We recently published our list of the Best Bars in America.
To create this list, we looked at six notable bar rankings compiled by critics and experts and aggregated the rankings to come up our own list.
The rankings we used were James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists for Outstanding Bar Program; Esquire’s Best Bars in America; Food & Wine’s Best Bars in America; Zagat’s Hottest Bars in 15 U.S. Cities; The World’s 50 Best Bars from Drinks International; and Liquor.com’s Best Bars in America.
We valued the James Beard awards the most highly, due to the prestige of the honour, awarding bars that appeared as semifinalists on this list with a score of 0.75.
Each time a bar appeared on Esquire’s list, it received a score of 0.55. Bars that appeared on Food & Wine’s list each received a score of 0.5. Bars that appeared on Zagat’s Hottest Bars list and Liquor.com’s list each received a score of 0.25 and 0.15 respectively.
For The World’s 50 Best Bars list, which was ranked 1 to 50, we calculated the score by using a formula that factored in the rankings, assigning a maximum total of 0.75 points to each bar with higher scores going to higher-ranking bars.
We then tallied up the scores to create the final ranking. Based on these calculations, the highest possible score would be 3.67 if a bar appeared on every ranking — but since none of them did, the highest score (2.1) belonged to The Dead Rabbit in New York City.
We used the number of five-star Yelp ratings as a tiebreaker, where a bar with more five-star Yelp ratings outranked another bar when a tie occurred.
Here is a spreadsheet showing our calculations (click to enlarge):
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