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The world’s 10 best restaurant bars

No longer are restaurant bars merely an obligatory pitstop before sitting down to a delectable meal, as this list of Spirited Award nominees shows.

According to the Tales of the Cocktail, these are the world’s 10 best restaurant bars

As the world’s of food and drink continue to collide, more high-end restaurants are focussing on providing a stylish bar offering an array of delicious cocktails for their customers to enjoy before, during and after their meals.

From bars which complement a restaurant’s innovative menu, to those which have gained a reputation as a desirable drinking dens on their own merit, there’s a host of restaurants across the globe which have become almost as famous as their culinary counterparts.

But, with such a broad selection to choose from, which are the world’s very best restaurant bars?

Click through the following pages to see our list of the top 10 international hotel bars, as identified by Tales of the Cocktail’s shortlist for the Best International Hotel Bar Spirited Award, excluding those in the US (which has its own category)

If you think an exceptional hotel bar should have received a spot this list, let us know by leaving a comment below.

The Red Bar at Bam-Bous, London


House on three floors above charming Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurant Bam-Bou is the The Red Bar, where an array of Asian spirits can be enjoyed.

Walk through a door illuminated by a bright red light and find yourself in an intimate, relaxed setting featuring low red leather seating, atmospheric candlelight and beautiful oriental art.

The bar’s cocktail menu is clearly divided into base spirits, with an entire section reserved for cocktails showcasing Japanese whisky.

The Bon Vivants, Edinburgh


Opened in 2008, this candle-lit den prides itself on offering a casual setting to enjoy top quality food and drinks.

With an ever-changing cocktail menu and extensive wine list, offering all 44 wines by the 175ml glass, The Bon Vivants’ drinks have become almost as popular as its cuisine.

Innovative cocktails included on the restaurant’s menu include the Flor de Muerto, a combination of Tapatio Reposado Tequila, honey, lemon thyme, lemon juice, Dry Riesling, peach bitters and soda, and the Death Lends a Hand, a mix of RinQuinQuin peach aperitif, orange colombo aperitif, Peychaud’s Bitters and Champagne, as well as classic cocktails such as the Mary Pickford and Martinez.

The Bon Vivants’ was also named one of its top four finalists to win the Best International Restaurant Bar Spirited Award.


Delicatessen, Moscow


Headed by legendary bartender Vyacheslav Lankin, basement restaurant Delicatessen has quickly become a hotspot for young Moscow urbanites and tourists alike.

Viewed as something of a hidden treasure in the city, the restaurant is hidden in the corner of an assuming courtyard of garages and offices, where its entrance is marked by a “thank you for finding us sign”.

Its antique bar serves a delicious array of libations such as Raspberry Cognac and Apricot Rhum Agricole, as well as unique variations of classic cocktails.

Tales of the Cocktail has named Delicatessen as one of its top four finalists to win the Best International Restaurant Bar Spirited Award.

The Gilbert Scott, London


Located inside London’s iconic St Pancras train station is The Gilbert Scott, a restaurant and bar opened by famed chef Marcus Wareing which pays homage to the building’s creator, Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott.

Through the revolving door, off Euston Road, the Bar at The Gilbert Scott boasts ornately painted ceilings and wondrous bell chandeliers.

Flavour, aroma, texture and creativity are what inspire our evolving cocktail list. The house cocktail, the 1873, named after the year the Midland Grand Hotel originally opened, combines English classics of aromatic gin, apple and rhubarb with cranberry juice and ‘fizz’.

Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor, London


Famed London steakhouse and cocktail bar Hawksmoor combines its penchant for top-quality meat with drinks of the highest calibre.

Its Spitalfields branch boasts one of the chain’s most beautiful bars, featuring jet black, 50s-style booths and glistening tables made from recycled chemistry lab benches.

Served by the some of London’s best bartenders cherry-picked by the venue, Spitalfields Bar serves an enticing list of all-original cocktails. Bartenders also recommend a list of “desert island cocktails” each month.

The bar was also named as one of its top four finalists to win the Best International Restaurant Bar Spirited Award.

Mark’s Bar at HIX Soho, London


One of the many restaurants set up by celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix, HIX Soho represents an original take on British gastronomy

Downstairs is the celebrated Mark’s with its apothecary bar and an eccentric cocktail list designed by legendary UK bartender Nick Strangeway.

The Lui Bar at Vue De Monde, Melbourne


Brimming with sophistication, The Lui Bar is based in Melbourne favourite Vue De Monde restaurant.

Located 236 meters above the city on the 55th floor of the Rialto building, the Lui bar offers everything from cutting edge cocktails and innovative snacks to jazz on Sundays.

Cocktails include the Pina Colada, Koala Stinger, the Sherry Cobbler and Sous Vide Shrub.

Oblix Restaurant, London


Another bar enjoyed from a height is the one inside the Oblix restaurant, which itself is based on the 32nd floor of the Shard, Europe’s tallest building.

The brainchild of Zuma’s group bar manager, James Shearer, cocktails made at Oblix’s Lounge Bar are classic with a distinct New York twist.

The bar aims to take a culinary approach to its classic cocktails, twisting creations with homemade and contemporary ingredients in order to “make cocktail drinking as fun and accessible as it once was”.

Gardel’s Bar at Porteno Restaurant, Sydney


Rock-a-billy style bar and grill Porteno brings a bit of the American South to the heart of Sydney, while its Gardel’s Bar channels Latin America.

The wine list features an array of Spanish and Latin American bottlings, as well as satisfying beers from the same regions.

Cocktails available include ‘house creations the Banana Old Fashioned and Peanut Manhattan, which features peanut-infused and duck-fat-washed Jim Beam Bourbon.

Blind Pig at Social Eating House, London


Already on the connoisseur’s Soho drinking trail, the upstairs bar to Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House seems to be ticking all the right boxes.

Awarded its first Michelin star last year – thanks to the talent of chef patron Paul Hood, formerly of Pollen Street Social Club and Maze – you’d expect to find excellent service and quality nibbles and the restaurant, and you do.

But staff at The Blind Pig also manage to provide an amazing drinking experience, while not taking themselves too seriously, providing tongue-in-cheek libations such as the Thermo-Nuclear Daiquiri and Ooh-arr-tinez.

The bar was also named as one of its top four finalists to win the Best International Restaurant Bar Spirited Award.

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