10 great places to bar-hop


By Sarah Sekula, Published in USA Today 

If your Memorial Day plans involve seeing The Hangover: Part II, chances are you’re the party-going type. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of destinations that sport a slew of bars. Will Cockrell, Men’s Journal articles editor, shares with Sarah Sekula for USA TODAY a list of watering holes, from super-swanky to lowdown dives.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This tony neighborhood has an Ipanema vibe but feels even more exclusive. “It’s where the locals party away from the tourists,” Cockrell says. Better yet, local drinkery Academia da Cachaca, is “the best place to chill and watch the sidewalk scene and drink Brazil’s famous cachaca — a sugarcane liquor.” academiadacachaca.com.br

With more than 1,000 pubs and plenty of live Irish music, Dublin can make your head spin. With so many choices, “it’s easy to mix up your drinking between charming old historic pubs, like the Brazen Head (established in 1198) and the very central Stag’s Head, or mix with Dublin’s creative elite in cool spots like The Globe Bar & Cafe on Great Georges Street,” Cockrell says. Shake your rump at Ri-Ra nightclub afterward; it’s attached to the pub. And have a pint at The Gravity Bar atop the Guinness Storehouse. visitdublin.com

Williamsburg neighborhood
Brooklyn, N.Y.
“This hipper-than-thou corner of Brooklyn has perfected the art of the intentional dive bar,” Cockrell says. “The crowds are low key, the bartenders are skilled, and there’s a unique place to drink on every corner.” That includes the famed Union Pool and The Woods, a stylish industrial bar. End the evening on a full stomach — taco trucks are on standby. 718-802-3846; visitbrooklyn.org

Ohio City neighborhood
This trendy neighborhood is a Midwest crowd-pleaser. Discover its appeal by hopping over to McNulty’s Bier Market, a Belgian beer bar that houses Speakeasy, a prohibition-era cocktail bar in the basement. Then, “hit up the nationally renowned Great Lakes Brewing Co., or for retro grunge and cheap beer, try The Garage Bar,” Cockrell says. Coming soon: Market Garden Brewery, an outdoor beer garden. 216-781-3222; clevelandnights.com

This dazzling city, with its street performers and flamenco dancers, is a prime people-watching destination. When the late-night crowd roams the cobblestone streets, grab a bottle of red and enjoy the festivities. Just keep in mind: “Nights in Spain go very late, so start with an espresso,” Cockrell says. He also recommends hitting an all-night tapas joint for Ibérico ham that melts in your mouth. turismo.sevilla.org

Beer fanatics flock here because “Portland has more breweries than any other city in the USA, and they take their beer very seriously,” Cockrell says. “Start in the center of the city and let breweries like the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub and the famous Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House set the route for your bar crawl.” The latter is a classic beer-going spot that serves craft-brew icons and small-batch experimentals. 800-962-3700; travelportland.com

“As far as mountain towns go, Aspen is one of the few that holds up in summer and winter,” Cockrell says. “Of course it has the usual ski-bum haunts, but it also has places like 39 Degrees Lounge, an urban-style oasis with a pool frequented by a chic crowd. In Aspen, you can have any type of night out you want within its few main streets.” aspenchamber.org

“So many great bars here, just choose a street — South Congress, East Sixth Street, South Lamar — to get your fix, then end your night at one of the nation’s greatest food carts (download the AustinFoodCarts app to find out where they are),” Cockrell says. New bars on the east side include Yellow Jacket Social Club and Eastside Showroom. “South Lamar is a little more authentic Austin,” Cockrell says. “Don’t miss the laid-back Barton Springs Saloon, a repurposed gas station with a pool table and pinball machines, or the super divey Horseshoe Lounge.” 800-926-2282; austin360.com

Frenchmen Street
New Orleans
“Skip the French Quarter and Bourbon Street and instead head a few blocks away to Frenchmen Street, where you’ll find a slightly more civilized crowd and the city’s most authentic jazz scene,” Cockrell says. “Legendary spots like d.b.a. (huge beer selection) and Snug Harbor (great burgers) feature some of the greatest live acts in the country.” If you’re after a Mardi Gras vibe, visit during Jazz Fest in the spring. 504-524-4784; neworleansonline.com