From Amsterdam to Zurich, our Spotters have written about some great cocktail bars they like to visit: from drinks to interior design, these cocktail bars are sure to catch the eye of any drinks lover, so here are some of our most interesting local finds across Europe! In alphabetical order:
1. Antwerp: Dogma
A mixture of different themes and styles have turned this cocktail bar into a cosy, laid back place for people to enjoy themselves. Having only opened 2 years ago, Dogma, according to local Era, is original in the sense that they serve traditional drinks, but are also happy to take you on a cocktail adventure of your own!
2. Barcelona: Boadas
First opened in 1933, Boadas is proudly the oldest cocktail bar in the city of Barcelona. According to local, Bill, this bar is a central meetup spot for people who want to go out and see the city-with an art deco interior and bartenders dressed in classy tuxedos, Boadas truly sets its bars (pun intended) high!
3. Berlin: Stagger Lee
Welcome to Berlin, the city of beer, the Berlin wall and Western-themed cocktail bars? That’s right, the Stagger Lee is a saloon-themed bar within the heart of Berlin, and its wild west styled drinks are some of the best in the city, according to local sources.
With quality comes a price, as according to our Spotter Josephine: “Be prepared to pay about 9-15€ per cocktail. One of my all-time favorites is “Alabama Song”, however, you should definitely give their seasonal drinks a closer look.”
4. Copenhagen: Zefside
“A cocktail bar which actually managed to keep the focus on their main product – the cocktails at the bar.” Says our Spotter Pernille about cocktail bar Zefside. Hidden away in a basement with a low ceiling, Zefside is a cozy bar situated in the downtown area of Copenhagen with an intriguing menu of unique cocktails, a DJ and the bar as the main focus of the establishment!
As local Sebastiana eloquently writes: “I love places where you can feel the owners’ passion for their location – either by their products, by the interior or maybe also by a motivated team.” Clockers is a cocktail bar that prides itself on the little details of a scene that brings together the theme of the overall atmosphere. This can clearly be seen in the painstaking detail they placed into the ground floor bar room (pictured above) to the little antique library on the first floor!
6. Helsinki: Shaker
‘If you’re a friend of cocktails like I am, you can’t miss this place,’ says Spotter Antti about the local cocktail bar, Shaker. Having opened for the first time in 2006, Shaker has been selected as one of the best bars within Helsinki, specializing in cocktails and fine wine. Shaker has an air of sophistication surrounding it but keeps its doors open to all patrons. This bar is also situated right next to a nearby cinema, so you can go an enjoy pre-or post-movie cocktails together with friends and family. A great atmosphere for anyone who enjoys the company of others around them.
7. Kiev: De Bosch
Anyone who is not familiar with De Bosch speakeasy bar is in for a fun and exciting surprise. Our Spotter Serhii tells us ‘As a true speakeasy bar, De Bosch hides its entrance from the spontaneous visitors, letting in only the ones who know the secret of the curtain.’-the bar has a hidden entrance tucked away from the mass public’s view, draped behind an elegant black curtain and shrouded in a mysterious air.
The inside is even more of a fun surprise as you step into what seems to be a Hieronymous Bosch painting. Amidst the decadence and mystique of this special little bar in Kiev, you can fully enjoy the wide variety of intricately designed cocktails to your heart’s content, with no worries that you might be busted by the speakeasy police.
8. Madrid: Martinez Bar
Stepping into Martinez’s Bar transports you directly into the heart of a New York city bar! Found by local Jonathan, Martinez Bar is a connection of two cultures merging together to provide a fun experience to any who walk through their doors! An ambitious bar that serves some of the most unique cocktails to its patrons, while being surrounded by American culture!
9. Milan: Dry Cocktails & Pizza
A modern and classy new restaurant and bar, Dry Cocktails & Pizza is a rising star in the city of Milan, according to our Spotter Carmen. With Michelin star chef Andrea Berton at the helm, this establishment ensures itself to have high-quality food and drink-especially the cocktails!
10. Prague: Martin’s Bistro
Hidden away from the buzz and hustle of the city, Martin’s Bistro is a quiet and cozy little place with great drinks and excellent food. You can walk in anytime and the staff will be there immediately to help you to your seat. With a smaller cocktail menu, this bistro ensures that they are of the topmost quality that they can serve, and frequently try to switch out drinks for something new and exciting!
When describing Martin’s Bistro, Spotter Veronika called it ‘the hidden gem of Žižkov!’ So if you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely check this bistro out!
11. Riga: Mākonis
No one would really think to go look in Riga’s historical buildings for a hip and modern cocktail bar, but Mākonis has situated itself comfortably in a renovated in a 19th century two-story horse post. This cozy little bar-cafe pairs itself with home roasted and brewed coffee in the mornings and delicious cocktails at night. Our local informant, Martins, mentions that Mākonis cocktails are flavored with their own specially selected spirits and homemade syrup! You cannot go wrong with an evening of localized drinks, and Mākonis is a perfect place to visit.
12. Stockholm: Erlands
Have you ever felt like stepping back into the 50s? Do you enjoy live jazz shows? How about excellent tiki-style cocktails?
Look no further than the Erlands bar and restaurant. According to our local Nathalie, Erlands takes inspiration from the 50’s, a time where Europe was steadily beginning to recover from the second World War and jazz music was raining steadily into mass popularity. Enjoy an evening of smooth music and mixed drinks with your friends in the luxurious upstairs seating area of this beautiful bar.
13. Tallinn: Manna la Roosa
No one would expect a pharmacy from 1881 to be an ideal place to set up a cocktail bar, but Soho Fond, the designer of Manna la Roosa, somehow pulled it off. According to Spotter Alan, Manna la Roosa is a fresh and hip cocktail bar and restaurant, with the bartenders taking the time every three months to come up with a new cocktail menu to ensure there is always a fresh menu!
14. Vienna: The Sign Lounge
A snazzy, high-quality bar that specializes in their imaginative cocktail creations, The Sign Lounge (drink pictured above) is often regarded as the gem of Vienna. Having a healthy variety of different drinks lends this bar its highly deserved reputation of being one of the best bars within Austria. The atmosphere of the bar is warm and open, inviting even those who are not big cocktail lovers, like Spotter Christopher, to come and enjoy the drinks they serve.
15. Vilnius: Lokstauk
If modern themed cocktail bars really aren’t your thing, Spotter Taira can direct you to her favorite watering hole! Step back into the roaring twenties for some speakeasy fun-the Lokstauk is a bar that keeps in touch with an American theme. Speakeasies were once known as prolific illegal secret bars during the height of the prohibition era in the 1920’s, selling moonshine and other illegally imported bootlegged talcohol to selected patrons-those that knew how to keep a secret.
This speakeasy bar is a comfortable, and no less exciting, place that now serves excellent cocktails and a party venue for those of you who enjoy a bit of a wild night on the town.
16. Warsaw: Zamieszanie
Zamieszanie means ‘to stir up’ and ‘confusion’-and we find this translation, provided to us by local Magda, of a cocktail bar to be highly agreeable. Zamieszanie is a stylish bar that offers its own experience, offering two drinks to patrons from simply asking: ‘Sweet or sour?’ and serving the drink in their own brand of bottles. While giving their patrons a choice, the bar also brings the creativity of the barkeepers in focus, keeping the drinks interesting and unique to each person.