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Cocktail Connoisseurs Convene
50 Best Bars Returns

April 21, 2024

by Marni Hills

San Miguel de Allende adds a second year to its reign as the host of "North America's 50 Best Bars" "list reveal" events. This highly-anticipated ceremony is organized by the esteemed William Reed, the team behind prestigious lists like The World's 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants. The list will be unveiled this week at the Rosewood Hotel - uncorking the 2024 rankings of the continent's best cocktail destinations. The event represents a significant honor for the town, drawing industry pros, judges, entrepreneurs, and PR teams together to celebrate this distinguished honor for some remarkable drinking establishments.

A Celebration of Diverse Drinking Experiences

Forget the celebrity endorsements, paid advertiser inclusion, and application fees – North America's 50 Best Bars throws open its doors to every contender. From hidden Mexican speakeasies to world-renowned cocktail havens, all are judged on one thing: the pure, unadulterated joy of a great drink. This prestigious list isn't swayed by brand names or popularity, but by the magic that unfolds when you pull up a barstool, have a chat with the mixologist, raise a glass and sip a meticulously crafted concoction.

Enjoying custom cocktails and mocktails at Hanky Panky Speakeasy "somewhere in Mexico City" (photos: Marni Hills)

Enjoying custom cocktails and mocktails at Hanky Panky Speakeasy" somewhere in Mexico City" (photos: Marni Hills)

Last Year's Mexican Standouts: Will They Repeat the Feat?

San Miguel's mixology masters haven't clinked glasses with the award in the past couple years, but hey, maybe this time. Either way, we're bursting with pride over our Mexican paisanos who made it into the competition. We'll be cheering them on (and hoping for some local wins!) when the list drops.

On the list of 50 Best for 2023 (revealed last May at San Miguel's Hacienda Los Picachos), were 14 incredible bars from around Mexico. The "Best Bar in Mexico" for 2023 was Mexico City's secret underground Handshake Speakeasy (ranking #2 on the full list). Of the 14 Mexican bars on the list, Mexico City had the most (8), including:

#2 Handshake Speakeasy
#4 Licoreria Limantour
#16 Baltra Bar
#17 Rayo
#20 Hanky Panky Speakeasy
#25 Cafe de Nadie
#26 Kaito del Valle
#47 Brujas

Oaxaca's Sabina Sabe (photo @gruposabinasabe)

El Gallo Altanero in Guadalajara

¡Más Estrellas! Here are Mexico's Six Other Top Cocktail Destinations from 2023:

#11 Zapote Bar (Playa del Carmen)
#21 El Gallo Altanero (Guadalajara)
#22 Sabina Sabe (Oaxaca)
#23 Arca (Tulum)
#31 Selva (Oaxaca)
#40 Aruba Day Drink (Tijuana)

No Gimmicks, Just Great Drinks: The Purest Award in Town

North America's 50 Best Bars shines a light on the hottest (and sometimes, hidden) cocktail experiences across the continent. This award cuts through the noise: no sales quotas, no brand bias, just the unfiltered expertise of our judges. It's a real-time pulse on the scene, a trusted compass for anyone craving an unforgettable drink. And unlike some award shows, there's no funny business here – the list is as pure and unadulterated as the perfect martini.

Who Picks the Best Bars?

Voting is done by a distinguished panel of 270 industry experts from North America's 50 Best Bars Academy - including bartenders, bar owners, drinks media members, and well-travelled cocktail enthusiasts, ensuring a balanced perspective across Canada, USA, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Gender equality is also a priority - the Academy boasts a 50/50 split.

Voting Process & Voting Academy Makeup (courtesy of

A Transparent Approach

North America's 50 Best Bars prioritizes transparency throughout the voting process. Academy members cast their ballots based solely on their firsthand experiences, eliminating any potential bias from sponsors or industry figures. Each vote reflects a genuine encounter with exceptional bar service within the past 18 months. The system encourages discovery by allowing members to vote for a maximum of five local establishments alongside two from outside their region. This fosters a balanced representation of both established favorites and exciting newcomers.

Who Will Make the Cut? Stay Tuned!

Prior to the big reveal, San Miguel de Allende will be a buzz with exclusive industry events leading up to the Tuesday night awards ceremony. While the event itself is a private affair, fret not, cocktail connoisseurs! Lokkal will be bringing you all the insider buzz and celebratory highlights promptly. Now, the burning question remains: will San Miguel's vibrant bar scene be represented on the coveted list this year? We hope to be able to raise a glass to the local heroes who elevate our town's cocktail culture – stay tuned to find out!


Marni Hills is a well-traveled writer, photographer, and lover of all things weird and unusual. She is an ancient astronaut theorist, dog foster, DJ, and is obsessed with travel, fashion, true crime, never-before-seen footage, and mountaineering disasters. She made San Miguel her home in early 2022.

Follow Marni on Instagram

Previous articles:
Fashion: Upcycled, Embroidered, Mexicano - Golden Lola
Trashing the Charco, July 2023
A Home for Horchata, April 2023
A Thread to Old San Miguel, March 2023


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