Top European bars to visit in 2018

13th November, 2017 by Annie Hayes

London may be the heart of Europe’s cocktail culture, but the continent boasts a bounty of vibrant and exciting bars and bartenders.

Barcelona’s Paradiso bar secured a spot in our European bars to watch

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a bartender in Europe than in 2017. While the cultural melting pot that is London remains, as ever, at the epicentre of innovation, the bar scene is buzzing across the entire continent. Despite the UK’s departure from the EU looming and a fraught political landscape in many key regions, the general vibe is one of connectedness, inclusivity, and camaraderie.

The concept of the ‘celebrity bartender’ has been building momentum for some years, whipping up consumer interest and pushing excellence and experimentation to dizzying new heights as a result. Now more than ever the continent’s bar stars are forming alliances with other sectors – the worlds of gastronomy, art and science – and tackling wider social issues such as gender inequality, environmental sustainability and mental well-being.

While there are now great cocktail bars waiting to be discovered in every European city, there are pockets of brilliance garnering global attention, particularly in western Europe. In Barcelona, the likes of Dr. Stravinsky (under the expert guidance of Antonio Naranjo, formerly of our European Bar to Watch 2016, Himkok) and Paradiso, as detailed ahead, are shaking things up, while in Madrid, Diego Cabrera’s Salmon Guru is turning industry heads. Nico De Soto, co­-owner of New York City bar Mace, took Paris by storm in 2016 with the launch of Danico, housed in Jean Paul Gaultier’s former flagship location in the 2nd arrondissement. Newly opened Combat is also one to watch – just metres away from La Commune, the Punch­only bar from the team at Le Syndicat, the venue is spearheaded by two former bartenders from the Experimental Cocktail Club.

Click through the following pages to discover Europe’s top bars to watch in 2018.

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