Where it is: 364 Grove Street, Jersey City, New Jersey Why you're here: Real cocktails, good food, regulars who know the art of conversation: Believe it or not, this is Jersey City, a short tunnel and a thousand miles away from Lower Manhattan.
A liter stein costs all of eight dollars, and the crowd is friendly and lively. What you're having: A Last Man Standing (a rye-and-amaro delicacy).
If it ain't technically a bar, it's as good as one but with better food. Where it is: 75 Edward Street, Buffalo, New York Why you're here: It's the only dive bar in America obsessively devoted to presidential history—and it's got great drinks, too.
What you're having: A shorty of Genesee cream ale and a a good name.
A few years back, when the owners of Cure, the city's seminal craft-cocktail bar (Best Bars, 2011), took over a vodka-and-absinthe bar a block from the old French Market, they had the good sense to rip out the features and expose the old bones lying beneath.
I have dim memories of having an excellent time—doing big shots of Irish whiskey, writing on the walls, rolling dice, joking around with the regulars. Where it is: 1015 NW Everett Street, Portland, Oregon Why you're here: With its low-key elegance and intelligent focus on the fundamentals, Teardrop Lounge is a linchpin in America's craft-cocktail bar scene and one of the pioneers that spurred a revolution. • ½ oz egg white • ¼ oz Bénédictine • ¼ oz peach liqueur (preferably Combier crème de pêche de vigne) • ¼ oz honey mix (2 parts honey to 1 part water)Shake well without ice.