What are we looking for?

How are we rating the pubs and bars we visit?

You can’t please all the people all the time“, so the saying goes.
At European Bar Guide we can only judge a place on whether it is successful at what it is trying to be. There are many factors behind why people may not like the same bar. For example:

1) Age. Some people feel uncomfortable around people of different generations for whatever reason, and some venues go out of their way to market themselves to a specific age group, which sometimes doesn’t help!

2) Class. Class sensitivity becomes more extreme than ever in the increasingly unequal societies we live in. Snobbery towards pub chains that provide options for people on low incomes is repaid towards cocktail bars and expensive taprooms. There are a vanishing number of places that are true democracies where people of all backgrounds mix happily and lots of places which divide opinion due to who they are aiming at.

3) Race. It is impossible to deny that as a white man I can blend in to certain venues far more easily, when others feel uncomfortable. This is not to say we endorse or even tolerate racism. We don’t. We call it out every time we see it. Europe is also a vast space where some social attitudes are alien to others. We promote Humanism. Of course we do. We’re a pub guide for heaven’s sake!

4) Gender. Without wishing to pigeonhole, it is broadly true that a large swathe of men and women’s tastes don’t neatly overlap, while there are also venues which, like 3) may be comfortable and enjoyable to visit alone as a white man, but less so for a single woman or trans person, etc.

5) Plain old personal preference. Rock bars aren’t going to be be everyone’s cup of tea. Does that make them bad? Not necessarily. Where rock bars do a really good job we are going to celebrate that fact, likewise when high end cocktail bars do something out of the ordinary.

6) Quirks and bugbears. Some people detest smoking and smokey venues. Some people hate going to the bar to order, vice versa table service. Some people hate paying in cash only, vice versa cards. The toilets might be awful. The service might be bad. There might not be enough light, the music might be bad/too loud. Do they all make the bar bad? Not necessarily. It all goes into the mix.

Once all of this considered, you can see the difficulty of recommending pubs and bars to the wider public.
At European Bar Guide, the way we can help is first ask you ‘What kind of place do you like?’ and go from there…

In order to provide some objective comparison, there are specific criteria it is possible to define, compare and contrast.

There are 5 categories these venues will be judged upon, leading to an overall final rating which we have labelled, ‘The Pub Going Factor‘.

A: Quality and/or Choice of Drinks

B: Style & D├ęcor

C: Character, Atmosphere and/or Local Life

D: Amenities & Events

E: Value For Money

F: Overall Rating (The Pub Going Factor)


How to get rated 8/10

How to get rated 9/10

How to get rated 10/10 (Dream on!)

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