The 13 Best Drinking Cities in America - Restaurant Clicks (2023)

You can get a drink just about anywhere, but the best drinking cities in America are a special breed. It takes certain characteristics for a city to be great for drinking, but luckily, America has plenty of them.

The 13 Best Drinking Cities in America - Restaurant Clicks (1)

I’ve traveled around and sampled bars, breweries, and clubs all over the country, and now I’m sharing my experiences with you.

Some of the cities are obvious, but others offered a better bar scene than I expected.

Each of these cities is known for something different; some have great breweries, others are filled with upscale rooftop bars, and some have a 24-hour drinking scene.

Best Drinking Cities

If you’re planning a bachelor/bachelorette party, a big birthday trip, a honeymoon, or just a fun adult-centric vacation, check out one of these best drinking cities in America.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known for drinking, and it’s home to some of the oldest bars in the nation.

From the annual Mardis Gras celebration to the Las Vegas-esque open container law, the party town is a great place to go bar hopping.

It’s a city that never sleeps, with many 24/7 bars to help you keep the party going at all hours of the night (or morning).

When you wake up with the inevitable hangover, at whatever time of day, you can find great hangover food all over town – soak up the booze with some beignets and coffee in the morning or greasy po’ boys if you’re looking for something more savory.

Portland, Oregon

If you’re looking for a good craft beer in a bustling downtown, Portland’s got you covered.

The city boasts a wide array of nightlife options, from open mic nights to karaoke to speakeasies to rooftop bars.

They have happy hour options 7 days a week, so you can enjoy the grungy downtown at a discounted price no matter when you make your trip.

Each of the city’s five neighborhoods—Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and North Portland—has its own vibe, so there’s a spot in town for everyone to feel at home and have a good time.

Whether you’re looking for a classy champagne toast or a hipster local brewery, you’ll find what you like in Portland.

Asheville, North Carolina

When you think of North Carolina, you probably think of beautiful nature scenery, serene waterfront views, and Nicholas Sparks novels.

What many people don’t realize is that you can find surprisingly vibrant nightlife in towns like Asheville.

The historic downtown is full of beautiful brick buildings and lush green trees, and the city has been dubbed “Beer City USA” by multiple times.

You can find local taprooms and wine bars, live music venues, and late-night hot spots throughout downtown Asheville.

The city also offers rooftop bar tours if you’re looking for a little bit of a more organized bar hop, or you can find your way around by yourself to get a taste of the local culture.

Austin, Texas

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and drinking is no exception.

Austin, which is notoriously “weird,” has been named one of America’s booziest cities and the drunkest city in Texas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Austin had a 22.3 percent excessive drinking rate in 2017.

If you’re looking to get drunk in Austin, Sixth Street is the best place to highlight the city’s lively drinking culture.

You can find breweries and beer gardens with dog-friendly patios, smoky dive bars with jukeboxes and classic drinks, upscale rooftop bars with champagne and overpriced cocktails, and everything in between.

Chicago, Illinois

The high-rise skyline along the Chicago river is a beautiful backdrop for a drink or two, whether you’re in town for vacation or just looking to grab a drink after work.

Back in 2013, GQ named Chicago the Greatest Drinking City in America and it’s also on the list of America’s drunkest cities.

You can even get cocktails to-go, at least for another couple of years. If you’re looking to go out drinking in Chicago, look for some rooftop bars.

The tall buildings and the waterfront views are to die for.

New York, New York

New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world.

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It’s famous for a lot of things: Broadway musicals, tightly-packed skyscrapers, trash on the streets, rats in the subway.

More importantly, thanks to beloved New Yorker Frank Sinatra, it’s known as The City That Never Sleeps. That’s the kind of nickname you can only earn with a second-to-none nightlife scene.

When you go to New York, you can find something for everyone. The best way to do it is to break it down by neighborhoods – find the neighborhood with the vibe you’re looking for, and start there.

Then break out of your comfort zone and venture into some others if you’re feeling up for it. Thanks to the city’s subway system and yellow cabs, you won’t even need a DD.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is a true midwestern gem, with a beautiful skyline right along Lake Erie.

It provides a fun environment for families during the day and offers exciting nightlife activities as well.

Cleveland has multiple neighborhoods, but Ohio City is the best for drinking.

The walkable, transit-connected area is full of great restaurants and bars that are great for bar-hopping.

There are tons of breweries for anyone looking to hang out on the patio and drink some local beer, or some high-end eateries for anyone looking for a date night or just a classy night out.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers got their name for a reason – this midwestern town is known for its breweries.

The Milwaukee brewing industry began with Schlitz Lager in the early 1840s and has continued since.

Some of the most iconic American beer brands started in Milwaukee, including Pabst Brewing Company (Pabst Blue Ribbon), Miller Brewing Company (Miller High Life, Miller Lite), and Molson Coors (Coors, Coors Lite).

So if you’re a beer drinker, Milwaukee is a great place to explore a variety of breweries, for the big-name beers and smaller local brews as well.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Founding Fathers used to get drunk in Philadelphia, and now you can follow in their footsteps.

If you want the Founding Fathers’ experience, check out City Tavern. Built in 1770, City Tavern is where George Washington met John Adams. It also hosted Ben Franklin as a regular customer.

If you’re looking for a more modern scene, Philadelphia has tons of newer bars, nightclubs, dance clubs, ice bars, dive bars, and more.

You can find something to do all night long, and you won’t have to stop for the British.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is a great spot for drinking.

The South Side is great for bar hopping and Shadyside and Lawrenceville have great craft cocktails.

The city also has a collection of enviable rooftop bars and dive bars, depending on what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for.

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, which was ranked No. 1 for highest alcohol sales in the state in 2021, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

San Francisco, California

Drunk people across the country utilize Uber to get home safely after a night out, but did you know the popular rideshare company started in San Francisco?

Founder Garrett Camp started the company as a solution for anyone who needed a ride after the public transit stopped running and cabs were hard to find.

The Online Betting Guide in the United Kingdom ranked San Francisco as the second most heavily-drinking city in America, second only to Denver.

There are plenty of spots to get a drink, and you can even walk home if you don’t want to splurge on an Uber.

But be careful—those famously steep hills can be tricky to navigate if you’ve had a few too many.

Washington, D.C.

Like many of the other cities on this list, Washington D.C. has found itself on the list of the drunkest cities in the country.

And it isn’t too hard to believe – politics can drive just about anyone to drink, at least once in a while.

The fun thing about drinking in D.C. is the city’s rich history and the irony of enjoying a drink where monumental historical events took place.

For example, the house where John Wilkes Booth plotted Abraham Lincoln’s murder is now part of the city’s Chinatown.

The location is now a karaoke bar and Chinese-Japanese restaurant called Wok n’ Roll. You just can’t find an experience like that anywhere else.

Atlanta, Georgia

This music-rich southern town has a nightlife that rivals some of its bigger city competitors.

Downtown Atlanta has plenty of breweries and beer gardens, upscale date night spots, whiskey bars, live music venues, and more.

The Atlanta visitor’s guide breaks the city into neighborhoods, with different nightlife offerings at each.

Downtown After Dark, Bar-Hoppin’ in Buckhead, Trendy in Midtown, Westside Bars & Breweries, and Game On in Eastside are all fantastic bars with a wide variety of menu offerings.

There’s something for everyone in Atlanta.

Best Drinking Cities

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. Asheville, North Carolina
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Chicago, Illinois
  6. New York, New York
  7. Cleveland, Ohio
  8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  11. San Francisco, California
  12. Washington, D.C.
  13. Atlanta, Georgia

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a good drinking spot, you can probably find one just about anywhere in America. But these 13 cities have reputations for drinking, and they’re each known for something different.

If you’re making a trip to New Orleans, Portland, Asheville, Austin, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or Atlanta, make sure to set aside some time for bar-hopping or day drinking.

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The food and drink in these cities are prime American fare and will hit the spot for everyone.

Did we miss your city? Let us know in the comments. Otherwise, happy drinking!


What city in America drinks the most alcohol? ›

The drunkest city in the United States is Green Bay, Wisconsin. Approximately 26.5% of adults drink to excess.
A “drink” is considered to be:
  • 12 ounces of beer.
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor.
  • 5 ounces of wine.
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor.

What is the best bar town in the United States? ›

Syracuse, New York, was named the “Best Bar Town” in America by Barstool in a March Madness-style online competition between 64 towns and cities across the U.S. The winner of each bracket was determined by total points from social media users who posted their town's unique hashtag (#SyracuseBBT) on Twitter, TikTok or ...

Is Chicago a heavy drinking city? ›

Chicago. The Windy City is home to a population of people who consume an average of 15.5 drinks each month. Just over 17 percent of the population are binge drinkers.

What city has the most bars in America? ›

"Pittsburgh ranks number one in terms of the access to bars so that's both the number of bars per capita and the number of bars per square mile," notes Gonzalez. That's right. Number one in the country with 8 bars per square mile and 149 bars per 100,000 residents.

What are the top 5 most drunk states? ›

Unsurprisingly, the most densely populated states in the U.S. consume the most alcohol by volume. California leads the pack with 85.7 million gallons consumed in 2020. Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois round out the remainder of the top five. Conversely, Wyoming, Alaska, and South Dakota consume the least.

Which top 10 states have the highest alcohol consumption? ›

The 10 states with the highest alcohol consumption levels in the US are New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Maine, Delaware, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Pennsylvania. These states have higher per capita alcohol consumption than any other states in the country.

What US cities are known for their nightlife? ›

The 10 Best Cities for Nightlife in the U.S.
  • Las Vegas.
  • New York City.
  • New Orleans.
  • Miami.
  • Key West.
  • Los Angeles.
  • San Diego.
  • San Francisco.
Aug 15, 2022

What is the toughest bar in America? ›


The test is spread across two days and consists of six Multistate Essay Exam questions (MEE), two Multistate Performance Test questions (MPT), and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). The Washington bar is considered especially difficult because of the immense volume of subject matter on the test.

What are the 10 oldest bars in America? ›

The 10 Oldest Bars In America (From Newest To Oldest)
  1. 1 White Horse Tavern: 1673.
  2. 2 The Broad Axe Tavern: 1681. ...
  3. 3 Old Yarmouth Inn: 1696. ...
  4. 4 Robert Morris Inn: 1710. ...
  5. 5 Longfellow's Wayside Inn: 1716. ...
  6. 6 Colt's Neck Inn: 1717. ...
  7. 7 Three Tuns Tavern: 1723. ...
  8. 8 Logan Inn: 1727. ...
Sep 24, 2019

What city do people drink the least in? ›

Surprisingly, New York City has the highest number of non-drinkers out of the entire country by far with approximately 804,420. The city with the lowest number of non-drinker is Boise, ID with 16,363, which was also a surprise to us. There is a large percentage of people who don't drink alcohol in the United States.

What is the nasty alcohol from Chicago? ›

Malört is known for its bitter taste. It can be found in some Chicago-area taverns and liquor stores, and is growing in popularity there, but is hard to find elsewhere in the United States.

What state drinks the most beer? ›

Naturally, the most populous states in the U.S. consume the most beer by volume. California leads the pack with over 772 million gallons consumed per annum. Rounding out the top five states that drink the most beer are Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, respectively.

Where is the oldest bar in us? ›

The nation's oldest bar, Rhode Island's White Horse Tavern, opened in 1673. Some of these establishments are in America's oldest towns. Here are 102 American towns founded before the American Revolution.

What is the main hub of nightlife in USA? ›

15 of the Best Nightlife Cities in the USA
  • New York City, New York. It comes as no surprise that New York City is one of the best nightlife cities in the USA. ...
  • New Orleans, Louisiana. ...
  • Chicago, Illinois. ...
  • San Francisco, California. ...
  • Miami, Florida. ...
  • Los Angeles, California. ...
  • Seattle, Washington. ...
  • Las Vegas, Nevada.

What is the busiest bar night in the US? ›

23, 2022. It's Thanksgiving Eve, which means tonight is the busiest bar night of the year – at least, that's what national trends and traditions tend to tell us.

Who is the drunkest state? ›

Wisconsin is the drunkest state in America, according to research conducted by 24/7 WallSt, utilizing data from Country Health Rankings. 25.2% of Wisconsin adults drink heavily, which is 6% more than the national average.

Which state has highest DUI rate? ›

1. Wyoming. Wyoming leads the nation in drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people, according to the NHTSA.

What state is most lenient on alcohol? ›

The Most Lenient States on Drunk Drivers

For those who have been convicted of drunk driving, South Dakota and the District of Columbia ranked as the most lenient, followed by Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Maryland, Montana, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.

What is the #1 country that consumes alcohol? ›

Looking at the amount of alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or older, the Seychelles is in first place with around 20.5 litres of alcohol drunk per person per year, according to Our World in Data; studies show that young male peer groups primarily drink high amounts of alcohol in the Seychelles.

What state has the most bars? ›

The Number of Bars By State
State# of Bars
New York3,389
North Carolina765
North Dakota379
47 more rows
Jun 2, 2022

What state consumes the most whiskey? ›

In 2021, Kentucky had the highest per capita consumption of straight whiskey at over 293 9-liter cases per one thousand adults. Straight whiskey is whiskey created by distilling fermented cereal grain mash, creating a liquor not exceeding 80 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and aged for a minimum of two years.

What is the #1 party city in the US? ›

Las Vegas. Las Vegas has earned its reputation as America's adult playground for good reason. Some of the country's most well-known nightclubs reside in the city's glitzy hotels and casinos. And DJs from around the world come to Sin City to treat visitors to bumping beats all night long.

What is the most playful city USA? ›

It's no secret that Denver is among the top destinations in the U.S. But according to a new study sponsored by Quaker Chewy, the Mile High City is also America's Most Playful City for Families.

What is the wildest city in America? ›

Vegas was also a runaway winner in terms of nightlife, with 54.45 bars per 100,000, or about 20 more than second-place San Francisco. And while you don't need numbers to tell you Las Vegas is the wildest city in America, it's interesting to see just how big the gap is between this city and everyone else.

What is the oldest bar in America still open? ›

The White Horse Tavern is the “oldest operating restaurant in the U.S.” and is acknowledged as the 10tholdest in the world. The White Horse Tavern is a National Historic Landmark being America's oldest restaurant, having served guests since 1673.

What is the 1 sports bar in America? ›

What Is the #1 Sports Bar In America? According to ESPN, Chickie's and Pete's in Philadelphia is America's #1 sports bar. It's also recognized as the best place to watch a sports game. Philadelphia is home to many famous sports bars.

Where is the smallest bar in the United States? ›

What Is the Smallest Bar in the US? Located in the South Florida 'Caribbean' center of Key West, the Smallest Bar Inn is officially the smallest bar in America. The bar specializes in small key lime drinks with a few fruity concoctions thrown in, as there isn't room for much else.

What is the longest street of bars in America? ›

Colfax Avenue
Length49.5 mi (79.7 km)
LocationWikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Coordinates39.73837°N 104.32372°W
West endHeritage Road in Golden
East endHeadlight Road in Strasburg
1 more row

What is the most sober city in the US? ›

Higher scores indicate cities are ideal for sober living. Madison, WI is the overall best city for sober living with a score of 83.73 out of 100. This is due to its affordability and high number of SAMHSA health treatment centers.

Which state people drink the most? ›

According to the latest National Family Health Survey 5 report, Arunachal Pradesh has the highest proportion of both men (53%) and women (24%) who drink alcohol. Lakshadweep and Gujrat are among the lowest alcohol-consuming states in India.

What is the most popular drink in every state? ›

Every State's Most Popular Cocktail (2022)
StateMost Popular Cocktail
ConnecticutPiña Colada
DelawareBloody Mary
46 more rows

What is the most gangster drink? ›

Among gangsters, scotch and whiskey were always popular choices, particularly the whiskey brand Cutty Sark. And they had their own way of ordering, as recounted by undercover FBI agent Jack Garcia: “Mobsters always order drinks by a brand. Never just a scotch and water, it would be a Cutty and water.

What was Al Capone's favorite liquor? ›

"Defendant's Templeton Rye is marketed as the revival of a Prohibition-era whiskey recipe that was the favorite drink of Chicago mobster Al Capone," the complaint states. "Since its rebirth within the past decade, defendant has marketed Templeton Rye as being 'small batch' and 'made in Iowa.

What is the number 1 alcohol in America? ›

Well, the most popular type of liquor in most U.S. states is whiskey, but vodka is a close second.

What is the #1 selling beer in America? ›

Bud Light. In 2020, the natural light flavor of Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light will make it the best-selling beer brand in the United States. Bud Light made up 17.8% of the total units sold but only 9.4% of the total volume sold.

Where is beer drunk the most? ›

The country that drinks the most beer per capita is the Czech Republic. It has topped the list for almost 30 years straight, since 1993.

What nationality drinks the most beer? ›

It's also the 19th consecutive year that the country has topped the list. The United States follows with the second-highest total volume consumed; Americans slurped down over 24 million kiloliters (some 6.3 billion gallons) of beer in 2021.
The Countries That Drink the Most Beer.
2United States of America
21 more rows
Jan 5, 2023

What place drinks the most alcohol? ›

Belarus, a country that drinks the most liters of pure alcohol than any other country in the world, was also classified as having one the riskiest pattern of drinking.

What are the top 50 drunkest counties in the US? ›

  1. Outagamie County, Wisconsin.
  2. Calumet County, Wisconsin.
  3. Walworth County, Wisconsin.
  4. Pierce County, Wisconsin.
  5. Polk County, Wisconsin.
  6. Dunn County, Wisconsin.
  7. Pepin County, Wisconsin.
  8. Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
Oct 8, 2021

Which state consumes most alcoholic? ›

In men, high-consuming alcohol states are Arunachal, Telangana, Sikkim, Manipur, Goa, and Jharkhand. Alcohol prevalence among women is high in all North Easter states and Telangana. Of all states, Arunachal Pradesh has the highest proportion of both men (52.7%) and women (24.2%) who drink alcohol.

What is the biggest selling alcoholic drink USA? ›

The Top-Selling Spirits and Categories

Tito's Vodka tops the list, as it did in 2019, 2020 and, 2021, while whiskey continues to be the dominant liquor subcategory.

What country drinks the most Coke? ›

Compared to other countries in the world, Argentina has the most soda consumption. About 155 liters per capita are consumed each year.

What is the number 1 most alcoholic country? ›

Looking at the amount of alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or older, the Seychelles is in first place with around 20.5 litres of alcohol drunk per person per year, according to Our World in Data; studies show that young male peer groups primarily drink high amounts of alcohol in the Seychelles.

How many drinks per week is considered an alcoholic? ›

Heavy Alcohol Use:

For men, consuming more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week.

What day is the most alcohol consumed? ›

The day before Thanksgiving—known as Blackout Wednesday—is the biggest drinking day of the year in many areas of the United States.

What is the number 1 alcoholic drink in America? ›

Well, the most popular type of liquor in most U.S. states is whiskey, but vodka is a close second.

What is the most ordered drink in America? ›

The 14 Most Popular Cocktails In America
  • Long Island iced tea.
  • Manhattan.
  • Margarita.
  • Mimosa.
  • Old fashioned.
  • Bloody Mary.
  • New York Sour.
  • Whiskey sour.
Apr 1, 2022

What is the most loved drink in America? ›

The Most Popular Cocktails List Nationwide
3Old Fashioned
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