I started this post about pubs and bars around the world because I thought it would be fun to hear about interesting places. My favorite is the Carousel Bar in New Orleans where the bar is an actual carousel which rotates while you sip your cocktails. Who knew I would get the bonus of learning history as well while reading about all this interesting pubs and bars.
Pubs and Bars: Jules Basement in Mexico City
Contributed by Shelley Marmor from Travel Mexico Solo
Though many don’t know this, Mexico City has quite the cocktail culture. In fact, finding all the hidden bars and speakeasies in CDMX, as it’s known, is one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
Located in the posh Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City, there is one such hidden bar, Jules Basement. It has no sign outside, so you have to know it’s there, or else you’d never find it. In fact, it’s not even in its own building.
Located inside an unassuming taquería (taco shop) called Surtidora Don Batiz, Jules Basement gets its name due to its location at 93 Calle Jules Verne.
To get to the bar, you have to enter the Surtidora Don Batiz taco shop. After that, walk down the long hallway towards the neon La Cocina (the kitchen) sign. Then look for a guy in a suit by what looks like a refrigerator door. Unless they are at capacity, he will let you inside.
As more of an experience than a bar, Jules Basement often reaches capacity, especially on weekends. For those lucky enough to get in, the bar has a swanky vintage vibe. Jazz bands play as guests sip on expertly-crafted cocktails.
Pubs and Bars: El Floridita in Havana
Contributed by Carley Rojas Avila from Home To Havana
Famous around the world as being the original home of the daiquiri, El Floridita in Havana, Cuba is renowned not just for its most famous drink, but also for its importance in literary and cultural history.
Located the entrance of the famed Obispo Street, El Floridita was a favorite destination for Ernest Hemingway. Hemmingway split his time between the United States and Cuba prior to the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Countless other writers and cultural figures now celebrated in Cuba and around the world also frequented this hang out. Today the bar maintains much of the 1940s and 1950s glamour and mystique. In addition it has a large bronze statue of Hemingway seated at the bar.
An important part of Havana’s pre-Revolutionary history, El Floridita is an iconic fixture in Havana. And it makes an important destination on any Havana itinerary. While usually bustling with action, it’s worth visiting and trying the original daiquiri next to Hemingway. If you’re looking for where to head next after giving El Floridita a try, head to the rooftop bar at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski. Located just across the street – not only is this one of the best places to stay in Havana, but it’s the perfect stop for a sunset drink overlooking the city, with the most magnificent view.
Pubs and Bars in Australia: Caves House Hotel
Contributed by Luke Storey at Wild About BC
Caves House Hotel in Yallingup, South West Australia provides the perfect place to spend a warm summer evening having some drinks with friends. With a sprawling indoor bar area, it makes a perfect retreat when it gets too cold outside. The pub is segmented into different rooms with each decorated differently.
This amazing pub has a large outdoor patio and garden space where you can sit and enjoy the warm summer evenings. Throughout the summer months, Caves House hosts events throughout the week, such as screening movies on a huge screen in the garden. And on the weekends, they have live music every night and the main patio turns into a dance floor.
Because it all happens outdoors it feels like you are attending a mini festival every time you visit. The pub radiates chilled out and good vibes from all of the friendly local people. A small shack on the patio serves pizza until the end of the night so you can satisfy your late-night food cravings.
Caves House is an epic place to enjoy a few drinks. Plus with the outdoor space they use to throw events, it makes this one of the best pubs around.”
The Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore
From Agnes Simigh at Voice of Guides
The Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel is a landmark of Singapore. Sir Stamford Raffles was a British statesman who founded Singapore in 1819. The hotel and its bar gained a world reputation thanks to its prominent guests, such as Rudyard Kipling and Elizabeth Taylor.
It was one of the first luxury hotels in Asia. Presidents, movie stars, and other dignitaries also followed. Once, they found a tiger under the billiard pool in the Raffles. In 1993, the establishment denied Michael Jackson entrance to the bar due to not wearing appropriate attire. All these stories and scandals make this place so unique.
The Long Bar sells the best quality Singapore Sling, considered as the national drink of the country. At Raffles’ time, society did not allow women to be seen drinking alcohol in public. That’s why Raffles’ bartender created a pinkish cocktail that looks like a fruit juice in 1915 that women could enjoy without a public disdain. The receipt is secret, but the Gin-based cocktail contains Cointreau, Cherry, Brandy, Dom Benedictine, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine, Angostura, and Lemon.
The Long Bar is the only place where littering is allowed in the otherwise strictly regulated Singapore and guests are encouraged to brush peanut shells off the table and bar counter to the floor.
Opening hours: Thursday & Friday: 3:00pm to 10:00pm, Saturday & Sunday: 2:00pm to 10:00pm.
At the weekends it gets busy and it is better to book in advance.
Pubs and Bars in Tokyo, Japan: The New York Bar
By Louis from Outdoor Explorer
After being featured in the 2003 classic ‘Lost in Translation’, the New York Bar quickly became one of the most popular bars in Tokyo for foreigners. Whether you want to re-enact those magic moments between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, or you simply want a fantastic view of Tokyo at night, this is the place to be.
While LiT made the bar famous, it doesn’t ride on this reputation alone. The service is outstanding and the drinks are fantastic. As you would expect from a bar of this caliber, they have an excellent selection of craft beer, cider, wine and of course, cocktails.
There’s a mix of regular Western cocktails and their own in-house cocktails. I highly recommend that you try these in-house cocktails, which are absolutely delicious.
Being Japan, there is also a good range of Japanese sake to sample.
Expect to pay around ¥2,500 per drink (about $25 USD). Note that a dress code applies and they may refuse you entry if you do not adhere to it. Check out their website for more details.
Located in the Park Hyatt building in the heart of Shinjuku, it is very accessible on foot, from the nearby subway station or by taxi.
Pubs in Edinburgh, Scotland: Heads and Tales
By Audrey of That Backpacker
If you’re looking for a unique gin bar in Edinburgh, I suggest you make a beeline for Heads and Tales!
This gin bar shares its space with the Edinburgh Gin Distillery. It’s located underground on Rutland Place on the west end of the Princes Street Gardens. The place has a very warm and cozy atmosphere with timbered ceilings, leather armchairs and old barrels for tables. They have two gin stills on site named Flora and Caledonia, so you can even watch the distilling process take place.
One of the cool things about this bar is that they have private booths that feel a bit like dungeons or caves. They fit about 8 to 12 people. You can book them in advance if you’re going with a group of friends. Plus it’s just a really fun place to do a gin tasting.
Heads and Tales serves all sorts of cocktails. But I would really recommend ordering something with gin since that is their specialty! They have gin flights on their menu where you can sample three different gins paired with a garnish and tonic. Alternatively, for something sweet and floral, you can’t go wrong with their Edinburgh Gin Elderflower Liqueur – it’s like drinking honey!
Pubs and Bars in the Dominican Republic: La Cosita del Mojito in Cabarete
Chris from Punta Cana Travel Blog
My favorite bar in the Dominican Republic is a tiny little bar at Cabarete’s main beach called “La Cosita del Mojito”. It is unique for its beachfront location, the super fresh mojitos they prepare with all kinds of flavors and the unbeatable prices.
Cabarete is the Dominican Republic’s main surfer town along the North Coast and famous for its strip of restaurants and bars along the beach where you can lounge all day long, hear chill-out music, observe dozens of surfers and enjoy delicious cocktails. Cabarete is located 45 minutes away from Puerto Plata, the counterpart to popular Punta Cana.
La Cosita del Mojito, which translates to “the little Mojito thingy”, is one of the smallest places along the entire beach. They only serve drinks and are focusing – surprise – on Mojitos. The bartenders make all the mojitos to order and with quality rum from Brugal instead of a cheap no-name brand. They are some of the best mojitos in the entire Dominican Republic. If you want to try something different than the Classic Mojito, you can also order them in flavors such as coconut, pineapple, or strawberry. My favorite is the passionfruit Mojito with fresh (passion)fruits.
Besides the amazing taste and the superb location, prices are unbeatable, the drinks are among the cheapest in Cabarete. For a regular Mojito, you pay around 2.50 USD, a flavored Mojito is 3 USD and during Happy Hour, which might be up to 6 hours per day, you get two regular mojitos for 3.50 USD!
Once you travel to the Dominican Republic, make sure to stop at this super recommendable place – one of the best bars in the world.
Waterslide in Melbourne, Australia
By Shireen from The Happy Days Travels
There’s a unique culture around drinking in Melbourne, especially within the hospitality sector. And there are bars and pubs all over the city that should definitely be visited. Not only that, make sure you learn the drinks lingo in Melbourne. So many nicknames for popular drinks found in Australia exist. Waterslide is a bar that is tucked away from the main CBD streets. And it can be found on the first floor of an indoor complex called Southgate. Located behind Flinders Street Station, overlooking the Yarra River, Waterslide offers great views if you get a window seat.
Waterslide’s speciality is cocktails, and the array of concoctions you’ll find will keep you there all night. However, the prices may not as these drinks don’t come cheap. Waterslide is easy to find as it’s directly behind Flinders St. Station (over the bridge, you’ll see Southgate complex) and next door to the National Gallery of Victoria and Melbourne Arts Centre. Because the bar is located near the theatre, it’s a great option to visit before or after a show/gig. You can access the bar from two entrances in Southgate. From the outside you need to walk up the spiral stairs. From the inside, take the escalator to the first floor. The dark interior has a sophistication. And the huge display of spirits is backed by the skills of the bar staff so you know you’ll be getting a well-poured drink.
Pubs and Bars New Delhi: The Mango Kitchen and Bar
Recommended by Claudia from The Visa Project
With its historical monuments, a reservoir, trendy hostels and cafes, and easy access to Delhi metro, Hauz Khas neighborhood is a big draw for domestic as well as international tourists visiting New Delhi. While living closeby after taking up Indian residency, I visited Hauz Khas almost every month and got to know many of its cool restaurants and bars.
While there are a bevy of bars in the neighborhood, there are a few things that make the Mango kitchen and bar really special. It is sort of like a package deal that comes with a great dance floor, rooftop seating, amazing food from all over the world and a killer ambience. On top of that , it’s just a 10-minutes walk from the Hauz Khas metro station and not in the main zone where all the bars are.
I first visited the bar when they organized an event to celebrate Colombia’s independence. They served amazing Colombian cuisine. The mix of World cuisine such as African, Mediterranean, European and Asian- is a true highlight of the place.
The Cuban garlic shrimps, tacos, farmer’s quesadilla and the dimsums are the ones I would recommend any day.
Mango bar has a huge collection of mocktails and cocktails. I love their Berry Blast, Basil Smash and the Drunken Angel.
If you have a sweet tooth, you have to try their Jack Daniel chocolate mousse.
Pubs and Bars: The Sky Bar, Bangkok
By Jenny Javitch from Global Game Plan
The Sky Bar at the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, Thailand rises high above the ground at a whopping 820 feet, making it one of the tallest rooftop bars in the world. It’s the perfect place to grab a drink on an overnight airport layover in Bangkok or on a longer trip. Bangkok is famous for rooftop bars but Sky Bar is one of the most popular and a must-see. While the cocktails are very expensive and it can get crowded, the view of the city on the Chao Phraya River and the sophisticated outdoor atmosphere make it worth the price.
You may recognize the bar from its prominence in the movie The Hangover Part II and the first season of Netflix’s Travels with My Father. Order the related “Hangovertoni” cocktail or enjoy fine dining at the adjacent restaurant Sirocco. Find some aerial pictures of Sky Bar online before you go. This way you can see from a different perspective how high you will be and the unique shape of the bar on top of the hotel. Try to make it around sunset for some beautiful photos. Pro tip: Be sure to read in advance and follow their strict “smart casual” dress code.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Pubs and Bars around the world and stay tuned the second edition coming soon.