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.

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.”

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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., Detroit
Long 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.


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

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.


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

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.

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.


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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