Guide to the Best Cigar Bars/Lounges America #1

Guide to the Best Cigar Bars/Lounges America #1

America is so vast and blessed, one would be hard pressed to cover all of the best cigar lounges and bars in a single volume. So, in this article, we focused on major American cities on all the major points of the compass rose.

North

New York

New York City as a metropolis has many pockets of culture tucked inside. Harlem is famous for its cigar culture. It was made so by Wall Street Journal’s coverage of its cigar smoking competitions. You can read more on that here.

The best culture places are always hidden. Such is true of Fernandez. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, Fernandez Cigar Lounge lies in the heart of Harlem.

There’s no listed website available, but all those who visited this place felt a warm sense of friendliness added to the backdrop of the aesthetic. The said aesthetic includes dominoes matches. Every shop visitor is invited back to play dominoes with the locals.  

This place has more to offer than can be covered in one small blog note. Known to local guides as a place of escape, for good music and great sports, this is a must-see for your next New York visit.

Detroit

The place you need to visit is Uralli. I wins in a close race with 20 minutes cigar bar. Uralli has 2 five star ratings whereas 20 minutes only has the one.

A bit different than many of its peers on this list, Uralli is an evening lounge. It doesn’t open until 5pm. You will find it on Cass Avenue.

If you’d rather try 20 minutes, you’ll find that on Randolph Street.

Minneapolis

Tobacco Grove is actually in Maple Grove Crossing which is roughly 20 minutes less traffic outside the city proper. You’ll find it on Wedgewood Lane.

Some of the locals call this the best place in their world to sit with a smoke and find a conversation. We see this as a recurring trend in the love of cigar lounges. That’s what makes the culture diverse and all-inclusive. All cigar shops that are good cigar shops share that everyman slice of life.

For the Tobacco Grove, this slice is a wedge of heaven in the hearts of its loyal locals. If you’re in the city, drop in.

Seattle

There is a little lounge on Corson Avenue that speaks to Seattle’s soul. It’s called Rain City Cigar. This boutique sells premium cigars, both new and favorite. Many of the locals laud its aesthetic, how well organized and maintained the feel of the place is.

Some of the Rain City locals said it couldn’t get better than here. Others said this was truly the go-to best of the greater Seattle area. It has the best off-the-reservation prices in this place. Top recommendations, as per the people’s choice.

 

Portland,OR

While Portland itself has become a city of some controversy, cigar culture still lives here. Tim’s Great Cigars rises out of the calamity of politics and protests to give every Portland-dweller a place of relaxation.

Tim is known as a dedicate shopkeeper who takes his time to learn every customers cigar of choice. They know their smokes and recommendations, but things aren’t strictly business here. They are also open to great conversation, something that gave the place a firm local appeal.

Still more than a place for friendly small talk, TGC also has an excellent humidor.

East

Boston

S&A is Boston 5 gold star cigar lounge. The locals think that Steve and friends are the friendliest people on earth, and to them at least, they quite possibly are. This is a great asset to the “unbelievable” selection the place boasts. Truly a must for the Boston-bound aficionado.

Chicago

While classically known as a gentlemen’s past time, St. Lucia’s of Chicago is owned by a lady. Many found this a great plus feature to the overall friendly atmosphere of the cigar emporium.

The locals cite this as the go-to spot for all smoking accessories_which even include imported glassware. It’s beloved by the locals for its customer service as well. One lady even said she traveled from out of the area to return to St. Lucia when she had a cigar related need. Another man firmly believed that this was the best place in the city at large. There was still one man who was captivated by the store’s mascot dog, who added a final touch of warmth to the environment.

If you’d like to form your own opinion of Chicago’s smoking saint, St. Lucia is on N Western Avenue.

Massachusetts

Richmond

West

San Francisco

Wingtip won by a landslide in our search for San Francisco favorites. This lounge introduces itself as “The 21st Century interpretation of the classic social club”. Crafted around the idea of providing a refuge from the press of its home city, Wingtip is an environment to get in one’s own skin_and love it there.  It has a lovely local aesthetic built into a historic building.

Wingtip is actually a signature clothing company. They provide a style outlet to keep the men of San Francisco looking their sharpest. A master barber is present for a trim and a shave. The private lounge then adds  the final keynote of that old fashioned brand style. And the locals_including the ladies_adore it. It’s known locally as one of the best places for boutique jeans.

The bar upstairs has been called a “throwback” to the era of fine whiskey and food. Jazz plays on Friday nights. With a fully stocked humidor of premium blends, you can purchase all varieties of luxury accessory here.

Please note that to access the cigar lounge/bar you’ll need a membership. If you’re just visiting the city, you may consider signing up in case you pass this way again soon.

Las Vegas

Of all of the names on this list, this should be the easiest to remember. Las Vegas Cigar Outlet is located on Sahara Avenue. It retains 5 gold star reviews among all its peers. It rates so high because of the down-to-earth staff. Yet, that appears to only be a bonus of the massive selection the Outlet has in the humidor.

In the lounge, they serve Armenian style coffee. When in Vegas, this is a downhome must-stop on the way to the glittering lights.

Reno

Another Nevada location, Reno locals sometimes jokingly call themselves a separate state from the Vegas dwellers. That sets apart their preferences for the most part. What they can agree on is a love of great smokes.

Ruiz Cigars is actually in Sparks, Nevada, which is about 6 minutes outside of the city. You’ll find it on E Prater Way. It’s owned by Marvin Ruiz and his family. You get a deep sense of the family-centric from this place. Those who visit say that this place takes them back to their youth. It reminds young men of their fathers. Of men who played dominoes over Cuba Libres. Of the family dog sitting loyally at the feet of the gathered family dynasties. Each cigar’s is hand-rolled just like in the traditional days.

For all of this, Ruiz is dear to Nevada’s heart. Some customers drive all the way from Carson City to enjoy the collection at this 5-star establishment. The humidor includes hand-rolled Nicaraguan blends that left a lasting impression on lounge patrons.

Great Los Angeles

The Cigar Factory Lounge is in the Simi Valley, California which is in the greater Los Angeles area about 48 minutes outside the city limits. It’s on Los Angeles Avenue.

The locals call this place “second home”. Stocked with rare cigars, like Opus X, this humidor is a plentiful sanctuary for people escaping the craze of Ventura County.

Palo Alto

Home of the great Stanford University. The township has a sense of youthfulness as the co-eds roll in and out. What better place to live out a teenage dream? Surrounded by beaches and palms, and bright young minds, Palo Alto is a paradise for the dreamchaser.

About 15 minutes from Palo Alto, you’ll find Redwood City. There is a little shop of local fame there on Bay Rd. It is low-key with a large flat screen station in the center to bring the visitors together for a movie and a smoke. A great place for good company for a young life starting out in the world. Even if you’re older now, you should swing by for the conversation.  

South

In this section you’ll find cities below Chicago where the greatest smoke recreation culture can be found.

Nashville

Called the Borough by it’s natives, Nashville is the crown city of Southern music culture. The big names of country music have their history with luxury and fine dining. In the midst of this scene, you will find cigar culture.

If you’re looking for the best lounge, the people voted for Primings Cigar Bar and Lounge. Primings is on 4th Avenue South. It is known  for serving signature prohibition style drinks. Every drink can come to you smoked if you request it. The average price of drinks costs 12 dollars each.

Naturally, the gem attraction of this place is its humidor. Primings offers brands such as follows:

  • Alec Bradley
  • Arturo Fuente
  • Ashton
  • Camacho
  • Avo Uvezian
  • Bellaterra
  • Diamond Crown
  • Don Pepin Garcia
  • Crowned Heads
  • Gurkha
  • La Galera
  • San Cristoral
  • My Father
  • La Palina
  • La Aurora
  • Rocky Patel
  • Xikar
  • Zino Platinum
  • Principle
  • Sans Pareil
  • Take 2

 

Atlanta

It seems the best locations are always the closest to local hearts. That’s the feeling you get from J’s Cigars and Coffee House. The local guides know is a humidor with reasonable pricing and good selection. Plus, they love J, the lounge namesake. He is kind to customers and knows his way around cigar etiquette.

Some of the visitors even called it an extension of a man cave. With an immediate welcome, this is known to the locals as “the perfect neighborhood shop”. The coffee is good, a regular drip machine there if you’d like it with your smoke.  They carry Gurkha which was enough to sell most of its faithfuls.

You’ll find this lovely lounge on Defoors Ferry Road.

New Orleans

The old pirate town has seen its fair share of cigar influence. Today, it owes that cigar culturing to Smoke on the Water Cigars. You can find this place on Conti Street.

Local guides swing by every time they visit New Orleans. This shop is known for having a well-versed tobacconist at its disposal.

Others have called it cool to the Dr. John degree. After a pressing search, the outward front is a bit misleading. This building looks average, wrapped in brick. Step inside, and you will find a spacious cabinet by cabinet humidor filled to brim with the adjectives of luxury. This branding decision adds to the odd-but-unique aesthetic of the place.

Dallas

World Class Barber is a barber shop that has a cigar lounge built in with it. Located on Inwood Rd., this place is a thing of pride to the locals who visit it. Even the shy left their reviews in hopes of driving a following.

This is the ideal place to enjoy a classic staple of American culture. Get a trim, enjoy a smoke, and some fine spirits from the craft collection.

Houston

Ask anyone who frequents Houston about a A-list cigar lounge. They will answer The Briar Shoppe. You’ll find it in Rice Village on Times Blvd. Self-described as an enduring mom and pop, this place stands out as an island of quiet in the bustle of bursting Houston.

This place is not exclusively for the cigar aficionado. It may be closer to the pipe smoker’s heart as they offer a gallery of pipes to choose from. They have a house blend of pipe tobacco called “White Russian” that the regulars praise.

Honestly, the chief complaint we heard was that parking was difficult. For everything else, no one had anything significantly negative to say.

Final thoughts

If you didn’t see your city on this list, don’t worry. Everyday we continue to build our knowledge of the cigar culture. Lists will expand. For now, we hope that you enjoyed our humble take on the vast street corner world that is the select cigar room.

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