There is no shortage of bars and clubs around the world, but those who are seeking the best of the best know that a famous name does not always equal the best experience.
Savvy traveler like Trippy member Mike Pawlicki, knew that when he asked:
What are some of the local favorites for bars/beer gardens in Berlin?
This Christmas I’ll be in Berlin with a couple of other guys (all in our mid-20’s) and a part of our trip we’ll be dedicated to, you guessed it, drinking beer. Can anyone give me some suggestions for bars that are cheaper and have some local flavor? We’ll soon go broke if we’re paying 8 euros a pint and depressed if in a stale atmosphere with only Paulaner Munchen to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax after a whole day of sightseeing, a venue to meet and socialize, a cozy space to sit down and enjoy local music, or a place to hang out with locals, we have a list for you.
Here are the best bars and clubs you probably never heard of in 7 cities around the world:
New York City
Both of these bars were recommended by Trippy user Patrick Grennan. Patrick said:
Death and Company – this and Please Don’t Tell constantly rank among the “best bars in the world”… I’m not sure what that means, but they both do have amazing (+ unfortunately expensive) drinks!
3. Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, 113 Ludlow St, New York
Mehanata Bulgarian Bar was recommended by Michelle Christina from New York. She wrote:
My favorite place to be on a Thursday night is Mehanata Bulgarian Bar. It’s fun, eccentric and non-pretentious. Live music, DJs + dance party as well as a bar with swings (when is the last time you were on a swing?!) and a loft with tables for dinner. The party goes until about 4 AM so bring your dancing shoes…
4. Post Office Bar at 188 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn
5. Baby’s All Right at 146 Broadway, Brooklyn
In Williamsburg, there are plenty of cool bars to check out, nearby Peter Luger, there is Baby’s All Right, if you prefer a more chilled environment, you can get cocktails at Dram (if you like it a little posh) or Post Office Whiskey Bar (if you like a good friendly crowd).
Post Office offers an old-fashioned environment, a large selection of bourbon and soul foods like barbecue ribs and pulled pork. Baby’s All Right is the place for live music and laid-back local parties. These two casual venues are considerably cheaper than the bars in Manhattan.
6. WaterGate Club, Falckensteinstraße 49, 10997 Berlin
7. Berghain, Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin
8. Tresor Club Diskothek, Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin
9. Schwarze Traube, Wrangelstraße 24, 10997 Berlin
Then the most famous and reliable clubs are the Watergate club, Berghain, and Tresor Club Diskothek. I must tell you that sometimes is hard to enter in these clubs. Schwarze Traube is one of the most celebrated cocktail bars in Berlin; you have to have a drink there.
Trippy user Rob Wise from Bangkok offered a list of bars and night clubs that anyone can follow, from classy bars, cheap places, to rooftop swimming pool and dance clubs. Here’s a summary of his list:
10. Maggie Choo’s, 320 Silom Rd, Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500 – a place mainly catered to expats and designed more like a bar you would find in the US or Europe
11. Bangkok Beat, Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 | Khlong Toei Nuea, Bangkok 10110 – a club for live music and drinks
12. Nest Rooftop Bar, Le Fenix Hotel, 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 – a place to socialize and drink
13. Bamboo Chic Bar, at Le Meridien Bangkok Hotel – offers a cozy space for food and drink
For nightlife, there are tons of great little bars and clubs in and around the Shoreditch High St area. Queen of Hoxton is always a good time and has a good vibe. It has great music and I think it has the perfect balance of that underground club vibe without the pretentious (e.g. bottle service) attitude or the sketchy/sweaty basement vibe that a lot of the major clubs in London have (although they do have a great sweaty basement if you are game) very chill rooftop too with a great view of London. If you are looking for good music/deep sets I would avoid the big clubs and check out some of the warehouse parties on RA.
Check out the following spots:
14. Queen Of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Rd, London – with live music, rooftop terrace, drinks and food
15. Warehouse Parties by RA
16. Fabric Night Club, 77A Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell, London – an underground club
17. Callooh Callay, 65 Rivington St, London – a Lewis Caroll themed cocktail bar
18. Radio Rooftop Bar in ME London Hotel, 336-337 Strand, London – a rooftop bar offering drinks, tapas and views of London
Cancun, a beach destination located on the Caribbean side of Mexico is known for its bars and clubs. Several venues offer all-you-can-drink options and non-stop music every night.
For fun places to enjoy your night, Trippy users Jaime Gonzalez and Scott Rogers recommended:
19. Mandala Beach Club, Boulevard Kukulkan Km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún
20. Cocobongo, Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 9.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún
Mandala Beach Club is more of a classy place and that’s what I like and recommend too. Cocobongo is a total Party scene and a little wild for me. It all depends on your style most of my sisters like Coco Bongo. I love nature so for me a classy Beach Club is much better ;-).
Check out Mandala Beach Club. It isn’t as crazy than a lot of the other night clubs. A good place for dancing is Cocobongo that plays good live music. Everything from salsa to funk. Albatros Restaurant & Bar is another great low key spot although the music here is basically all Latin, which I personally like.
Veronica Forest echoed:
We just came back from there and it seems like the “it” place is Coco Bongo Coco Bongo in the hotel zone. You pay $25 and it is open bar. There is usually a long line to get in. We didn’t go in (not big drinkers), so I can’t tell you how it is on the inside.
Here’s another I would choose:
21. Coco’s Bar in Melia Paradisus Cancun Resort – a bar right on the beach serving cocktails like mojitos, margaritas, and caipirinhas
And with dozens of micro and craft breweries, as well as countless pubs, tap houses, brew houses and bars calling this great city home, there’s no shortage of places at which to sample the finest local frothies.
Where do you go for these local frothies and to mingle with the locals?
Here are four places suggested by Trippy users:
22. Black Cat Fitzroy, 252 Brunswick St, Fitzroy – a beer garden with craft beer, music, and cool atmosphere
23. Berlin Bar, 16 Corrs Ln, Melbourne – divided into East and West serving cocktails and beer, the Berlin Bar has a unique concept and a perfect place for anyone looking to enjoy a great drink in a welcoming atmosphere
24. The Everleigh Melbourne, 150-156 Gertrude St, Melbourne – a conveniently located cozy bar offering classic cocktails
25. Cookie, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne – a place for beer, cocktails and Thai food
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a fun city to visit if you know how to navigate your way through the crowds and avoid the pickpockets. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in South America because of the sights, beaches, carefree lifestyle and samba music. You don’t have to get to a bar or club to enjoy Rio’s nightlife.
Trippy user Katy Berman lived in Rio for two years, and offered this advice:
Be sure to always keep your handbag close to you, especially when riding public transportation. Brazilian pickpockets are experts and most are kids! When you go to the beach, don’t take any valuables, just a little money to buy a drink or snacks sold on the beach. When walking on the beachfront, street kids sometimes use “tricks” to get your money. Don’t indulge them!!
When in Rio, Katy added:
Make sure to go somewhere where you can take in good Brazilian music – popular, samba, etc. Where there’s playing, there’s also dancing. Many hotels have shows for tourists. Brazil has some interesting African-based instruments, including the cuica, berimbau (which is used to accompany the martial art of capoeira), agogo and various types of chocalhos (shakers or rattles).
For a taste of samba visit one of these venues:
26. Carioca da Gema, Av. Mem de Sá, 79 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – a bar located in an old Portuguese-style mansion offering nightly live music, food and drinks
27. Bip Bip, R. Alm. Gonçalves, 50 – Loja D – Copacabana – a lively and casual place for samba, food and drinks at the famous Copacabana beach
28. Lapa 40 Graus, R. Riachuelo, 97 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – there’s a pool hall, lounge, live music venue and dance floor in this multi-story nightclub. It is one of the most vibrant places for nightlife in Rio.
Have you ever wondered what makes a good bar or club?
An article on Serious Eats by Michael Neff, a barman, suggested bar-goers should look at the community, passion, atmosphere, and overall execution of the place.
So, check out these 28 places in seven countries! If you have a question about the bars and clubs around the world, become and Trippy user and get your questions answered by one of the locals or travel experts.
Article and photos by Claudia Looi