Raising a Glass to America’s Top Cocktail Cities: A Study by Upgraded Points

There’s something magical about a well-crafted cocktail. Whether it’s the perfect balance of flavors, the creativity of the mixologist, or the ambiance of the bar, a great cocktail experience can elevate an evening from ordinary to extraordinary. Upgraded Points, a travel company known for its research and tips on maximizing travel experiences, has taken a dive into the cocktail bar scene across America. Their latest study uncovers the cities where cocktail creativity and quality shine the brightest.

The Art of the Pour

“This study is inspired by those who elevate simple ingredients to something extraordinary,” says Keri Stooksbury, editor-in-chief at Upgraded Points. “We pay tribute to the cities that house the pinnacles of cocktail creativity, the communities that support them, and travelers looking for a great place to grab a cocktail.”

To uncover the best of the best, Upgraded Points analyzed thousands of cocktail bar listings on Yelp across the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. They focused solely on places where ‘cocktail bars’ was the featured function, averaging the star ratings of each city’s cocktail bars out of 5, and only included bars with at least 10 reviews. The results are both surprising and delightful for cocktail enthusiasts.

Top Shelf Cities

So, where do we find the crème de la crème of cocktail bars? According to Upgraded Points, these cities lead the pack:

  1. Cincinnati, Ohio – 4.63 stars
  2. Hartford, Connecticut – 4.53 stars
  3. Dayton, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana – 4.49 stars
  4. Springfield, Massachusetts and Colorado Springs, Colorado – 4.43 stars
  5. New York, New York – 4.37 stars
  6. Milwaukee, Wisconsin – 4.35 stars
  7. Sacramento, California – 4.33 stars
  8. Grand Rapids, Michigan – 4.32 stars
  9. Daytona Beach, Florida – 4.30 stars
  10. Honolulu, Hawaii – 4.28 stars

From the bustling streets of New York to the laid-back vibes of Honolulu, these cities have proven themselves as havens for cocktail aficionados.

Drinking Capitals

But what about the sheer number of cocktail bars? Upgraded Points also looked at the number of bars per 100,000 residents to identify true “watering holes”:

  1. Durham, North Carolina – 7.95 bars per 100K residents
  2. New Orleans, Louisiana – 5.63 bars per 100K residents
  3. Omaha, Nebraska – 4.32 bars per 100K residents
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada – 4.06 bars per 100K residents
  5. San Antonio, Texas – 3.92 bars per 100K residents
  6. El Paso, Texas – 3.90 bars per 100K residents
  7. Austin, Texas – 3.78 bars per 100K residents
  8. Nashville, Tennessee – 3.73 bars per 100K residents
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina – 3.59 bars per 100K residents
  10. Charleston, South Carolina – 3.57 bars per 100K residents

Durham, North Carolina, tops this list, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to explore a variety of cocktail bars in a single city.

The Cities With the Highest-Rated Cocktail Bars

Cheers to the Future

Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a traveler planning your next cocktail adventure, these cities are worth raising a glass to. For those interested in the highest-rated cocktail bar in each city, you can check out the full study on Upgraded Points’ website.

Upgraded Points, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is dedicated to helping travelers demystify the complex world of travel and credit cards. Through targeted research and in-depth studies, they aim to help you maximize your travel experiences. For more information, visit Upgraded Points.

So next time you’re in one of these top-shelf cities or drinking capitals, take a moment to savor a crafted cocktail and toast to the vibrant, creative world of America’s cocktail bars. Cheers!

The Cities With the Most Cocktail Bars Per Capita

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