Sips/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
1. Sips, Barcelona: This 33-seat bar has been selected as the best in the world for 2023, rising up from No. 3 last year.
Double Chicken Please/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
2. Double Chicken Please, New York: Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, this bar's star is still rising, having jumped from No. 6 in 2022. You'll find Asian-inflected cocktails such as the popular #3 (apple brandy, cranberry, spiced pear, ginger ale).
Handshake Speakeasy/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City: The bustling capital of Mexico has four spots in the 2023 list, and Handshake is its top entry at No. 3. As the name hints, the location is hard to find in the Colonia Juárez neighborhood, but the rewards are stellar.
Paradiso/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
4. Paradiso, Barcelona: The bragging rights continue for this Mediterranean city with Paradiso, which patrons enter through a pastrami shop fridge. Inside, they'll find a beautifully sculpted Dali-esque curved wooden bar. Paradiso was No. 1 in 2022.
Connaught Bar/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
5. Connaught Bar, London: The UK's top entry on the best 50 list moves up a few spots from No. 8 in 2022. The specialty of the house? The Dry Martini, in which the bar's own licor is stirred down in a special mixing glass and made to measure with a choice of homemade bitters.
Aron Farkas/Little Red Door/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
6. Little Red Door, Paris: Patrons enter this favorite through a red door in the Marais district. The Little Red Door is a leading voice in sustainable bar practices.
Licorería Limantour/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
7. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City: This split-level bar has been around since 2011 and helped revolutionize Mexico City's bar scene.
Tayēr + Elementary/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
8. Tayēr + Elementary, London: Found in East London, two atmospheres and vibes shine here. At Elementary is an industrially styled space with a long communal table serving seasonal classics. At Tayēr, there is more of a test-kitchen vibe with lesser-known ingredients.
Alquímico/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
9. Alquímico, Cartagena: Rising one notch from 2022, this bar features a "highly progressive cocktail list that showcases Colombia's biodiversity," according to World's 50 Best Bars. It's located across three floors of a renovated colonial mansion.
Himkok/Courtesy World's 50 Best Bars
10. Himkok, Oslo: Himkok translates to "homecooked." When you enter the main bar, you can see the distillery that delivers gin, aquavit and vodka into taps for thirsty Norwegians and visitors.
Singapore CNN  — 

Barcelona has retained its grip on the World’s 50 Best Bars list as intimate cocktail joint Sips claimed the top spot at 2023’s awards.

With the coveted title long-dominated by London and New York establishments, Tuesday’s announcement marked the second consecutive victory for the cosmopolitan city in Spain. Trendy speakeasy Paradiso, which took home last year’s top prize, slipped to fourth this year.

Held at a decommissioned 1950s power plant in Singapore, Tuesday’s ceremony was the first to be hosted outside Europe in the awards’ 14-year history. The list has also become increasingly diverse in recent years: Mexico City has four bars on 2023’s list, including the third-placed Handshake Speakeasy, while Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires and host city Singapore are both home to three top 50 bars.

Several Asian countries saw establishments featured for the first time, including Seoul’s sustainability-focused Zest — the highest new entry at 18th. Bangkok’s burgeoning bar scene also enjoyed a strong showing, with Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar finishing 19th and the retro-styled BKK Social Club named Asia’s top bar in 13th place.

Winners were voted for anonymously by the World’s 50 Best Bar Academy, a group of 680 industry figures including bar owners, bartenders and critics. There are no specific voting criteria, with members simply asked to judge where “they have enjoyed the best experience,” organizers said.

‘Let’s call it a dream’

While only three bars in New York City made this year’s list — down from eight in 2015 — the runner-up spot went to Double Chicken Please on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Florida and Louisiana were represented with Miami’s Café La Trova and New Orleans’ Jewel of the South claiming the 24th and 49th spots, respectively.

And although London is again home to more top-50 bars than any other city, Tuesday marked the first time since the awards were founded in 2009 that no establishments in the UK capital finished in the top three. Two-time winner Connaught Bar, in London’s upmarket Mayfair district, finished fifth. Connaught finished eighth last year.

Sips co-founders Simone Caporale and Marc Álvarez, who opened their Barcelona bar during the Covid-19 pandemic, said claiming top spot could be transformative for their establishment. “Let’s call it a dream,” Caporale told CNN shortly after the awards were announced.

With just 33 seats, Sips uses locally sourced ingredients to produce what Álvarez called “high couture cocktails.” The celebrated mixologist welcomed the Barcelona bar scene’s growing reputation, adding: “It’s a very nice spot — architecture, gastronomy, good weather. If we add on top of that nice drinks and good service, I think it’s (somewhere) that needs to be recognized.”

William Reed, the company behind the annual awards, has recently launched regional lists for Asia’s and North America’s 50 Best Bars, won earlier this year by Hong Kong’s Coa and the aforementioned Double Chicken Please in New York.

The group also coordinates the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, which named fine dining establishment Central, in the Peruvian capital Lima, at No. 1 for 2023.

World’s best bars for 2023

1. Sips, Barcelona

2. Double Chicken Please, New York

3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City

4. Paradiso, Barcelona

5. Connaught Bar, London

6. Little Red Door, Paris

7. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City

8. Tayēr + Elementary, London

9. Alquímico, Cartagena

10. Himkok, Oslo

11. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires

12. Line, Athens

13. BKK Social Club, Bangkok

14. Jigger & Pony, Singapore

15. Maybe Sammy, Sydney

16. Salmon Guru, Madrid

17. Overstory, New York

18. Zest, Seoul

19. Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, Bangkok

20. Coa, Hong Kong

21. Drink Kong, Rome

22. Hanky Panky, Mexico City

23. Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne

24. Café La Trova, Miami

25. Baba au Rum, Athens

For the full list of the top 50, visit the World’s 50 Best Bars site.