Bar enthusiasts report in! The World’s Top 50 Bar List for 2021 was released recently, and it’s a global list that includes classy joints from across the world. Since it is, of course, called the “Top 50 Bar List,” it’s extremely unlikely your favorite neighborhood spot was even considered for this. I’d say this list is more for people who live a swanky, high-roller lifestyle, aka, not me. And Takeout home base of Chicago has been completely snubbed, too, so I have to sit here and be a grump about it.
A lot of these bars are in big time metropolitan areas, like London, Hong Kong, and Singapore (this seems to be a major hot spot), with a few in the States. The only two cities represented from the U.S. are New York and Miami. There is, however, a runner-up list of an additional 50 bars, which does in fact include one bar in Chicago, Kumiko. Kumiko is indeed highly regarded around these parts and lauded with critical acclaim.
The number one bar on the top 50 list is Connaught Bar in London. It’s a hotel bar with “gleaming David Collins-designed cubist decor,” which already gives you a basic idea of what to expect, like a $31 martini (holy shit), and $400 beluga caviar service. I... can’t hang in a spot like that.
I’ve got really mixed feelings about top rankings for restaurants and bars across the world, since they’re never places I’d ever casually be able to visit while traveling. Lifestyle lists always feel more divisive than they are celebratory—by default most people can’t access these places unless they have a lot of money. Frankly, they sort of make me feel bad about myself. What fun is that?
Have any of you been to any of the bars on the list? And if you have, would you classify it as one of the best bars you’ve ever been to? Now I’m curious to see if I’ve actually been missing out on anything special (please say I haven’t).