For the most part, all bars are the same. There’s sports bars, dive bars, sad “we have regulars here at 10 a.m. bars…” But how many bars are there that are so unique and different that they actually are breathtaking? Not many.
At most bars, visitors can expect to find lots of liquor, beer, bar eats, and usually a dart board or two. Once you’re past the new and shiny stage of being 21, run of the mill bars like these get boring.
Little do many people know that there are unique, crazy bars out there to be explored. There are still speakeasy style bars, with a password required for entry and an old-timey feel. There are tons of themed bars that fit the niche interest for even the weirdest obsessions… If Christmas is your thing, there’s definitely a Christmas themed bar named Lala’s in Austin, Texas. The United States has tons of uncommon bars just waiting to be seen, whether you’re in the Pacific Northwest or the East Coast. Even those who gave up the bar scene because of age, or boredom of the same old night out, will want to have a wild night out at at least one of these establishments. Here are 15 of the coolest must-visit bars in the United States.
15. Mutt’s Canine Cantina, Dallas
For dog lovers, this place is straight out of heaven. Going to the dog park can often get boring for the pet owners, and Mutt’s Canine Cantina caters to that problem. Located in the heart of Dallas is where this unique bar can be found. There’s an off-leash dog park for the pups to run around, and a beer garden for the owners to relax and socialize. In the beer garden, dog owners can grab a beer, glass of wine, or even a margarita. They even have a food menu, with hot dogs, burgers, salads, and snacks for dogs as well. Entry to the dog park isn’t free, though. Visitors have the option to purchase a $5.95 day pass, $15.95 monthly pass, or a $119.40 annual pass.
14. Stay Classy New York, New York
Will Ferrell is a household name. Elf, Talladega Nights, Anchorman, Stepbrothers… We’ve all seen at least one of Ferrell’s hits. Well, there’s somebody out there who loves Will Ferrell so much that they opened up a bar in honor of him. Stay Classy New York opened up in October 2015, and is a Will Ferrell themed bar, with drinks named after famous one-liners and hosts Will Ferrell themed events. Some drinks include the Did We Just Become Best Friends, Great Odin’s Raven, Milk Was A Bad Choice, Throne of Lies, and many more. On the outside, Stay Classy New York looks like just another bar, but step inside to be caught up in a Will Ferrell paradise.
13. The Tunnel Bar, Massachusetts
The Tunnel Bar in Northampton, Massachusetts is unique because it used to be a tunnel where travelers would board their trains. According to The Tunnel Bar, all of the brick and stonework is original, dating back to 1896. Outside of being famous for being a tunnel, this bar is known for serving very large martinis. The menu includes a long list of classics, martini creations, dessert martinis, cocktails and more. The tunnel bar sports lots of dark wood, sophisticated leather seats, and dim lighting. Various sites and publications have named The Tunnel Bar as one of the bars in the U.S. to drink in before you die.
12. Pinewood Social, Nashville
Pinewood Social does its best to fit any customer that might swing by, and their goal is to have customers who stop by in the morning, during the afternoon, and at night. Pinewood Social has an outdoor and pool area, a bowling alley, and bocce ball. There is also a place to get coffee, an area for private events, and an Airstream bar for those hanging out at the pool. All of the cocktails are uniquely named and have a flat price of $13 per cocktail. As far as food menus go, Pinewood Social offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, midday, dinner, and dessert.
11. The Carousel Bar and Lounge, New Orleans
Inside of the Hotel Monteleone is The Carousel Bar and Lounge. This bar is considered a classic in New Orleans French Quarter and has the city’s only revolving bar. There are 25 seats available at the whimsical bar, and it fills up fast. While the bartenders remain standing still, the bar revolves as it is a refurbished carousel ride like you’d see at a fair. Outside of being entertained by just sitting at the bar, there are also live bands to further intensify the atmosphere. Vogue Living named The Carousel Bar and Lounge as one of the Top 20 Bars in the World and recommends their Sazerac from the cocktail menu.
10. The Signature Lounge, Chicago
1993 is when the dream of The Signature Lounge in Chicago was born. A whole team was created to bring about a “premier dining and entertainment destination” in Chicago. The Signature Lounge is on the 96th floor in the John Hancock Center and features panoramic views of Chicago. The Signature Lounge is open for brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert, and of course offers a vast menu of specialty cocktails and other spirits. Even if you’re not in the mood for a drink, The Signature Lounge is worth stopping by just for the view at any time of the day.
9. Please Don’t Tell, New York
If the name doesn’t give it away… This bar is very secretive. So secretive, in fact, that it doesn’t even have a website. However, those who really want to find it can find the address online but have to keep their eyes peeled as the entrance to PDT is a vintage phone booth without signage flagging where the bar is. The inside of PDT is covered in stylish brick and lots of taxidermy which may be off-putting to animal lovers. PDT usually has a wait time, so reservations are recommended. Making reservations is the best bet, as visitors need a password to enter the bar.
8. The Old 76 House, New York
In Tappan, New York, is where visitors will find The Old 76 House. The appeal that draws business to this unique bar is its history. The Old 76 House is one of the oldest taverns in America, dating back to 1668. The Old 76 House was a meeting house for patriots during the Revolution and was even used as a prison for the Revolution’s most notorious spy, Major John Andre. The Old 76 House even took in President George Washington on several occasions as well. This bar was even founded before the United States was, making this establishment a great place for any history buff to stop in for a drink.
7. Punch Bowl Social, Colorado
The Punch Bowl Social in Denver, Colorado, is not only a fun place to be, but it’s a fun place to look out. The Punch Bowl Social sports an open layout inside of an industrial building, perfect for twenty-somethings and hipsters alike. According to Punch Bowl Social, their style is “Dirty Modern” combining industrial, Victorian, and modern elements into their unique space. Bar goers can bowl, play foosball, play old arcade games, and drink, all under one roof. The menu is one-of-a-kind, with adult milkshakes, punches, old school drinks, new school drinks, and of course, tons of beer. Diners can indulge in small bar bites, full menu items, shared plates, and more.
6. McSorley’s Old Ale House, New York
Named one of the five “Top Historic Bars” in New York Magazine is McSorley’s, which is found in Manhattan. McSorley’s was founded in 1854, making it one of the oldest Irish taverns in the state. The bar has tons of history just through memorabilia – nothing has been removed from the bar since 1910. McSorley’s even has a pair of Houdini’s handcuffs connected to a bar rail. Another piece of history at this bar is that it was one of the last “men’s only” bars, finally allowing women entry in 1970 when they were legally forced to make the change. McSorely’s has seen guests such as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ulysses S. Grant. Like The Old 76 House, McSorely’s is a watering hole for the history buff.
5. Rhein Haus, Washington
Although Rhein Haus is located in Seattle, Washington, the theme of this bar is strictly German. This unique spot has been featured in many magazines and television shows, from Urban Spoon to NBC’s 1st Look With Audrina Patridge. Taking a step into Rhein Haus is like stepping into another world – high wooden beams, flashy gold chandeliers, a picture of a mountain that covers an entire wall, and beautiful clocks show visitors that this establishment is one of a kind. Bocce ball is a big attraction at Rhein Haus, so reservations are recommended. Sticking to the German theme, the menu has items like house baked pretzels, currywurst, house cured meats and cheeses, and many other German bites.
4. SkyBar, California
On top of the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood is the famous SkyBar, which looks like something straight out of a movie party scene. A gorgeous pool with simplistic seating and breathtaking views of Los Angeles make SkyBar a hot spot for locals and tourists alike. During the day, SkyBar is a relaxing lounge, but at night, it’s home to celebrity partygoers and world famous DJ’s. The cocktail menu is long, featuring everything from creative concoctions to classics, and each drink is listed at a California price (almost $20 per drink). For anybody that wants to rub elbows with Hollywood’s hottest, this is the spot to be.
3. The Edison, California
The Edison is special because it was Los Angeles’ first private power plant. It still holds the same architectural integrity that it did when it ran as a power plant, making it a bucket list bar for many. The Edison is definitely the spot for anybody who loves industrial buildings and a vintage atmosphere. The Generator Lounge portion of The Edison is probably what makes it most unique – old generators, rows upon rows of them, decorate this section of the bar. The Edison is committed to holding onto old world style and romance and thus has a dress code. Visitors must be wearing “innovative, sophisticated, and cultured” attire.
2. minus5 Ice Bar, Nevada
The City That Never Sleeps, Las Vegas, is home to the minus5 Ice Bar, located in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Monte Carlo Hotel. What makes the minus5 Ice Bar so unique is that everything is made out of ice; the bar, the walls, the seats, and even the glasses. The Ice Bar is constantly adding new features and sculptures, making it a new experience every time one stops by. The bar supplies faux fur coats and gloves for clients, as well as an LED light show to pulsating music. The minus5 Ice Bar runs on packages, and guests have the option between four different experiences ranging from $19 a person to $75 a person.
1. The View Lounge, California
Coming in at number one for the coolest bar in the United States is the View Lounge in San Francisco. The View Lounge is on the top floor of the Marriot Marquis, and serves up cocktails and small plates for people who are away on business, leisure, or just want to enjoy a breathtaking view. The massive window looking out on San Francisco isn’t just a plain old window, either. Its individual design makes The View Lounge that much more special. The cocktail menu isn’t that large, but it doesn’t really matter when you’re sitting in a bar as gorgeous as The View Lounge.