‘30 Best Bars India’, the country’s only independent bar awards platform, crowned South Delhi bar, Sidecar, the best in its 2022 ranking for the second time.
The results of the third edition of the top 30 ranking of bars in the country were announced at an awards ceremony at the Le Meridien, Gurugram, in January this year. This time bars had the option to nominate themselves, and 500 nominations were received from 15 cities.
This initiative to encourage innovation and excellence in the hospitality industry is based on a poll of a jury comprising more than 250 members. The bars were judged on a variety of parameters including service, design, ambience, bar menu, bartending team, etc.
Sidecar, which won the top spot in the inaugural 2019 ranking, was pushed to the No. 2 position last year by Bar Tesouro from Goa.
The top 10 positions in the ranking have seen some significant movement and new entrants. Copitas at the Four Seasons (Bengaluru) moved up to No. 2, followed by new entrants Home (New Delhi), Lair (New Delhi), The Bombay Canteen (Mumbai) and Comorin (Gurugram).
Four new entrants, Americano (Mumbai), Slink & Bardot (Mumbai), Hideaway (Goa), and The Living Room by Masque (Mumbai), round up the Top 10.
Sidecar also took home the winner’s trophy in two other categories: Best Independent Bar and Best Bar Menu. Copitas won the Best Hotel Bar award, while Comorin was declared the Best Restaurant Bar.
Brewdog (Gurugram) won the Best Microbrewery/ Taproom award. Santanu Chanda of Home (New Delhi) won the coveted Best Bartender award, while Home also won the Best Bar Team award. The Bombay Canteen was declared the Best Designed Bar.
The newly introduced award for Best Work in Sustainability was won jointly by two Pune bars, Malaka Spice and Cobbler & Crew. Noted restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani was honoured with the Industry Icon award, while Mumbai's three-decade-old Toto’s Garage took home the Timeless Bar award.
Other big winners include Pune bars Elephant & Co. (People's Choice award for Best Bar) and Toit Pune (People’s Choice award for the Best Microbrewery/ Taproom).
Among the major cities, Mumbai made the most significant strides in new bar openings and the strength of beverage programmes, with eight bars making it to the Top 30. Four bars from Pune took away awards in individual categories.
Cities such as Kolkata and Jaipur also emerged as markets to watch due to the growth of quality cocktail bars and a discerning audience.
Vikram Achanta, Founder of ‘30 Best Bars India’ said, “Keeping current factors in mind for every edition, this year we introduced a new category to promote sustainability in the bar industry. Establishing categories ahead of what the industry is building towards will continue to help raise the standards in the country.
“This year, the introduction of thematic menus and the use of more Indian ingredients in beverage programmes is inspirational and aspirational. The emerging vibrant bar culture coming out of cities like Pune, Jaipur and Kolkata is also encouraging to see,” he noted.
Radhakrishnan Nair, Co-Founder of ‘30 Best Bars India’ added: “It’s exciting to see bar teams constantly re-invent and push boundaries – whether it’s by paying more attention to their menus or innovating with ingredients to create hyper-localized cocktails.”
In the list for 2022, the highest climber was Miguel’s in Goa (from #26 to #11). The highest new entry was Americano from Mumbai (at #7).
Ten bars retained their position in the Top 30 three years in a row: Sidecar, The Bombay Canteen, Cocktails and Dreams Speakeasy (Gurugram), Comorin, House of Nomad (Mumbai), Aer Lounge at Four Seasons, Byg Brewski, PCO, Whisky Samba and The Grid.