Chicago isn’t shy with the top-quality booze! We love guzzling strong drinks at the best Chicago breweries, sampling martinis at tiny bars, and sipping interesting pours at the best cocktail bars around.
The best bars in Chicago run the gamut of secret speakeasies and age-old dives to newer Chicago bars open until 4 am and ritzy rooftops.
You’ll find a bartender is mixing drinks regardless of the neighborhood you are in. Consider the following to be an exhaustive list of the best bars in Chicago:
Drinks at Estereo are exceptional, but it’s the vibe at this club that makes it tick. Music from a live DJ fills the air with Latin-American tunes.
Settle in for a good time at the triangle-shaped club that dominates Chicago. For an intimate setting, consider snagging a seat along the perimeter.
On a typical summer’s day, garage doors flank both sides of the bar, opening the space more to solidify the establishment’s South-American vibe. When it is chilly, the bar is filled with warm light, a welcome sign despite the winter gloom.
The menu is brightly painted on the walls, with about ten cocktails named after their corresponding base spirits.
What this establishment lacks in size, it more than compensates with personality. Fox Bar, which is in Soho House Chicago, is a cozy watering hole with a focus on no-nonsense and vinyl bartending.
Between the bottle-lined bar and the entrance, you will find over-sized chairs lined along the walls and a massive communal table at the center of the room.
The menu at this bar is ever-changing, but be on the lookout for playful spirits and seasonal ingredients. The service is unmatched, and the prices are just right. This bar is a loveable neighborhood spot.
West Loop, 113-125 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607 [wp-svg-icons icon=”new-tab” wrap=”i”]
Ph: +1 (312) 521-8000
$$ | Check out Fox Bar’s website for menu and opening hours
Well-made epicurean cocktails are the bar’s forte, but the room hosts even more delightful art exhibits and underground pop shows.
The crowd at this bar does not reach triple digits, thus intimacy with both your neighbor’s elbow and your favorite local musicians is inevitable.
Surprisingly, one of Chicago’s best spots has no stage. Instead, this neighborhood favorite has one fancy jukebox, arguably the best in town.
Visitors can play DJ on Saturdays and Fridays; the bar does, however, hire DJs for Sunday through Thursday. Add one unparalleled whiskey selection, over three hundred beers, and free movie nights, and you have yourself a bar you can call home.
The rooftop bar and restaurant provides spectacular views of the city, including an expansive sight at The Lake and Millennium Park. The drinks are well presented and balanced and some of the tastiest you will find in all of Chicago.
The American food, moreover, is well-executed and is served in huge portions designed for sharing.
Enjoy all that a tropical paradise can offer at Lost Lake in Logan Square. Founded by Shelby Allison and Paul McGee, the tiki bar has achieved institution status in a short time.
How you may ask? By thinking beyond bendy straws and banana dolphins, by pushing the contemporary boundaries on what fruit juice mixed with iced vodka can taste like.
With every new year and new menu, clients continue to be consistently blown away by the bar’s talented team, Asian-inspired snacks, and delicious drinks.
Lost Lake is well stylized, with house glassware, leaf print wallpaper, and neon signs. If you are not tempted to grab some takeaway snacks, you are a stronger person than most.
Its well-thought location means that the bar follows the business model set by other cocktail bars in the region – relaxed ambiance, delicious drinks, and great food.
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For drinking and dining at The Aviary, an Alinea Group undertaking, expect only the best. Unimaginable executions and presentations characterize the list of drinks at the bar.
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The Aviary Micahlada: 2011 vs. 2017 The classic Michelada, one of our favorite hangover soothers, is an unfussy combination of cold light beer, lime, salt, and a dash of hot sauce. An early version of our take on this drink – which we served at The Aviary in Chicago – was served in a pint glass with a spice rim. We used our opening of another Aviary in New York as an opportunity to revisit and refine this cocktail, adding a few bites of food to pair with it as well. We present both variations here. This constant iteration of ideas is common for us; it’s rare that any given recipe becomes set in stone. Page 336, The Aviary Cocktail Book.
Take some time to picture this: rare, rum-soaked jelly balls that often burst upon consumption, a Manhattan inside a globe of ice, and a sipper served inside a bag fused with the aroma of oatmeal cookies.
Hidden in Logan Square, this bar must be one of the most ambitious programs in Chicago. The drinks at the Ladies’ Room are inspired by universally acclaimed flavors, exhibiting funky ingredients like salted coconut foam, lemongrass shochu, pancake cordial, and avocado leaf tincture.
If you visit the bar as a group, consider upgrading to a large-format option, such as the Burning Bird – a combination of palm sugar, Aperol, rum, pineapple, and calamansi.
This sexy lounge is in the same family as the Heavy Feather, the Moonlighter, and the Slippery Slope. Even though the cocktail offerings change with every season, gin is the specialty at Scofflaw.
Clients can always expect a well-drawn menu complete with a full glossary of ingredients. As a bonus, the food at Scofflaw outshines most bar eateries by a huge distance.
This neighborhood club attracts visitors from far beyond Humboldt Park, given its funky interior, excellent drinks, and a sprawling patio in the backyard.
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House Old Fashioned with @oldforester – made by our GM & Beverage Director @tadnelzko 🥃📹 @leisurelyexplorer ~ . . . . #cocktails #cocktailphotography #mixology #imbibegram #punchdrink #thirsty #supercall #cocktailsofinstagram #ttcocktails #bartender #bartenderlife #cocktail #bartenderatlarge #cocktailbar #cocktailbars
A high life plus a low life, a pull from the amaro vending machine, or a shot of whiskey go for just $5. During the summer, the club welcomes the best chefs in the region to host competitions on the backyard patio: 20 US dollars will get you a drink and a plate of food.
A list of formidable craft drinks dominates this two-story spot. The pub is an Andersonville staple, serving both international and local brews in cans, bottles, or on draft.
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Hopleaf now has Vermouth on TAP! Atxa Vino Vermouth Rojo is a Spanish sipping Vermouth best served over ice and garnished with lemon or orange. Traditional Vermouth is a fortified and aromatized wine that is macerated with a selection of herbs, fruits and roots. The word “vermouth” comes from the German word for “wormwood”, which was originally one of its primary infused ingredients. Atxa is made in accordance with an old family recipe and is made from a blend of a neutral wine and alcohol macerated with a selection of traditional botanicals including wormwood, gentian, and cherry. Notes of licorice and wild herbs framed by bitter components and a markedly wild berry fruit. #vermouth #vermouthrojo #spanishvermouth #vermouthontap #andersonville #chicago #hopleaf #hopleafbar
The club has charity kegs and special tappings, so be keen while you peruse the 60-plus available drafts. If you see a rare brew, be sure to snag it. And there is an encyclopedic bottle range, plus about eight wines on draft for those who enjoy wine.
Of course there are a lot more bars in the city, but we consider this list to be the best bars in Chicago.
So check out one, two, or all of them if you can…you won’t be disappointed.
And don’t forget to save, bookmark, or share this list with your friends!