This New York City Bar Was Just Named the Best in North America

A Lower East Side bar known for its unique, sensorial cocktails that taste like food took the top prize.

Interior of the back room at Double Chicken Please

Emmanuel Rosario/Courtesy of Double Chicken Please

The biggest event in bars descended on San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, late last week, marking the second edition of North America's 50 Best Bars. During the live ceremony put on by 50 Best — the company behind The World's 50 Best Bars and The World's 50 Best Restaurants — New York City's Double Chicken Please took the top spot, earning the coveted moniker "The Best Bar in North America." 

The french toast cocktail and espresso martini from Double Chicken Please

Emmanuel Rosario/Courtesy of Double Chicken Please

Known for its quirkiness and welcoming ambiance, Double Chicken Please is most famous for serving cocktails with the sensorial taste and playful textures of some of your favorite foods, ranging from french toast to mango sticky rice and even cold pizza.

The Lower East Side haunt also boasts elevated bar food and sophisticated, trendy design with two concepts in one. "The physical characteristics of the space were a big consideration regarding the concept. Being narrow and deep, we decided a dual concept would work well," GN Chan, the bar's founder, told Travel + Leisure after winning the award. 

The bar's front room is a tribute to "the soda shops of yesteryear," per the World's 50 Best Bars website, with a unique cocktails-on-tap system that infuses culinary-focused ingredients like seaweed, makrut lime, and sea buckthorn directly into the drinks.

The bar's back room combines handsome wood and leather banquettes, creating a sophisticated, intimate space. Alongside the back room's menu of drinks that taste like food, Double Chicken Please serves another menu of "classic" cocktails with a twist, like the dirty margarita — infused with Cocchi Americano and Italicus liqueur — and a Moscow mule punched-up by miso and ginger. There are even cocktails and mocktails made to taste like Japanese cold noodles and a New York beet salad. 

For bar grub, their tender, juicy chicken sandwiches are full of flavor. The elevated bar menu rounds out with Kiki cucumbers, plant-based sandwiches, and a savory-sweet dessert called Le Big Mac. This truly fancified version of the McDonald's staple is an almond macaron that acts as the bun, chocolate ice cream with mochi as the patty, a sesame sponge cake as the cheese, and strawberry jelly in lieu of tomato. 

GN Chan and Faye Chen from Double Chicken Please

Emmanuel Rosario/Courtesy of Double Chicken Please

Double Chicken Please already has regular lines out its door, but it didn't always look like Chan and partner Faye Chen's vision would come to fruition. The duo, both independent alums of 50 Best Bar winners, encountered a lot of obstacles over the nearly nine years it took them to get Double Chicken Please running, including opening during the pandemic. 

"Building out our brick-and-mortar bar took nearly five years alone," said Chan, who credits their success to being flexible and adaptable. During a press conference after the event, Chan and Chen acknowledged it was poetic that even on the night of their big win, the bar was closed for repairs to its HVAC system (with plans to reopen very soon). 

Still, the unwavering spirit of its founders weathers on. "Faye and I are still processing and reflecting on how we move forward and how the recognition can motivate our team and us to keep pushing, polishing, and grinding," Chan said after the win. 

Other big winners at 50 Best North America included Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy and another Big Apple bar, Katana Kitten, which took the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Toronto’s Civil Liberties, at No. 12, won the title of “The Best Bar in Canada,” while Puerto Rico’s La Factoría came in at No. 24, earning “The Best Bar in the Caribbean” accolade. 

New York City was the big winner in terms of cities, with 12 bars on the list. The U.S. dominated more than half the list with 28 winning bars — and there were 14 Mexican winners, seven Canadian bars, and one Caribbean honoree.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles