After two devastating years for the hospitality industry, any excuse to raise a glass is a welcome one. But today’s in-person celebration (and announcement) of the World’s 50 Best Bars for 2021 will inspire celebratory toasts from Athens to Zanzibar.
“After consulting with our Academy Chairs, bartenders, bar owners and our partners, the overwhelming feedback was that they wanted the awards to go ahead to celebrate in person, recognize the hard work everyone has put in over the past year, and to inspire and encourage in the next crucial stage of recovery,” said Mark Sansom, the content editor and the official spokesperson for World’s 50 Best Bars. “This year’s awards will be a recognition of bar teams’ resilience and hard work through the pandemic and a chance for them to gather in person once again after months and for some, years, apart.”
And this year, Agostino Perrone—the Connaught Bar’s director of mixology—has twice the reason to celebrate: The London bar won the top spot for the second time in a row, making it the Best Bar in Europe. “It feel still unreal…it’s something you do for a living and you wake up in the morning and you try to be a better person,” Perrone said. “We’re very proud of what we do. Sometimes words don’t come to the lips but the heart is beating very fast at the moment.”
Joining the Connaught among the city’s winners are two others: Tāyer + Elementary (No. 2) and Kwānt (No. 31)—a dramatic fall from last year’s eight honorees.
But while London has two of the top-ranking watering holes in Europe, Spain dominated the continent with four entries that made the cut: Paradiso (No. 3), Two Schmucks (No. 11), Salmon Guro (No. 24), and Sips (No. 27).
In a surprising turn of events, Mexico City topped North America with four massive wins: Licorería Limantour (No. 6), Hanky Panky (No. 12), Handshake Speakeasy (No. 25), and Baltra Bar (No. 38). This is the first time New York City has ever been bested by another in the continent. New York, which has traditionally been one of the list’s top performers, now has only three honorees—down from five last year: Katana Kitten (No. 10), Dante (No. 30), and Attaboy (No. 34).
In terms of cities, Singapore is the overall winner with a total of six bars on the list: Jigger & Pony (No. 9), Manhattan (No. 15), Atlas (No. 16), No Sleep Club (No. 26), MO Bar (No. 36), and Tippling Club (No. 43).
In addition to Singapore’s six wins, Asia is a gaining traction worldwide. Hong Kong is home to three bars, including Coa (which is the Best Bar in Asia at No. 7)—with Japan and Korea claiming three and one, respectively. Beyond that, New Delhi’s Sidecar made an appearance on the list for the first time since 2010 at No. 47.
Australia remains a strong category with three winning watering holes: Maybe Sammy (which is the Best Bar in Australasia at No. 22), Cantina OK! (No. 23), and Above Board (No. 44).
Scroll all the way down to view the full list of the World’s 50 Best Bars for 2021.