Esquire loves Minneapolis.
Once again, our drinking scene makes a big splash in the magazine’s annual list of “The Best Bars in America.” This year, there are 21 entries with Minneapolis watering holes taking up two spots.
The first is an obvious choice: Marvel Bar, the acclaimed North Loop cocktail emporium (50 N. 2nd Av.) that sits below the Bachelor Farmer. Its owner Eric Dayton was ecstatic, tweeting “This has been a goal of the @MarvelBar team since day one and I’m so proud of them for achieving it.”
The second Minneapolis bar on Esquire’s list? Gyst Fermentation Bar. Yep, that south Minneapolis spot famous for “devoting [its] entire enterprise to the funk of microbial transformation,” as Esquire put it. You know, pickled things and smelly cheese. But also: amazing sour beers and wine cocktails like the “Lam-bucha” (a Lambrusco rosé mixed with kombucha). Yum.
This Minneapolis cocktailing lovefest comes just a week after our metro area was named “America’s Coolest Drinking City” by the new magazine from Wall Street Journal and National Geographic. Marvel Bar was mentioned as a top-tier bar in that article, too.
While these two picks are more on the cutting edge of the local bar scene, a pair of Twin Cities classics have made Esquire’s list in the past. Palmer’s was named in 2014 — a deserving accolade for one of our great dive bars. In 2006, the magazine named Nye’s Polonaise Room the Best Bar in America (No. 1!). That beloved bar was also named to Esquire’s list in 2010 (it was flattened for a development in 2016, and then resurrected as a smaller, shinier version this year).
But back to Marvel and Gyst. Cheers to these two for pushing our drinking culture forward, sometimes into weird (but always fun) places. From Esquire’s write-up on Marvel Bar: “I had a bourbon Negroni that had somehow spent time marinating on a bed of charcoal. I expected an ashtray; I got a bonfire.”
The story appears in Summer 2018 issue of Esquire.