Hop Sing Laundromat Named One Of The Greatest Bars On Earth

Photo by Mike Persico

Photo by Mike Persico

No, not by us (though, not for nothing, we have said similar things). This time, it was the crew at Conde Nast Traveler (plus a bunch of bartenders from all across this great nation) who made the call, putting Hop Sing Laudromat into their global search for the best places to get soused.

The piece started off with a (very brief) explanation of what the project was all about:

What makes a bar truly great? We tapped mixologists, bartenders, cocktail kingpins, and professional drinkers to find out—and their picks include upscale drinking dens and gritty dive bars, places with world-class cocktail menus or a vibe that just keeps you coming back every Thursday. Read on for our list of the 30 greatest bars in the world.

And from there, it was straight into the list. There was Angel’s Share in Manhattan in the top slot (because the list is mostly alphabetical, at least in the front half), followed by such luminous alcoholic destinations as Arnaud’s French 75 in New Orleans (not my favorite bar in that booze-crazy city, but whatever), the Broken Shaker in Miami, Chicago’s California Clipper, Canon in Seattle (not a bad choice at all), Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drink in Boston and Green Russel in Denver.

And then came Hop Sing, about which Cody Goldstein of NYC’s Upholstery Store Food & Wine had to say…

“My favorite bar changes all the time, but the most exciting spot I’ve been to in recent memory has to be Hop Sing Laundromat in Philadelphia. The menu pays homage, in one way or another, to America. With one of the largest selections of spirits in the country, you can find everything from your classic Maker’s Mark right up through their specialty cocktails like ‘Montana Payback’ and ‘A Failed Entertainment.’ Plus, it’s hidden behind an unmarked door and looks like what you would imagine having a cocktail in Hogwarts would feel like. In a true Philly no-BS style, the owner boasts very firm rules: no sneakers, no shorts, no photos or you’re out!”

Which does hit the highlights, I suppose, though it misses a mention of my favorite cocktail of all, the Redneck Sangria, and makes a Hogwarts reference where, really, I think a more apt description would be that drinking there is like having a cocktail inside the head of Damon Runyon, or in some bolt-hole Chinatown time-traveler’s dive on the day Prohibition was repealed.

Still, this is one of those honors that’s completely deserved. And the fact that HSL stands tall on a list that includes places like The Lamb’s Club, the Pegu Club, Bar High Five in Tokyo and Harry’s Bar in Paris just makes me proud to be a drunk in Philadelphia.

You can check out the full list below. Or, if you’ve got some time on your hands, you can read several thousand words about the birth of Hop Sing Laundromat, the Asian immigrant experience, a list of famous assholes throughout history, and the (many) mysteries of Le at that second link.

The Greatest Bars In The World [Conde Nast Traveler]
The Mystery Of Le [Phillymag]