The world’s top 10 tiny bars
The phrase “good things come in small packages” certainly applies to this list of the world’s tiniest drinking dens, which includes a historic signal box and stranded Caribbean shack.
High volume bars may have been popular in the 90s, but as the craze for all things Prohibition and speakeasy grows, more diminutive drinking dens can be spotted popping up across the globe.
While many bill themselves to be the world’s smallest bar, few have ever been granted the official title by the Guinness Book of World Records.
It may be difficult to pull up a bar stool in these listed venues, but their size alone makes them desirable venues for travelling drinkers to tick off their bucket list.
Casting a glance from London to Mexico, Switzerland to Jamaica, we roundup the world’s top 10 tiny bars. If you think we’ve missed out a must-see tiny bar, let us know by leaving a comment below.
The Dove – London, UK
This Grade II listed public house, based in Hammersmith, was once listed by the Guinness World Records as having the smallest bar room in the world, and is still considered one of the most diminutive pubs in London.
Ingrained in London’s history, The Dove is also reportedly where Charles II romanced and dined his mistress Nell Gwynne. Other famed patrons of the bar have included 18th-century poet James Thompson, Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene.
The Signal Box Inn – Cleethorpes, UK
The Signal Box Inn, in the UK seaside town of Cleethorpes, proudly claims to be the “smallest pub in the world”, however it has never been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The bar is exactly what it claims to be – a pub situated inside a historic signal box beside Cleethorpes Light Railway Station. The pub stands at 64sq feet and can accommodate only six people at a time.
Now a popular tourist attraction, The Signal Box Inn building was originally a working signal box in Scunthorpe but moved to its Cleethorpe 12 years ago and opened as a pub in 2006.
Mou Very – Dunedin, New Zealand
Mou Very, at 1.8 metres wide, is thought to be New Zealand’s smallest bar with room for only six bar stools, a few bottles and an oversized coffee roaster.
Based in Dunedin, the second largest city in New Zealand’s South Island, the bar also doubles as a concert venue, however keen punters are likely to pile into the street since the venue has capacity for only 15 people.
Slim’s Elbow Room – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The promise of elbow room suggested in this bar’s name is certainly scarce. This is another self-proclaimed world’s smallest bar, though has not been officially verified as such.
Based in the Mexican city of Cabo San Lucas, Slim’s Elbow Room offers an array of Tequila to punters lucky enough to pull up one of the four bar stools available.
With classic country hits playing in the background, visitors are encouraged to pin dollar bills to the Tequila filled wall behind the tiny bar.
Nutshell Pub – Bury St Edmunds, UK
The aptly named Nutshell Pub, based in the historic UK town of Bury St Edmunds, is has been confirmed at the smallest public house in the country by the Guinness Book of World Records.
It is also a historical landmark, having sold its first official pint on 1867. However, it is thought the pub may have been in use from as early as 1844.
Step inside the tiny watering hole and you will be greeted by a mummified cat, dangling currency notes and an aeroplane propeller – no wonder space is limited.
Smallest Whisky Bar on Earth – Santa Maria Val Müstair, Switzerland
With a title of the Smallest Whisky Bar on Earth, we couldn’t miss out this Switzerland bar, almost no bigger than a dram itself.
Situated in Santa Maria Val Müstair, the venue may be tiny at just 92sq feet, but it boasts more than 240 different whiskies from across the globe.
The bar’s owner Gunter Sommer petitioned the Guinness World Record to change the name of its World Smallest Bar title to the World’s Smallest Permanently Licensed in 2007, when it was awarded the new title.
Blomberger Saustell – Blomberg, Germany
Germany’s Blomberger Saustell is currently recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s smallest permanent licensed bar in the world, sitting at 5.19sq metres.
Owned by Reinhold Mennecke, the bar became fully licensed in 2000. It is based in its namesake town of Blomberg, in Germany’s Lippe district.
12 Sqm Bar and Café – Beijing, China
Thought to be Beijing’s smallest bar, this venue proudly sports its dimensions in its title. 12 Sqm Bar and Cafe is exactly just that, yet its modest size does not prevent it from boasting a packed back bar, with 140 different bottles available.
Featuring whisky, beers, house cocktails and an array of hearty dishes made by its Australian chef, the venue opened in 2007.
Bar Illegal – Texas, US
America may be more geared towards the high volume bar format, but the emergence of speakeasy-style bars and Prohibition drinks has paved the way for bars such as Austin’s Bar Illegal to open their doors.
Bar Illegal is an exclusive mezcal cantina situated inside a historic stone building with barely enough room to fit five bar stools.
Opened in 2011, the bar serves only handcrafted, small-batched Ilegal Mezcal, made by mezcaleros in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The Pelican Bar – Negril, Jamaica
One of the smallest bars in Jamaica, The Pelican Bar is also one of the most isolated in the world, sitting on a sandbar several hundred yards off the island’s stunning Treasure Beach, along the southwest coast.
Eager patrons are required to take a short boat journey to visit the bar, which offers a selection of delicious seafood, beers and cocktails.
However, due to the remote spot of the bar, there is no toilet and customers are required to relieve themselves at sea.