a man standing behind a bar

You might need to get one shipped to you right now, rather than enjoying the full experience in person, but the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards for 2020 proved once again, that London is the best city for a stiff drink, with a twist.

Despite growing competition throughout Asia, new arrivals in South America and classic American favorites hovering around New York City, London took top spot on the World’s 50 Best List this year, but also quite a few other spots too, making it the city with the most top rated bars per capita – in the world!

London Claims 3 Of 10 Top Spots

With more than 1500 bars in New York City alone, and thousands more businesses holding liquor licenses, winding up in the top 50 of the World’s Best Bar List is no minor feat. When you think of the thousands of imbibing options offered not only in New York, but across all cities major or otherwise, it’s even more impressive.

Somehow, despite it all, London seems to do it better than most. In the 2020 listings, which were compiled before covid-19, London garnered 3 of the 10 top spots, and 4 out of 20. It’s safe to say one fifth of all the world’s best bars are located in London alone.

Shout-out to New York and Singapore though, which also claimed 4 each in the top 20 rankings. Yep, 12 of the world’s best bars are spread between these three marvelous cities. Atlas remains GSTP’s favorite bar in the world, and newcomers from famous old hands in New York, such as Mister Paradise are climbing the ranks.

Here’s our guides to London, New York, and Singapore.

a man standing behind a bar
American Bar at the Savoy, London

Cocktail Bars During Covid-19

While many of the world’s best bars are officially closed right now, many are pivoting to supply the world’s best cocktails in new settings. Think: sweatpants and Netflix. In other words, these bars are offering shipping or takeaway on batch made or aged drinks, which can improve over time, as flavors mellow.

If your ever curious desire to explore the world and perhaps a drink or two, too, has you wondering what the world’s best negroni tastes like, consider perusing these bars websites to see if there’s anything cool they’re doing which you can get at home.

With positive news about vaccines in the pipeline and better treatment, it may not be too long before we’re all wandering into these spectacular spaces to enjoy their even more remarkable twists on cocktails.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Not sure I buy it, I think you have to start out with your criteria – interesting and innovative drinks themselves, interesting venues, is it the crowds/scene? Low key interesting venues probably goes to Sydney [a barbershop that turns into a bar, a record store that turns into a bar, etc.]. plus of course plenty of outdoor venues and on the water.

    1. I think it depends. London does hotel lobby bar better than just about anywhere. Singapore the top bars on the list are incredibly diverse. Atlas is a standalone marvel, Native is like an upstairs attic bar, it’s all over the place. I love NY for the dens, the low key spots and speakeasy styles. Really, I just like a drink.

  2. London is the library of the world, so it makes for a great curio cabinet of ingredients, visitors and the knowledge every Londoner stores up if only to share. You can go highbrow or lowbrow in a trice, at least before the pandemic. San Francisco, although tiny, punches above its weight but London is the home of Punch, Pimm’s and gin. New York can pound them out in a hurry but in London, there is a repose that befits what were once known as American concoctions. Cheers.

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