Bucket List Bars: Your Guide to a National Bar Crawl

by Drink Denver on May 3, 2013 in Culture
Bucket List Bars: Your Guide to a National Bar Crawl

Want to go on an awesome road trip? Bucket List Bars is a guidebook that lists 40 must-visit  saloons, pubs, taverns and dives in twelve regions stretching across the U.S. Authors Clint Lanier and Derek Hembree delved into the specialties and history of each bar and summarized everything in concise, easy-to-follow listings. The 330-page paperback hits shelves on Tuesday, May 14, and makes an awesome graduation gift or — if you have parents with wanderlust — Fathers Day present.

The featured bars are found in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, El Paso, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco and Tucson. For each one, you’ll find regular contact and address info, but also recommendations on what to drink, whether or not there’s food, and why the bar is special, including a short history.

For example, in Chicago you can hit up Hala Kahiki, one of the original tiki bars from the 1960s - though there only booze there, no food. In San Antonio you’ll find The Menger Bar, built on the site of Texas’ first brewery and also the site where more cattle deals are struck than anywhere else in the United States.

In that same vein, Denver’s Buckhorn Exchange makes the list, as does El Chapultepec ("best jazz bar west of the Mississippi," the authors say) and My Brother's Bar.

The book also includes what is one of the only valuable/valid uses of QR codes: next to each listing is a code that, when scanned, brings up a short YouTube documentary on the place, including a look inside and views of bartenders mixing drinks. You can use these to really decide if the place is up to snuff, and plan your road trip accordingly.

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