A Barcelona speakeasy topped this year's 'World's 50 Best Bars' list

Paradiso / World’s 50 Best

On any given night, choosing the “best” bar can be tricky. Do you want cocktails or beers? Do you want to dance or relax? Do you want to socialize or quietly figure out where everything went wrong? But that hasn’t stopped William Reed — the publisher behind the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (as well as other things like the World Steak Challenge) — from extending their brand into an annual World’s 50 Best Bars list, which debuted in 2009.

This year’s list features bars from 26 different cities — including first timers Florence, Lisbon, and Naples — but the biggest winner is Barcelona. For the first time in the list’s 14-year history, the top spot went to a bar located somewhere other than New York City or London.

The list top bar, Paradiso, is described by 50 Best as “a truly masterful take on the speakeasy” that is “hidden behind an antique refrigerator in the back of an unassuming pastrami shop in Barcelona’s trendy El Born district.” Highlights include the bar’s use of “supercooled” gin in their signature cocktails and the owners “unwavering commitment to ongoing sustainability.”

“The fact that this is the first time we have crowned a bar outside New York or London as The World’s Best Bar is a testament to the huge achievements of Giacomo, Margarita and their team,” Mark Sansom, content director for the list, stated. “Since being named One To Watch in 2017 a year after opening, Paradiso has been a firm fixture of the 50 Best list, enhancing its ranking year after year. It is an honor to name it as The World’s Best Bar and the win is credit to Paradiso’s outlandishly inventive cocktail programme, sustainable ethos, work in the global bar community and brilliant sense of fun.”

Looking at the list overall, Barcelona had an impressive showing, claiming three of the top seven spots, but London still had the most bars in the top 50 from anywhere in Europe with five.

Double Chicken Please / The World’s 50 Best Double Chicken Please in New York City.

And moving stateside, New York City was the overall leader on the list with six bars landing a spot. Double Chicken Please took the 6th spot as well as the Highest New Entry Award. The other NYC hot spots were Katana Kitten (#9), Attaboy (#22), Overstory (#34), Dante (#36), and Employees Only (#47). The other American bars on the list were Chicago’s Kumiko (#25), the first bar from the Windy City to make the list since 2018, and Miami’s Café La Trova (#21). The entire list can be seen on the World’s 50 Best Bars website.

Both Café La Trova and Katana Kitten (along with the latter’s bartender Masahiro Urushido) have received additional accolades recently, being named in Liquor.com’s inaugural 2022 Liquor Awards.

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