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Mexico City hotspot is North America’s best bar

Handshake Speakeasy has been named the number one venue in the North America’s 50 Best Bars list.

Handshake Speakeasy placed second last year

The top 50 list was revealed during a live ceremony on 23 April at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

Handshake Speakeasy usurped New York’s Double Chicken Please from top spot, which fell to number seven this year. In 2023, Handshake Speakeasy was named the runner-up, behind Double Chicken Please.

Superbueno, a new entry from New York, came in at number two, while Overstory (New York), Martiny’s (New York) and Rayo (Mexico City) rounded out the top five.

The annual list comprises bars from North America, including the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The US had the most bars in the list with 26, followed by Mexico (15), Canada (seven) and the Caribbean (two). Puerto Rico’s La Factoría, ranked 18, was the Caribbean’s highest entrant.

Emma Sleight, head of content for North America’s 50 Best Bars, said: “What a momentous occasion for the Mexico cocktail scene. We give our biggest ‘felicidades’ to Handshake Speakeasy and head bartender Eric van Beek for the team’s incredible work in delivering excellence.

“Handshake Speakeasy continues to push the boundaries of the art of cocktail creation as well as always putting service first, so we are pleased to see them crowned the first bar in Mexico City named no.1 on North America’s 50 Best Bars list.

“We also extend our congratulations to all the other incredible bars on this year’s list that are testament to how exciting, innovative and dynamic the North American bar scene truly is.”

Located in Mexico City, Handshake ‘recalls the glamour and allure of the Prohibition era’. Its cocktails incorporate clarified juices, fat-washed spirits and unusual, home-made syrups and infused cordials.

Superbueno was the only debut entry in the top five. The bar opened in New York’s East Village in spring 2023 and is helmed by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Jimenez. Its serves are inspired by Mexican dishes and include a Green Mango Martini and Mushroom Margarita.

Jimenez said: “When we opened just a year ago, our team was inspired to provide New York with our distinct perspective of Mexican hospitality, rooted in heritage and community.

“This recognition from North America’s 50 Best Bars speaks to how the Superbueno experience has resonated with guests thanks to the amazing work our team has done from day one.

“We’re thrilled that our bar feels like a home to so many. Muchisimas gracias to our industry friends, regulars, and staff for the support and love. We’re excited to continue this journey and look forward to celebrating many more moments together.”

The full list is as follows:

  1. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
  2. Superbueno, New York
  3. Overstory, New York
  4. Martiny’s, New York
  5. Rayo, Mexico City
  6. Jewel of the South, New Orleans
  7. Double Chicken Please, New York
  8. Thunderbolt, Los Angeles
  9. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
  10. Tlecān, Mexico City
  11. Zapote Bar, Playa del Carmen
  12. Katana Kitten, New York
  13. Café La Trova, Miami
  14. El Gallo Altanero, Guadalajara
  15. Employees Only, New York
  16. Aruba Day Drink, Tijuana
  17. Café de Nadie, Mexico City
  18. La Factoría, San Juan
  19. Kumiko, Chicago
  20. Dante, New York
  21. Civil Liberties, Toronto
  22. Service Bar, Washington DC
  23. Allegory, Washington DC
  24. Botanist Bar, Vancouver
  25. Herbs & Rye, Las Vegas
  26. Baltra Bar, Mexico City
  27. Bekeb, San Miguel de Allende
  28. Kaito del Valle, Mexico City
  29. Bar Pompette, Toronto
  30. True Laurel, San Francisco
  31. Attaboy, New York
  32. Meadowlark, Chicago
  33. The Dead Rabbit, New York
  34. Selva, Oaxaca
  35. Library by the Sea, Grand Cayman
  36. Century Grand, Phoenix
  37. Arca, Tulum
  38. Pacific Cocktail Heaven, San Francisco
  39. Cloakroom, Montreal
  40. Bar Mordecai, Toronto
  41. Maison Premiere, New York
  42. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
  43. Angel’s Share, New York
  44. Milady’s, New York
  45. Brujas, Mexico City
  46. Mírate, Los Angeles
  47. Cure, New Orleans
  48. Best Intentions, Chicago
  49. The Keefer Bar, Vancouver
  50. Atwater Cocktail Club, Montreal

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