One of America’s greatest drinking cities, Chicago has lively dive bars, hidden Speakeasies, rooftop patios, brewpubs and so much more.
Looking to have a night out on the town in the Windy City? Follow our top spots for a drink – or two – and you’ll find yourself in only the very best Chicago bars…
Best bars in ChicagoHow do these rankings work?
An unforgettable experience, the cocktails here are beyond imaginative and taste just as amazing as they look. Prepare to be surprised as your drinks are presented in unique ways – a Manhattan is served inside a giant globe of ice and rum-jelly balls burst in your mouth in The Jungle Bird.
Lost Lake consistently wins awards for being one of – if not the best – cocktail bars in Chicago. A funky tiki bar that’s been turned up a notch, you’ll never have a bad night here. Lost Lake’s cocktail menu pays homage to 80-plus years of exotic cocktail history with added original tropical recipes.
The Ladies’ Room is a swanky yet cosy cocktail bar hiding inside Fat Rice restaurant – enter through a curtain near the bathroom to find it. The drinks menu is adventurous and oh-so pretty, and the vibes are just as good.
Two-bars-in-one here, with The Green Door Tavern is apparently the oldest pub in Chicago, heaps of fun with a real sense of history.
If you want something even better, head downstairs to The Drifter, an authentic 20s-era speakeasy in the basement of the Green Door Tavern. There you can choose from 100 funky cocktails on custom tarot cards.
From IPAs and porters, to pilsners, Belgian-style ales, pale ales, and barrel-aged beers, Revolution Brewing will have something to sip on that’s right up your beer-loving street. Grab a spot at the bar to taste some excellent one-off brews that are only available at Revolution.
Bar Sótano takes you deep into the heart of Mexico, away from the beaches and Big Bus tour – this Mezcal speakeasy by celebrity chef Rick Bayless and daughter Lanie is worth seeking out. Cocktails are grouped in ‘Fruit Stand’, ‘Botanical’, ‘Chile Stall’ or ‘Fonda’, which are unusual creations inspired by Guacamole or Al Pastor tacos.
This lovely neighborhood tavern offers classic-yet-perfect cocktails, craft beer and wine, as well as an amaro machine, which you can take a shot pull from at the bar. Play chess on boards built into the tables or chill on the outside patio.