bars can be beautiful too, you know. The outspoken pinks of Nashville’s White Limozeen are already legendary. Opened in Nashville’s Graduate Hotel in 2020, it’s a candy-colored rooftop bar where you can enjoy views of the Nashville skyline with your drinks either inside the bar or outside on the rooftop deck. It’s a loud and lovely theme and is painted all over the place, from the luxe furniture to the walls to the shaggy umbrellas outside beside the pool. An homage to Dolly Parton, there’s a rose onyx wraparound bar, crystal chandeliers, and even fringed daybeds. We’ll have a cosmo, please.
Like New York City, the list of beautiful restaurants in Los Angeles is extensive, and of course, Los Angeles also has many contenders for the honor of the most beautiful bar in the city. The Spare Room stands out not only for its mint-condition bowling lanes but also for the thought that went into the place. Effortlessly vintage, the hotel bar overlooks nothing and fine-tunes every last detail. Just bask in the typography of the bar menu, the rivets on the bar seats, the texture of the ceiling and curtains, and the many earthy tones, so often backlit to perfection.
A feast for the eyes, this Denver bar is busy in every direction you look. It’s designed to evoke memories of a turn-of-the-century American soda fountain, but they serve cocktails instead of ice cream. There’s geometric tile, curvy furniture, stained glass, halo-wearing pillars, and delightful little accents like brass bars and antique ceiling fans. Plus, there’s lots of natural light, and the drinks are superb. That’s a beautiful thing. And if you’re feeling adventurous, the cocktail menu contains the “Dealer’s Choice,” all you have to do is pick a spirit and style of cocktail and the expert bartenders will do the rest.
Set in Philadelphia’s University City district, this bar is named after a classic song and offers up some of the best decor in America. Every corner of the place has likely been featured on Instagram, from the shiny little mushroom-shaped bar lamps to the art deco motifs throughout. It’s inspired by European cafes, and there is even outdoor seating reminiscent of French bistros. Inside, every surface is amazing, from the marble bar tops to the checkered tile floor. The cocktail menu is extensive, featuring concoctions like the “Smoking Reposado Old Fashioned,” which is made with mezcal instead of the traditional bourbon.
Does it really come as a surprise that one of the most beautiful bars in the U.S. is located in the heart of glitzy Las Vegas? Located in the Palms Casino Resort, Ghostbar gets most of its wow factor from its location. Located on the 55th floor of the hotel with a stunning outdoor deck that has all the lights of the Las Vegas skyline at your feet. Ghostbar originally opened in 2001, but it closed in 2017. After a five-year hiatus, the Palms reopened Ghostbar as what the hotel is calling an “ultra lounge experience.” The experience includes a private elevator ride up to Ghostbar and from there, you can enjoy specialty cocktails along with the stunning view.
Situated high amid the skyline of Hudson Yards, this NYC bar seems to rest in the sky. That’s part of the beauty, as you’ll feel like you’re in a zeppelin overlooking one of the coolest skylines on the planet. Throw in some great bar features like shiny sculptures, towering windows, and smooth architectural curves, and you’ive got yourself a winning bar.
You may have your favorites when it comes to bars, but in terms of beauty, good luck outdoing this handsome list. These are the places that eat up data on your phone, as they’re so photogenic that you can’t help but look through the lens between sips. Raise a glass to great cocktails and even better bar design.
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