What's more romantic than an evening at your favorite bar? Imagine it: dimmed lights, hushed voices, a fraternity rush party...
Wait. Who let those guys in?
For truly special nights, sometimes your local haunt just won't cut it. So to help you design an evening that's unforgettable, we've pulled together this list: the cream of the crop, America's most romantic bars. Each of the following 19 hotspots has been hand-picked for its style, service, ambience and menu -- think fernet, not fireball shots.
Barrique bills itself as "America’s first private-label wine establishment," sourcing their own ever-changing list of wines and pouring straight from the barrel. Quiet, intimate and cozy — especially in the back booths — Barrique's a place to whisper sweet nothings over a bowl of truffled popcorn. Sugar: 7/10 (for clean, simple spaces) Spice: 3/10 (for boldly blinding the wines) Photo Credit: Barrique Click Here to see more of the Most Romantic Bars in America
Dark, dark wood and warm, warm lights make New York’s Temple Bar reek of "old-school elegance" – according to Zagat. It’s the kind of bar where drinks are named after women who done their men wrong (Betty Draper, Femme Fatale, Death by Blonde) and where even the nibbles are decadent with spices. Sugar: 4/10 (for sparkling raspberries aplenty) Spice: 9/10 (for almost everything else) Photo Credit: Temple Bar
"GOD, I love this place," says Rebecca O. from Yelp. And she’s not the only one — Chicago Reader calls this gin-soaked joint "a rebellious mix of the baroque and the affordable." At Scofflaw, snuggle up to your sweetheart with a black strap Hot Buttered Rum, or sit by the roaring fire with a Sazerac and make the most of the Chicago winter. Sugar: 7/10 (for terrariums and tiki drinks in winter) Spice: 3/10 (for absinthe sprays and Death’s Door Gin) Photo Credit: Scofflaw Click Here to see more of the Most Romantic Bars in America
"Brick and Mortar: where you come for a thrupple." (So says Yelp’s Alison W. about this dark, cool Boston haunt.) If you’re looking to seal the deal, order a half-dozen fresh oysters and the Pisco-based "Take Your Top Off" — no promises, but at least you’ll make your intentions known. Sugar: 3/10 (for citrus and shaved ice) Spice: 8/10 (for smoke and Scotch aplenty) Photo Credit: Brick and Mortar
There’s a real bathtub at Belltown establishment Bathtub Gin & Go. — along with Aztec chocolate bitters and pressed apple juice. Start with the light Cassiopeia (gin, crème de violette) and a peck on the cheek; end the night with a round of Kentucky Tangoes (rye, Tabasco, brown sugar) and making out in the alley. Yum. Sugar: 2/10 (for Veuve Cliquot by the glass) Spice: 10/10 (for Jamaican jerk bitters and a codified "no firearms" rule) Click Here to see more of the Most Romantic Bars in America Photo Credit: Bathtub Gin and Co.
From D.C. to Detroit, we've picked institutions that could melt even the coolest heart. There's something for everyone: oenophiles, locavores, steampunks, S&M aficionados and people, um, looking for a third. And even if you're none of those -- just a regular vanilla couple -- you're bound to have a wonderful time, too.
These bars haven't been selected on a whim. Existing reviews helped shape this list -- the following nightspots are loved by professional reviewers (like Zagat) and dedicated amateurs (like a really passionate guy from Yelp) alike. We went with a mix of highbrow and lowbrow here in order to strike a good mix between well-known haunts and hole-in-the-wall surprises.
Everyone loves a little differently, and so in deference to that, our bars have been ranked on two factors: sugar and spice. The metrics are pretty simple -- one's sweet, the other's sexy (of course, a lucky few are both). If you're not sure which you'd prefer, imagine your dream night out with a loved one. If the evening ends with stolen kisses, look for bars that rank high in sugar. On the other hand, if that night out ends with stolen panties? Look for spice.
So pucker up, buttercup, and welcome to some of America's most romantic bars. No need to make a reservation -- we've got a table waiting for you.
-Abbey Kos, The Daily Meal
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