America's Top Whisky  Bars

America's Top Whisky Bars

January 26, 2023 –––––– , , , ,

101 Bars Taverns, Restaurants & More to Delight Any Whisky Drinker

The following guide offers the 101 bars, taverns, pubs, speakeasies, restaurants, clubs, and more that offer well-curated whisky collections, focused on specific categories, unique themes, or offbeat tasting experiences. We tried our best to spread these picks throughout the country. This likewise isn’t simply a list of high-end whisky “dens”—dark and quiet, with oak and leather aplenty. (Though many of those bars are included because their whisky lists are indeed extraordinary.) Among the following there are barbecue joints, jazz clubs, taco shacks, hidden garages, barber shops, pinball dives, retro-modern hotel bars, and everything in between. Mainly, the following are just fun places to actually drink and enjoy great whisky.

Map view, click here.


The Haberdasher 113 Dauphin St., Mobile This downtown speakeasy is a rustic, chic hole-in-the-wall that presents whisky-fueled crawfish boils a few times a year.


Fiori D’Italia 2502 McRae Rd., Anchorage It’s hard to believe so many rare bottles of whisky from around the world have been amassed by the Yugoslavians running this Italian restaurant in residential Anchorage; even harder when you realize that a good portion of the inventory was shattered by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in 2018.


Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour 1 Jefferson St., Pheonix Ironically housed inside the former headquarters for Arizona Prohibition enforcement, this hip bar has ambitious (and highly Instagrammable) cocktails along with a phone book-thick spirits menu headlined by a ton of top whiskies.

The Gladly 2201 E Camelback Rd., Phoenix This laid-back eatery in the Biltmore neighborhood offers American bites to pair perfectly with the bar’s 300 whiskies from across the globe.

Cask 53 Whiskey Bar 20751 N Pima Rd. Suite 105, Scottsdale Located inside a seemingly typical sports bar, this whisky destination offers better food than you’d expect and a much bigger whisky list than you’d imagine, all among a sea of TVs playing Suns basketball and Cardinals football.


Seven Grand/Bar Jackalope 515 W 7th St. 2nd floor, Los Angeles This mini-chain also has locations in San Diego, Denver, and Austin, but the original in DTLA is still the best. Not least of which is because an 18-seat Japanese whisky bar, Bar Jackalope, is tucked inside a hidden back room.

Wolf & Crane 366 E 2nd St., Los Angeles This neighborhood bar in downtown’s Little Tokyo neighborhood claims the largest Japanese whisky collection in the U.S.

Aero Club 3365 India St., San Diego This dive, opened in 1947 near Lindbergh Field, has two pool tables and a loaded jukebox, all while touting a gigantic wall of over 800 whiskies.

Raised by Wolves 4301 La Jolla Village Dr. #2030, San Diego Set in a suburban shopping mall, this stunning cocktail bar in the round is entered through a boutique bottle shop featuring barware, vintage spirits, and the bar’s own private barrel picks.

The Whiskey House 420 3rd Ave., San Diego Whisky takes up a startling 69 pages on this Gaslamp Quarter bar’s menu—dubbed The Whiskey Bible—which includes selections from such unexpected places as Czech Republic, Israel, and Switzerland. It’s no surprise they’re in the Guinness Book for world’s largest whisky selection.

Bottle Club Pub 555 Geary St. & Shannon Alley, San Francisco One of the more unusually focused whisky bars dedicates itself specifically to the garish bourbon decanters mostly released in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, during the industry’s so-called “glut” era of struggling sales.

Elixir 3200 16th St., San Francisco The second-oldest continually operating saloon in San Fran has their own Whiskey Geeks newsletter, which offers private access to releases, events, and benefits “for geeks only.”

Rickhouse 246 Kearny St., San Francisco Located in the city’s financial district, this longtime favorite has an interior built from old whiskey barrels and original charred brick from before the 1906 earthquake.

Rye 688 Geary St., San Francisco This Tendernob spot has long been an industry favorite for both cocktails and whiskies that include much more than just its namesake.

Acme Bar & Company 2115 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley Celebrating two decades of business in 2022, this neighborhood joint offers a number of whisky flights.

The Roost 1409 R St. Suite 102, Sacramento This intimate cocktail lounge, located inside a fried chicken joint, offers over 700 rare and unusual bottles.


J-Bar at Hotel Jerome 330 E Main St., Aspen This 19th century bar has entertained everyone from gold miners to Hunter S. Thompson, and today is the site of the best whisky collection in this upscale ski town.

The Whisk(e)y 214 S College Ave. #2, Fort Collins In a town more known for craft beer, this bar tallies over 2,250 whisky choices, include a “fixed 6” on tap, notably a house blend dubbed “Pappy Juice,” meant to mimic the allocated legend.


Harry Waugh’s Dessert Room at Bern’s Steakhouse 1208 S Howard Ave., Tampa Bern’s is famed for their epic wine list, but after a few fillets, escape here for decadent pairings of stilton cheese, crème brûlée, and plenty of great whisky nightcaps.

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar 123 S Palafox St., Pensacola Named after Florida’s first governor and U.S. President Andrew Jackson, this bar has an unparalleled spirits selection in the state’s panhandle.Georgia

Biltong Bar 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta Located in the Ponce City Market is one of the more unusual whisky-pairing restaurants. Biltong (think of it as South African beef jerky, a popular street snack there) is matched with craft cocktails. There’s even a house-made “Not Fireball” cinnamon whisky.

Local Three Kitchen & Bar 3290 Northside Pkwy., Atlanta At this chef-driven restaurant, Southern classics with a twist meet the latest and greatest bourbon releases from across the nation.

Peacock Lounge 37 Whitaker St., Savannah A downtown speakeasy located in the basement of Flock to the Wok offers the best spot to sip whisky in a Jazz Age aesthetic.


Bar Leather Apron 745 Fort St. Suite #127A, Honolulu This downtown Honolulu den has a large selection of Japanese whisky as well as uniquely island takes on classic cocktails—like a Matcha Old Fashioned made with green tea and wasanbon sugar.


Whiskey Bar 509 W Main St., Boise This downtown bar (right on Main Street) has an interior made of reclaimed wood surrounding the 200 whiskies available.


Big Star 1531 N Damen Ave., Chicago Housed in a defunct 1940s gas station, this Wicker Park taqueria and its accompanying patio can get rowdy, as locals stuff their faces with al pastor tacos and house picks of Old Forester and Elijah Craig.

Delilah’s 2771 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago Opened well before the modern bourbon renaissance, Delilah’s manages to be a whisky institution that’s never become stuffy; in fact, you’re more likely to burst an eardrum and spill a nice single malt on your T-shirt as live metal music blares.

Longman & Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave., Chicago This urban inn—complete with six guest rooms on the second floor—also has a pub with plenty of rare, hand-picked, and vintage whisky, but nothing beats the “whiskey for drinking” section of their menu—$3 pours of numerous classics like Old Grand-Dad and Rittenhouse Rye.

The Office 955 W Fulton Market, Chicago Located below The Aviary—Michelin 3-star restaurant Alinea’s cocktail bar component—this intimate spot serves classic cocktails and vintage spirits at jaw-dropping prices. The Dusty Experience, a 3-course cocktail progression, is a cool $195.


St. Elmo Steakhouse 127 S Illinois St., Indianapolis An institution in downtown Indy, this 120 year old chophouse might have the most (the only?) iconic whiskey and cola in America—The Signature Elmo Cola is made from a house whiskey infused with natural dark cherries and bourbon vanilla beans, topped with Coke, and served with “drunken” cherries. They sell 75 a night easily.


Hello, Marjorie 717 Locust St., Des Moines This “experience-focused” cocktail bar in downtown Des Moines has an array of intriguing drinks. Of course, in the corn capital of the country, many of those are going to be of the bourbon variety.


The Monarch 579 W Douglas Ave., Wichita Rotating exhibits of local art dot the walls in this roomy, whisky-focused space located on a roundabout in the Delano neighborhood.


Doc’s Bourbon Bar 129 W Main St., Louisville This extension of the popular Southern smokehouse, in the heart of the city’s Whiskey Row, touts more than 2,000 whiskeys.

Neat 1139 Bardstown Rd., Louisville There’s “history by the pour” at this recently opened NuLu joint, with a startling amount of bottles from such defunct distilleries as Bernheim, National Distillers, and Stitzel-Weller.

Proof on Main 702 W Main St., Louisville This bar at the hip 21c Museum Hotel offers a remarkable spirits selection, including several dozen “21c Selects” barrel picks from Kentucky distilleries like Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, and New Riff.

The Silver Dollar 1761 Frankfort Ave., Louisville This longtime Louisville staple has a sublime single barrel program along with Southern favorites like a basket of livers, fried catfish sandwiches, and Kentucky egg rolls.

Watch Hill Proper 11201 River Beauty Loop, Prospect Another entrant in the “biggest” arms race, this newly-built, semi-membered whiskey bar in the ‘burbs claims over 1700 bottles, with bourbon from most all of the 50 states.

Bourbon on Rye 115 W Main St., Lexington Distillery and stylistically organized flights are the way to go at this moody, chandelier-lit spot.

Bluegrass Tavern 115 Cheapside, Lexington Every inch of space, save the dart board cabinet perhaps, seems to have a bottle of drool-worthy whiskey spilling out of it.

Justins’ House of Bourbon 101 W Market St., Louisville601 W Main St., Lexington Opened by two longtime collectors of vintage spirits (yes, they’re both named Justin), their two locations act as vintage liquor showrooms with small tasting bars.

Revival 5 E 8th St., Covington Claiming to offer over a century of drinkable bourbon history, this two-in-one bottle shop/tasting room—recently opened by one of America’s largest dusty collectors—might be the country’s best spot to drink something you never even knew once existed.

Smoke Justis 302 Court St., Covington This swanky yet casual urban sports bar features a plethora of smoked meats and enough bourbon to get anyone through a day or night of sports watching, plus a private bourbon room upstairs.

Wiseguy Lounge 603 Main St., Covington A cheeky salute to the Roaring 20s gangster bars of Prohibition, nattily-dressed bartenders offer over 400 bourbons, including house single barrels.

Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar 1500 Parkway Dr., Bardstown Located inside Bardstown Bourbon Company’s wonderland of a facility, this spot offers craft cocktails, rare whiskeys, and one of the most impressive vintage spirits libraries around, with bottles (available for pours!) dating back to the 19th century.

Barrel & Bond 100 Broadway, Paducah Housed in a 150 year old building downtown, you could call this restaurant whiskey-driven, as bites are paired with whiskey, not the reverse.

Freight House 330 S 3rd St. #102, Paducah Farm-to-table sustainable sourcing is the name of the game at chef Sara Bradley’s ode to seasonal, shareable cuisine. You can share a high-end flight with your table as well, like Stagg Party, which includes three straight years of the coveted George T. Stagg.


DRY 85 193 B Main St., Annapolis This industrial space is the ideal spot to sneak a dram, while reflecting that the 21st Amendment means you no longer need to “speak easy.”


Citizen Public House 1310 Boylston St., Boston Surely the most intriguing whisky dinner in the nation has to be this Fenway Park-adjacent tavern’s family-style pig roast. A whole suckling pig, slow-roasted for 14 hours, offers enough to feed 10 hungry drinkers working their way through Citizen’s 350 different whiskies.


Butter Run Saloon 27626 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores, Mich. This suburban Detroit bar, jokingly named after the kind of spot men would sneak off to when they were supposed to be hitting the grocery store, has hearty food and an extensive whisky list.

The Sugar House 2130 Michigan Ave., DetroitLong touted as Motor City’s best cocktail bar, this Corktown joint also has one of the deepest whisky lists in the city, with a slew of house single barrels.


MatchStick Restaurant and Spirits 232 N Main St., Stillwater This farm and sea-to-table restaurant in the Hotel Crosby also offers an astounding 2,000 spirits, most of the brown water variety.


Julep Cocktail Club 4141 Pennsylvania Ave. Suite 104, Kansas City, Mo. It takes some chutzpah to name your bar after that divisive whisky cocktail most people only drink one day a year. Indeed, there are numerous other ways to enjoy the ample whisky selection here.

The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey 5065 State Highway N Cottleville, Mo. The confoundingly named restaurant offers exactly what it claims to. In the case of whisky, that includes a club punch card—every 25 different whiskies tried garners prizes like a Barrel Aged Manhattan or a premium flight.


Copper 101 E Main St, Bozeman, Mont.145 Town Center Ave. Suite C, Big Sky, Mont. Montana’s best whisky bars allow you to turn any pour on their large list into an Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Manhattan, Boulevardier, and/or smoked cocktail, for just a few bucks more.


Single Barrel 141 N 9th St., Lincoln With a name like this, you’d better have a great whisky list, and indeed, this chophouse offers several hundred unique and limited bourbons and ryes.

New Orleans

CURE 4905 Freret St., New Orleans This 2018 James Beard award winner (Outstanding Bar Program) is often credited with revamping the cocktail scene in the Big Easy; they offer an “Extra Fancy Sazerac,” that quintessential New Orleans whisky cocktail, made with the highly allocated Thomas H. Handy Sazerac rye.

Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House 144 Bourbon St., New Orleans As the official home of the New Orleans Bourbon Society, this seafood and oyster bar hosts frequent events, classes, and tastings featuring some of the biggest names in the business.

New York

Brandy Library 25 N Moore St., New York City An O.G. among refined whisky palaces, this drinking destination in the heart of Tribeca has been serving swank sippers since 2004.

Copper & Oak 157 Allen St., New York City Space is at a premium in Manhattan and this Lower East Side whisky closet takes advantage of all 380 of its square feet with more than 1600 bottles.

The Dead Rabbit 30 Water St., New York City The Irish pub that reinvented the Irish pub here, this lower Manhattan cocktail mecca also offers the most impressive Irish whiskey collection in the states.

Fine & Rare 9 E 37th St., New York City The large midtown space offers roomy banquettes, gorgeous decor, and a striking stage where musicians perform live every night. There’s an elevated dinner menu and plenty of smokin’ cocktails to tantalize whisky fans and newbies alike.

Travel Bar 520 Court St., Brooklyn This south Brooklyn joint mostly caters to its family-friendly neighborhood—though their whisky collection is good enough to merit a long trip there on the F train.

Sanfords Restaurant 30-13 Broadway, Astoria, N.Y. This Queens spot is the king of dramming in the outer boroughs.

Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge 321 S Clinton St, Syracuse This longtime upstate New York presence has whisky stacked so high to the ceiling that bartenders need to wheel around a library ladder just to reach the top shelves.


Herbs & Rye 3713 W Sahara Ave., Las Vegas Located in a generic strip mall off the Strip, this unexpectedly stylish bar hearkens back to the days of Frank and Dino, when people ate steaks alongside classic cocktails and straight shots of the brown stuff.

Whisky Down 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas Located in the MGM Grand, this elegant 24-hour gaming lounge has three blackjack tables and video poker machines...not to mention a large list of rare whiskies for those high-rollers ready to ball out.

Death & Taxes 26 Cheney St., Reno This upscale bar and bottle shop offers a “Baller List”; high-end whisky cocktails that will cost a pretty penny, like a Yamazaki 12 Year Highball or a Blanton’s Manhattan.

North Carolina

The Crunkleton 320 W Franklin St., Chapel Hill, N.C.1957 E 7th St., Charlotte, N.C. The eponymous bar of whisky doyen Gary Crunkleton—who has been bartending in Chapel Hill since his college days—offers one of the South’s best whisky lists along with vintage cocktails and plenty of ice-cold High Life.


LBM 12301 Madison Ave., Lakewood Just outside of Cleveland, this dark heavy-metal bar offers gourmet dishes and elevated cocktails along with a heavenly whisky selection.

The Alibi Bourbon and Cocktail Lounge 843 N High St., Columbus Located in the historic Short North area in downtown Columbus, this Prohibition-style bar focuses on beer, bourbon, and era-specific cocktails.

Speak of the Devil 201 W 5th St., Lorain, Ohio Downtown Lorain might not seem like a whisky hot spot, but this dark neighborhood bar offers a list as good as anything you’d find in the big city of nearby Cleveland.


Multnomah Whiskey Library 1124 SW Alder St., Portland A whiskey library so sublime it offers a paid membership program that gives customers priority access to the always busy multi-level bar and restaurant, along with exclusive access to house-picked single barrels, events, classes, and dinners.

Scotch Lodge 215 SE 9th Ave. Suite 102, Portland It’s not only single malt lovers who will adore this whisky haven that also offers allocated bourbon and top-shelf cocktails.


The Warren 245 7th St., Pittsburgh This Steel City spot offers Toki Highballs on tap along with made-to-order sushi.

Ashton Cigar Bar 1522 Walnut St. 2nd Floor, Philadelphia Owned by the Dominican cigar brand of the same name, Ashton is hip and modern, sleek yet laid-back, and the best place in the country to pair a robusto with a bourbon.

South Carolina

Bourbon 1214 Main St., Columbia, S.C. Specializing in Cajun/Creole flavors from the Louisiana Bayou, they offer the largest whisky list in the state.

The Bar at Husk 76 Queen St., Charleston, S.C. An annex of the acclaimed restaurant, this former “austere ruin” next door is its own freestanding bar, meant to recall a bygone era of Charleston nightlife. Think classic cocktails and the restaurant’s always-excellent barrel picks, plus local resident Bill Murray just might pop in for some Willett.


Gertie’s Bar at The 404 Kitchen 507 12th Ave., Nashville Set in the Music City’s Gulch neighborhood, and offering modern takes on classic European cuisine with a formidable house whisky list, plus its own 404 Whiskey Society.

The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club

2905B Gallatin Pike, East Nashville With low-slung ceilings and private booths, this speakeasy-style bar offers adventurous cocktails, vegan bar bites, and a slew of limited release whisky pours.

Belle Tavern 117 Barboro Alley, Memphis Hidden in an alley downtown, the city’s biggest whisky collection can be deployed in flights or house cocktails like the Three Whiskey Old Fashioned.


Anvil Bar & Refuge 1424 Westheimer Rd. Suite B, Houston There is always a top 100 list of classic cocktails available at this Houston cocktail institution; for neat sippers, the “Captain’s List” offers nearly 30 pages of whisky options, divided into every country you can think of.

Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel 1650 West Loop S., Houston This luxurious, chandelier-appointed steakhouse takes up 12,000 square feet and has an entire bar specifically devoted to top-shelf whiskies, notably many elusive single malt scotches.

Poison Girl 1641 Westheimer Rd. Suite B, Houston One need no longer sit still while dramming. This laid-back, pin-up girl-inspired dive in the eclectic Montrose neighborhood not only has a prodigious American whiskey list, but also numerous pinball machines where flippers can mix with sippers.

Reserve 101 1201 Caroline St., Houston Houston’s largest selection of whisky has plenty of bottles that highlight some of Texas’s burgeoning native whiskey scene.

The Standard Pour 2900 McKinney Ave., Dallas This neighborhood cocktail den offers elevated mixology in a casual environment.

Nickel City 1133 E 11th St., Austin There are fun-loving food (think chili dogs) and drinks options, like Frozen Irish Coffee, that might betray the fact that there is also a stellar whisky collection at this raucous East Austin joint.

Bar 1919 1420 S Alamo St., San Antonio Inspired by the pre-Prohibition era, hence the dated bar name, this dimly-lit basement space has posted rules against ordering a Cosmo or a shot of Jager; it’ll be whisky, and plenty of it!

The Golden Rule 606 S Church St., Georgetown, Texas Flights of whisky pair perfectly with Tex-Mex bites at this spot north of Austin.

Barnett’s at Bear Ridge 1000 Bear Ridge Dr., Waco, Texas If most golf course clubhouses have a fairly pedestrian whisky list, Barnett’s at Bear Ridge will make you want to only play 9 holes so you have more time to spend on their large collection of whiskies from the U.S., Scotland, Japan, and, of course, the Republic of Texas.


Prohibition Pig 23 South Main St., Waterbury, Vt. On a small-town strip in one of America’s top beer regions, this smoked meats joint sells house beers that they make next door, but also offers a sublime spirits list, including curated flights of special sippers.


McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill 1420 N Parham Rd. k210, Richmond, Va. Bigger is better in the ‘burbs, where just outside of Richmond, this strip-mall restaurant has an epic wall of whisky.

Rebellion 309 William St., Fredericksburg, Va.1 N King St., Leesburg, Va. Opened by two military veterans, the name honors the 1792 Whiskey Rebellion; the bar’s barrel picks are proudly local, from places like Catoctin Creek and A. Smith Bowman.


Ballard Cut 5313 Ballard Ave. NW Suite A, Seattle This Ballard neighborhood spot pairs local and seasonal foods with rare whisky, specifically the Japanese single malt variety.

Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium 928 12th Ave., Seattle Jamie Boudreau’s paean to whisky manages to cram sexy and exotic bottles into every spare inch in this snug Capitol Hill space; it’s likewise one of the most awarded cocktail bars in the country.

Radiator Whisky 94 Pike Street Suite 30, Seattle Located in tourist mecca Pike’s Market, this carnivore lovers’ restaurant offers certain whiskies “on tap” from what they call The Big Barrel, literally a giant barrelhead in the middle of the backbar.

Whisky by John Howie 11111 NE 8th St. #122, Bellevue This intimate offshoot of the chef’s next-door steakhouse offers an open kitchen and hundreds of global whiskies to pair with their savory entrees.

Washington D.C.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon 2007 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Bill Thomas’s whisky emporium has been at the top of the pantheon of American whisky bars for the last decade. An absolute bucket list visit for any serious whisky connoisseur, the constantly updating ticker on their website currently lists over 2,600 different bottles of great whisky on the wall.

The Next Whiskey Bar 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. This retro chic hotel bar, in the lobby of the infamous Watergate Hotel, offers Ron Arad-designed space-age chairs tended to by servers dressed in bespoke uniforms made by Mad Men’s former costume designer. The undulating walls are a modernist work of art, formed by 2,500 custom-made whisky bottles that tint the room with an amber glow. Just hope a lobbyist is there to pick up your tab.


Cask & Ale 212 State St., Madison, Wis. This friendly tavern near the university offers interesting whisky from all categories, though the Old Fashioneds will, of course, be made with brandy, as per Wisconsin tradition.


Local 55 N Cache St., Jackson, Wyo. This steakhouse in the historic town square is the best place to find great whisky in this ski mecca.

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