15 Best New US Bars To Visit In 2023

Gathering with friends after work or meeting your Tinder match in the flesh usually leads to one place, and that's the bar. We visit our regular spots with ritualistic fervor, and our resolve for entering those boozy havens comes with particularity. It could be a friendly bartender, a happy hour discount, maybe a more premium approach to mixing drinks beyond brown ales streaming from a tap. 

Regardless of the pandemic's crush, people are still imbibing fairly often. In fact, plenty of new watering holes have bubbled up around the United States this year, so the flow of options to sip or swig your glass of choice is ever-expanding on the daily. This is great news of course, but what's harder to swallow is keeping track of the taprooms, cocktail lounges, and neighborhood dives that have opened.

While personal taste is subjective, there's no denying these watering holes are making a splash across the country. The best part? No region is left uncovered. Let's explore 15 bars that are shaking things up. 

1. The Black Salt -- Hamtramck, Michigan

The first thing brewing on our list is a spooky little tavern that recently popped up in Hamtramck, Michigan. At The Black Salt, bewitching spirits with a mystical bent are shaken and stirred with a bonus component not conjured at the typical bar. It's safe to say that Halloween lovers will likely adore the theme, but even the non-superstitious will have a ball at this neighborhood haunt year-round. Most days run between 5 p.m. to midnight, with evening hours flexed on the weekends so that night owls can come pop in before the impending witching hour.

Being inspired by the divine art of witchcraft, the concept of ritualistic drinking comes full circle with the cocktail lineup. That's because here, bartenders don't simply mix ingredients and call it a day — they enchant the experience by casting a magic spell on your drink. The soul-cleansing House Shrub infuses sage and apple cider vinegar, while Fruition is a sweet potion balancing berries and ginger beer with vodka. For a zesty twist on a traditional cocktail, you'll adore sipping on an Oaxaca Old Fashioned that swirls mezcal and agave with chocolate bitters. 

2. Birds of Paradise Bar -- Brighton, Massachusetts

It's no exaggeration that every drink is a destination at Birds of Paradise. Owner Ran Duan is the brains behind popular watering holes in the Boston area, and his latest launch offers worldly concoctions with an airline theme, minus the stiff seats and chaotic security line. Immediately you'll notice how deep the travel idea flows through this concept: every cocktail is based on a flight route, resulting in cultural fusions paying homage to the far-flung locales.

Rio to Tokyo bursts with wasabi and shiso undergirded by South American spirits. Meanwhile, Lima to Dubai stirs together Peruvian pisco with egg and spicy cardamom for a sumptuous sipper. Coming here for a nightcap makes sense due to the sleek ambiance, but what about some grub to settle the stomach? Not to worry, because the cocktail lounge prepares some tasty Japanese fare to complete your journey. For some of the fanciest "airline snacks" you'll consume without needing a boarding pass, we recommend the spicy tuna tartare or snow crab tucked inside nori seaweed.

3. Bar Envie -- Long Beach, California

If you adore Creole cuisine and excellent cocktails, Southern California recently welcomed a fantastic spot for both. Bar Envie claims a 4.4-star average on Yelp (out of 25 reviews, mind you) since debuting in February, and there's no doubt the bar's potential is high. Each beverage is crafted with the spirit of the French Quarter, with cheek-puckering favorites like the Rhubarb Fizz and Peach Sour poured alongside creations that bubble with creativity. Take, for example, the Jazzy Sazzy. It's a lot like the Sazerac cocktail mixing absinthe and whiskey, but the difference here is that it's spiked with chicory root and Amaro. 

The atmosphere is warm and comfortable, with wide open space to spread out with a board game or plop down on a bar stool. And don't just come for happy hour: Bar Envie is also a full-scale restaurant that will keep NOLA transplants well-fed due to its alluring authenticity. Choose from po' boys, muffaletta, shrimp & grits, and one of the kitchen's top sellers, the frog legs. 

4. Jac's On Bond -- New York City, New York

While Manhattanites are sure to miss The Smile, the retired restaurant's former space is filled with an exciting new hotspot. Jac's On Bond has carved out a classy niche in its place on Bond Street, featuring elevated drinks and snazzy edibles. It's the New Yorkiest of New York bars, with sophisticated decor and dim lighting that always feels like the clock's just struck midnight. 

Since the Big Apple is something of a cocktail town, you might assume it's difficult to shock and awe its famously jaded residents. But don't be fooled: these sips aim to surprise. Look no further than the Caprese Martini, a boozy ode to the zesty Italian salad that somehow works in liquid form (and topped with a cherry tomato to boot). Beet's Me offers a farmer's market bounty in a glass with coconut yogurt and dill, and Rum-Com gets a standing ovation for the popcorn-flavored spirit (literally). The wine selection is solid, and the menu even throws in Coors Banquet and Peroni for good measure, too. 

5. Tweedy's Bar -- Austin, Texas

Maybe cheap brewskis are more your speed rather than the extravagant umbrella drinks charging $15 a pop that hurt your wallet. In that case, allow us to introduce you to this hidden gem in Austin. Tweedy's is a humble little dive near the University of Texas, and like all college town haunts, the vibes are delightfully unpretentious. Picture hot summer nights nursing a tall boy on the patio, soaking in the sounds of belly laughs and live music while bartenders banter from behind the counter — that's Tweedy's in a nutshell. 

The tavern opened at the end of 2022, replacing the now-shuttered Spider House Cafe that made a name for itself going back to the early 1990s. Texans will find refuge in Tweedy's wood-paneled walls for a long time if its social media presence is any indicator. Besides the friendly service and affordable pours, food trucks on the patio serve up some delectable treats too. You'll be able to wolf down fried chicken sandwiches from local favorite Golden Tiger, or for a dose of vegan sweetness, some scratch-baked treats from Zucchini Kill. 

6. Teddy's Preserve -- Phoenix, Arizona

Although Theodore Roosevelt wasn't much of a drinker, the man loved a good mint julep and his rough-and-ready persona seems perfect for a bar. It's no surprise there are watering holes paying homage to the 26th president's wild ways, including this newcomer to Arizona's capital. Teddy's Preserve launched in Phoenix a few months ago, right next to a drinking den called Rough Rider. If you're sensing a theme here, you're right on the money as both lounges are owned by Kyla Hein. 

Draft brews and wines take up a large portion of the menu, yet the real stars of the show are the cocktails, done four ways: shaken, stirred, nitro, and frozen. Vodka flows through the fruit punch stunner Foxy Mama, while Freaky Deaky, an alcoholic slushy, does figure-eights on the tongue with tart citrus and cognac. Abstainers can also partake in the fun with booze-free mocktails. Sit inside the sleekly rustic dining room or soak in some rays by sipping your drink outdoors. 

7. Andra Hem -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Arguably the most show-stopping of cocktail bars, Andra Hem is a gorgeous spot in Philadelphia to grab a drink. The Rittenhouse Square building used to be vacant, but now it's come to life with Scandinavian specialties inspired by the cafes dotting Northern Europe. "Date night" is written all over the gourmet libations and colorfully lush interiors that perfectly embody the establishment's "second home" moniker. 

So far, almost a dozen reviews on Yelp have tallied up a 4.7-star average. Recent patrons have gone wild over the Fig Around, a fig martini with a peppery vodka finish, and the Lambhattan, a Scandi version of the beloved Manhattan that's mixed with a lamb-spiked bourbon. One individual described the place as "beautiful, dark, and intimate," while another person praised the thoughtful flourishes (postcards accompany your beverage). The price point may be on the higher side, but those having the funds to spare — or a special occasion to celebrate — would find Andra Hem an excellent venue.

8. Cane & Barrel -- St. Petersburg, Florida

There's no shortage of Cuban cocinas in Florida — the state notoriously maintains a 90-mile distance from the island nation whose flair for boozy cocktails is in a category all its own. Beach-dwellers in St. Petersburg will need relief during those sticky summers, and that's why the Cuban-inspired Cane & Barrel, which debuted last month at the city's newly unveiled AC by Marriott Hotel, couldn't have come at a better time. 

On the resort's eighth floor,  you'll discover a rooftop haven boasting rum-based beverages and edible temptations ranging from shareable yucca fries to savory empanadas. The aesthetic is very mid-century Havana, and while the cocktail selection is a little throwback, none of it is overly retro. Birds of Paradise, a Bacardi-spiked number, sings a sweet citrusy tune of guava, passionfruit, lemon, and orange for a pleasingly bitter edge. Feeling Good is essentially a mojito, but spruced up with a fluttery dash of lavender. To please all of the guests in your party, a proper handful of bottled brews and drafts on tap adds some variety. 

9. Holy Water Hard Seltzer Brewpub -- Asheville, North Carolina

Thirsty Monk is a well-known brewery among Asheville's hop-heads, but as of late, hard seltzer's been added to its repertoire. Maybe you're a bit burned out on the hard seltzer trend, and when encountering coolers of it at every tail gate or birthday bash, it's understandable to feel that way. In our view though, dismissing Holy Water Hard Seltzer would be a mistake. The ABV of every flavor spills well over the 7% threshold — it's supremely hearty and much more in line with copper-hued Belgian drafts than White Claw.

Today, the Patton Avenue Thirsty Monk alehouse includes a standalone tavern dedicated to Holy Water Hard Seltzer that opened at the end of 2022. Renditions like Pina Colada, Margarita, and Cranberry Lime Cosmo exude the spirit of beloved cocktails, but with tantalizing twists your tongue won't see coming. For example, the Smoked Grapefruit Paloma captures the essential tang of the classic cocktsil, but the addition of serrano peppers adds fiery intensity.

10. Ranger Station -- Atlanta, Georgia

If a campground merged with a speakeasy, you'd get Atlanta's Ranger Station. Since opening in December, rave reviews have poured in for this buzzy little hideout stationed above Lady Bird Grove & Mess Hall (another local favorite) and it's not hard to see why. The woodsy vibes are echoed through beverages and snacks dedicated to the great outdoors, and the homey furnishings recall holidays spent at your great-uncle's hunting lodge (and that's a good thing). 

Visitors can sift through a hefty leather-bound tome to pick their poison, which features humble pints, wines, spirits, and cocktails, the latter accompanied by illustrious narratives. There's a whiskey sour called Dan's Pulpit to transport you through the rippling trails of Appalachia, and an espresso martini called Northern (Disco) Lights jolts the senses awake like the grandiose phenomenon it's named after. 

Add in the glowing ambiance and hearty mouthfuls on the menu — the smoked fish dip and breaded quail can't be beat — and you'll have every excuse to linger here for a good, long while. Space is tight, so staking out a spot beforehand is necessary. 

11. H&H Reserve -- Brooklyn, New York

Aiming for a Cheers-esque drinking experience in the Big Apple? H&H Reserve, which hit North Williamsburg in January, is a love letter to the all-American bar that's spawned many a drunken ode across time and space. Play a round of pinball, gorge on Chicago-style franks (courtesy of Dog Day Afternoon), and guzzle from an array of affordably-priced refreshments in a sparse yet welcoming setting. Anybody who's a fan of Brooklyn spots like The Owl Farm and Temkin's has reason to pay a visit, and that's because H&H Reserve was launched by the same trusty cohort. 

Similar booze joints in the neighborhood pour humble drafts and on a scale of Coors to Cosmopolitan, H&H Reserve embraces the weathered, worn-in looks of a divey destination. For starters, bottles begin at $5 a pop — a downright steal 'round these parts — while the range is pretty hard to beat for the budget-conscious looking to indulge without spending a fortune. 

12. Dark Room -- Seattle, Washington

Seattle's Greenwood area is chock-full of exciting drinking nooks, but no place is doing it quite like Dark Room. The bar was conceived by Amy Beaumier, Matt Hassler, and Matthew Gomez, whose unique beverages fizz and pop with style. For starters, there's a drink that literally includes a snapshot of you by the bartender (called the Pisco and Paparazzi), and the trio's inventive wares only roll out from there, using rum, bourbon, mezcal, vodka, and more with a smattering of mix-ins. 

Munching on a charcuterie plate is the go-to move during a bleary bar crawl (gotta save room for those drinks) but the Korean food coming out of the kitchen is equally as lush as the cocktails. Check out the pimento cheese laced with funky kimchi and Ritz crackers, or for a heartier nosh, the pork & shrimp sandwich on a pillowy milk bread roll. Mondays are off, but it's open the rest of the week beginning at 4 p.m. And if you get caught up in a downpour as is wont to happen, there's no greater place to pass the time.

13. Casa Kantuta -- Washington, DC

It's not surprising D.C.'s 18th Street Corridor would welcome Casa Kantuta into the neighborhood. For one, it's a hub for all things nightlife, and a Bolivian bar specializing in authentic South American cocktails seems like a no-brainer. Washingtonians initially sipped Andean spirits via a pop-up during the pandemic, but siblings Juan and Carla Sanchez finally have a solid presence in the nation's capital. If Google Maps leads you to a plant-centric eatery called sPACYcLOUd, you're actually in the right place — the bar is up and running downstairs in the basement. 

It's hard to go wrong with over a dozen drinks at your fingertips, but like any bar, the flagship offering is bound to please. The Angry Llama is the snappy signature drink, brimming with mezcal, lime, pineapple, and foamy egg white. Additionally, you can kick back shots of Singani, a traditional liquor, or down it with a bottle of Miller High Life like one would do with any neat whiskey. Personal recommendation: Swing by on Saturday afternoons for a beverage and salteña, a regional rendition of the empanada. 

14. Voo Lounge -- Kansas City, Missouri

Looking to jazz up your drinking experience? Tucked inside the historic Hotel Muehlebach, piano bar Voo Lounge is Kansas City's latest stop for chilled libations and live entertainment. The inn did once include a bar called Rendezvous, but the space hadn't been occupied for at least 30 years. We're grateful for the return. While we're all for scrappy dives blasting a customized playlist, a sophisticated meeting place for aperitifs is the much-needed throwback.  

In a venue that's welcomed famous politicians and writers, guests can savor a variety of cocktails and local brews alongside assorted small plates such as Cajun deviled eggs and white bean & herb dip. Those bites are ideal when nursing the gimlet-inspired Rendezvous spiked with Luxardo liquor and blueberry syrup, or for a less expected choice, the savory Garden State that's infused with an olive oil tequila. You'll spy Will O'Keys tickling the ivories nightly, and the combination of lively tunes with the Art Deco-esque setting should draw first dates and anniversary celebrants in droves. 

15. Char Bar -- Minneapolis, Minnesota

Just this spring, Twin Cities eatery Butcher & The Boar opened a second business that's guaranteed to destined to be a regular favorite. Char Bar crafts elegant cocktails as well as beer and wine on the restaurant's upper floor. What's more, the menu is broken down by flavor type — think fruit, spice, and umami — which turns the usual sipping experience into a playground for the senses. Feel free to branch out at the bar, because it's all about the sampling. 

Every drink category is well-covered, so there's really something for everyone. Like a little heat? Smoking Jacket will fire up the palate with aged rum and an intriguing-sounding cigar tincture to round things off. If sweetness is your jam, Pink Lady fizzes with sourness and sweetness thanks to lemon and apple brandy. There are six different takes on the Manhattan alone, and as far as nibbles go, guests can snack on cheese curds and onion rings or sink their teeth into the pub-style Butcher Burger.