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Cocktail Bars that are super iconic, must visit.

By: Fraser Campbell
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Some of my favorite cocktail bars that really show the character of a city and make a mean cocktail to boot!


Drink pulls off that intimate feeling, not only with its decor and atmosphere, but also with its attentive and competent bartending staff. The mixologists are good at using fresh ingredients to create delicious and unexpected drinks on the spot. This gem of a bar also serves tasty bar bites. So feast on some pub fares that will deliciously accompany your specialty cocktail.

Boston, MA, United States
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Half Step

Half Step is a swanky cocktail bar that serves artisanal drinks put together by amazing bartenders who can be seen working their magic at the bar. Remember The Maine, Prescription Julep, Kentucky Colonel are some of the cocktails worth a sip and all ingredients are made inhouse. Seating is available both indoors as well as outdoors and both offer a great ambiance for an enjoyable evening. Live Music can be experienced on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Austin, TX, United States
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The Dead Rabbit

The Dead Rabbit has been lauded for many things: being the "Best Bar in North America," the "World's Best Bar," and offering the "World's Best Cocktail Menu" among them. This sophisticated Irish pub meets classy cocktail lounge has something for everyone, be it the stellar selection of craft beers in the taproom, more than 70 vintage cocktails in the upstairs parlor, or festive bands and DJs featured weekly. Hungry crowds can choose between elevated bar snacks like cheese and charcuterie plates or heartier dishes like the rabbit burger. There's even a gourmet grocery attached where foodies can stock up on artisan goods. Experience the flow of conversation among fashionable guests on the first and second floors of The Dead Rabbit or book the top floor for a private event.

New York, NY, United States
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Dutch Kills

Dutch Kills has the air of an old-world speakeasy with its long, narrow, dark wood-paneled bar, antique cash register and sawdust-covered back room lounge. This old world theme extends to the staff's uniforms, as well as the bartenders of Dutch Kills, who are in outfits that have suspenders and bow ties. These elements of dress which were once popular in ages past. The drinks menu at Dutch Kills is quite limited but contains gems like the Steinway Punch, the Astoria Cocktail, and the Flushing Cocktail all of which are amusingly christened after areas in the New York borough of Queens where the bar is located.

New York, NY, United States
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Columbia Room

Columbia Room is a classy cocktail bar. The bar is known for its delectable drinks like Cadiz Cocktail and Last Boys, prepared using the best ingredients and flavors. You can pair your drinks with tastefully prepared light bites, that effortlessly complement the delicious drinks. This convivial bar has a cheerful vibe to it, frequented by youngsters, bringing in with them, fun and excitement. So bring some friends along or make new ones, because time spent at Columbia Room will surely be memorable.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Smuggler's Cove

If the name Smuggler's Cove conjures pictures of pirates singing, "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum," well rest assured that's no mistake. This bar specializes in rum-based drinks, specifically Havana Probation-era, traditional Caribbean and tiki bar concoctions. The decor echoes the menu, providing comfortable seating in a tiki bar-inspired atmosphere. Smuggler's Cove makes sure to maintain a relaxed atmosphere by keeping the bar from getting too crowded and keeping music at a low level so everyone can talk while sipping their drinks. This means there's sometimes a line at the door, but don't let that scare you away from stepping into the cove.

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Old Absinthe House

Having thrived within the historic French Quarter of New Orleans for close to 200 years, the Old Absinthe House is enriched with its own vibrant history. Boasting visits by renown personalities like Enrico Caruso, Mark Twain, Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra, the walls of the bar are a kind of historic record, adorned by the visiting cards of the many millions who have quenched their thirst at this famous watering hole. The bar offers a full range of alcohol, including some fantastic single malt scotches, alongside quirky cocktails like the Absinthe House Frappe and Ramos Gin Fizz. The Absinthe cocktails are usually prepared using substitutes like Herbsaint, leaving patrons free to enjoy their drinks without any of the ill effects associated with the consumption of absinthe. With antique chandeliers, a copper-topped bar and football memorabilia scattered about, the charm of the Old Absinthe House lies as much in its decor as it does in its exceptional drinks menu.

New Orleans, LA, United States
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One of the weird and more fun bars in town, this tiny Polynesian-themed spot does not serve beer, wine or much of anything else. The specialty of the house are its tropical drinks. After a few, you will be convinced that you are on an island somewhere! Filled with locals, you are always assured a good time, even if the crowd seems a bit too much for the size of the room.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Clyde Common

Modeled on the lines of a typical European tavern, Clyde Common is a place where great food and drinks await you. You can drop by for lunch, dinner, brunch or maybe just a drink or two; whichever you choose, a good time is guaranteed. You can gorge on scrumptious preparations like fried oyster sandwiches with bacon marmalade and pickle slaw, grilled flank steak with caramelized onions, hash browns and poached egg, potato and cheddar crepes, and more. Cocktails like the Bowie Knife with sparkling Brut Rosé, gin and lemon, and the Chihuahua with tequila, lemon, soda and orange marmalade are standouts that you must try.

Portland, OR, United States
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Port Fonda

Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, Port Fonda closely follows the colossal success of Airstream Trailer, floated by the same team. The food truck garnered much mainstream buzz for its traditional Mexican delights. Port Fonda guises itself as a jazzed up version of the food trailer, with head chef Ryan imbibing Airstream's winning formula with a compelling menu. Fonda welcomes all those who look to savor classic Mexican cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The decor remains rustic, with recycled timber facade and translucent windows adorning vague patterns. The Pitch Magazine bestowed Ryan with Kansas City's Best Chef honor, and we all know why.

Kansas City, MO, United States
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A perfect spot to down well-crafted cocktails, good beers and delectable American food, Prohibition is where locals and travelers mingle in a friendly ambiance. Dimly lit with yellow lights and furnished with rustic, wooden seating spaces, Prohibition's old-world charm is its unique proposition. Come here after a long day in the city to relax and unwind before calling it a day. Prohibition is also a popular event venue hosting live music on certain nights.

Charleston, SC, United States
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