Around the world

Wenn wir gelegentlich in Berlin sind, dann gibt es dort für uns nur ganz wenige Dinge, die praktisch immer auf unserem Programm stehen. Neben einem Drink in einer großartigen Bar wie dem Truffle Pig oder der Goldfisch Bar, einem Lunch bei Yafo und einem Treffen mit unseren Berliner Freunden ist vor allem ein Besuch in der Hauptstadt-Filiale von Sneakersnstuff (SNS) immer eine absolute Freude. Das liegt weniger an den dort erhältlichen Sneakers – die meisten gibt es schließlich auch in anderen Sneaker-Stores – sondern an dem großartigen Team um Store Manager Raphael.

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Dabei zeigen Rapha und die SNS-Crew, dass man mit dem richtigen Kundenumgang und einer entspannten, aufgeschlossenen Art im schon oftmals tot gesagten Retail-Geschäft tatsächlich etwas bewegen kann. Auch wir beklagen uns gelegentlich, dass das Einkaufserlebnis offline weit hinter dem äußerst bequemen, 24/7 verfügbaren Online-Shopping zurückbleibt. Das liegt aber auch daran, dass wir Einkaufen grundsätzlich hassen (auch wenn uns das niemand glaubt). Entweder findet sich nicht das, was man gerade sucht, oder es nerven andere Kunden, die glauben, sie wären alleine auf der Welt. Bei SNS, die für ihren Online-Store und die meisten Raffles eine ziemlich praktische App anbieten, deckt sich dagegen das virtuelle mit dem realen Image.

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Hierzu gehört auch, dass alle SNS-Stores eine eigene „Persönlichkeit“ besitzen. Denn obwohl die beiden SNS-Gründer Erik Fargerlind und Peter Jansson inzwischen über ein halbes Dutzend Stores betreiben – gerade hat ihr Tokio-Store eröffnet –  fühlt man sich dort nie wie bei einem anonymen Filialisten. Jeder Shop bietet andere Interior-Highlights und Details, die wie die eingebaute Fitness-Ecke am Venice Beach oder die gemütlichen Sofas in Stockholm das jeweilige Viertel im Store-Design abbilden. Auch im Berliner Store in Sichtweite der Torstraße gibt es einige dieser wunderbaren Hauptstadt-Referenzen zu entdecken. Und wer beim Bezahlen an der Kasse einmal nach oben schaut, entdeckt dort Erik und Peter, die auch hier alles im Blick haben. Big (Swedish) Brother is watching you!

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Auch die klare Aufteilung nach Styles und Brands gefällt uns hier. Wo andere, ebenfalls sehr namhafte Stores alles wild durcheinander anbieten oder den Charme eines Outlets ausstrahlen, die längst alles in ihr Online-Geschäft investieren, verfolgt man bei SNS ein durchdachtes Instore-Konzept. Hinten im Store befindet sich die Abteilung für die Ladies, die erfreulicherweise auf den üblichen Girly-Kram verzichtet. Nicht alle weiblichen Sneakerheads wollen schließlich in einer pinken Designhölle einkaufen. Stattdessen findet man hier schwedische Gemütlichkeit und eine angenehm unaufdringliche Beratung. Die Berliner SNS-Crew beweist dazu praktisch jeden Tag mit der eigenen Sneaker-Wahl, dass sie über ihren Job hinaus mit der Sneaker- und Streetwear-Kultur verbunden ist.

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Das gilt natürlich auch für die beiden SNS-Bosse Peter und Erik. Was haben die beiden in den letzten Jahren nicht alles auf die Beine gestellt! Ein wichtiger Teil waren dabei immer besondere Collabs und „SNS Exclusives“. Ihre Jordan-Liebe ist besonders groß, was sie zuletzt mit dem „Past Present Future“-Pack einmal mehr unter Beweis gestellt haben. Der AJ 1 Mid, der in diesem Drop für die große Vergangenheit von Jordan steht, hat sogar das Zeug zu einem echten Klassiker. Es wäre nicht der erste und sehr wahrscheinlich auch nicht der letzte „SNS Exclusive“, dem dies gelingt. Wir bereuen es immer noch, dass wir vor vielen Jahren bereits unseren New Balance 1500 aus dem RGB-Pack abgegeben haben. Aber solche Fehler macht vermutlich jeder.

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Ohne SNS wäre die Sneaker-Welt ganz bestimmt etwas ärmer und langweiliger. Über wie viele Shops lässt sich Vergleichbares noch sagen? Viele sind es nicht.

E. & M.

When we think of New York, we think of places like NoMad, Pegu Club, Dead Rabbit, Death & Co. or Milk & Honey. As you’ve obviously found this guide on our blog, you may also be familiar with some or all of these names that have been representing New York’s cocktail and bar culture over the last twenty years. They are all legends on their own. Some have closed unfortunately; some have changed, and some continue to thrive until today. And many great bartenders have earned their skills at one of those bars. You can actually trace back many careers to only a handful of places – even in such a big city. To us, NYC’s diverse and top notch bar landscape seems almost unbeatable, only maybe London can compete. We would like to introduce you to some of our favorite bars and bartenders in this guide. And because there are so many, we will have a second edition coming up for you! Just a little recommendation from us: Don’t be fooled by all the popular bar rankings. As much as we love those lists, they are not always reliable. If you stick strictly to a „Best of“ ranking, you will probably miss NYC’s best bars or get lost in a tourist trap. We want to save you from both! Enough of boring talk, let’s drink (responsibly)!


Bar Guide New York

Baby remember, I’m not drinking wine
But that cherry coke you serve is fine
And our love’s sweet enough on the vine

– Lana Del Rey, Bartender



Banzarbar (Freeman Alley)


Bar Guide New York

For a great brunch on the Lower East Side we always opt for places like Freemans that has become a true staple not only for brunch lovers. While the restaurant itself doesn’t need an introduction (we included it in our food guide nevertheless), it is also home to a treasured secret called the Banzarbar. Tucked away on the second floor of Freemans Restaurant, this gem of a cocktail bar offers a very small and cozy space (only 20 seats, so reservations are highly encouraged) that seems to be the perfect retreat for an intimate date on a cold winter night. As soon as you enter the bar you feel like worlds away from the buzzing streets of New York. The elaborate decor will transport you immediately into the world of early 20th century explorers and sailors. The high-class bar program was curated by Eryn Reece, whose love for cocktails brought her once from her West Coast home in Portland to NYC. After being promoted as the Head Bartender of Death & Co. – an NYC classic that shaped the city’s landscape during the last ten years – she is now responsible for Banzarbar’s unique creations that embrace nice twists on classics as well as more fruity and spicy tiki drinks. Martini lovers should definitely order the „Moonraker Sail“ made with shouchu and blanc vermouth. If you’re more in a tiki mood, then go for the „Shackleton’s Urn“ that mixes gin with rum and different spices like cinnamon and green chili. This drink is limited to „2 per traveler“ as it can knock out even the toughest sailor. Finally, Banazarbar can offer a five-course low ABV tasting menu (95 Dollar per person) with seafood centric dishes matching the bar’s nautical theme. We definitely need to be back for this pairing of great food and drinks!

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Patent Pending (49 West 27th Street)


Bar Guide New York

What’s the link between Nikola Tesla and bar culture? We must confess that we weren’t able to give an answer before visiting Patent Pending near Madison Square Park (and around the corner of legendary NoMad bar). While the café in the front is busy during the daytime, it’s of course the back room that drew us here. Or if you want to be more accurate, we were guided by a popular navigation system. Today’s technologies like GPS and even Wi-Fi can be traced back to Tesla’s ground-breaking work more than a century ago. It’s more than a nice anecdote that this small bar is situated in the building in which Tesla lived and performed his experiments on radio waves back in the day. Nods to this work can be found throughout the bar’s classy interior. You just need to raise your head to the endless light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. If you look closely you can spot even more Tesla memorabilia here. We can guarantee that Patent Pending’s unique theme feels neither gimmicky nor false. Instead, you will be treated with great hospitality thanks to Patent Pending’s highly dedicated bar team. The cocktail menu that tends to change with the seasons also pays a playful tribute to Tesla’s work. Therefore, the drinks are called „Electric Healing“ or „Radio Waves“. For a perfect summer drink, we recommend the „Mr. Muir“ made with gin and calvados and some discreet flavors of ginger and gentian. Give it a try even if you are getting tired of the gin craze! With the café in the front it’s not a big surprise that Patent Pending also uses coffee for some drinks. Their Old Fashioned modification „Odd Love“ for example adds a flavorful coffee twist to the beloved classic.

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Bar Goto (245 Eldridge Street)


Bar Guide New York

Sometimes it can feel like a struggle to track all of LES’ bar openings and closings. When a place manages to survive in such a competitive landscape for more than a year you can already consider this as a success. Bar Goto on Eldridge Street just turned four and it looks as fresh as on its first day (and it’s here to stay as we would like to add). This quite small and intimate bar is the „child“ of Kenta Goto, who has become one of New York’s most well-known and respected bar chefs. Before he decided to open his own space, Kenta worked many years at legendary Pegu Club in SoHo – a true New York staple with a rich history and also the steppingstone for many of today’s big figures within New York’s bar scene. The bar itself and also the premium drinks are a reflection of Kenta’s personality, his roots and time spent almost equally in Japan and the US. The „Sakura Martini“ is the perfect example of this cultural mix and also a manifestation of Kenta’s approach to craft cocktails. He uses premium sake and gin as the base for his Martini whose taste is as memorable as the cherry blossom garnish. A minimalistic masterpiece! While Kenta likes to add new drinks to his menu from time to time, the „Sakura Matini“ will always be available, he promises. Shochu based drinks are another of Bar Goto’s characteristics. We have to admit that we probably wouldn’t go for the „Koji San“ because of our aversion to celery. But when we tasted this refreshing crowd pleaser, we almost forgot about this fact. On the contrary it’s a great choice to learn more about Bar Goto’s cocktail program that comes with matching Japanese bar food. Small dishes like the spicy miso wings blend typical American bar snacks with Asian influences. The drinks may still be the main reason why you should put Bar Goto on your NYC bucket list, but their Okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancakes) is another striking argument.

Bar Guide New York

Nice to meet you Kenta! Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Kenta Goto. I’m a Tokyo transplant living in NY for the last 20 years. I’ve been working in the restaurant/bar industry for 15 years. In 2015, I opened my bar, BAR GOTO, in the Lower East Side. I am currently working on opening a second bar in Brooklyn.

What makes your bar unique?

Bar Goto is a hybrid of Japan and New York. It’s not traditional Japanese, but a reflection of my experiences in both places.

Please tell us your favorite spirit and drink!

I’m a big fan of Scotch. I also love Sake and Wine.

What bartender from NYC should we meet next?

There are many to introduce, but definitely Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo. He’s full of knowledge when it comes to good eating and drinking. He’s not only a great host behind the bar, but a great chef, author and radio show host. A busy man!

Any recommendations what to do in NYC?

If this was my first time in New York, I would say watch the sunset from the observatory on top of the Rockefeller Center. Also, just eat and drink your way through the city!

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Dante (79-81 Macdougal Street)


Bar Guide New York

There are not many places in NYC with a history like Dante in the Greenwich Village For many years called „Caffe Dante“ this Italian restaurant/bar/café is quintessential NYC. And even though this should be first of all a bar guide, it’s almost impossible to write some lines about Dante without praising their delightful food. Their charcuterie of exquisite Italian sausages is simply to die for, as is their handmade pasta. Also, we highly recommend saving room for Dante’s signature tiramisu. We can guarantee that you will leave this place perfectly happy! Dating back to 1915 Dante (or ex Caffe Dante) embodies the history and changes of the Village. It’s a stroke of luck that the new owners stayed true to Dante’s roots in the community. Over the years this place became a second home for many New Yorkers – both famous and non-famous. Just look at some of the pictures lining the walls to catch a glimpse of Dante’s lively past. Robert Maplethorpe, Bob Dylan, Jerry Seinfeld, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro – they all loved or still love Dante. When it comes to drinks, the new Dante is even more aspiring. Famous for their Negroni variations like the pictured „Negroni Bianco“ or the Garibaldi a classic Aperitivo at Dante is much more than a safe bet. It’s probably the best way to start your night! Even an often neglected drink like the „Grasshopper“ can be an eye-opener, did you know that? Countless bar awards and high rankings – they recently earned the top spot of the „World’s 50 Best Bars“ – are evidence of Dante’s qualities in drinks and craft cocktails. In his own way this is New York’s equivalent of London’s Bar Termini.

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Devon (252 Broome Street)


Bar Guide New York

We are still in love with New York’s ever-changing Lower East Side, mainly because of its diversity. The bar scene is one of them. A very sleek and stylish place called Devon belongs to the newer additions in the neighborhood, now open for about one year. Oliver Zabar, whose family name is familiar one in New York’s restaurant business, wanted to create a neighborhood bar with great food and unique drinks. When it comes to cocktails, he and his head bartender Sean Saunders have definitely achieved that objective (we have to come back for the food, especially for the famous dry-aged burger from Eli’s Night Shift). Saunders created craft cocktails that play with unusual ingredients like mustard (yes, mustard). While we have to admit that we would probably choose a different drink from the menu, the truly special „The Knowable Universe“ is a real eye-opener not only because of its discreet mustard flavor. The combination of cognac, spices, fruits and egg white make a great drink. Saunders apparently likes to think outside the box, which is quite rare in today’s bar landscape, where most people seem to opt for the safest way mostly because of economic restrictions. If your bar is not a success within the first months, it probably won’t be around for very long. But there’s is so much more we love about Devon. The design is modern and homely at the same time. It’s a mix of different elements and styles. The exposed brick walls and the classic terrazzo bar décor set the tone and go astonishingly well with the modern parts of the interior. And there’s of course that special LES vibe that Devon knows how to use it.

Bar Guide New York

Nice to meet you Sean! Could you please introduce yourself?

Sure thing, I’m Sean Saunders, the Head Bartender and General Manager at Devon. I’ve worked in the industry for about twelve years, going on six in the city. My first job was Tooker Alley and then I helped an amazing team open up Happiest Hour and Slowly Shirley where I was lucky to work with many great bartenders from early Pegu Club and Death & Co. era. I’ve worked with Owneys Rum, Cafe Boulud, and Grand Banks, to name a few.

What makes your bar unique?

Our carefully designed space tries to strike a balance between unique, and welcoming. We try to bring some elevated techniques and ingredients into both the food and cocktails and focus heavily on creating a professional and hospitable service. Ultimately, we’re hoping to create a fun, and safe space for everyone to have a great time.

Please tell us your favorite spirit and drink!

I’m definitely a bit of rum nerd. The daiquiri is still, in my opinion, one of the most perfect cocktails.

What bartender from NYC should we meet next?

Brian Grummart from Subject, Sother Teague from Amor y Amaro and Garret Richard from Existing Conditions all have some great insight and advice, amongst many others.

Any recommendations what to do in NYC?

Where to begin? In the summer for a full day nothing beats the Rockaway Ferry. Head up the boardwalk and grab some Arepas or a Burger from Rippers. In the Spring, or Fall hitting up Grand Banks with a sweater will save you from the 2 hours wait times and provide one of the best views in the city. Winter in the city is too easy, hole up anywhere warm with some good food and drinks. I always try to finish a late Friday or Saturday night at Katz, which is open 24 hours during the weekends, and is the non-existent lines are only made better by the experience.

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Undercote (16 West 22nd Street)


Bar Guide New York

Neither a typical speakeasy nor a boring restaurant bar, this place does things differently in a very charming and elegant way! Let’s talk a little bit about Undercote in Midtown, where barflies and boozehounds find refuge in a dark basement under a Michelin-rated Korean steakhouse. The latter is called Cote, so the name of the bar is quite self-explanatory. Upon entering, guests are teleported into a different dimension of first-class spirits, creative cocktails and a mysterious rain forest ambiance. The back of the bar looks like a big terrarium with plants, twines and lots of green. There is another dimly lit room with even more green. Overall the bar may be relatively small in size, but if you come around later at night, you should be able to grab a seat. As the associated restaurant upstairs mostly attracts a business clientele, the weekends at Undercote are usually not as busy as the weekdays. Sondre Kasin – a native-born Norwegian, hence the first name – is Undercote’s master of mixology. His bar menu offers playful twists on classics like the Pina Colada as well as more experimental drinks and the immense popular low-ABV cocktails. We also like to mention the Korean bar food that is served at Undercote. But beware – it’s highly addictive! Sondre and his dedicated team treat every guest with an incredible hospitality that we would have rather associated with a small neighborhood joint. In fact, Undercote is the exact opposite of an anonymous restaurant bar. For all mezcal lovers, Sondre created the smoky „Esteban“. It instantly became one of our new favorites. The color-changing „Illusions” poured from a cat-shaped carafe (!) is a visual masterpiece and already an Instagram darling. But despite the visual gimmicks the Gin-based drink will satisfy even those who normally reject all social media hypes. Like Undercote itself, this cocktail will satisfy your eyes and your soul.

Bar Guide New York

Nice to meet you Sondre! Could you please introduce yourself?

Nice to meet you as well! My name is Sondre Kasin and I am the principal bartender at Undercote & Cote Korean Steakhouse in NYC. Originally from Norway I have worked 10 years in the hospitality industry but have only been two years in New York. I was brought onto the team by Simon Kim and Victoria James to run their cocktail program at Cote & Undercote here in New York and I have been with them for almost two years now.

What makes your bar unique?

First off, Undercote feels like a subtropical jungle with live plants and greenery. The plants breathes life into the room and fresh air so every time you walk in to the bar you feel relaxed and calm. I wanted the cocktails to be clean, easy to drink and refreshing. A lot of bars can focus on sugar heavy cocktails, a lot of juices and over the top cocktails. We wanted the opposite so you can a break from the NYC city hustle!

Please tell us your favorite spirit and drink!

Nothing beats the classics: Daiquiri or Negroni is always my two go to cocktails. Favorite spirit must be gin. In cocktails gin shows a huge range from Martini to French 75 and works for all occasions.

What bartender from NYC should we meet next?

You already met a lot of my favorite bartenders. However you should definitely visit Aidan Bowie next time. He is the nicest bartender in New York and also makes amazing drinks!

Any recommendations what to do in NYC?

First of all stay away from the tourist attractions and Times Square! Focus on food, cocktails and wine instead. Take a trip to Chinatown in Flushing and eat dumplings/Chinese food. When you get back to Manhattan do a speakeasy bar round and visit all the classic cocktail bars for Martini´s, Manhattan´s and Penicillins. Finish with Korean food at Cote and cocktails at Undercote!

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Existing Conditions (35 West 8th Street)


Bar Guide New York

If you are slightly familiar with New York’s cocktail history of the last ten years, you will probably rather sooner than later stumble upon a place called „Booker and Dax“. That highly innovative cocktail bar/lab at the back of Momofuku was the brainchild and playground of Dave Arnold. After its close in 2016 Arnold shifted his focus to new projects. Together with Don Lee of „Please Don’t Tell“ and Greg Boehm, who also runs rising star „Katana Kitten“ (just wait for our 2nd NYC Bar Guide), he opened Existing Conditions near Washington Square Park in 2018. Staying true to Booker and Dax’s roots in new cocktail techniques and methods of preparation Arnold’s latest bar also aims for that something special. Guests can for example order bottled cocktails from a vending machine in the front. Another feature is not so obvious. As Existing Condition’s head bartender Jack Schramm told us, they carbonate not only the soda/filler but the whole drink including the spirit. Also, they try to use fresh fruits instead of juice for their drinks. It’s safe to say that Existing Conditions aims for a different, more elaborate approach to mixology. At the same time the cocktails are presented in a pure, almost minimalistic way neglecting all fancy gadgets. So, in the end it’s all about the taste and not about the packaging. We love that! Divided into rather unusual categories like „carbonated“, „shaken“ and „stirred up“ the cocktail menu itself reflects this bias to craftmanship and technology. The pictured „Helicopter“ is a bittersweet Norwegian sour made of milk-washed aquavit, Cynar and Aperol. If you’re into sour drinks, then this one is for you! For a hot summer day, we recommend one of the shaved ice cocktails like the „Italian Ice“ made of Byrrh (a French aperitif), Amaro and Aperol. In either case you won’t be disappointed, leaving Existing Conditions in a good condition.

Bar Guide New York

Nice to meet you Jack! Could you please introduce yourself?

I’m the Head Bartender at Existing Conditions, the cocktail bar from Dave Arnold and Don Lee on 8th Street in the West Village. I also run the bar in the Pernod-Ricard USA New York office. Life is all about balance, so when I’m not clarifying juice in a Spinzall or distilling peppers in a rotovap I test drinks with new flavors of Malibu and Kahlua.

What makes your bar unique?

The thing that excites me the most about Existing Conditions is that we manage to execute cocktails with hours of prep and a bedrock in science and technology, but avoid the „laboratory“ trope that can make bars like ours feel clinical. We are a neighborhood bar with lots of regulars both in and outside of the industry that happens to use some tools like centrifuges and liquid nitrogen in pursuit of flavor. The science is there and we are all happy to talk about techniques, but the majority of our guests just enjoys a delicious drink in a warm, inviting space.

Please tell us your favourite spirit and drink!

It’s a tie between Mezcal and Rhum Agricole. I think both of these exhibit terroir, which can be difficult to showcase, especially in aged spirits. Favorite drink is a Daiquiri, preferably with a blend of R(h)ums.

What bartender from NYC should we meet next?

Will Wyatt at Mister Paradise. Will and I worked together for a year at the NoMad, before we both left to start our current projects. His drinks are delicious, his bar is wonderful, and he has a very specific sense of humor that gets me every time. We share an ethos at our bars – incredible cocktails in unpretentious spaces. It’s my favorite bar to drink at right now.

Any recommendations what to do in NYC?

New York is an incredible city to dine and drink in alone. If you find yourself on a solo adventure, make sure to be very kind and not be pushy, but have a conversation with your bartender. We love to send guests back and forth to each other and give up the secrets of the best places and menu items to people that show genuine interest. Make sure to walk as much as possible. There is so much to look at, art, architecture, and especially people watching. Just take the city in and eat and drink as much as possible!

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Reception Bar (45 Orchard Street)


Bar Guide New York

In a time when political leaders try to build walls again, it seems more important than ever to take a firm stand against all kind of discrimination and to emphasize the positive aspects of immigration. As an Asian-American woman, Reception Bar’s owner Katie Rue wants to introduce flavors from her Korean heritage to a modern (American) cocktail bar. Therefore soju – a very common spirit in Korea distilled from rice – is the base of many drinks. The different sojus are all infused in-house by Katie and her team, emphasizing the importance of elaborate cocktail techniques for Reception’s ambitious drink menu. For the pictured low-ball, which is called „Smokes“, she uses pine smoked lapsang soju, Korean pear shrub and eucalyptus bitters. It’s one of her signature drinks that keep the promise of a balance between the east and the west. Another outstanding drink is the „Devilwood Bloom“ served in a coupette and made with osmanthus soju. It’s as tasty as visual appealing. The place itself follows a beautiful geometric design with big windows, flowers, and an earthy color palette. Lots of natural light floats the small, intimate bar (Reception’s operating hours start at 1.00 PM with the exception of Monday, when the bar is closed). From a visual standpoint Reception shares more elements with a café than with a traditional bar. The many non-alcoholic choices that Katie calls „elixirs“ would also match that café comparison. Hence Reception may also appeal to those who are not frequent bar visitors. In any case it’s a welcome addition to the LES neighborhood.

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BlackTail (Pier A Harbor House, 22 Battery Place)


Bar Guide New York

Dead Rabbit is a one-of-a-kind success story. It became the „World’s Best Bar“ and earned endless awards. For co-founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry – two close friends from Belfast, Northern Ireland – the success of the Dead Rabbit was not the end of their ambitions. And so here we are! This ancient Cuban oasis called BlackTail takes you back to a time when Americans left their home to enjoy the good life on an Caribbean island that later should become their archenemy. The prohibition also forced many bartenders to leave the country. Their talent was no longer wanted/needed in the US. With an emphasis on this forgotten part of US history the guys behind BlackTail established an exquisite cocktail menu in a remarkable setting. This bar feels indeed like a time machine. Upon entering you find yourself teleported to pre-communism Havana. There’s often live music that adds even more atmosphere to this wonderful place on the 2nd floor of the Pier A Harbor House. BlackTail’s latest drink menu honors the music history of Cuba and the Cuban passion for rhythm and dance. Divided into five main categories (Highball, Punch, Sour, Old-Fashioned, Cocktail) it’s a really tough choice to limit yourself to just 2 or 3 drinks. We actually recommend staying for the whole night and also taste their delicious bar food. If you love mezcal like we do, the „Spice Tree“ won’t disappoint! But as its name suggests it’s a little spicy thanks to the use of Habanero chili. You will also find all the Cuban classics on the menu from legendary Mojitos to Pina Coladas. We can assure you that BlackTail’s versions have nothing to do with all the shitty, watered down happy hour drinks. This is in fact first-class drinking in a league of its own!

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Ghost Donkey (4 Bleecker Street)


Bar Guide New York

What’s the perfect bar to us? It’s probably a place where great hospitality and great drinks come together and where you immediately feel welcome. By that definition, Ghost Donkey in NoHo is very close to perfection. It’s a lively mezcal and tequila joint that celebrates Mexican culture, diversity, friendship and all the good things in life! All these values are incarnated in host Ignacio “Nacho” Jimenez, who is one of New York’s most famous bartenders. If you meet him at Ghost Donkey shaking and stirring, you will realize that he simply loves what he does. You may practice all the basic bartending skills and learn what’s to learn about cocktails, but it’s almost impossible to learn real hospitality. Nacho is the heart and soul of Ghost Donkey that gets quite busy also on weekdays. But a fun place like this has to be a little lively and crowded. When it comes to drinks, Nacho’s Ghost Donkey fam likes to infuse new blood into classic cocktails like a Negroni or a Pina Colada. Their „Mole Negroni“ is made with fat-washed mezcal and that famous Mexican mole adding a spicy twist to the beloved Negroni taste. Another example of Nacho’s genuine take on cocktails is his interpretation of a „Tequila Sunrise“ (look for the „Mezcal Sun-Risa“ on the menu). He uses both mezcal and tequila with some dashes of habanero and hibiscus. Finally, even a simple „Pina Colada“ can still be an eye-opener. You don’t believe us? The Ghost Donkey „Pina Colada“ proves all skeptics wrong. It’s refreshing, not sweet and absolutely delicious! The same could probably be said about their Mexican food. But as we headed somewhere else for dinner that night, we have to come around again for some Nachos and Tacos (and more drinks).

Bar Guide New York

Nice to meet you Nacho! Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Ignacio „Nacho“ Jimenez. I am the Donkey Guru here at Ghost Donkey!

What makes your bar unique?

I think this is our approach to hospitality. We not only see hospitality as a reflection of our service, but as the special atmosphere we are able to achieve with all the different aspects of the bar inlcuding design, music, service, drinks and food. Overall we aim to create a festive atmosphere, where everyone feels welcome.

Please tell us your favourite spirit and drink!

I love all spirits and I believe that there’s a time for everything. That being said I do find myself drinking a lot of mezcal lately but I’m a big fan of Japanese Whiskey, Rum and Cognac. When it comes to cocktails Daiquiris are something that I really enjoy drinking.

What bartender from NYC should we meet next?

Jorsand from Cosme! He is an amazing source of knowledge when it comes to Mezcal. And his attention to detail and friendly attitude will make your next bar visit really special.

Any recommendations what to do in NYC?

I’m in love with Public Records and Night Moves at the moment. Both places have an incredibly design, an amazing sound systems and super cool beverage programs.

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The Sneakerzimmer NYC Bar Guide Part 2 coming early 2020!


Die meisten zieht es zum Shopping nach London, New York oder Paris. Dabei kann man auch in anderen Städten gut und vor allem deutlich entspannter einkaufen. Stockholm ist eine dieser Metropolen, die für Fans von Mode, Streetwear und den anderen schönen Dingen des Lebens einiges zu bieten hat. Man sollte allerdings schon etwas Kleingeld – oder besser gesagt eine Kreditkarte mit nicht zu geringem Limit – auf seiner Reise dabei haben. Denn Stockholm kann ganz schön teuer sein. Damit wollen wir den spaßbefreiten Disclaimer aber auch beenden. Wer beim Einkaufen sein Limit kennt, dürfte an dieser Stadt nämlich sehr viel Freude haben. Wir liefern dafür hoffentlich den Beweis.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores


Sneakersnstuff (Södermalm)

Es dürfte niemanden, der sich nur im Entferntesten für Sneakers interessiert, überraschen in einem Shopping-Guide über Stockholm den Namen Sneakersnstuff (SNS) zu finden. Hier begann vor rund 20 Jahren die Erfolgsgeschichte der beiden Freunde Peter und Erik, die heute ein kleines Sneaker-Imperium leiten mit Stores in London, Paris, Berlin, LA und bald auch Tokio. Trotz des Erfolgs sind die beiden nicht nur auf dem Boden geblieben, sie haben sich auch ihre Liebe für die Sneaker-Kultur bewahrt. Und ihre Stores sind im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Shops noch weit vom seelenlosen Filialisten-Look manch eines Wettbewerbers entfernt. So gibt es zwischen allen SNS-Standorten einige Querverweise zu entdecken und viele Besonderheiten im Store-Design. Dass sich das Sortiment von dem anderer Sneaker-Shops kaum unterscheidet, wollen wir dabei überhaupt nicht bestreiten. Für uns sind SNS immer wieder ein Pflichtbesuch!

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Nitty Gritty (Södermalm)

Wer nach einer Übersetzung für „Nitty Gritty“ googelt, der erhält die etwas nüchterne Antwort: „praktisch veranlagt“. Wir bleiben daher beim englischen Original, hinter dem sich in Stockholm einer der schönsten Stores für Mode, Streetwear und Sneaker versteckt. Etwas abseits vom Trubel der City im schönen Södermalm teilt sich das Nitty Gritty-Universum auf in das Hauptgeschäft und einen deutlich kleineren Shop speziell für die Damen. Beide Shops liegen praktisch Tür an Tür zueinander. Das großzügige, moderne Store-Design gefiel uns genauso gut wie die Auswahl der hier gelisteten Brands (darunter Patagonia, Stone Island, Nanamica, Comme des Garcons), die zugegeben meist aus dem nicht ganz günstigen Preissegment stammen. Die Sneaker-Ecke ist zwar überschaubar aber dennoch mit aktuellen Releases von New Balance, adidas und Nike gut sortiert. Für den Womens-Store gilt das Gleiche nur in einer etwas kleineren Verpackung.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Our Legacy (Södermalm)

Wie so viele moderne Fashion-Brands haben auch Our Legacy ihre Wurzeln in der schwedischen Hauptstadt. Seit der Gründung im Jahr 2005 hat sich die Marke von Jockum Hallin, Cristopher Nying und Richardos Klarén fest etabliert. Der Style ist einerseits klassisch bis elegant, zum anderen lässig und von Streetwear-Elementen und auffälligen Prints durchzogen. Wie so viele schwedische Fashion-Brands haben auch die Kollektionen von Our Legacy ihren Preis. Empfehlenswert ist daher auch der Besuch des Our Legacy „Work Shops“ im Stadtteil Vasastaden, der auch Stücke aus älteren Kollektionen zu reduzierten Preisen führt. Mit etwas Glück werdet Ihr fündig!

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Stutterheim (Södermalm)

An dieser Stelle böten sich die üblichen Klischees über das schwedische Wetter an. Wir können diese aber nicht bestätigen. Auch bei unserem letzten Stockholm-Trip schien meist die Sonne. Falls aber dennoch mal etwas Nasses von oben runterkommt, trägt man am besten eine Regenjacke bzw. einen Regenmantel von Stutterheim. Diese findet man hier in endlosen Farben und Designs. Es gibt ziemlich schwere Jacken und die etwas leichteren. Stutterheim sind eine schwedische Qualitätsmarke, die auch bereits mit anderen Brands und Designern wie Marc Jacobs zusammengearbeitet haben. Outdoor-Fans sollten den Store unbedingt auf ihre Liste setzen.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Acne Studios (Södermalm)

Bei moderner Mode aus Skandinavien denken wir zuerst an Acne Studios. Zu unserem Unglück (oder zu dem unseres Reisebudgets) werden wir in den Acne-Stores eigentlich immer fündig. Seien es die Klamotten oder auch die Accessoires wie Schals und Taschen, der elegante Stil des schwedischen Modehauses trifft genau unseren Geschmack. Sogar die vermeintlichen Basics besitzen meist noch etwas Besonderes. Materialien, Schnitte, Farben – die schöne-teure Acne-Welt ist ein echter Modetraum. Sogar die Acne-Sneaker wollen wir nicht als reine Fashion-Monster verdammen. Acne-Gründer Jonny Johansson hat es zweifellos geschafft, Couture mit Street Fashion auf eine sehr unangestrengte Art miteinander zu verbinden. Wie schon bei Our Legacy findet sich ebenfalls in Vasastaden ein Outlet („Acne Archive“) mit reduzierten Styles aus älteren Acne-Kollektionen.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Grandpa (Södermalm)

Gäbe es nur einen Shop, den wir Euch in Stockholm ans Herz legen könnten, dann wäre dies ganz bestimmt Grandpa. Eigentlich handelt es sich bei diesem um einen klassischen Gemischtwarenladen, das aber mit sehr viel Stil und Geschmack. Hier findet man sowohl ein neues Outfit als auch eine neue Inneneinrichtung und vieles mehr für die eigenen vier Wände. Die Auswahl würde eine ganze Seite füllen, deshalb nur soviel: Neben vielen skandinavischen Brands (Hay, Wood Wood, Muuto, Uniforms for the Dedicated, die eigene Hausmarke) aus den Bereichen Mode und Interior führen Grandpa auch klassische Denim (Edwin, Levi’s) und sogar Workwear. Wir haben beim letzten Mal hier gleich die Hälfte unseres Urlaubsbudgets ausgegeben. Ein sehr erwachsener und zugleich wunderschöner Store, bei dem sich ein Besuch eigentlich immer lohnt.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Fred Perry (Södermalm)

Auch wenn in diesem Guide hauptsächlich die schwedischen Brands bei den Stores im Vordergrund stehen sollen, können wir doch ab und zu eine Ausnahme machen. Im Fall von Fred Perry fällt uns diese nicht wirklich schwer. Zum einen mögen wir die Brand sehr (was wahrscheinlich nicht nur mit dem typischen Fred Perry-Style sondern auch mit ihrer Geschichte und ihrem Namensgeber zu tun hat), zum anderen ist der Stockholmer Flagship-Store auf Södermalm ein echtes Schmuckstück. Bei unserem letzten Besuch fanden wir hier auch die neue Fred Perry x Raf Simons-Kollektion.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Papercut (Södermalm)

Es gibt sie noch, die guten Dinge. Ganz viele davon findet Ihr im Papercut Store, dessen komplettes Sortiment aus Büchern, Magazinen, Comics und Krimskrams wir am liebsten auf der Stelle eingepackt hätten. Man findet hier die bekannten Coffee Table Books von Taschen, Literatur über Mode, Architektur und Film, die Monocle Guides, besondere Postkarten und Poster und zudem jede Menge DVDs und Videospiele. Wer schwedisch beherrscht, darf sich über so manchen schwedischen Literaturklassiker freuen. Oder man entscheidet sich für ein schwedisches Kochbuch, wo es vielleicht nicht auf jedes Wort ankommt. Auch das „Ultimate Sneaker Book“ von Sneaker Freaker hatte Papercut auf Lager.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Happy Socks (Norrmalm)

Manchmal hat man doch so richtig Lust auf etwas mehr Farbe in seinem Leben. Die bunten Designs von Happy Socks eignen sich dafür perfekt. Als schwedische Brand sind Happy Socks natürlich in Stockholm auch mit einem eigenen Shop vertreten (es gibt sogar mehrere). Was wohl eine gewisse Pipi Langstrumpf zu den Socken und Strümpfen in dieser etwas anderen Villa Kunterbunt sagen würde? Die rebellische Pipi käme aus dem Staunen vermutlich nicht mehr raus. Wenn Shopping schlechte Laune vertreiben kann, dann sind Happy Socks dafür mit Sicherheit der beste Beweis.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Caliroots (Norrmalm)

Vielleicht hat es sich inzwischen herumgesprochen, dass der Caliroots-Store in Stockholm nicht unbedingt das Highlight aus der Sicht eines Sneakerheads ist. So sehr die Schweden ihren Online-Shop pushen, so bescheiden und durchschnittlich fällt im Vergleich dazu ihr Store aus. Nachdem es lange Jahre drei verschiedene Caliroots-Stores gab (der Skate-Shop, der Premium-Store, der Sneaker-Store), so wurden diese einzelnen Shops an einer Location gebündelt. Das hat zumindest den Vorteil, dass man mit einem Besuch alles in wenigen Minuten abhaken kann. Been there, done that! Wir machen dann auch brav einen Haken hinter die neue Caliroots-Adresse und ziehen unbeeindruckt weiter.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Stone Island (Norrmalm)

Inmitten der edlen Fashion-Stores und Mode-Boutiquen in Stockholms Zentrum findet man auch den Flagship-Store von Stone Island. Die Italiener erleben ja schon seit einigen Jahren auch in der Sneakerszene einen unglaublichen Boom (wie hat das eigentlich angefangen?). Dass Stone Island-Klamotten ihren Preis haben, dürfte daher allgemein bekannt sein. Hier zahlt man eben auch für die Marke, wenn man es denn möchte oder es sich leisten kann. Aber Achtung! Wie wir festgestellt haben, sind die Stone Island-Kollektionen in Schweden noch teuer als in den meisten anderen europäischen Ländern. Nicht dass am Ende die Urlaubsstimmung beim Blick auf die Rechnung plötzlich dahin ist.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores

Östermalms Saluhall (Östermalm)

Früher oder später meldet sich beim Shopping vermutlich der Hunger. Doch auch dafür haben wir eine Lösung, die zugegeben kein Geheimtipp ist. In Östermalms Saluhall werden garantiert alle Gourmets und Foodies glücklich. Die Halle mit ihren vielen unterschiedlichen Ständen und kleinen Restaurants (die meisten öffnen um 11 Uhr) ist mit der Mercat de la Boqueria aus Barcelona oder der Markthalle IX in Berlin durchaus vergleichbar. Gerade gegenüber Barcelona geht es hier aber noch recht gemütlich zu und auch der Andrang an Touristen hält sich erfreulicherweise in Grenzen. Egal ob frische Meerestiere, Fleisch in bester Qualität, schwedisches Fingerfood, Pralinen oder süßes Gebäck, die Auswahl in der Saluhall lässt kaum Wünsche offen.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Plug me please (Södermalm)

Es wäre echt ein Wunder, wenn es in Stockholm noch keinen dieser Consignment-/Hype-/Reseller-Stores geben würde. Auf Södermalm findet sich einer fast in Sichtweite zum Sneakersnstuff-Store, mit dem es aber ansonsten keine Verbindung gibt. Plug me Please bietet die aktuellen Hype-Releases und Hypebeast-Essentials zu den durchaus gängigen Kursen. Dass man mit einem Tablet bequem nach seinem Wunsch-Sneaker suchen kann, ist ein nettes Feature. Bei einem Rundgang durch Södermalm kann man hier einmal reinschauen. Ansonsten halten sich bei einem Store wie Plug me Please die Überraschungen natürlich in engen Grenzen. Uns machen diese Shops inzwischen auch immer so müde. Warum nur?

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Stores


Damit endet unser Shopping-Rundgang durch Stockholm. Wer uns kennt, weiß sicher, dass wir auch noch einen Food- und Bar-Guide für Euch haben. Was gutes Essen und gute Drinks angeht, so hat Stockholm ebenfalls einiges zu bieten.


Eine Reise nach Stockholm lohnt sich nicht nur, weil es einfach eine wunderschöne Stadt mit vielen interessanten und spannenden Ecken ist. Auch das Essen und die Barszene Stockholms kann so einiges und muss sich nicht vor anderen europäischen Metropolen verstecken. Ganz im Gegenteil. Wir stellen Euch hier unsere Lieblinge vor, die von Soulfood bis Gourmet-Küche für jeden Geschmack etwas anzubieten haben. Und zum Ende nehmen wir Euch mit zu den besten Bars der Stadt. Seid Ihr bereit?

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks


Breakfast & Cafés


Café & Bageri Pascal (verschiedene Locations)

Nicht nur für uns beginnt der Tag erst nach einem guten Kaffee und vielleicht einem dazu passenden Snack. Beides bietet das Café Pascal, das in Stockholm gleich an mehreren Orten zu finden ist. Als Café mit hauseigener Bäckerei sind die süßen Backwaren, Brote und ordentlich belegten Sandwiches hier sehr zu empfehlen. Ganz typisch sind auch die schwedischen „Bulle“, hinter denen sich meist süße, unterschiedlich gefüllte Brötchen/Backwaren verbergen. Das Café ist sowohl bei den Einheimischen als auch bei Touristen sehr beliebt. Wir wissen auch warum. Wer seinen Kaffee gerne in Ruhe genießt, schaut am besten schon am frühen Morgen vorbei. Unter der Woche ist das Café Pascal sogar bereits ab 7 Uhr geöffnet.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Nytorget 6 (Nytorget 6)

Gegenüber des kleinen Nytorget-Parks lässt sich im Restaurant Nytorget 6 in der Woche gut frühstücken und am Wochenende ebenso gut brunchen (ab 11 Uhr). Natürlich bietet das Restaurant etwas später auch eine Mittagskarte und ein Dinner an, wovon wir Euch vor allem das Meatball-Gericht empfehlen können. So leckere und geschmacklich feine Fleischbällchen haben wir noch nirgendwo gegessen. Von den bekannten Meatballs einer schwedischen Baumarktkette sind diese jedenfalls gleich mehrere Lichtjahre entfernt. Doch zurück zum Frühstück, wo sowohl das Omelett mit seiner cremigen Pilzfüllung als auch das hausgemachte Granola absolute Bestnoten verdient haben. Das Nytorget 6 ist zugegeben nicht ganz billig, aber das haben wir auch nie behauptet (gilt übrigens für ganz Stockholm).

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Gast Café (Rådmansgatan 57)

Schon das Logo des Gast Café, ein kleiner Geist, bringt einen irgendwie zum Schmunzeln. In dem gemütlichen Café folgt dann die nächste positive Überraschung. Während so viele Cafés entweder viel zu laut und hektisch sind oder vor Lässigkeit einschlafen, trifft das Gast die genau richtige Mischung aus Instagram-tauglicher Optik und ziemlich leckerem Inhalt. Die Frühstückskarte bietet für jeden Geschmack etwas – von süß bis herzhaft. Man findet das allgegenwärtige Avocado-Toast hier ebenso wie klassisches Müsli mit frischen Früchten oder ein Rührei mit Parmesan und Chili. Die Wartezeiten sind ausgesprochen angenehm, der freundliche Service arbeitet unaufdringlich und flott. Im Gast Café lässt es sich bei einem Cappuccino oder Flat White wunderbar entspannen. Noch dazu gibt es freies Wlan.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Fikabaren (Södermannagatan 10)

Ganz egal ob Ihr nur mal eben einen guten Kaffee trinken möchtet oder Ihr Bock auf ein Frühstück bis in den frühen Nachmittag habt, in beiden Fällen wird Euch im Fikabaren garantiert geholfen. Wir waren hier gleich mehrfach zu Gast, was eigentlich als Empfehlung schon alles sagt. Während manche Cafés in der Gegend oft sehr überlaufen sind und man schon bei der Suche nach einem freien Platz Stress empfindet, so ist davon im Fikabaren nichts zu spüren. Das ist schwedische Gelassenheit so wie wir sie mögen! Und wenn es dazu noch einen exzellenten Cappuccino gibt, sind wir doppelt glücklich. Aber auch das Frühstück kann (man) sich im Fikabaren sehen bzw. schmecken lassen. Wie so viele Cafés und Restaurants in Stockholm akzeptiert das Fikabaren nur noch Kartenzahlungen.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Omayma (Skånegatan 92)

Auch wenn wir keine Vegetarier oder Veganer sind, so haben wir doch keine Berührungsängste mit gesunder Küche. Tofu-Witze sind ohnehin schon viel zu alt, um noch lustig zu sein. Dass sich Geschmack und gesundes Essen nicht ausschließen, zeigt das Omayma auf Södermalm. Das gemütliche Café bietet verschiedene, meist vegetarische Bowls zum Frühstück und Lunch. Außerdem gibt es Sandwiches, Salate sowie klassische Frühstücks-Gerichte von Granola bis Avocado-Toast (manche Gerichte werden nur bis 11 Uhr angeboten). Man setzt auf Bio-Produkte und frische Zubereitungen. Beides schmeckt man!

 Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks


Lunch & Dinner


Bar Agrikultur (Skånegatan 79)

Noch recht neu und schon fest etabliert ist die Bar Agrikultur im Zentrum Södermalms. Das kleine, gemütliche Restaurant mit seiner skandinavischen Tapas-Bar-Atmosphäre serviert von der schwedischen Küche inspirierte Gerichte, die zum Teilen gedacht sind. „Sharing is caring“ lautet auch hier das Motto. Unbedingt probieren solltet Ihr die unverschämt leckeren Käsebällchen und die Spieße mit Hühnchen und Schwein. Typisch Schwedisch sind zudem die Flusskrebse, die aus ihrer Schale gelutscht werden. Hier darf man sich ruhig die Hände schmutzig machen. Auch die Weinkarte und die Drinks sind hier auf einem ziemlich hohen Niveau. Kein Wunder, versteht sich die Bar Agrikultur auch als Gin Bar. Wer in Stockholm übrigens auf ein Restaurant namens Agrikultur trifft, der steht vor dem großen „Bruder“ der Bar Agrikultur. Das mit einem Michelin-Stern ausgezeichnete Restaurant serviert ein wechselndes Tasting Menu in lockerer Atmosphäre vor einer offenen Küche. Wer hier essen möchte, sollte jedoch unbedingt frühzeitig reservieren.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Tjoget (Hornsbruksgatan 24)

Hornstull war vor einigen Jahren noch keine Gegend, in die man sich als Tourist nicht unbedingt verirrte. Inzwischen gibt es aber einen guten Grund, wieso man dort unbedingt einmal vorbeischauen sollte (was dank Bus & Bahn auch recht einfach geht). Tjoget heißt das kulinarische Aushängeschild von Hornstull. Es ist Restaurant, Weinbar und Cocktail-Destination in einem. Aber zu den Drinks kommen wir später noch, immerhin haben diese einen eigenen Eintrag verdient. Im Tjoget wird ein mediterranes Menü aus vielen kleinen Gerichten angeboten, das man so auch rund um das Mittelmeer kaum besser serviert bekommen dürfte. Es fällt uns jedenfalls schwer, nur ein Gericht herauszuheben. Angefangen bei der Charcuterie über den frischen Burrata bis zum butterweichen Oktopus war jeder Teller einfach unglaublich lecker. Wir empfehlen Euch einen Tisch im hinteren Teil des Restaurants zu reservieren, da es dort etwas entspannter zugeht. Auch der Service hat im Tjoget die volle Punktzahl verdient. Und dann gäbe es noch die Cocktails. Mehr dazu erfahrt Ihr etwas weiter unten.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Schmaltz Bar & Deli (Nybrogatan 19)

Kein Bock auf ein 3-Gänge-Menü oder Fast Food? Irgendwas dazwischen vielleicht? Dann solltet Ihr unbedingt das Schmaltz auf Eure Stockholm-Liste setzen. Zentral gelegen bietet sich das Café/Deli auch als Zwischenstopp bei einer Shopping-Tour durch Stockholm an. Auf der Lunch-Karte gibt es Salate und Sandwiches sowie Deli-Spezialitäten wie Hühnchenleber-Parfait mit Toast oder die hausgemachte Pastete. Danach kann man im Schmaltz auch gleich noch einen Kaffee mit etwas süßem Gebäck genießen. Nach dieser kleinen Auszeit ist man dann wieder bereit für Stockholms Einkaufsstraßen.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Restaurang Volt (Kommendörsgatan 16)

Ein Menü, das sich mit den Jahreszeiten wandelt und das ausschließlich auf frische, unverarbeitete Lebensmittel aus der Region setzt. Gemäß dieser klaren Philosophie wird im Restaurang Volt gekocht, wobei „Kochen“ die Sache nicht ganz trifft: Denn im Volt wird Essen zelebriert und das ganz ohne falsche Feinschmecker-Attitüde oder Sterne-Gehabe. Die Atmosphäre ist locker und das Restaurant selber eher mit einem Esszimmer zu vergleichen. Als Gast hat man die Wahl zwischen einem 4- und einem 6-Gang-Menü mit oder ohne Weinbegleitung. Viele der Gänge sind entweder rein vegetarisch oder setzen auf frischen Fisch. Selbst wenn sich die Aufzählung der Zutaten in der Menüreihenfolge zunächst etwas seltsam liest, wir können Euch beruhigen: Das Ergebnis – und damit meinen wir im Volt jeden einzelnen Gang – bietet Küchenkunst auf höchstem Niveau. Außerdem solltet Ihr zum Abschluss unbedingt noch einen Kaffee bestellen, denn dazu serviert das Volt eine süße Überraschung.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Pelikan (Blekingegatan 40)

Wenn man ein Kölner Brauhaus nach Stockholm versetzen würde, es sähe vermutlich so aus wie das Pelikan. In dem großen Saal mit seinen alten Wandgemälden wird deftiges schwedisches Essen serviert. Gute Portionen, ehrlich, fettig, lecker. Es gibt Rentier mit Schweinebauch (!), Kalbsleber, Eintopf und natürlich die weltberühmten Fleischbällchen mit Kartoffelpüree. Das bei Touristen wie Einheimischen gleichermaßen beliebte Pelikan ist immer gut besucht und eine Reservierung daher dringend zu empfehlen. Andernfalls muss man sich auf längere Wartezeiten einstellen.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

 Östermalm Saluhall (Östermalmstorg 114)

Die vor Jahren komplett modenisierte Markthalle im Herzen von Östermalm mit ihren zahllosen Verkaufsständen und Restaurants, welche die ganze Breite der skandinavischen/europäischen Küche präsentieren, ist ein beliebter Treffpunkt für Einheimsiche wie Touristen. Dabei ist die Markthalle nicht so überlaufen wie ihr Pendant in Barcelona. Auch hier gibt es alles, was das Herz des Feinschmeckers begehrt. Angefangen bei einer großen Auswahl an frischen Meerestieren über Fleisch (Wild, Rentier) und Gemüse/Obst bis hin zu süßen Snacks und Desserts. Die Restaurants sind ab 11 Uhr geöffnet, die einzelnen Marktstände bereits ab 9 Uhr morgens.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Bars & Drinks


Tjoget/Linje Tio (Hornsbruksgatan 24)

Wie versprochen kehren wir noch einmal ins Tjoget zurück. Der Grund dafür ist schnell erklärt: Hier gibt es die vielleicht besten Drinks und Cocktails der Stadt. Zumindest war die Bar im Tjoget (Linje Tjo) schon mehrfach unter den „World’s Best 50 Bars“ zu finden. Und selbst wenn man solchen Rankings eher misstrauisch gegenübersteht, sind alle Zweifel und Skepsis spätestens mit dem ersten Drink verschwunden. Neben der hochwertigen Spirituosenauswahl überzeugt das Linje Tio mit einer sehr kreativen Barkarte und vielen hauseigenen Cocktail-Kompositionen. Wie bei einer Bar auf diesem Niveau üblich, sind viele der Zutaten hausgemacht bzw. werden diese von der Barcrew noch zusätzlich verfeinert. Bereits die Gestaltung der Eiswürfel zeigt, wie viel Wert hier auf jedes Detail gelegt wird. Der White Negroni dürfte selbst erfahrenen Negroni-Trinkern noch höchstes Lob entlocken. Gleiches gilt für die anderen Drinks, die wir probiert haben. Die Präsentation jedes Drinks ist absolut stilvoll ohne falsche Show und Gimmicks. Teil der hochsympathischen Tjoget-Familie ist auch das Paradiso, in dem am Wochenende wechselnde DJs für die richtige Party-Stimmung sorgen. Dazu werden kreative Tiki-Drinks (meist auf Rum-Basis) gemixt.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Mikkeller Bar (Brahegatan 3-5)

Eigentlich muss man die Craft-Beer-Pioniere von Mikkeller keinem Bier-Liebhaber mehr vorstellen. Die Dänen haben ihren globalen Siegeszug längst vollendet. Heutzutage gibt es Mikkeller-Filialen von Kopenhagen bis Los Angeles. Das Erfolgsrezept einer coolen Bier-Bar, die sich ganz bewusst von den verrauchten Kneipen und Kaschemmen absetzt, funktioniert natürlich auch in Stockholm. Aus ihrer dänischen Heimat haben Mikkeller nicht nur über 20 Biersorten sondern auch das weltbekannte Smørrebrød mitgebracht. Weil Trinken bekanntlich auch hungrig macht!

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Corner Club (Lilla Nygatan 16)

Manchmal haben wir Probleme, die Stimmung für einen Ort in die richtigen Worte zu verpacken. Das Gefühl, wenn man sich auf Anhieb wie zuhause fühlt, ist aber auch schwer auszudrücken. In dieser Cocktailbar in Stockholms Altstadt Gamla Stan fühlten wir uns sofort wie Zuhause oder – vielleicht besser ausgedrückt – wie bei guten Freunden. Das ist vor allem den großartigen Gastgeber-Qualitäten von Barchef James (gebürtig aus San Diego) und Aron zu verdanken. Im sehr touristischen Gamla Stan hätten wir ein solches Barjuwel zunächst kaum vermutet. Auf der Corner Club-Homepage ist zu lesen, dass man sich als „friendly neighborhood cocktail bar“ bezeichnet. Und das trifft es ziemlich gut. Die Cocktail-Karte bietet viele Eigenkreationen unterteilt in drei Rubriken (Stiff, Shaken und Long Drinks). Der Rum-basierte, mit Lavendel veredelte „Shook Ones Pt. II“ hat es bei der Frau auf die Liste ihrer absoluten Lieblingsdrinks geschafft. Im Rhythmus von einigen Wochen steht immer andere Zutat im Mittelpunkt der neuen Drinks. Bei unserem Besuch beschäftigten sich Aron und James gerade mit den Blättern der Pandan-Pflanze.


Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

A Bar Called Gemma (Grev Turegatan 30)

Obwohl Barchef Johan Evers sein kleines Cocktail-Paradies A Bar Called Gemma erst vor wenigen Monaten eröffnet hat, hat sich deren Existenz schon weit über die Stadt hinaus herumgesprochen. Wir können uns auch genau denken wieso. Denn Johan und sein Kollege Oscar Drigoris haben hier eine echte Wohlfühl-Cocktailbar erschaffen, die auf fantasievolle Drinks wie den „Banks of Monkey Island“ (ein Tiki-Cocktail serviert in einem Affenkopf), eine feine Klassiker-Auswahl und sehr viel Gastfreundschaft setzt. Hier sind zwei Mixologen hinter der Bar, die ihren Job mit echter Leidenschaft ausfüllen und nicht bloß Drinks nach Schema F mixen. Wir hoffen, dass sich A Bar Called Gemma mit diesem Konzept langfristig in Stockholm etablieren kann.

Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks Sneaker City Guide Stockholm Food & Drinks

Für Sneakerheads bietet Barcelona durchaus einige interessante Spots. Damit meinen wir aber nicht die üblichen Flagship-Stores oder Ramschläden mit gelegentlich zweifelhafter Ware. Und schon gar nicht die Fake-Balenciagas der Straßenverkäufer am Hafen. Die Sneaker-Kultur ist in dieser Stadt nicht bloß ein trendiges Accessoire, mit dem man sich bei einer Fashion Week gerne schmückt, sondern wird von den meisten mit echter Leidenschaft gelebt. Wir stellen Euch die aus unserer Sicht wichtigsten Stores in diesem Blogpost vor.

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

24 Kilates

Wer denkt beim Thema Sneakers und Barcelona nicht sofort an 24 Kilates? Uns geht es zumindest so, wobei wir offen zugeben, dass die Verdienste der 24 Kilates-Crew und ihr Einfluss auf die spanische Sneaker-Community nicht mit dem so unglaublich unspektakulären Store zusammenzubringen sind. Irgendwie erinnert uns diese Diskrepanz an Patta in Amsterdam, deren Store auch nur den Charme eines Outlets besitzt. Seit unserem ersten Besuch bei 24 Kilates vor fast 6 Jahren hat sich hier auch kaum etwas verändert. Nur an den Wänden sind wieder ein paar Collabos neu hinzugekommen. Tatsächlich sind viele der 24 Kilates-Designs wie die beiden „Sol y Sombra“ Diadora N9000 oder der New Balance 15000 „Miro“ längst echte Turnschuh-Klassiker. Und auch ihre neue Diadora-Collab hat das Zeug dazu. Immerhin bietet der kleine Store so einen Schnellkurs in Sneaker-History. Das Sortiment unterscheidet sich hingegen nicht von dem vergleichbarer Sneaker-Stores.

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

Sivasdescalzo SVD

Bei Sivasdescalzo (abgekürzt SVD) hält man eher wenig von Understatement und Zurückhaltung. Ihr perfekt durchgestylter Store bietet auf zwei Ebenen reichlich Platz für Streetwear, Sneakers und Fashion. Während im Untergeschoss unter anderem die jeweils neuen ACG-Kollektionen, Fashion-Brands wie Rick Owens und Y-3 sowie eine Tischtennisplatte (!) auf den Besucher warten, findet man oben ein kleines „Sneaker-Lab“ und meterlange Wände voll mit aktuellen Releases. Egal ob Nike, New Balance, Puma, adidas oder Asics – alle Top-Brands haben hier ihren eigenen Platz. Regelmäßig werden auch Pop-up-Installationen und besondere Release-Specials in das großzügige Shop-Konzept integriert. Dank ihrer Top-Accounts ist der SVD-Store auch eine „Pilgerstätte“ für alle Hypekids und Reseller, die sich dort für einen Instore-Raffle eintragen. Vielleicht läuft während Eures Barcelona-Trips auch gerade ein Raffle. Wir drücken Euch die Daumen!

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

LimitEDitions / LimitEDitions Wmns

Bislang waren LimitEDitions immer ein guter Ort, um ganz entspannt auch noch ältere und zum Teil limitierte Sneaker zu entdecken. Ohne Online-Shop und mit einer eher zurückhaltenden Social-Media-Präsenz bewegte sich der Store trotz seiner durchaus spannenden History und zahlreicher Collabs (zum Beispiel mit Diadora) unter dem „Radar“ vieler Sneakerheads. Bei unserem letzten Besuch fanden wir hier noch den ersten Undefeated x adidas UltraBoost, leider aber mit einem Aufschlag von 40 Euro zum damaligen Retail-Preis. Streng genommen teilt sich das LimitEDitions-Geschäft in drei unterschiedliche Shop-Konzepte auf. Direkt neben dem stets mit Schuhen und Kartons vollgestellten Stammsitz befindet sich ein weiterer Store, in dem vor allem die limitierten Drops (Yeezy, Off-White x Nike, FOG) erscheinen und vor dem sich daher an Samstagen regelmäßig die üblichen Verdächtigen einfinden. Einmal um die Ecke wartet auf die weiblichen Sneakerfans der LimitEDitions Wmns-Shop, von dem es in El Born auch noch einen Außenposten gibt (direkt gegenüber der Paradiso Bar).

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

Foot District

Ursprünglich kommen Foot District ähnlich wie SVD aus Madrid. In Barcelona haben sie vergangenes Jahr ihren ersten Store außerhalb der Hauptstadt eröffnet, der sich in einer kleinen Gasse im historischen Barri Gotic ziemlich gut versteckt (um die Ecke befindet sich der „Fake“ Supreme-Store). Wir wären jedenfalls fast an ihm vorbei gelaufen. Von außen eher unscheinbar bietet der Store dann aber doch eine feine Auswahl an Sneakers und Streetwear, die vor der Konkurrenz keinen Vergleich scheuen muss. Da man für die Instore-Releases eigene Kontingente zur Verfügung hat, findet man hier auch online längst ausverkaufte Modelle. Labels wie Stone Island, Kenzo, Aimé Leon Dore, CP Company, Opening Ceremony, Maharishi und die diversen NikeLab-Kollektionen findet man im Apparel-Bereich. Ein besonderes Feature des Shops ist seine begehbare Jordan-Box, die zum Kino wird, wenn man einen Schuh auf den dafür vorgesehenen Sockel platziert. Dann verdunkeln sich die Wände und es startet ein kleiner Clip mit Hintergrundinfos.

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona


Unseren Food- & Bar-Guide zu Barcelona findet Ihr hier.

If you want to be recognized with a bar concept in London, we wish you the best of luck! You sure will need it! The bar landscape of UK’s capital is probably the toughest of them all. Not even a city like New York can compete with London’s tremendous density and plurality of world-class bars. Just take a look at the familiar rankings and you will notice that this city is the cocktail capital of the world – hands down. That said, old Frankie’s famous lineif you can make it there, you can make it anywhere“ may also apply to London. Ryan Chetiyawardana, better known as “Mr. Lyan“ (we’ll stick to his alias for obvious reasons), has definitely made it here. Since 2013, when he opened his first venue “White Lyan“ in Hoxton, he quickly gained reputation for his new approach to mixology, cocktails and hospitality.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

His dedication and hard work got around within the industry. Only two years later he was awarded „International Bartender of the Year“ – in retrospect another milestone of his career as an entrepreneur and creative mastermind. At the time „Dandelyan“ was already making big waves. To those who aren’t that familiar with London’s cocktail scene, let us explain what Dandelyan was. At first glance it was obviously a hotel bar and on closer examination it was the best. Situated within the equally famous Sea Containers hotel (formerly Mondrian) with an unbeatable view of the Thames and Blackfriars Bridge, Mr. Lyan created a hotspot for mixologists and new bartending techniques, Thanks to his background in biology he never shied away from using uncommon natural ingredients or supposedly weird flavours.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness 13

Besides all the creativity, Dandelyan raised the bar with regard to the overall bar experience by getting rid of outdated elements, implementing modern techniques and focusing on the individual guest. In 2018 Dandelyan finally came in at first (!) place at the much acclaimed „World’s 50 Best Bars Awards“. But instead of resting on his laurels Mr. Lyan announced on the same day the closing of Dandelyan. Not many saw that coming! Honestly, we were baffled too. His idea was to turn the World’s best bar Dandeylan into a new place called „Lyaness“, honouring its famous predecessor while simultaneously starting a new chapter in mixology. And that’s exactly where we are right now!

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

During our last trip to London we booked a table for the „Fancy Tea“ at Lyaness. Of course, this place is more than a safe bet if you want to spend the evening with meticulously crafted cocktails in a truly elegant setting. At the weekends Lyaness’s house DJs take over, transforming the laid-back daytime vibes into a party scenery (we absolutely have to come back for this). In broad daylight Lyaness keeps the promise of a true beauty with its electric blue interior, the golden décor and the green marble bar that is a prominent leftover from Dandelyan. And while the bar could get very busy in the evening, we really loved the more relaxed atmosphere during tea time.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

The tea itself is a modern, playful update to a British tradition with different sweet and savoury treats like eclairs, little cakes, sausage rolls and devilled eggs. No English tea service would be complete without some tasty sandwiches. At Lyaness they make you poached salmon on dark rye bread and roast beef on focaccia. It’s delicious finger food that we enjoyed even more thanks to the sophisticated cocktail pairing (there’s also a boozeless tea service available). You will get more than a glimpse at Mr. Lyan’s award-winning, creative approach to bartending if you opt for the full Fancy Tea experience, which we highly recommend.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

The drink menu is based on different key ingredients, some quite uncommon for a cocktail bar (a similar approach can be found at Tayer+Elementary). Rather than building a drink around a spirit, Mr. Lyan and his team use house-made ingredients as a starting point for their often botanical creations. Motivated by a curiosity to find new flavours and to look beyond the obvious the results are truly unique and bold. Their „Jasmine Gimlet“ is an eye opener even for seasoned Gimlet connoisseurs. The jasmine treatment adds a softer, floral taste. It’s so good, you have to order at least one! Another drink from the Fancy Tea pairing is the rum based „Cold Brew Palmetto“ that plays with fruity and nutty flavours.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

While doing his research on different ingredients and new bartending techniques Mr. Lyan is also on the forefront of the sustainability movement in the industry (he should connect with chef Adam Handling). He is not only raising awareness for a more sustainable path, collaborations with acclaimed chefs and other bartenders are also very important to him. You can find another Mr. Lyan project in Shoreditch. The Cub restaurant is a partnership with zero-waste pioneer Doug McMaster. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Cub (another reason to come back to London). With Cub Mr. Lyan wants to „bring people together through great food and drink“. In a world like ours this might be the only solution to overcome prejudices and nationalism. People who share a good time will not hate each other. We get the point, Ryan! And we hope that you will succeed.


Finally we like to share Ryan’s thoughts on different aspects of his job, the status quo of the bar industry and his favourite London bars:

You were awarded „World’s best bartender“ and you owned the „World’s best bar“ with Dandelyan. After being „the world’s best“ what happens next?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: We were very thankful for all the awards and recognition, but our real goal is to try and affect positive change in the wider industry, so we have plenty of plans on the horizon to continue to push and see what we can challenge. Some of these are through the venues, and some are events, talks, collaborations, anything and everything we can do to expand the ‚boundaries‘ of what food, drink and hospitality can be about.

Do you sometimes think that other bars try to become copycats?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: The food and drink world is a tight industry, and as a result, there is lots of sharing of ideas, and this helps elevate the offering, and communicate it more effectively to the public so everything grows. However, at the moment, there does seem a propensity to default to what is established, comfortable, or classical – or what has been successful – and this can lead to some homogeneity, which I think is a shame. Sharing of ideas is natural, and wonderful, but it should always also be honest, personal and with integrity. People jumping on a bandwagon is inevitable in any industry, but we as stewards of our profession should call this out and encourage others do make something their own.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

We came to Lyaness for your „Fancy Tea“ and we were blown away not only by the food and drinks but also by the overall atmosphere and hospitality. How important is the latter for a modern bar?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: Great to hear! To us, what is in the drink, or on the plate is secondary. We try and help people have a better time out, or to have a better or more effective gathering with their friends and family. Are drinks and dishes are tools for this, but so is the decor, the music, the lighting – everything we can effect. We want to focus on hospitality and helping people gather, and we’re very proud of having a team that cares about this aspect, rather than just simply drinks.

We’re pretty sure that many could benefit from your experience. Do you have any advice for other bartenders or bar owners (what to do or to avoid)?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: Don’t believe the hype, make it personal, keep learning, and find what you love and are interested in! And never be afraid to ask for help

London’s cocktail landscape is a one-of-kind. Which bars (besides your own) are your favourites?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: I think London has the best food and drink in the world right now. From classical venues like The Connaught, The Savoy, Satan’s Whiskers, Happiness Forgets & Swift to eclectic modern venues like Three Sheets (and Bar Three), Tayer + Elementary, Coupette and Mint Gun Club, the scene is pretty unrivalled!

Thanks Ryan for your insights and of course for your time!

It’s not a secret that we love to explore other cities and countries. Perhaps due to the daily struggle we sometimes forget about the great things and people of our hometown Cologne. We are actually annoyed about it. So, this new episode of „Sneakerzimmer meets“ delivers on a simple promise: Get to know your neighborhood and your neighbors. Technically speaking Daniel Gottschlich is not our neighbor, but he’s also from Cologne, born in Troisdorf, and one of Germany’s most ambitious and aspiring chefs. We’d like to introduce you Daniel’s highly innovative take on modern cuisine, his stylish fine dining restaurant „Ox & Klee“ and his imperturbable love for sneakers.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

We met Daniel – no surprise – at his restaurant in Cologne’s Rheinauhafen, which has become a symbol of modern urbanism thanks to its luxurious crane houses and sophisticated architecture. If you want to live in this part of Cologne with a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline and literally next to the Rhine, we recommend you have deep pockets. In all other cases you can still opt for a walk along the Rhine (comes free of charge) or have an outstanding dinner experience at „Ox & Klee“. We would bet any money that you won’t forget the evening at this two Michelin stars rated restaurant. According to the world’s most famous restaurant guide, two stars are the proof of an „excellent cuisine that is worth a detour“. Hence in case you didn’t consider Cologne for your travel plans as yet, you might now reconsider (and if you write us a message, we will send you some more recommendations).

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

Daniel is a really cool guy with a very interesting vita. After working as a sous-chef in a traditional Cologne Brauhaus he and his girlfriend opened the first „Ox & Klee“ restaurant in the bustling Neustadt-Süd neighborhood. That was in 2010 and by that time something like casual fine-dining didn’t broadly exist – at least in Cologne. Most of the gourmet spots felt rather pretentious and stiff in those days, not very appealing to us or a younger clientele in general. Daniel probably came to realize something similar as he and his team were beyond that old fashioned dining concept. After leaving the old location with the first Michelin star in 2016 they were poised for the next big step. And here we are: In an incredibly stylish, way bigger and likeable open space with an unique view of Cologne’s Marina and skyline.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

Despite a huge transformation with regard to location, style and ambience the completely new „Ox & Klee“ of course didn’t start from scratch. Together with his well-rehearsed crew Daniel, who is also a musician with heart and soul, continued on a very solid foundation. His impeccable reputation as a chef is the result of hard work, willingness to take risks and to think outside the box. In the meantime „Ox & Klee“ has been awarded with a second Michelin star (now for 2 years in a row). The Michelin buzz put the restaurant on a bigger culinary map and clearly raised the bar. However, many chefs admit that the pressure can be paralyzing sometimes. With every new menu you also have to create a new one-of-a-kind experience to keep up with expectations. It seems to us that up to now Daniel has found the right balance. He finds inspiration from music, culture and the world around him. He loves to travel like we do and to explore other cuisines.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

The dinner at „Ox & Klee“ follows a journey alongside different flavors from sour, bitter, salt and sweet to umami and fat (yes fat). Called „Experience Taste“ Daniel’s menu is an elaborate example of modern cuisine, thought-out, highly creative and a culinary eye opener. As a guest you are educated in seasonal ingredients, all kinds of preparation and truly unusual flavors. It’s such a fun thing, especially when there are no pretentious people around you. The different flavors of „Experience Taste“ are omnipresent. It starts with the amuse-bouche and ends with the Petit Four from Ox & Klee’s stellar patisserie. As a guest you only have to choose the number of courses. The current menu features pulpo, sablefish with goat cream, pig snout with asparagus and ox cheek in a creamy bourbon sauce. And did we mention their delicious house baked bread? It’s so addictive! The drinks from the „Bayleaf“ bar downstairs are nothing sort of first-class. We opted for their classic Negroni, celebrating 100 years of cocktail history. We also recommend the cocktail-pairing menu at „Bayleaf“.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

When it comes to kicks, Daniel is a very loyal guy. His big love are Vans, Vans and Vans again. He can’t imagine himself wearing a different brand. If someone from Vans should happen to read this post, they should immediately talk to Daniel and sign him on as a brand ambassador. Instead of looking for fake influencers, the brands must finally support passionate and creative people again. We are also tired of all that flexing on social media. Daniel rocks his Vans in the restaurant, on stage and wherever he goes. This is cool, because it’s real! But as you can see his crew also likes Nike. We were surprised to find a Flyknit Trainer in the kitchen. But what’s the big deal? They simply wear what they like. It’s as easy as that! You should do the same. Don’t buy overpriced kicks to impress people you don’t know. Come to „Ox & Klee“ for a lasting experience. Collect memories not things! The good things are here.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee


Nach unserer Ankunft in Miami starten wir natürlich mit einem ordentlichen Frühstück bzw. Brunch. Rund um die Uhr ist das 11th Street Diner (1065 Washington Ave) in South Beach geöffnet. Ein typisches American Diner, das von Pancakes über Burger bis hin zu Sandwiches und Müsli so ziemlich alles serviert. Sowohl von außen als auch drinnen bietet der Laden die klassische Diner-Atmosphäre. Alles ohne Schnickschnack, gute Portionsgrößen und viele Kalorien.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Am Wochenende ist das LT Steak & Seafood (1440 Ocean Dr) eine der Top-Brunchadressen in SoBe. Ihr findet das Restaurant im wunderschönen Art Deco-Hotel The Betsy. Hier gibt es einen erstklassige Raw Bar mit Seafood, grandiose Pancakes und veredelte Brunch-Klassiker. Und probiert den Iced Cafe Latte! Nur wenige Meter neben den lauten und miesen Touristenfallen am Ocean Drive gibt es im LT/Betsy eine echte Wohlfühlatmosphäre mit bestem Essen.

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

In Miami Beach kennt Mr. R Sports (100 16th St) eigentlich jeder. Der Store, den es so bereits seit den 1970er-Jahren gibt, führt neben klassischen Performance-Modellen auch New Balance „Made in USA“ sowie Lifestyle-Releases von Asics, Nike und Puma. Direkt nebenan hat man kürzlich den Store erweitert und bietet jetzt in einem eigenen Raum limitierte Releases u.a. von New Balance, Puma (u.a. die Fenty-Kollektion von Rihanna) und adidas.

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

Seit kurzem sind auch RoundTwo und RoundTwo Vintage (673 Collins Ave) mit einer Filiale in Miami bzw. genauer in South Beach vertreten. Den Shop von Sean Wotherspoon muss man eigentlich nicht mehr vorstellen. Da wir unsere Miami-Reise bereits vor der großen Eröffnung angetreten hatten, können wir Euch leider nicht sagen, wie der Shop im Verhältnis zu denen in LA oder New York abschneidet. Aber eigentlich darf man von Sean und seinem Team immer nur die beste Auswahl an Hype-Releases, Vintage-Kicks und 90er-Jahre-Apparel erwarten. Ansonsten dürfen die üblichen Verdächtigen (Supreme, Supreme, Supreme) ebenfalls nicht fehlen.

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

Nicht weit entfernt an der Washington Avenue liegt einer von mehreren Soles-Stores (1345 Washington Ave) im Großraum Miami. Soles ist eine klassische Sneaker-Boutique mit einem breiten Sortiment und einem besonderen Fokus auf Basketball. Wie üblich finden hier meist am Wochenende die limitierten Drops der großen Brands von Jordan bis adidas statt – Campout und Instore-Raffles inklusive. Wie die kleine Besuchergalerie des Stores beweist, haben bei Soles auch schon Stars wie Queen Latifah und Robin Williams (RIP) eingekauft. Auch wir haben hier schon den einen oder anderen Dollar ausgegeben.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Geht man die Washington Avenue weiter Richtung Norden erreicht man nach knapp 10 Minuten die Lincoln Road, einer der Haupt-Shopping-Adressen in South Beach. Kurz bevor man in die Fußgängerzone einbiegt, läuft man an einem der vielen Foot Locker-Filialen (1626 Washington Ave) vorbei. Diese bietet mit dem „Puma Lab“ einen speziellen Showroom für Sneaker und Apparel mit der Raubkatze. Auch limitierte Puma-Releases und Foot Locker Exclusives findet man dort. Manche Releases waren uns sogar gänzlich unbekannt. Ein Besuch kann sich also durchaus lohnen.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Auf der eigentlich immer gut besuchten Lincoln Road haben neben den großen Einzelhandelsketten auch besondere Fashion-Boutiquen ihren Platz. Neben dem Y-3 Store Miami Beach (1115 Lincoln Rd) wollen wir vor allem das Alchemist (1109 Lincoln Rd) nicht unerwähnt lassen. Der edle Store ist aus vielerlei Gründen interessant. Während man direkt an der Lincoln Road die Damen-Abteilung findet – hier kann man für Designer-Ware und Accessoires problemlos innerhalb von Minuten vierstellige Summen ausgeben, leider waren dort keine Fotos erlaubt –, kommt man mittels Aufzug auf die 5. Etage eines Parkhauses, wo sich dann mit dem „Männer-Alchemist“ ein echtes (architektonisches) Shopping-Highlight versteckt.

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

Schon die Platzierung des rundum verglasten Stores auf dem Parkdeck mit Blick über South Beach ist beeindruckend. Einrichtung und Design sind durchweg minimalistisch. Fast fühlt man sich wie in einer Galerie. Skurrile Kunstobjekte stehen im Alchemist neben limitierten Kollektionen von Rick Owens und Specials wie den Justin Bieber-„Staff“-Hoodies, die der Store exklusiv im Zuge des World Tour-Konzerts in Miami anbot. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass man im Alchemist auch einen Promi beim Shopping trifft, ist nicht gerade gering. Für uns war der Laden ganz klar das Store-Highlight in South Beach.

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

Für längere Touren in und um Miami empfiehlt sich ein Mietwagen. Mit diesem ist man von Miami Beach aus in knapp 30 Minuten (je nach Verkehrslage) in South Miami (einfach immer der 1 folgen). In der etwas unspektakulären Nachbarschaft eines Subway und Dunkin’ Donuts befindet sich einer von zwei SoleFly-Stores (8099 S Dixie Hwy). Der zweite Store wurde erst Ende 2015 in Cutler Bay (18433 S Dixie Hwy) eröffnet und ist von Aufteilung und Größe nahezu identisch.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Beide SoleFly-Shops bieten eine ziemlich große Sneaker-Auswahl. Nike, Jordan, Asics, New Balance, Vans nehmen hier den meisten Platz ein. Dafür fehlten adidas und Puma. SoleFlys Background – Besitzer Carlos Prieto ist der Schwager von Michael Jordan (!) – erklärt auch die gute Connection zu Nike und Jordan, mit denen man regelmäßig besondere Specials herausbringt. Bei unserem Besuch im August war soeben der pfirsischfarbene Jordan Eclipse „SP“ erschienen. Auch mit Asics hat man schon zusammengearbeitet. Man denke nur an den Gel-Lyte III „Night Haven“. Zu den weiteren Brands aus dem Apparel-Bereich zählen u.a. Stüssy, Champion und Comme des Garcons.

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

Wer danach nicht nebenan zu Dunkin’ Donuts gehen will, kann auf der Rückfahrt zum Beispiel in Coconut Groves den dortigen Panther Coffee (3407 Main Hwy) besuchen. Frisch gerösteter Kaffee, eine sehr gechillte Atmosphäre, freies Wlan sowie leckere Snacks und Süßigkeiten (von Zak the Baker) machten Panther für uns zu einem ständigen Begleiter während des Miami-Urlaubs.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Zurück in South Beach kann man sich so langsam Gedanken über die Abendplanung machen. Als der perfekte Ort für einen Sundowner bietet sich in Miami immer ein Rooftop an. Einer der schönsten Rooftop-Bars bietet das luxuriöse 1 Hotel (2341 Collins Ave). Im Preis der Drinks (die meisten alkoholischen Cocktails schlagen hier mit 15-17 Dollar zu Buche) ist dann aber auch eine spektakuläre Aussicht über Miami Beach inklusive. Gönnung pur!

Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami Sneaker City Guide Miami

Einen exzellenten Drink bekommt Ihr auch im Broken Shaker (2727 Indian Creek Dr). Die legendäre Bar im Freehand Hotel in Mid Beach ist Miamis Cocktail Hotspot und weit über Florida hinaus bekannt. Zusammen mit dem ebenfalls sehr renommierten Sweet Liberty (237 20th St Suite B), das wir aus Zeitgründen leider nicht mehr besuchen konnten und dessen Besitzer John Lermayer im letzten Sommer tragischerweise im Alter von nur 45 Jahren verstarb, bildet man die Shortdrink-Achse in Miami Beach. Egal ob vor oder nach dem Dinner – das Broken Shaker ist immer eine gute Idee.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Am nächsten Tag besuchten wir als erstes den adidas Originals-Store in South Beach (226 8th St), wo man die meisten aktuellen Releases der drei Streifen findet. Diese müssen wir an dieser Stelle sicher nicht noch einmal alle aufzählen. Noch besser hätten wir es aber gefunden, wenn es das adidas-Miami-Shirt in unserer Größe gegeben hätte. Aber XXS passt uns einfach nicht. Ansonsten findet man in dem recht kleinen Store das aus anderen Originals-Shops bekannte Sortiment.

Von adidas gelangt man in nur wenigen Gehminuten zum Art Déco-Tempel The Webster (1220 Collins Ave). Die in ein altes Hotel eingezogene Fashion-Boutique bietet japanische Luxusmarken wie Visvim (FBTs), Designer wie Balmain, Alexander Wang, Thom Browne und Junya Watanabe sowie das Who-is-Who der angesagten Fashion-/Streetwear-Brands (ja auch Mr. Yeezy hängt hier). Auch ein großes Angebot für weibliche Fashion-Addicts darf im Webster nicht fehlen. Leider waren im Store selbst keine Aufnahmen erlaubt. So bleibt es bei einem Bild von der schönen Art-Déco-Fassade.

Sneaker City Guide Miami

Fahren wir als nächstes Richtung Downtown. Unser Ziel ist die Shoe Gallery (244 NE 1st Ave) etwas nördlich des Business Districts. Auch bei dieser handelt es sich wieder um eine typische Sneaker-Boutique, gut sortiert und mit vielen aktuellen Releases. Instore findet man mit etwas Glück sogar Collabos, die andernorts längst ausverkauft sind. Viele kleine Ideen und Gimmicks wie die „Hot or Not“-Tafel, die verteilten Jordan-Devotionalien oder die Videowand im Arcade-Stil machen aus der von außen unscheinbaren Shoe Gallery einen Store mit Charakter.

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Da sich spätestens jetzt der Hunger meldet, passt es, dass mit der PB Station (121 SE 1st St) im nahe gelegenen Langford Hotel ein echter Lunch-Hotspot zu finden ist. Natürlich kann man in dem Restaurant der in Miami sehr bekannten Pubbelly Boys auch zum Dinner oder Brunch vorbeischauen. Die Mittagskarte bietet für den kleinen bis großen Hunger das Passende. Der Steak-Salat ist ein Traum! Bekannt ist die PB Station auch für ihren Burger. Man serviert im Ambiente einer alten Bahnstation modernes Craft Food und die dazu passenden Biere und Spirituosen. UPDATE! Die PB Station ist nun leider dauerhaft geschlossen. Die vielfach ausgzeichnete Küche von Pubelly Co-Gründer Jose Mendin könnt Ihr nun aber im Habitat-Restaurant im 1 Hotel South Beach erleben (siehe oben).

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Damit endet unser kleiner Guide, der Miami so zeigt, wie wir diese Stadt erlebt haben. Wir freuen uns, wenn Ihr dadurch auf Neues aufmerksam geworden seid. Falls sich jemand wundert, warum der Kith-Store (1931 Collins Ave) unerwähnt blieb. Dieser befand sich bei unserem Besuch im (Um-)Bau. Ehrlicherweise muss man aber weder Kith noch Ronnie Fieg jemanden vorstellen. Wer die Collins Avenue abfährt, sollte den Store kaum verpassen.

Everything we love comes in two parts. So here we go with the final installment of our Los Angeles bar guide. Some of LA’s best bars and bartenders will cross your path. Get to know their story, their take on LA and of course their favourite drinks. As we already stated in our first bar guide, there’s no need to use this text as a bucket list. Rather choose some bars that match your preferences. If you go there, you will probably find out about other interesting places. We just wanna push you a little bit into the right direction!

Above a bar called tokyo
We watched the coast where traffic flows
Selective of the drinks that we buy
We used to drink the river bed dry
You and I

– Maximo Park, Drinking Martinis


LA Landkarte

Map by Studio Egotrips.


16. Bibo Ergo Sum (West Hollywood)



„I drink, therefore I am“ is the correct translation of Bibo Ergo Sum, an extraordinary name for a modern cocktail spot (don’t confuse this bar with Hong Kong’s Bibo). Located in the Robertson Plaza in Beverly Grove a non-descript door with a mysterious symbol leads directly to one of LA’s most stylish cocktail bars. Inspired by the award-winning movie „The Prestige“ about two rival magicians (embodied by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) Bibo Ergo Sum takes a rather original approach compared to the majority of LA’s cocktail destinations. As movie lovers in general and fans of Christopher Nolan in particular we wanted to explore this place since we stumbled upon the first pics. The elegant décor mixes Art Déco elements with an intriguing symmetry that you will probably only notice subconsciously. Fortunately, Bibo’s remarkable attention to details is not limited to a sleek surface. The initial cocktail program developed by the experienced team of The Walker Inn played with themes of Nolan’s Hollywood movie. That said the drinks were top-notch and visually pleasing at the same time. When we came back for the second time, the menu had changed. Divided into three sections, each representing a different era from pre-prohibition until today and even beyond, you can experience the immense diversifity of the modern craft cocktail movement at Bibo Ergo Sum. Refreshing, a little spicy and very colorful – with this attributes the gin-based „Cadillac Swizz“ became a crowd pleaser, as bartender Alex told us. The spirit selection is broad-based, so everyone should find his personal favorite. Of course you can always opt for the „Bartender’s choice“ and let Alex or his colleagues decide for you. While we were slowly sipping at our drinks, the unique atmosphere caught us once again. But in contrast to Nolan’s „The Prestige“ this bar doesn’t rely on special effects or cheap Hollywood tricks.

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17. Here & Now (Arts District)



Los Angeles is always changing. The revitalized Arts District can be seen as a manifestation of such fundamental changes. The opening of new galleries, stores, restaurants (like Bavel) as well as the construction of whole apartment buildings contributed to the momentum of that area. Cocktail lovers will also find a real gem in the Arts District. We are talking about Here & Now in the One Santa Fe complex. Until 2018 a bar called Westbound that took some inspiration from the history of the site as a train depot operated in the same spot. Westbound’s owner later joined forces with one of LA’s most respected barteams. Damian Diaz, Aaron Melendrez and Othón Nolasco made places like Everson Royce Bar famous. Even though they also worked as industry consultants, they never lost their passion for bartending and the daily bar business. It’s probably in their DNA just as their qualities as hosts. Some things are hard to learn, because they are more part of a mindset or an attitude. For Here & Now Damian, Aaron and Orthón took the established Westbound setup and refined it with their own ideas. Backed by a highly passionate barcrew their take on a modern cocktail place is based upon premium drinks with a „less is more“ approach, a cozy environment and strong ties to the community. Despite the instagrammable interior Here & Now is not satisfied with its nice outward appearance. The drinks are at least as great as the Art Déco inspired design. Their cocktail menu titled „Los Angeles in three centuries“ starts with some aperitifo drinks and continues with real boozy ones like the Old Fashioned inspired „Holy Ghost“ or the equally elegant „Zanjero“ made of Ilegal Mezcal and Lustau vermouth. Chapters like „Newest city in the world“ and „Time of our lives“ feature Here & Now twists on beloved classics as well as some very sophisticated contenders. The „City Lights and Business Nights“ adds Fernet Branca and a dash of banana flavor to a Manhattan. If you somewhat like Manhattans, you will love this drink! Finally, we won’t keep quiet about their food. With a full kitchen open until 2 AM, this place has more to offer than usual bar snacks. We heard a lot of praise about their signature burger, so perhaps it was a bad decision to have dinner elsewhere. In any case, the roasted peppers with sea salt and aioli came close to the definition of food porn. Please guys, what about opening an outpost in Germany? Otherwise we would come back to LA just for you.

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18. Here’s Looking at You (Koreatown)



In LA you don’t have to decide if you want to go to a good restaurant or a fine bar. That is to say both things can often be found in one place. Here’s Looking at You in K-Town (the name is a reference to a famous quote from the award-winning Hollywood movie „Casablanca“) lives up to that promise and to the buzz surrounding its streetwear loving chef Jonathan Withener, who was once the mind behind the great meat-centric dishes at Animal. Together with his „partner in crime“ Lien Ta, also from Animal, he opened HLAY in an area that was the old Hollywood a very long time ago. As this is a bar guide, we don’t want to go into details about HLAY’s flavorful food menu. We will get back to Jonathan’s outstanding culinary skills in our LA Food Guide. Just allow us to say that HLAY’s brunch is probably the best we had in LA. For most folks, common brunch choices are a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary. Although we have seen both drinks here, bar director Harry Chin clearly aims at more ambitious and exotic creations. For brunch he came up with some strong Tiki drinks. Did you know that Tiki drinks and Tiki culture were both invented in LA and not on an exotic Polynesian island? Harry’s last fall/winter menu showcased a dozen drinks that each on its own was inspired by a different piece of LA, using seasonal ingredients and a playful attitude that can also be found in HLAY’s interior design. The gin based „The Shape of Green“ is a wonderful homage to movies like „Carol“ and „The Shape of Water“, where the color green plays an important visual role in storytelling. Needless to say, that this idea caught our hearts just as the rich flavors did.

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19. Bar Henry (Echo Park)



The most pleasant surprises are always the unexpected ones. We hope you don’t mind this linguistic failure, at least you might get an idea of what we wanted to express. When we strolled around Echo Park, we stumbled upon this cozy neighborhood joint called Bar Henry. With its green facade and small neon lighting it really made an impact on us. The interior is even more charming thanks to a wooden floor, the bar counter made of walnut, some plants and a very subtle use of warm colors and lights. In addition, the fine selection of spirits caught our eyes as soon as we entered the bar. Bar Henry’s signature cocktail menu with a focus on mezcal and tequila was created by Cari Hah, one of LA’s most famous and respected female bartenders. It’s therefore no surprise that the drinks – all based on a three ingredients concept – can keep up with the overall design. With most cocktails in the 13-14 Dollar range, the pricing seems quite fair for LA. As Bar Henry’s co-owner Brett Rubin explained to us, the goal was to establish a new neighborhood bar. Built up from scratch and opened in late 2018 Bar Henry quickly became a favorite among locals. It’s not hard to imagine why. The drinks are crafted and well-balanced (the mezcal based „Flattened Priest“ is a real crowd pleaser as Brett revealed to us), the vibe is cool but not too fancy and the bartenders are very knowledgeable. Despite zero PR activities so far and without any Happy Hour deals that usually attract many bar tourists, the spot on Sunset Boulevard has already found many patrons, who come around for a drink and a chat with friends at least once a week. The last one is probably the ultimate proof of concept for every good neighborhood bar. Bar Henry demonstrates without the slightest showy attitude how to create a pleasant bar experience. What might sound trivial, is actually a daily struggle for most other places.

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20. Block Party Highland Park (Highland Park)



Only some years ago Highland Park was one of LA’s neglected and overlooked neighborhoods. The area wasn’t associated with great bars or restaurants. Apparently, things have changed. To some extent this change can be traced back to people like Jason Eisner, who made Highland Park a very hip and famous place. Especially on the weekends York Boulevard and North Figueroa Street convert into a lively outdoor party with food trucks and lots of entertainment. In 2015, Eisner, who had already been distinguished as „LA’s Bartender of the Year“ in the same year, opened Block Party in Highland Park. The main idea was to establish a neighborhood spot, where people could come together and just have a good time. Besides the craft beer and Mexican focused bar menu, Block Party offers a big back yard patio with a shuffleboard field and wooden benches. Eisner evidently wants everyone to feel welcome already upon entering the bar. An important part of Block Party’s concept are the mostly vegan food pop ups on York Boulevard. People can bring food to Block Party, which is a really nice touch. Jason introduced us to Evanice Holz, who is already famed in LA for her vegan Cuban and Brazilian dishes (she also has German roots as you may suspect given her family name). Even if you’re usually not into vegan food, you should try Evanice’s „Arroz sin pollo“, or her equally tasty sandwiches. But don’t blame us afterwards for getting you addicted to vegan food! Honoring Mexican influences and culture, Eisner’s bar crew created an excellent Michelada, a beer-based drink with home-made Habanero bitters and a salt crust. Or how about the Highland Punch snowcone? We’ve been to many great bars, but only a few can compete with Block Party’s hospitality – a true neighborhood gem.


Nice to meet you! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi! My name is Jason Eisner and I am the owner and founder of Block Party Highland Park and Party Beer Co (opening in June 2019).

What makes your bar unique?

Block Party Highland Park is a Modern Beer Garden and Bottle Shop, which means you can taste our craft beers and small production wines on sight, or even take them to go! We have some of the most beautiful beer and wine cocktails in LA. My favorite is the Michelada con Paleta, which comes with a salted heirloom tomato and watermelon popsicle.

Please tell us about your favorite spirit and drink!

I’m really a Pilsner drinker, but my favorite spirit is Mezcal Tobalá and my favorite cocktail is a classic Negroni.

What bartender should we meet next?

You have to meet Chris Amirault, Karen Grill or Gabe Huerta.

Any recommendations what to do in LA?

Yes! Get some Plant Based donuts at Donut Friend in Downtown Los Angeles and then go play at Two Bit Circus Micro Amusement Park or drive out to Malibu and go to Leo Carillo Beach.

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21. Seymour’s (Palm Springs)


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From a European perspective it makes sense to feature some bars from Palm Springs in an LA bar guide. We guess people from Palm Springs may disagree. It’s a two-hour drive after all and a completely different vibe compared to the hustle and bustle of LA. Palm Springs is famous for its many senior citizens, a big gay community and its mid-century architecture — we consciously skip the part involving bachelor/bachelorette parties. But perhaps the city should be on a bar map. One good reason for this is Seymour’s, the backroom bar of Mr. Lyon’s Steakhouse. While we highly recommend dinner at this elegant restaurant and trying their 16oz NY strip steak (you better be hungry), we would really like to praise the indisputable qualities of Seymour’s as a classic speakeasy venue hidden behind a black curtain. The bar itself is quite small, equipped with many details worth mentioning, such as the hand-crafted tables partly made of conches and a television showing movies or TV series exclusively in black-and-white. The latter adds much to the bar’s unique atmosphere that won over our hearts. Seymour’s is also emitting some Tiki vibes although it’s very far away from your usual Tiki bar expectations. Seymour’s owner Steen is a Kiwi with a Danish father, a rather uncommon combination. His recommendation to order ”The Owl“ – Seymour’s signature drink named after their logo – was the right decision. We can hardly say no to an Old Fashioned and therefore this Old Fashioned inspired drink made with Rittenhouse Rye whiskey and walnut liqueur was superb and truly to our taste. ”The Owl“ is also the perfect after-dinner cocktail. Besides all the beloved classics bartender Felix also knows how to please the more open-minded imbiber with a gin-avocado-drink called ”Wait…what? Avocado?“. It’s totally up to you!

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22. Bootlegger Tiki (Palm Springs)



While this is not the first Tiki entry in our bar guide, we’d like to dip into Tiki history at this point. As mentioned earlier the first Tiki bar opened in Hollywood. Don the Beachcomber and its owner Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt became legends. In the early 1950s a Tiki outpost was established in Palm Springs. Many celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, who both had homes in the desert, were regular guests at Don the Beachcomber. On that historic ground, Bootlegger Tiki and its associated café Ernest Coffee opened 2014 with a straight-forward Tiki concept. As soon as you walk into the small bar you feel totally Tiki thanks to the dimmed red light and many Tiki props. You can spot an old Don the Beachcomber poster, pufferfish lanterns hanging from the ceiling, holiday postcards, Polynesian/Chinese artwork and of course lots of bamboo. Starting with the bar chairs and also covering large part of the walls, bamboo is all over this place that recreates the setting of a small hut on an island somewhere in the Polynesian sea. In this regard Bootlegger’s entrance works as a wormhole. At least we felt teleported into another dimension. Carlos and Tony –the bar managers – are really passionate guys. They don’t treat the whole Tiki approach just as a gimmick or an ad tool. Instead they feel obligated to the history of this special place. That is why Frank Sinatra’s favorite drink („Navy Grog“) is part of the menu. Many Tiki drinks lean towards rum, but there are also some nice mezcal and bourbon choices. Despite its name the smoky „Luck be a Lady“ is a drink equally popular with both men and women. The „Dealer’s choice“ gives the bartenders some room for creativity. You choose the spirit, they’ll do the rest. We’re pretty sure that you will like the outcome. In the end forget about Hawaii, just come to Palm Springs!

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23. Truss & Twine (Palm Springs)



Even though we are still in Palm Springs, this modern and sleek venue feels like a whole different planet. Truss & Twine shares the space with a well-known restaurant called Workshop Kitchen that is recognized by gourmets from all over California. Located in the historic El Paseo Building, the bar looks like a minimalistic fantasy. Concrete-lined walls, high ceilings and exposed trusses (hence the name) create a very modern but not clinical atmosphere. The lighting is warm and the music adds a relaxed vibe to the overall very minimalistic bar décor. Instead of feeling uncomfortable, you will experience the exact opposite. The highly entertaining bar crew makes sure that every guest is treated with incredible hospitality, listening and responsiveness to their individual preferences when it comes to spirits. So, if you don’t find your favorite drink on the classics-inspired menu, just tell Nathaniel and his colleagues what kind of flavors you like. In our case they created a Gimlet/Brooklyn combo. Both drinks managed to exceed our already high expectations. Now we know why Truss & Twine earned a reputation as a first-class destination for classic drinks since opening two years ago. We should also mention their original cocktails. Truss & Twine’s recipes sometimes leave the familiar route, exploring new directions and flavors. As Michael Beckmann, Truss & Twine’s owner and initiator, is also the owner of Workshop Kitchen, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they focus on both food and drinks. Shame on us that we already had dinner and couldn’t taste their probably delicious chacuterie or cheese boards. Truss & Twine’s attention to craft cocktails made of high-quality ingredients would succeed not only in the desert. This is a bar that keeps up with the big names in New York, London or Tokyo in all aspects.

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24. Break Room 86 (Koreatown)



Some people need no introduction. If you are working in the hospitality industry in LA a name will sooner or later cross your path: The Houston Brothers. They built a bar empire from scratch. Places like Cuban nightclub La Descarga, the Hollywood hotspots Dirty Laundry and No Vacancy as well as the 70’s-inspired Good Times at Davey Wayne’s are all part of their company. For the perhaps most interesting Houston Brothers establishment, partygoers have to do their homework. The first hurdle is to find the hidden entrance of Break Room 86 – it’s on Ardmore next to The Line Hotel –, the second is their door policy. On the weekends, people queue up around the block, so we suggest to come around on a Wednesday or Thursday night when they play classic 80s/90s songs and have cover bands for live performances. But even during the week this wonderfully weird place gets crowded after 11/11.30 PM. Like we said it’s a Houston Brothers venue and therefore very popular by default. As you enter Break Room 86 through a loading dock you travel back in time. Every amazing detail of this place reminded us of our youth. There were so many awesome ideas incorporated in the design of the bar, it’s impossible to name them all (and it would spoil the party). From the secret karaoke rooms and the arcade games to the adjustable bar that can be turned into a stage, guests of Break Room 86 can expect an almost endless series of surprises. What could have become a Disneyland kind of bar with a kitschy retro décor is fortunately a real bar with authentic 80’s (party) vibes. After taking us on a private tour, bar manager Avery introduced their cocktail program to us. Named after various 80’s references the drinks spark the same fun vibes. The „Jack Burton“ is a little spicy Old Fashioned iteration, the „Run-DMC“ equals a creamy temptation. Our favourites were however the mezcal-based „Locals Only“ and the very refreshing „Mr. Miyagi“ made of Japanese whisky and watermelon shrub. Break Room 86 may be first of all a great party bar, but these guys are also quite serious about their drinks.

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25. The Varnish (Downtown)



When you talk with bar chefs or bartenders about their favorite places, chances are high that you will hear one name sooner or later: The Varnish. Now in business for over 10 years this downtown staple does serious drinks without any false gimmicks. Bar chef Bryan and his crew earn their reputation night after night. The Varnish, tucked away in the backroom of Downtown’s infamous Cole’s French Dip restaurant (just look up who met here back in the days), is open 7 days a week from 7 PM until 2 AM. With only some tables and quite a small bar front you have to be somehow patient to get a seat. Or perhaps it’s your lucky day? As the house rules point out, it also takes some time to make a proper drink. Instead of bartending by the numbers every cocktail deserves the same intention, whether you choose one of the Varnish’s signature drinks – their cocktail menu is pleasantly straightforward – or if you ask for a classic like the Manhattan. Another way to experience this low-lit bar with its speakeasy vibes is to let the bartenders decide what they can get for you. In the second round we just went along with one of Bryan’s favorite drinks, the Martini-based „Poet’s Dream“ – a wise decision. Both The Varnish and Cole’s are prototypes of old-fashioned places, where time stands still and you can dip (pun intended) into the good old times for a night. The total package simply works. It’s the combination of knowledgeable bartenders, a classic speakeasy atmosphere, live jazz music playing and the rich history of this place that makes this little backroom bar a pleasant destination for all cocktail lovers in LA. And even some Tinder dates seem to have fun at The Varnish.

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26. NoMad (Downtown)



Some names don’t need an introduction. For a luxurious stay the five-stars-rated NoMad hotels are always a safe bet. While the elegant rooms require a solid budget, having a drink at one of NoMad’s award-winning bars is obviously more affordable. The historic building in Downtown LA – once commissioned by Italian banker Amadeo Giannini for his corporate headquarters and now home to NoMad’s LA branch – is impressive from the outside and even more impressive from the inside. Next to the main lobby the Giannini Bar awaits cocktail lovers in an elegant, yet not too formal setting. There is also a rooftop bar offering a nice view over Downtown and a more casual daytime coffee bar with limited cocktail options. Although you are aware of NoMad’s history and decadence when taking a seat, the bar team does a great job in making you feel comfortable. We had an appointment with Iluggy Recinos, a passionate bartender with a serious addiction to kicks. When we asked him for his favorite drink, he was struggling to come up with an answer. There are way too many, he told us smiling. We know how he feels. It’s like someone would ask us: „What’s your favorite pair of sneakers?“. Since we weren’t in a mood for heavy drinking at 3.00 PM – call us amateurs – we followed Iluggy’s advice for a more refreshing option. The „Foxtrot“ is a whiskey drink with a fruity twist thanks to a trio of orgeat, lime and passionfruit. Even people who usually avoid whiskey cocktails, will love this creation by NoMad’s famous bar director Leo Robitschek. He and his team won the award for „America’s Best Bar Team“ in 2017, while NoMad’s New York bar was rated as “Best Bar in North America”. The Giannini bar proves anybody wrong, who believes the sequel can never be as good as the original. Sometimes the best can be found at two places at the same time.

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27. Melrose Umbrella (Melrose)



A bar that feels like home, perhaps like your living room or just like a hangout with many good friends. To us, this idea comes pretty close to the perfect neighborhood bar. It’s no coincidence that the people who run Melrose Umbrella in Los Angeles’ famous Melrose shopping district wanted to establish a social cocktail experience in a laid-back environment. Everybody is welcome here (as long as you follow the „House Rules“ printed on the last page of their menu) and everybody can truly enjoy the best drinks without the slightest pretentious attitude. Neither do you have to be somebody else, nor do you need to impress anybody. Melrose Umbrella that also operates as a café serving breakfast, bagels and lunch specials attracts a mixed crowd of all ages, many locals and regular guests. You will meet people who simply enjoy a good beer as well as the „serious“ cocktail guy. Despite being German we would reckon ourselves among the second group. The latest edition of their cocktail menu features new drinks by co-owner and award-winning bartender Zach Patterson and of course some beloved Umbrella classics from previous menus. As beverage director Scott Eton told us, the smoky „Mezcali Me Banana“ is still their top-seller. Every lover of a good Old Fashioned should try the „White Old Fashioned“ made with mezcal, yellow chartreuse and crème de cacao. The quality of the drinks is top-notch. They only use premium spirits, homemade syrups and tonics as Zach pointed out. These guys are really ambitious, taking care to dot all their Is and cross all their ts. The carefully arranged interior with the old wooden apothecary cabinet now serving as the back bar adds much to the warm atmosphere. Live music and alternating events confirm Melrose Umbrella’s standing among LA’s best neighborhood bars.

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28. The Friend (Silver Lake)



Neither should you judge a book by its cover, nor a bar only by its design. In the end it’s all about the drinks, the atmosphere and having a good time. If those three things come together, you have a winner. But of course, by definition there can’t be a second attempt for a first impression. The Friend knows about that crucial moment, trying to attract you with its colorful neon signs, pink candy packaging and eye-catching street art. Once inside, your senses are stimulated by a bright 50’s diner-theme, more street art and many subversive details. It doesn’t come as a surprise that graffiti artist Andre Saraiva is behind The Friend’s visual concept. He is also one of the three owners (Mickey Madden and Jared Meisler being the other two). Some of Saraiva’s best friends like famous painter Kenny Scharf contributed colorful artwork to The Friend’s valuable memorabilia. After your eyes have adjusted to this exceptional design dream it’s time for some serious drinking. William Cutting is The Friend’s bar manager – yes, it’s his real name – and also responsible for the imaginative cocktail menu named after different personas like „The Dancer“ or „The Hustler“. The former is the most „instagrammable“ drink and it’s obvious why. But getting back to the beginning the creamy yet refreshing Dancer made of two sorts of gin and filled up with bubbling Champagne is fortunately no show-off. „The Hustler“ gets more and more spicy over time as the Habanero flavor slowly infiltrates the mezcal base of this very LA-like cocktail. We hope that mezcal will get more attention in Europe besides the usual tequila shots. The Friend finishes as a strong and at the same time quite different entry to this bar guide. With its nontypical décor and vibrant DJ sets it is geared towards a younger more party-oriented audience. So, if you are in a mood for a dance and a drink, don’t look any further!

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29. Sonny’s Hideaway (Highland Park)



Let’s get things straight: This is our favorite bar in LA! It’s not located in the trendy Arts District or in hipster-paradise Silver Lake, not in Hollywood or in Beverly Hills. Sonny’s Hideaway found a home in thriving Highland Park. When the bar opened its doors for the first time in 2013 that area was one of LA’s most notorious neighborhoods that people avoided. But things have changed considerably. Today, Highland Park is an immensely popular destination for bar people, cocktail lovers and everyone who wants to have a good time. To some extent this is the merit of the great guys from Sonny’s. Owner Derek Lyons and his bar manager Jon Navasartian run a new American restaurant with an ambitious bar program. Besides the usual suspects – they make all the classic cocktails for you – and a special menu for „Tiki Tuesday“ Jon and his crew are constantly working on their own signature drinks. Some of them were inspired by other guests (like the pictured „Four Mary“, a Bourbon drink with delicious Pear Brandy and Amaro), some by stories around the bar. We ordered several drinks and all of them were first class. The „Curbside“ may not be a typical LA cocktail, but we don’t care. The mix of calvados, gin and génépi (a traditional herbal liqueur) creates a drink to remember. Served up it is intense, well-balanced and very flavorful. It’s also possible that you will spot a drink called „Extended Stay“ on the menu pretty soon. While we praise Jon’s cocktail program, we’d like to mention the overall atmosphere at Sonny’s. With its charming retro interior, the oversized leather booths, dark lighting and terrific music selection (Arcade Fire, The Black Keys and Arcade Fire again) this place does everything right. It’s a hidden gem that everyone should discover with an open heart. It will stay with you for a very long time.


Nice to meet you Jon! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I’m an L.A. native that’s been in the hospitality industry for 20 years, bartending 15 of those years. I first wanted to become a chef, influenced by my grandmother, but happened to work front of the house. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.

What makes your bar unique?

I wouldn’t say that Sonny’s Hideaway is unique, but rather special in multiple ways. I was a patron before I got a job with Sonny’s because I fell in love with the bar s30.taff and the quality of cocktails. I could wax poetic about this subject for a while, but to keep it short I’ll give you the short answer. The back bar is very thoughtful, relatively extensive and reasonably priced. Our drinks are creative, seasonal, and approachable and always consistent. I can’t stress this more, but the best part of the bar is our hospitality team. Everyone that works behind the bar or taking tables are all consummate professionals that are knowledgeable, inviting and talented. I feel very fortunate to work with such a great crew.

Please tell us about ur favorite spirit and drink!

Spirit forward I’d say a Brooklyn is one of my favorite cocktails and citrus, a Daiquiri made with rhum agricole is up there. If I’m sipping on a spirit I’d have to say bourbon is my favorite category, Larue Weller to be specific.

What bartender or bar owner should we meet next?

You definitely have to meet Max at Gracias Madre. He personifies hospitality with his knowledge and warmth of personality.

Any recommendations what to do in LA?

This is easy! Come to Sonny’s when in LA!



30. The Streamliner (Downtown)


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LA’s Union Station in Downtown – almost at the edge of Chinatown – is a stunning piece of architecture with an eventful past. You can feel history here. To the right of the main entrance in the former Harvey House space a renovation worth mentioning occurred during the last year. Overseen by the experts of the AvroKO design company a huge space – The Imperial Western Beer Company – with two bars and different food stands was established. While it seems impossible to miss that gigantic hall, one could easily overlook the small attached venue called The Streamliner (Bar). Both concepts were developed by LA’s 213 Hospitality Group that operates more than 30 venues in the Southwest. 213 Hospitality is one of the big players in this space. We know what you might think now! We don’t like soulless franchises either, but The Streamliner is not a copycat or just another copy-and-paste-project. It’s rather unique for a number of reasons. First of all, the Art Déco inspired design stands out thanks to a host of thoughtful details and an intriguing color scheme. Despite the narrowness of the space there’s nothing claustrophobic to it. You just take a seat in one of the booths and enjoy your drink. Even before we could say anything good or bad about the drinks, we had a crush on this space. The atmosphere and a superb music selection (from 90’s synth-pop to modern electro dance tracks) add up to a perfect match. As bar manager Max explained to us, the biggest challenge at the beginning was to achieve a consistent quality. In addition, they charge you only $8 to $9 for a drink all night, every day. If you now expect diluted or mediocre drinks, you’re completely wrong. Instead they try to achieve a zero-waste policy, focusing on efficiency and only a couple of classics. So, their selection may be limited compared to other bars like The Varnish, but when they do a Gimlet or an Old Fashioned this is nevertheless serious drinking.

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Check out Part One.

You can explore Los Angeles by visiting the usual hotspots and more or less well-known tourist attractions or by neighborhoods. Or you eat and drink yourself through this highly diverse city that has so much more to offer than merely awful Hollywood. That’s exactly what we did! Leaving food recommendations aside for now all the great bars, bartenders and drinks that crossed our path during the last weeks take center stage. As we were based in Silver Lake this bar guide tends to be biased towards east LA. We are fully aware of that. Also, LA’s bar scene is constantly evolving. Every week sees new openings and closings. What’s hot today could be “dead” by tomorrow. So please don’t use this guide as a bucket list – instead, pick some bars that match your preferences, go there, talk to the bartenders, ask them about their favorites and gather your own experiences. We hope you’ll enjoy our bar guide and our exclusive interviews with barchefs and beverage directors like Maxwell Reis and Cari Hah. Cheers!

Down on the West Coast they got a sayin‘
„If you’re not drinkin‘ then you’re not playin'“

– Lana Del Rey, West Coast


LA Landkarte

Map by Studio Egotrips.


1. Gracias Madre (West Hollywood)



While most places simply follow already popular trends because their owners don’t like to take risks, only a handful of visionaries are creating them. Jason Eisner, who nowadays runs Block Party in Highland Park, became a crucial figure for the vegan movement in Los Angeles thanks to his 100% plant-based beverage menu. Back then he was one of first beverage directors who explored the possibilities of vegan craft cocktails. Eisner’s efforts paid off, putting vegan Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre in West Hollywood on LA’s bar map. While the food is highly popular also among non-vegans, Gracias Madre’s reputation as an outstanding bar comes pretty close. Since Eisner left Gracias Madre the bar program is overseen by Maxwell Reis who not only refines Eisner’s techniques but who is also exploring new ways. As he told us, the possibilities of creating vegan/organic craft cocktails are limitless. By focusing on high quality spirits from small producers and ingredients made in-house he is able to introduce new flavors to Gracias Madre’s discerning and sometimes quiet famous guests (if you want to know more, use Google). Some creations have already become his own signature drinks. To be honest we are not sure if we would order a drink made of arugula. Thankfully Max made that decision for us and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The „Rocket Man“ is an incredibly well-balanced drink, it’s refreshing and doesn’t try to hide the arugula flavor. Even the „The Usual Suspects“ section holds some surprises like a „Negroni Verde“ made of mezcal and green chili. Besides being all vegan Gracias Madre’s cocktails are also all made of mezcal or tequila provided by small independent producers from Mexico and Central America. Initially you might come around for the food, but you will certainly stay for the drinks and a chat with Maxwell who gave us some very interesting answers (especially the last one). Now we love you even more!


Nice to meet you Maxwell! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Maxwell Reis, and I’m the beverage director at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. I’m originally from Napa, California. I moved to Los Angeles after high school to play music and fell in love with cocktail culture shortly after.

What makes your bar unique?

We’re an all agave bar attached to a vegan Mexican restaurant, which is pretty unique in itself! As far as my program, it’s really an effort to combine the vibrant and unique flavors that Mexico has to offer with what I feel are the cocktail roots here in LA. Tiki, which was born here, and American Classics/Neo Classics. I want our guests to trust us, so we can take them to new and exciting places.

Please tell us about your favorite spirit and drink!

Mezcal, hands down! It’s the purest and more expansive representation of terroir, variatle, and historical culture you can find in a bottle outside of wine. Mezcal neat is my go-to drink, but if I had to pick a favorite cocktail, I would probably pick the Sherry Cobbler. It’s so beautiful, simple, and easy to mess up, like most things in life. Plus, you can drink a million of them.

What bartender should we meet next?

Shawn Lickliter, from République. I think he runs the most overlooked cocktail program in the city. The restaurant itself is known for the incredible food and amazing wine program, so I feel people don’t often stop to really take in how amazing the bar is. He not only boasts one of the better curated selections of spirits in the city but has a daily rotating cocktail menu that depends entirely on the chef’s farmers market trip that morning. Cocktails never overdone and always done right.

Any recommendations what to do in LA?

Avoid Hollywood like the plague! There are some awesome places to eat and drink but get in and get out. Go where locals go, and that doesn’t just mean to the beach. Drive around the east side of LA, eat some tacos on the corner, go to Echo Park lake, walk around Downtown, just explore!

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2. Lono (Hollywood)



Hollywood is probably one of the most idealized places in the entire world. It’s a place of endless hopes and dreams, but also one of fading glory days. The old Hollywood era was replaced by a not so glamorous age, at least in our opinion. Therefore, we usually try to avoid the touristy Hollywood Boulevard with its legendary Walk of Fame. One of the better – or the best – reasons for a trip to Hollywood however is called Lono. We admit that the description of a classic Tiki bar always consists of the same words: kitsch, palmtrees and Mai Tai. We get it. But in case of Lono all of these well-known ingredients are executed in a flawless manner, creating a true Polynesian oasis in the middle of Hollywood. The team behind Lono already operates a great café/bar outpost on Melrose called Melrose Umbrella. We come back later to that place. For their trip into the Tiki universe they teamed up with award winning chef David Lespron of Katsuya, who created an equally tasty food menu with Asian influences. Even if we could easily get addicted to that salty coconut popcorn, we’re here for the Tiki drinks. Bartender Justin might not be a Hawaiian native, but his cocktails like the refreshing Suffering Bastard (a hangover cure if you believe their menu) or the Bacardi based Nui Nui teleport you directly to a sandy Polynesian beach. You also can’t go wrong with a classic Mai Tai or Pina Colada. Lono teaches everyone – and every average Tiki place – how to create retro Tiki vibes in style. In the end it’s all about fun and meticulously crafted drinks. Just come to Lono and forget about the rest of Hollywood!

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3. Duello (Arts District)



To experience how a city can evolve and change, you need to go see LA’s resurging Arts District. The atmosphere is vibrant, the people who work and live here are creative, very open-minded and of course into all kinds of art. Besides a host of galleries and small art studios an exciting culinary scene has evolved in this area. The recently opened bar Duello is a place we instantly fell in love with. It’s the brainchild of Iain McPherson, a Scottish entrepreneur and bartender, whose Edinburgh home base Panda & Sons was ranked among the world’s Top 100 bars. For his LA outpost, Iain took inspiration from the Arts District’s diversified past, which still can be found in this rapidly changing neighborhood. The menu is divided into different sections, each representing an era. The wine and sherry-based drinks are a reference to the late 19th century, when the area was influenced by wineries. Other chapters include Tiki and citrus-heavy drinks from the 1920s and artist inspired cocktails from the 1970s onwards like the ”New Order“ (inspired by Scottish sculptor Karla Black). We were in the capable hands of bar director Kaiko Tulloch, who traded her Scottish home for LA. Not a bad deal, right? (no offense to Scotland) We caught Kaiko while she was setting up the bar for the evening service, preparing some of the ingredients and punches. Take for example the ”New Order“. This drink might look simple and pure, but its rich flavors of mezcal, pandan and smoke will surely take you by surprise. And it takes some time to make the clarified milk punch that is the base of this cocktail. To smoke the drink isn’t just a gimmick, it’s essential. Trust the professionals, trust Kaiko and her bar team. She will guide you through a century of flavors, drinks and barlife.

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4. The Normandie Club (Koreatown)



One of LA’s most vivid neighborhoods must be Koreatown or K-Town as the locals say. Situated inside the legendary Hotel Normandie that first opened its doors back in the roaring 1920s, the Normandie Club awaits barflies, cocktail enthusiats or just everyone with a thing for good drinks. As some hotel bars can easily feel a little bit generic, clinical or interchangeable, this is not the case here. We would rather compare the Normandie Club with a classic American bar, equipped with comfortable leather armchairs, wood panellings, dim lightning, white brick walls and – most importantly – a huge selection of fine spirits. If you are more in the mood for a beer, cider or a fine wine, Jamal and his bar crew won’t disappoint either. As we were told, the place really gets crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, so they decided to remodel/enlarge the space (that’s the good news) and close the famous The Walker Inn (that’s the not so good part). The secret back room bar became an instutition building up a reputation way beyond LA thanks to superior drink menus. Let’s hope that The Walker Inn will pop up somewhere else in the future. Putting a certain melancholy aside we experienced and enjoyed the quality of Normandie Club’s cocktail menu. In addition to all the beloved classics like a great Brooklyn (highly recommended) or Martini, an Old Fashioned or a Collins, the bar also offers its own take on those timeless drinks along seven categories. When it comes to the ultimate bar experience, the drinks are only one (important) part of the puzzle. Add to the mix atmosphere, hospitality and a pleasant crowd for a night to remember. The Normandie Club is a safe bet and a bartender’s favorite.

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5. Bar Caló (Echo Park)



Mexican influences are all over the place in California and particularly in LA. This is true for culture, food and also for drinks. Mezcal is probably one of Mexico’s most successful export goods. Made from different kinds of agave, the distilled beverage can be used as the base for many drinks and cocktails. The most popular mezcal is Tequila, made from blue agave. The recently opened Bar Caló in hip Echo Park pays tribute to mezcal and tequila with a sophisticated cocktail menu by mixologist Jeremy Simpson, whose creations already put places like Good Housekeeping and award-winning Bestia on LA’s culinary map. Most drinks are mezcal-based, redefining classics like an Old Fashioned (with smoky mezcal instead of whisky) or a Negroni (which is called Don Negroni here). Jeremy uses seasonal ingredients and sometimes he goes completely new ways. In either case you shouldn’t leave this place without a mezcal tasting, showcasing distillates from different Mexican regions like Oaxaca. Instead of promoting the big American mezcal producers Bar Caló relies on small regional mezcal brands. This was Jeremy’s very conscious decision as he seeks to support bio diversity and at the same time push back monoculture. The intimate, very charming interior of Bar Caló is another pleasant surprise, contrasting with the rather unimpressive strip mall setting from the outside. And thanks to Brooke Fruchtman and Jaime Turrey, who are not only the owners of Bar Caló but also behind the food menu of Echo Park’s first-class restaurant Ostrich Farm, the drinks are accompanied by authentic Mexican dishes. But be warned: Some of the dips can be spicy as hell! But if you like mezcal, you could certainly handle Mexican cuisine. This is no kindergarten, right Jeremy? If you pop down on a Monday, you can enjoy Bar Caló’s Happy Hour all night.

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6. Tenants of the Trees (Silver Lake)



Sometimes it only needs a certain trigger for a déjà vu. In case of Tenants of the Trees in Silver Lake we felt as if we had been there once before (which is not the case). Opened in 2015, the owners wanted to establish a new multifunctional, intriguing venue for party people, music lovers and cocktail connoisseurs all at the same time. Rather unimpressive from the street level – there is only a small neon sign which says „cocktails“ – you are teleported into another dimension of midcentury modernism and sophisticated design upon entering the first of three different sections. The small Out of Order space features a bar and a music/performance venue. It has an intimate club-like feeling and can be turned into a party space, where you will probably find the cool kids. After that you enter a bigger room with the main bar. Finally, an open patio with a portable bar station and an elegant midcentury sunroom round off this multifunctional, truly impressive venue. The rest of the evening we found ourselves – unsurprisingly – at the main bar. Steven, who also created some of the drinks from Tenants’ bar menu like the incredibly smooth wine-vodka-drink called „Only Lovers left alive“, took good care of us. Not only with regard to the drinks but also thanks to his anecdotes about LA’s bar life. If you need some insider tips (where to eat, drink or simply have a good time), this is your man! However, our lips are sealed, so we can’t tell you which celebrities like to hang out at Tenants of the Trees. Before getting lost in gossip we definitely need to praise the overall experience at this popular Silver Lake destination. In a certain way its playful yet stylish vibe is comparable to some venues owned by the famous Houston brothers (especially to the more casual Good Times at Davey Wayne’s). At Tenants of the Trees you come around early for the drinks and you stay for the fun.

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7. Gold Line (Highland Park)



Amid the rapid changing neighborhood of Highland Park, a new destination for barflies and connoisseurs of fine music opened its doors in late 2018. Gold Line Bar on Figueroa Street has quickly become a favorite not only among locals. More and more cocktail lovers from all over the city discover this little gem as it gets very busy not only on the weekends (there’s usually a line on Friday and Saturday nights). Even on a supposedly quiet Monday night Gold Line’s experienced bartenders have more than enough to do. Gold Line is the latest project by Hip-Hop DJ and producer Peanut Butter Wolf alias Chris Manak of Stones Throw Records. With Gold Line he and his business partners – Tyler Bell of Silver Lake’s famous El Condor restaurant among them – established a new venue for good (vinyl) music and even better drinks. The more than impressive vinyl collection covers almost 8,000 different records, mostly hip-hop, funk and soul tracks from Wolf’s private collection. While other places are well-known for inviting bartenders to a guest shift, the alternate DJs at Gold Line play a similarly important role. It’s hard to imagine this bar without the music, given the superb quality of the built-in sound/hi-fi system. At Gold Line drinks and tunes complete each other. As for the drinks the menu follows a straight-forward „three ingredients“ approach. Mezcal and whisky take the center stage, but of course you can also order a glass of wine or a beer. Bar manager Edwin Diaz seved us his interpretation of a Negroni called „The 56“ (named after the street nearby), using Amaro Montenegro made of 40 botanicals. We highly recommend this drink. It’s so well-balanced, you will probably want more than one. „Orbit“ (named after the owner’s dog), the second cocktail, is really refreshing and more on the sweeter side thanks to Lejay – a French crème de cassis liqueur. Both drinks can be enjoyed at the beautiful bar made of walnut or at Gold Line’s cozy lounge in the back.


Nice to meet you Edwin! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, working in the industry for the last 7 years. I play music and video games in my spare time. I forget that I have to work out on multiple occasion. I live and work in Highland Park, which is advantageous given my position with Gold Line, but it is also an easy way to spend way too much time at work. I am hopeful that I get to travel the world someday.

What makes your bar unique?

Gold Line is unique to this city because we offer a curated listening experience like no other. We have DJ’s come in and select records from the 8000+ collection, but the best part is that they can only choose from the collection available. No records come in and no records come out. As far as the cocktail program goes, it’s pretty simple. Nothing overly complicated so that is really easy and approachable, but also weird enough so that your seasoned drinker would be curious to try it.

Please tell us about your favorite spirit and drink!

At the moment my favorite is Gin. I know that’s not very typical especially given the agave craze that is happening, but it is my favorite to play around with. We also are in the midst of a push for gin that is stemming away super dry and more towards citrus forward which is quite nice. My favorite cocktail is a Negroni.

What bartender or bar owner should we meet next?

I think you should meet my buddy Raul Pool. He’s about to open up a bar in Echo Park next month and he’s been in the industry for a long time. I have also known him for half of my life.

Any recommendations what to do in LA?

My favorite things to do in the city are simple pleasures. I like listening to as much new music as possible and the best part about Gold Line is that it allows me to do just that every day at work. With that said, I do like the live music scene and try to go to as many shows as possible. I also like to go to Dodger games whenever they are in town.

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8. Le Néant (Downtown)


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As Le Néant’s french name (“the nothing”) would suggest, this hidden bar inside the historic Alexandria Hotel in Downtown LA actually doesn’t exist. Or it should be a treasured secret aiming at sophisticated cocktail lovers. Located in the back room of the equally charming The Wolves bar, Le Néant clearly stands out for a number of reasons. First of all, there’s host Kevin Lee who is also responsible for the bar program at The Wolves. Lee’s philosophy is straight-forward, leaning on seasonal ingredients for the drinks that he finds on LA’s farmers markets. Instead of buying all the syrups, vermouths, bitters and liqueurs, he makes all of it in house. Patrons simply choose the desired ingredients from the ambitious Omakase-style menu. The ingredients themselves can be very unusual – at least for a cocktail bar. Or have you ever heard of hen of the woods mushrooms and winter truffles as flavoring parts in a drink? Of course, you might tell Lee and his bar team your favorite spirit if you have one. Another „USP“ if you wish to use this phrase is Le Néant’s first-class approach to service. There are only 8 seats at the bar and a small intimate lounge, keeping the number of guests to a very manageable amount. To start a conversation with Kevin or the other guests is remarkably easy. We found ourselves talking not only about drinks until 1 AM. In any case you need to buy a ticket in advance with your reservation, so the drinks – usually three tailor-made cocktails plus an aperitif and a digestif – are pre-paid. Getting a seat at Le Néant is probably the hardest part as the intimate bar is only open on Thursday nights so far. Keep an eye on their Instagram account when they announce new dates and watch the seats sell out fast. All things considered, Kevin Lee has created an outstanding experience with Le Néant, raising the bar to new heights in today’s thriving bar landscape.

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9. Old Man Bar (Culver City)



The times when dimly lit bars and strong drinks belonged to old men are long gone. So, don’t be fooled when you come across this place in Culver City. Even if the name above the entrance states „Old Man Bar“, you will probably meet more young or middle-aged people here. The bar is actually the smaller part of a way bigger venue called Hatchet Hall. The restaurant by chef Brian Dunsmoor focuses on old American cooking techniques and recipes with a modern twist. All plates are meant to be shared and we highly recommend doing so. Lovers of meat and venison cooked over wood fires will enter culinary heaven at Hatchet Hall, but even the vegetables are excellent and more than just side dishes. While the restaurant is also home to a large bar with a fine cocktail selection, it’s the Old Man Bar we would like to introduce in this guide. You can either enter the small bar directly from the street or through Hatchet Hall. In both cases you will find yourself in a very dark intimate hunting lodge ambience with lots of wood, stuffed animals, a real fireplace and a huge selection of spirits. And when it comes to spirits the bartenders at Old Man Bar take things very seriously. Instead of garnishing a drink with fancy stuff they concentrate on the booze, mainly whisky. Lovers of strong boozy drinks can choose between a curated list of signature cocktails, many Old Fashioned variations like the pictured „American Trilogy“ and classics like a Sazerac, Manhattan or Brooklyn. Ordering a beer and a shot seems quite popular as well. When the bartenders don’t make you a drink, they take care of the music, playing rock and soul tracks from the 60s/70s/80s. Forget about Spotify, at Old Man Bar vinyl is still king! As with the spritis they know the what they are doing.

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10. Chez Jay (Santa Monica)


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Sometimes all that matters is a great and friendly atmosphere. Sometimes we just need a place that feels right. Chez Jay in Santa Monica which has become an institution over the last six decades (it’s open since 1959) is one of those friendly places. Certainly, more a kitschy restaurant than a classic bar the great staff takes care of every guest with tremendous hospitality. Famous for the generous portions, the seafood and steaks Chez Jay became famous themselves thanks to its charming dive bar vibes and nautical interior. In addition, it made history as a celebrity hang-out and popular location for many Hollywood movies and TV series. Billy Bob Thornton’s alter ego in „Goliath“ got drunk at Chez Jay almost every night. Only one day before we came around Lady Gaga was there. Bad timing, we guess? Every story or anecdote adds up to Chez Jay’s already big legacy. To our surprise most guests seem to be locals, enjoying their food and the simple but strong drinks. You shouldn’t expect fancy craft cocktails. To cut a long story short: At Chez Jay you take a seat at the bar and order a beer or a classic drink. While doing so you will probably get into a conversation with the other guests. That’s another thing we love about this old-fashioned but not outdated spot. In today’s era of social media and end-less self-staging Chez Jay is the effective antidote. Instead of looking at your cell phone you talk to real people. The world would be a better place if we all would exchange opinions in a bar like this.

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11. Broken Shaker (Downtown)



We would probably say that a bunch of factors make a good bar. Besides the drinks, the bartenders and the vibe, some bars have another ace up their sleeves. At Broken Shaker, the ace is quite obvious. Situated on the rooftop of Downtown’s popular Freehand Hotel the view from there is breathtaking and one of the main reasons to go there. Hanging out on a rooftop with a nice drink and some friends may not be unique to LA. But thanks to the Californian weather it’s a great idea almost any time. Originally from Miami, Broken Shaker established itself as one of best and most famous bars in the country. When they came to LA back in 2017, going for a rooftop concept, the success was almost guaranteed. Even on a cloudy weekday the bar is a popular spot among hotel guests, other tourists and also locals. It’s mostly a younger crowd who enjoys the laid-back joyful atmosphere of Broken Shaker’s Tiki and LA inspired cocktail menu (overseen by LA’s famous bartender Christine Wiseman). Some might compare Broken Shaker’s colorful rooftop bar with a Polynesian oasis in the middle of buzzing Downtown. Sitting right next to the pool which is unfortunately only open to hotel guests and surrounded by lots of greenery gets you immediately in a holiday mood. And in our opinion this place is worth the long wait especially at sunset or at the weekends. While the drinks do justice to Broken Shaker’s reputation, the magic of this bar is more or less all about the views and atmosphere. As a more casual option to NoMad’s popular rooftop you will have a good time at Broken Shaker.

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12. Genever (Filipinotown)



Gin is on the rise, no doubt. The spirit attracts sophisticated cocktail lovers and newbies alike. It’s not as strong as Rye for example and can form basis for many different cocktails. The growing popularity of gin is reflected in the opening of many new gin-centric bars. While most of these places are interchangeable, some hidden gems can be found among them. Genever in LA’s historic Filipinotown neighborhood is such a pleasant exception. Opened in March 2018 and run by three female owners it has quickly established itself as the new place to go for all gin lovers. Gin and genever based drinks are the foundation of an ambitious menu. Of course, classics like a Gimlet are also part of their daily bar business. As Tinette Sumiller, one of the owners told us, it took over five years to turn the idea of a female-and-filipina-led bar into reality. With a background in finance and IT Genever’s owners turned to a Kickstarter campaign to fund their dream of opening a bar in their neighborhood. Today some of Genever’s signature drinks were named after sponsors just as the seats at the bar and the golden tables. Genever offers an elegant but at the same time cozy lounge setting, which may explain their success within the community. Organizing guest shifts at Genever with female industry experts, brand managers and bartenders Tinette and her combatants try to support other women and female specific issues. Roger Ebert would have given two thumbs up and so do we. If you come around, which we highly recommend, you may be in for some more surprises. Look out for the recycled bicycle chains!


Nice to meet you! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I’m Roselma Samala, one of the three owners of Genever.

What makes your bar unique?

Several things – we are one of the few gin focused cocktail lounges in Los Angeles. And we are one of the few women-owned bars. Located in Historic Filipinotown we also offer drinks highlighting Filipino flavors. Most of all, though is our hospitality and the sense of specialness one feels upon entering.

Please tell us your favorite spirit and drink!

So that would be gin – my go-to drink is an Aviation. My favorite Genever drink is the Phone Call from Istanbul and Hello Suckers.

Any recommendations what to do in LA?

Visit the Broad and Getty Museums, sample all the ethnic foods – Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Ethiopian, Mexican, El Salvadoran, Indian, and more that I can’t remember!

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13. Otium (Downtown)



The striking transformation of Downtown LA during the last years can also be experienced through fine dining and many great new bars. At Otium attached to The Broad museum both things – food and drinks – come together in an elegant modern environment. While the contemporary kitchen is overseen by famous chef Timothy Hollingsworth – once Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry until he moved to LA in 2012 – the bar menu is the playing field of Chris Amirault. For inspirations he doesn’t need to look far. Instead Chris, who was born and raised in Boston, takes ideas for new recipes from all the different cultures and places that this great city has to offer. His latest cocktail menu is an homage to legendary food critic Jonathan Gold and to some of Gold’s favorite restaurants. Take for example the salty-spicy (yes real spicy) „Rivera“. Made of Mal Bien mezcal, chili, bell pepper agave and ginger this cocktail takes some risks. It’s not for everyone, but to us that’s certainly a good thing. If you want to cool down in a second round, the damn good „Chengdu Taste“ will be for you. It’s a beauty of a drink with a very refreshing taste and some unusual ingredients like Beijing yogurt. Gold, who sadly passed away last summer, would have loved both of Chris’ creations. For the sake of completeness, we just want to point out that Otium also offers very tasty brunch and dinner options. But as this is a bar guide, we like to give all the praise to charming Chris and his dedicated co-workers for now.

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14. République (La Brea)



Coming to the amazing restaurant/bistro République by Walter and Margarita Manzke we were introduced to beverage director Shawn Lickliter, who runs République’s ambitious hyper-seaosnal bar menu. Loved equally by Los Angelinos as well as by foodies from all over the country, République is one of the front-runners of a modern french-inspired cuisine based on the chef’s visits to farmer markets all around the city. While this approach was copied by many restaurants – think of the whole „farm-to-table“ movement – it’s still quite unique with regard to its cocktail menu. Shawn creates drinks based on fresh ingredients that République’s guests will also find on the food menu. His recipes change almost daily. For sure there are also some classics like République’s House Gin&Tonic or the Oaxacan Old Fashioned using mezcal from small Mexican producers. But for the most part Shawn is looking beyond seasonality, making almost daily adjustments. At the time of our visit, his drinks changed discretely from winter to more spring inspired flavors. Hence most of the cocktails are named after the main ingredient so you know exactly whet you get. The „Celery“ is a very popular choice, but due to our profound aversion to celery we pass. No offense Shawn! If you get into a conversation with him, you feel how passionate he is about sustainability, the freshness of the ingredients and the quality of the spirits. Together with his friend Max Reiss, who is now the bar manager of WeHo’s Gracias Madre, he is also looking beyond the border for mezcal distilleries and upcoming producers. Another interesting aspect of République is the combination of a great restaurant with an ambitious bar program. That’s something you will find over and over in LA. Shawn points to the characteristics of the city. As most people take the car, they don’t want to drive to a bar after dinner. This might also explain why cocktail pairings are so popular. In either case – food and drinks – République won’t disappoint.

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15. Big Bar (Los Feliz)



The first time we met Cari Hah was through her drinks. She created the cocktail menu for Echo Park’s Bar Henry based on a three-ingredients-concept. The second time we met her in person at her work place in Los Feliz. Big Bar on Hillhurst Avenue is one half of a highly popular neighborhood joint. The other half is called Alcove, a café-restaurant hybrid with a beautiful patio and excellent breakfast/brunch options that can also be ordered from Big Bar. Despite its name this airy Californian bar is actually quite small, as Cari admits with a smile. Since many years she has been one of LA’s most influential female bartenders, leading a very successful bar team. She worked Downtown at Cole’s/The Varnish – an LA landmark – and did guest shifts at many other well-known bars around LA. It’s not hard to see how passionate she is about her job. When asked about her personal favorite from Big Bar’s menu, she politely declines an answer. „They are all my babies“ Cari explains, proud like a mother of her kids. The „6:27 AM Los Feliz“ blends Cari’s preference for tequila with fresh, fruity flavors thanks to a balanced mix of blueberries, mint and chareau aloe liqueur. If you ever needed an excuse to start drinking at 1 PM, this is it! We recommend ordering some tasty food from Alcove while sipping this beauty of a drink. Big Bar is a place without pretense or bartender gimmicks. Instead, Cari takes care of everything. She is the heart and soul of a dedicated bar team with real craftmanship in mixology. Who cares that she claims to have bad bowling skills? While she is quite picky about drinking cocktails at other bars, she loves The Spare Room in Hollywood. That one has two bowling alleys. Just to let you know.

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