Ring in the New Year at one of North America’s best champagne bars.
Coco Chanel said she would only drink champagne on two occasions: When she was in love, and when she was not. We concur. Because #champagneallday is always a good idea, here’s where you should be drinking all across the continent.
WHERE: Chicago, Illinois
The dimly lit second floor champagne room at BLVD is more intimate than the grand main dining room at this Chicago resturant, with plush velvet seats, dramatic crystal chandeliers, and gold mirror installations curving over the bar-top. Guests are greeted with a complimentary pour of champagne every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. A complimentary caviar cart circles the room, doling out pre-dressed blini to lucky guests. BLVD is the only spot in Chicago pouring Dom Pérignon P2 by the glass among its 11 glass offerings. Pair your champagne with a seafood corndog or buttermilk fried chicken if you’re feeling peckish.
INSIDER TIPOrder a caviar platter or seafood tower when dining at the restaurant. You’ll be instructed to spin the platform when it arrives and whomever the BLVD logo points to gets a complimentary glass of champers.
WHERE: Cleveland, Ohio
This charming French pastry shop is a real hidden gem in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. Coquette Patisserie serves the best éclairs, macarons, and entremet in town, along with an excellent grower’s champagne list. Premier cru producers like Aubry and Pierre Gimonnet are available by the glass for a fraction of the price you’d see in most cities.
WHERE: Menlo Park, California
The Michelin-starred signature restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill has a Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence with a great glass selection of high-end vintage champagne like Cristal. For a more affordable indulgence, try Madera‘s recently introduced Lounge Pop food and wine pairing that combines caviar, blini, and champagne for just $25.
INSIDER TIPSommelier Paul Mekis recommends pairing 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne with olive oil poached halibut or seared scallops.
WHERE: Vancouver, Canada
The Fairmont Pacific Rim’s new Botanist champagne lounge is a leisurely place to start an evening before heading to dinner at the excellent restaurant next door. The unique program features many limited releases, rare labels like Salon, and grower champagnes along with sparkling cocktails and bottles of unique sparkling wines from around the world. Whatever you choose to drink, pair it with the foie gras macaron with freeze-dried berries.
WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada
Sir Elton John’s two-story champagne bar in Caesars Palace is certainly a place to see and be seen. Warm cognac and copper tones at Fizz serve as a backdrop to an excellent contemporary art collection including pieces by David LaChapelle, Mario Testino, and Denise de la Rue. You can’t go wrong with any of the colorful champagne cocktails served in coupe glasses, like the signature Fizz Deluxe, a rosé twist on the French 75 with Dom Pérignon rosé topped with a rose petal and 24k gold flakes.
WHERE: Indianapolis, Indiana
With tightly packed tables, classic bistro fare, and a heated, dog-friendly outdoor patio, Petite Chou transports the iconic Parisian bistro to the heart of Broad Ripple. The list here focuses on small producers, from Grand Cru champagnes to sparkling wine from Tasmania and Languedoc. All champagne cocktails are available by the pitcher and pair perfectly with duck fat pommes frites.
The Champagne Bar at the Plaza
WHERE: New York, New York
Imagine Eloise all grown up, drinking champagne with afternoon tea at the Champagne Bar at the Plaza. The by-the-glass list includes all the big players, from Krug Grande Cuvée to Perrier-Jouët and Billecart-Salmon rosé. For the holidays, a champagne holiday tea includes your choice of bubbles paired with caviar blini, lobster rolls, thyme roasted prime rib sandwiches, egg-nog cream eclairs, and of course, freshly baked scones with double Devonshire cream, preserves, and lemon curd.
WHERE: Portland, Oregon
Glittering gold walls at this cozy 20-seat champagne bar in Portland’s industrial Central Eastside create a surreal feeling of being suspended within a bottle of champagne. Ambonnay is named after a village in the Marne district of Champagne and the list here is devoted entirely to champagne. There are excellent brut nature and vintage offerings that appeal to true connoisseurs, along with a couple local sparklers. A few salty nibbles, like truffle popcorn and Spanish corn nuts are casual pairings that keep the spotlight squarely on the wine.
WHERE: Denver, Colorado
Corridor 44 in Larimer Square is Denver’s only champagne bar, and a swanky place to indulge a taste for bubbles amid crystal chandeliers and intimate white leather booths. The extensive list might leave you indecisive, so start with a champagne flight—they offer generous pours—for a taste of three nearly full glasses accompanied by descriptions to help guide your next move.
WHERE: San Francisco, California
A champagne bottle mural in Linden Alley leads you to The Riddler, San Francisco’s woman-owned and entirely female-funded champagne bar. Riddling, a step in the champagne-making process, was invented by a woman—Madame Veuve Clicquot— and we think she’d approve of the marble tabletops, verdant floral arrangements, and gold leaf ceiling in this effortlessly chic haven for champagne lovers. Still wines are also available in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two of the classic champagne grapes.
INSIDER TIPThe food menu is small and caviar is the obvious pairing, but try tater tot waffles instead.
La Champagnerie Québec
WHERE: Québec City, Canada
It seems like all the best-looking people in town hang out at La Champagnerie Québec. And with French being spoken all around, you can close your eyes and pretend like you’re drinking champagne in France. There’s always good music and a global selection of sparkling wine to fit any budget. They’ll even teach you how to saber a bottle.