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TOP LISTS

THE TOP 5 CIGAR BARS IN THE U.S.

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

15 OCT 2021

Finding a good cigar bar can be tough these days, but they’re out there. Thanks to the prevalence of smoking bans, there’s a huge demand for cigar lounges where patrons can relax with a drink and a cigar. When you’re traveling around the country, here’s a list of the top 5 cigar bars in the U.S. to keep on your radar. Most are bigger than your average mom-and-pop shop, and many operate in multiple locations. Make plans to visit the top cigar lounges the next time you’re in their vicinity.  

1.  Ashton Cigar Bar

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ashton Cigar Bar opened in 2013 directly above Holt’s Cigar Company in the heart of downtown Philadelphia’s Center City neighborhood. That’s where Ashton brand founder Robert Levin first decided to come out with his own line of cigars. As the second-generation owner of Holt’s Cigars, Levin was a seasoned and well-respected tobacconist when he partnered with the Fuente family to create the Ashton brand more than 35 years ago. Opening the first and only Ashton Cigar Bar above Holt’s was a fitting move.

What separates Ashton Cigar Bar from other cigar bars is its intimate, high-end feel. More than 450 whiskeys occupy a menu of over 600 top-shelf spirits from shelves that tower behind a curvaceous Venetian marble bar top. A stunning floor-to-ceiling walk-in humidor houses 200 premium cigars, including several ultra-rare Fuente Fuente Opus X sizes, Ashton VSGs that have been aged for over two decades, and a handful of proprietary blends from La Aroma de Cuba, My Father, Oliva, and more.

The seductive and dimly lit space includes a blend of low-riding leather sofas and classy high-top marble tables. The bar’s advanced air purification system makes the space equally welcoming for dates and spouses who come for the cocktails but might forego smoking cigars. Ashton Cigar Bar is a mandatory destination for cigar lovers visiting the City of Brotherly Love.

2.  Burn by Rocky Patel

Locations: Naples, Florida / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / Atlanta, Georgia / Indianapolis, Indiana / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Rocky Patel broke into the cigar business in the 1990s with the Indian Tabac brand before launching the popular Rocky Patel brands found in nearly every premium cigar shop today. In 2010, the charismatic cigar-maker unveiled Burn by Rocky Patel in Naples, Florida, his first branded cigar bar. Burn quickly became a hot spot, prompting Rocky to expand in a number of other small to mid-market cities. While each Burn location is distinct, they share Rocky’s flair for nightlife with dramatic color, creative cocktails, and cigars. The menus boast over 400 premium cigars, many of which are Rocky’s personal creations, as well as pre-Embargo Cubans. Burn is worth your time when you’re craving a cigar, a drink, and a place to cut loose in one of several cities around the country where Rocky has opened up.

3.  Cigars International

Locations: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania / Hamburg, Pennsylvania / Fort Worth, Texas / The Colony, Texas / Tampa, Florida / Lutz, Florida

Cigars International is the official largest online cigar retailer in the world. The company is also home to several sprawling retail locations with accompanying cigar bars where you can smoke and drink when you’re done loading your shopping bag. Cigars International (CI) is a division of General Cigar, the parent company of famous Cuban-legacy brands like Cohiba, Partagas, and Hoyo de Monterrey, as well as Macanudo, La Gloria Cubana, and CAO. Think of each Cigars International super store like a man cave on serious steroids. The company sells around 1,400 brands of premium handmade cigars. It’s impossible not to find what you want when you’re shopping in CI’s cavernous aisles, and you can kick back and order a beer or a bourbon from the store’s impressive cigar bars. The atmosphere is laid back and designed to enhance your shopping experience.

The original Cigars International locations are nestled in eastern Pennsylvania’s pastoral Leigh Valley, a couple of hours from Philadelphia and New York City. The company’s big box blueprint for everything a cigar lover could dream of has been transplanted to multiple new locations in Florida and Texas.

4.  Casa de Montecristo

Locations: Washington, DC / Tampa, Florida / Paramus, New Jersey / Whippany, New Jersey / Las Vegas, Nevada / Mooresville, North Carolina / Nashville, Tennessee / Dallas, Texas / Houston, Texas

Casa de Montecristo is the signature cigar bar (and brick and mortar retailer) of online giant JR Cigars, the second largest source for premium cigars behind Cigars International. JR Cigars is owned by Altadis USA, the distributor and parent company of the Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta brands, among others. The company’s original locations in Whippany and Paramus, New Jersey, are touted as the world’s largest cigar stores with over 5,000 square feet of humidified space and more than 4,000 cigars in each location. Many, but not all, Casa de Montecristo locations feature a full-service bar where you can drink and smoke. In addition to the massive physical footprints of its stores, Casa de Montecristo operates in a dozen states. Flat screen TVs, comfy seating, and plenty of leg room to kick back with your pals keep aficionados coming back to Casa de Montecristo. Several locations offer private space where you can host a cigar-friendly event or meeting.

5.  Corona Cigar Company

Locations: (127 South Orange Ave) Orlando, Florida / (7792 W Sand Lake Rd) Orlando, Florida / Lake Mary, Florida / Tampa, Florida

Corona Cigar Company has been a premiere destination for cigar lovers in Orlando, Florida for years. The company operates three locations, plus a Davidoff-branded store in Tampa, Florida. Owner Jeff Borysiewicz carries all the marquee brands from Arturo Fuente, Ashton, Padron, My Father, Macanudo, Rocky Patel, and more. An extensive menu of bourbon, scotch, cognac, and craft cocktails is available. Corona Cigars hosts charity poker nights, whiskey tastings, and several branded cigar events when you’re looking for the best place to smoke cigars in central Florida.

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Good post.

I have only ever been to one Cigar bar, Casa Fuente in Las Vegas and really enjoyed it. Smoked lots of good Cigars and drank a lot of Old Cubans and even met and hung out at my table with Carlito Fuente

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4 minutes ago, smbauerllc said:

Good post.

I have only ever been to one Cigar bar, Casa Fuente in Las Vegas and really enjoyed it. Smoked lots of good Cigars and drank a lot of Old Cubans and even met and hung out at my table with Carlito Fuente

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Casa Fuente was good...

Also Davidoff Cigar Bar in Las Vegas opposite the Wynn

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7 minutes ago, targa88 said:

 

Also Davidoff Cigar Bar in Las Vegas opposite the Wynn

I don't know how, but I didn't know this place even existed!! With Rhumbar closing at Mirage (maybe a 10 min walk away) this looks to be a great option for the north half of the strip! I will definitely try this spot on one of my next visits. 

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The Ashton Bar does have a great interior and unparalleled filtration system. It’s the only cigar bar I’d ever bring a non-smoker to without concern.

It also has one of the most comprehensive collections of whiskey in the northeast. The problem is that it’s all priced so outrageously you probably won’t want to take any chances with your choices. Some markups are nearly wine-by-the-glass (ie price of a glass = price of bottle retail). And the pours aren’t even generous (they often measure them, which drives me up a wall when you’re paying such prices). 

That said, there’s no better place for a night smoking with the guys or to celebrate a business deal.

As a regular haunt though I wouldn’t recommend it. Aside from the prices, a downside of its filtration is that it can get quite busy. Most times I’ve been there the majority of patrons weren’t smoking.

 

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31 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

I don't know how, but I didn't know this place even existed!! With Rhumbar closing at Mirage (maybe a 10 min walk away) this looks to be a great option for the north half of the strip! I will definitely try this spot on one of my next visits. 

I didn’t know that Rhumbar closed. That’s too bad, I spent a lot of time there in the past and really enjoyed it. 

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1 hour ago, MrBirdman said:

The Ashton Bar does have a great interior and unparalleled filtration system. It’s the only cigar bar I’d ever bring a non-smoker to without concern.

It also has one of the most comprehensive collections of whiskey in the northeast. The problem is that it’s all priced so outrageously you probably won’t want to take any chances with your choices. Some markups are nearly wine-by-the-glass (ie price of a glass = price of bottle retail). And the pours aren’t even generous (they often measure them, which drives me up a wall when you’re paying such prices). 

That said, there’s no better place for a night smoking with the guys or to celebrate a business deal.

As a regular haunt though I wouldn’t recommend it. Aside from the prices, a downside of its filtration is that it can get quite busy. Most times I’ve been there the majority of patrons weren’t smoking.

 

I’m a member of Holt’s Lounge on the outskirts of the city. It’s far larger than Ashton and BYOB.  I know it doesn’t excuse prices but, being in Pennsylvania means that Ashton has to purchase all of their liquor through the state.  It’s a difficult and expensive system and it’s pretty amazing that they have what they have. 

That said, the members lounge in Northeast Philly is far larger, more comfortable and my home away from home. 

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All subjective and I've been to 4 of the 5.

I guess they are not including private establishments like the Grand Havana Room in New York. The LA outlet is probably close to equal to one side or the other though haven't been there.

For character and panache I'd have to say Shelly's Back Room in DC is a contender. Check the names on the lockers there.

Casa de Montecristo in Boca Raton wasn't mentioned along with their other outlets. It's quite nice.

The Davidoff lounge in Tampa (owned by Jeff Borysiewicz, also proprietor of the Corona Cigar lounges ) is a top one in my books. Especially prior to a flight out of TPA.

Many more I could mention, just saying it's hard to go by one man's opinion. Especially if it was published on the Holt's own website.

 

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3 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

I don't know how, but I didn't know this place even existed!! With Rhumbar closing at Mirage (maybe a 10 min walk away) this looks to be a great option for the north half of the strip! I will definitely try this spot on one of my next visits. 

Yes, it is not a bad spot. Great sitting outside when the weather is right and it is straight across from the bridge to the Wynn.

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Take this article for what it's worth as it's written by an Ashton employee. Shane is Ashton's in house marketing person. While ACB is a nice bar it is far from Grand Havana Room in NY, or many others I've visited in the past in Vegas or Florida. I live a few minutes away from Holts and ACB and don't frequent it for most of the previously mentioned reasons. This is simply industry fluff to prop up its own business.

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1 hour ago, fokker4me said:

Take this article for what it's worth as it's written by an Ashton employee. Shane is Ashton's in house marketing person.

AAAAHHHHH! Haha. That makes sense. The spot in Philly is great, just not as great as he made it seem. 

11 hours ago, LLC said:

I didn’t know that Rhumbar closed. That’s too bad, I spent a lot of time there in the past and really enjoyed it. 

Yeah, July 25th of this year. It was never busy pre pandemic (I dont know how) but it turned into a total ghost town after things reopened. A buddy of mine and I had gotten to be good friends with some of the staff and they saw it coming this march/February. MGM says they're replacing it with an "Ultra Lounge", whatever that is.

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Cool list. The sheer size of some of these places are amazing.  Never been to any cigar bar in the US. Got close once. Made reservations at Club Macanduo in NYC but didn't make it as the wife was having too good a time at Saks 5th Avenue.  By the time we got out it was rush hour and we couldn't hail a cab to save our lives.  As a consolation I did get a steak dinner out of it. :D

 

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Would love to have a cigar bar near here, as none of the other veterans here are cigar smokers, so it would be nice to have people to smoke with and talk cigars.

Nearest one is 2 hours away unfortunately

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Interesting list. I spent two weeks in Florida in 2016 and spent quite a bit of time in numbers 2 and 5. Corona Cigar Company has a huge selection, it's like a mini-supermarket, baskets and all. Comfortable seating, well-stocked bar, TVs etc. The NBA finals were on.

I had a very nice dinner with Rocky Patel and Dave Bullock with my wife and kids in his Cavo restaurant beside Burn in Naples. Great host, nice guy.

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20 minutes ago, smbauerllc said:

Would love to have a cigar bar near here, as none of the other veterans here are cigar smokers, so it would be nice to have people to smoke with and talk cigars.

There is a cigar bar about 5 miles from my house that I am yet to go to since I moved to the area about 7 years ago.  I did go once about 15 years ago.

https://victorycigarsudbury.com/

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There is a cigar bar about 5 miles from my house that I am yet to go to since I moved to the area about 7 years ago.  I did go once about 15 years ago.
https://victorycigarsudbury.com/
Nice.
Wish there was one in town here, but there's only a population of 4000 in the town, so not much of anything there.

Very surprised there are no other Cigar smokers here since the average age of the 80 other veterans here is 65 to 75, which seems to be the most common age group for cigar smokers.

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Just now, smbauerllc said:

Very surprised there are no other Cigar smokers here since the average age of the 80 other veterans here is 65 to 75, which seems to be the most common age group for cigar smokers.

There are other cigar smokers in your area.  Trying to find them is difficult.  If you do find them, getting them to smoke other then than usual haunts is as difficult as finding them.

Look at me...  Cigar bar down the road, another one about 15 miles away yet I smoke cigars in my dining room or front porch.  I was not a big fan of smoking at regular bars and clubs when I could.  Always felt rushed or awkward; especially if some in the group are not smokers.  Plus, I don't want smell like cigars when I am out on the town or wearing my Sunday's best.

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There are other cigar smokers in your area.  Trying to find them is difficult.  If you do find them, getting them to smoke other then than usual haunts is as difficult as finding them.
Look at me...  Cigar bar down the road, another one about 15 miles away yet I smoke cigars in my dining room or front porch.  I was not a big fan of smoking at regular bars and clubs when I could.  Always felt rushed or awkward; especially if some in the group are not smokers.  Plus, I don't want smell like cigars when I am out on the town or wearing my Sunday's best.
Yeah, probably are.

Unfortunately I don't really have the opportunity to meet people other than the other veterans here in the veteran's home.

Dont drive anymore so no way to go to town and see if there's an American Legion post or Elks club or something.

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1 hour ago, Puros Y Vino said:

Cool list. The sheer size of some of these places are amazing.  Never been to any cigar bar in the US. Got close once. Made reservations at Club Macanduo in NYC but didn't make it as the wife was having too good a time at Saks 5th Avenue.  By the time we got out it was rush hour and we couldn't hail a cab to save our lives.  As a consolation I did get a steak dinner out of it. :D

 

Club Macanudo was nice. Killer whisky menu and a solid steak and cigar pairing.

I haven't been to most on the list but I have been to Corona a bunch and a combination of a great whisky selection, properly educated and trained staff, and a great selection of cigars has always made it top in my books. 

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I’ve been to almost all of them as I used to travel alot for work. Often times, cigar bars are your only option on the road. Ashton is quite nice. I used to have a bit of a routine in every city, helped offset the constant change of travel. In Philly I’d always eat at the bar at Oyster House and then head over to Ashton. Definitely a subjective thing as many have said. At the higher end Ashton is very nice. I’ve also been to a few private clubs, both Grand Havana Rooms and there’s a newer place in Chicago called the Clayton. All nice and they have their place.  

My favorite subjective pick however would be the opposite end ambiance wise, Occidental Cigar Club in San Francisco. It is across the street from my office in SF where I used to spend at least a week a month. And it’s basically a dive bar where you can smoke in the middle of the financial district in San Francisco (which makes it that much more great). Great cast of regulars, funny owners/bartenders, and they have my favorite beer (Scrimshaw Pilsner) and more booze selection than one could ever reasonably need…in fact surprisingly good given how laid back the place is. You can roll in in a pinstripe suit or looking like a bum (I’m the latter) and nobody would even notice. It is perfect. I keep an extra set of clothes out there and a humidor specifically for Occidental. 

And, as many others have said, my favorite option is smoking at home! I lived in Miami for 10 years and the only time I ever went to the Casa de Montecristo in Miami was to meet Rob and Hamlet (nice place)! 

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14 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

There is a cigar bar about 5 miles from my house that I am yet to go to since I moved to the area about 7 years ago.  I did go once about 15 years ago.

https://victorycigarsudbury.com/

I used to work for a firm out of Marlborough and that was the closest place.
 

Spent a few nights there, even bringing clients on occasion. 
 

Worth the trip my good man,

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