It’s that time of year, when we toast “America’s native spirit” (hopefully with said spirit in hand) — bourbon! September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, declared by the U.S. Senate to recognize bourbon’s place in the history of the United States.
Some quick facts about bourbon: All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. While bourbon doesn’t have to be distilled or aged in Kentucky, 95 percent of it comes from the Bluegrass State. It must be made with a minimum of 51 percent corn, aged in charred new oak barrels, stored at no more than 125 proof and bottled at no less than 80 proof. And bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 360 percent since the turn of the century.
Considering its growing popularity, it’s no surprise that you can find great bars and restaurants with impressive bourbon lists across the United States and Canada, serving up this delicious American golden liquor. So in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a list of the top 25 bourbon-focused and bourbon-loving bars and restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, according to Yelp data.
Bonus: Follow this Yelp Collection of the top bourbon bars so you have it handy when you’re traveling and want to find a great bourbon neat or on the rocks.
- The Moonlight Mile – Brooklyn, NY
- The Blind Barbour – Raleigh, NC
- Empire Social Lounge Brickell – Miami, FL
- Trouble Bar – Louisville, KY
- The Bluegrass Coffee & Bourbon Lounge – Arvada, CO
- Johnny’s Saloon – Huntington Beach, CA
- Aero Club Bar – San Diego, CA
- Avalon Gastropub – Kapaa, HI
- The Independent Ice – Portland, ME
- Steak & Bourbon – Louisville, KY
- The Ballard Cut – Seattle, WA
- The Tin Widow – Milwaukee, WI
- Fuse Global Cuisine – Naples, FL
- Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey – Cincinnati, OH
- Maize + Mash – Glen Ellyn, IL
- Whiskey Tavern – New York, NY
- Clarity – Vienna, VA
- All The Kings Men – Bryan, TX
- Barfly’s – Baltimore, MD
- Haze Smokehouse – Lasalle, IL
- Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey – Calgary, AB
- One18 Empire – Calgary, AB
- CC Lounge & Whisky Bar – Toronto, ON
- Whisky Café – Montreal, QC
- Bootlegger l’Authentique – Montreal, QC
Methodology: This is a list of the best bourbon bars (including restaurants with bars) in the U.S. and Canada, according to Yelp. We identified businesses in the “whiskey bars” category in the U.S. and Canada that have a drinks menu with a focus on a variety of bourbon, and then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews between Jan. 1, 2001 and Aug. 19, 2021. We included only two businesses per state for geographic diversity. All businesses were marked open on Yelp as of Aug. 19, 2021. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of Aug. 19, 2021.
Note: With COVID-19 related changes occurring in individual provinces and states, we suggest confirming the most up-to-date offerings directly with the businesses listed.