The men’s magazine Esquire has named two local bars – Harry’s Country Club and Manifesto – on their list of The Best Bars in America 2013.
Harry’s Country Club is the River Market’s take on a hip honkytonk bar, and is a popular spot for locals to grab a drink with friends without the fuss of an overly fancy menu.
The author of the best bars list, David Wondrich, says, “It’s a busy place, unpretentious but not divey.” Known for having the best whiskey selection in the city, Harry’s is a great place to learn what brands of liquor best suit a palate. The beer selection is similarly extensive, sporting beers from around the world. Naturally, Harry’s also offers a wide representation of Kansas City’s Boulevard beer. Wondrich recommends ordering a Thomas H. Handy rye on the rocks.
Food is also on the menu at this local standby, which serves up classic, American bar food with Mexican influences. On any given night, the booming music and jovial atmosphere of Harry’s Country Club can be heard out on the street.
At Manifesto, Wondrich is all about the Jackson Co. Democratic Club Cocktail, but this small speakeasy has much more to offer. With a back alley entrance, basement location, posted rules of deportment and drinks with carefully crafted ingredients, Manifesto is a trip to a bygone era. Wondrich points out that “for a place with all the modern cocktail-bar trappings…Manifesto isn’t a place that makes drinkers feel trapped by its trappings.” The ever-lively Manifesto is Kansas City’s hippest hot spot, so a reservation is recommended, as this little enclave fills up fast.
On a list that included watering holes from Denver to New York, Kansas City is making a strong case for its uniquely Midwestern interest in discovering the best alcohol brands, most local ingredients and expertly-made cocktails.