When you think of Chicago, one of the first thoughts that come to your mind is that of some of the best bars in Chicago, some of the best wine bars in Chicago and the atmosphere there. Chicago on the shores of the freshwater Lake Michigan is the third most populous city in the United States. After the great fire in the year 1871 destroyed most of the city and left a large population homeless, it was painstakingly rebuilt over many decades before turning into what it is today. It is the international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, education and many other areas. It is the second most visited city in the US next only to New York. With this massive tourist inflow, Chicago is bound to have a high concentration of high-end bars which serve quality drinks to its patrons. Many of the famous Chicago bars have a rich and long history. All care is taken by the citizens and the government to make you and everyone else enjoy Chicago like the city that feels like home. This is a vibrant, lively city with unique neighborhoods, each having its own distinct culture and history, a lot of places of interest. One thing is common wherever you go and live, that is it has a very good nightlife with some of the best bars somewhere nearby, with some bars in Chicago open late, some even till 4:00 AM. You can be sure that you will never face a dull moment anywhere in Chicago, whether you are alone or with family and friends.
Bars in chicago
Chicago is a major foodie destination of the US with around 7,500 restaurants and thousands of bars. Which include some of the best bars in the world as also some not so good ones, and dozens of them even closing down regularly, you will find it a daunting task to always find a bar where nothing much can go wrong. With our experience and knowledge, we list out some of the best bars in Chicago where you can drop in to relish your favourite drink without hesitation.
1.River north bar
River North is one of the lively, vibrant neighborhoods of the city of Chicago. It is the area to the north of the Chicago River and the Merchandise Mart. This place is home to plush nightclubs, numerous cocktail bars, especially around the merchandise mart which was opened about 90 years back, in the year 1930 in a former industrial area.
There are numerous bars in this area, some of which we list out here.
i. Spyhouse is a bar and restaurant in this area with a spy theme. You will enjoy the theme as you try to come into the bar as you need to find the red door to enter this place. Once you enter the bar, you will enjoy all the perks with drinks and food at this place as a secret agent! However, this is possible only after you enter uttering the secret password or clearing the fun test if you fail. This is really a fun and entertainment restaurant named the most instagramable restaurant in Chicago, with specialty cocktails served after 8:00 PM.
ii.Sable Kitchen and Bar in Hotel Palomar. This is the place where almost everyone in River North neighborhood goes to on his first date and is extremely popular. As can be expected you will find a bit of big hotel vibe here, but not too loud.
iii. Rossi’s Liquors gives a feel of the fifteen-year-old River north neighborhood much before the trendy restaurants made their first appearance here. Here, you can get cheap beer in some low key interior décor.
iv. Arbella is, in contrast to Sable, is a high-end place with high ceilings, colourful murals, bright brick walls giving the visitors a sense of class. The cocktails are very interesting, and the menu card looks like they have everything in the world here.
v. Bug City is a place to visit for some good whiskey and live country music in a beautiful country-style settling.
vi. Three dots and a dash is an underground tiki which is a little pricey. It can be a bit crowded, and you can have fun by enjoying the theme. The drinks are served in any of the weird containers resembling from a skull to a treasure chest.
vii. Celeste is a sleek and trendy bar on Hubbard street. It is a big place where you can enjoy the delicious cocktails on the first floor, or you can take the rooftop for a nice nightcap or even a disco if you feel like dancing.
Viii. Howells and Hood has the biggest selection of draft in this side of Chicago with a staggering 114 types of international and domestic beers. You can try out one out of this in this huge place along with a delicious hamburger.
ix. Terrace at Trump. This lovely place gives awesome views of the Lake Michigan and Chicago River from its high16th-floor terrace bar. The cocktails are exquisitely mixed and have flavored ice-cubes to make the drinks taste good till the last drop. You can also enjoy the attractive fireworks on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Revolution Brewing is a spacious brewpub in front of the Revolution Brewery. This is a favourite place for having a drink along with food for the locals as well as the tourists. This bar is known for its seasonal specialties as well as innovative craft brews like Bottom Up Belgian-style ale and Fist City Pale Ale. You can have a good view of the brewery as you sip on your favourite drink in the bar in front. A large variety of about 30 brewpub draft, some of them seasonal, as also bottled packed beer are available for drinking at the bar and as take-away.
Billy Sunday is known for some of the best cocktails served in Chicago. Once you enter the bar, you will feel the casual atmosphere, lovely décor, friendly vibes, but the cocktails they serve is totally professional. The cocktails are mostly classics, but with an emphasis on homemade mixes, according to the Chicago seasons. This place is in our best bars in Chicago list not without reason. They are famous for the Good Book which includes some of the super-rare vintage scotch whiskey and Amari. You will also be overwhelmed by the gourmet food available here as the owner, Mathias Merges, is also the chef who takes great pride in his preparations. Monkey bread and flaming saganaki made from publican quality bread are not to be missed while you are immersed in your cocktail.
This latest project from Heisler Hospitality is located in northwestern Avenue. This is a great place to have a drink in a fashionable and comfortable bar. It has already made a big name for itself, having started fresh after completely renovating an old place but retaining its name. You can also take your place in the lovely outdoor patio through the backdoor. This is a cash-only place with a taxidermy theme, table games with a rotating list of cocktails and beer. The taxidermy theme might be somewhat creepy with its animal heads giving a feeling of being in a hunters club if you are not used to it. However, you will acknowledge that the interiors are just great, with exquisite chandeliers hanging out and lovely vintage booths at the front of the bar. The developers pay homage to the polish bar they took over to run this place by playing Polish music and serving Polish beer. However, the old European type bar has been tweaked with the taxidermy theme to give it a French hunting club look.
Normally, every night they will have a rotating cocktail of about 4 types, including a Sportsman’s cocktail which costs $ 8, while the others cost $10. Apart from this, you can get some variations of old classics. You can also find beer and wine here, but there is no food served here in the club. However, you have the option of ordering the food and getting it delivered here.
5.Fischman public house
The Fischman Public House is located in the portage park. This has recently relocated to this area and has got a lovely facelift. It hopes to bridge the gap between the old and the new. This half-bar, half-store had to find a place in our best bars in Chicago list as you will undoubtedly experience when you visit this bar to enjoy its lovely indoor décor, affable atmosphere and of course its drinks and food. You have a wide choice from 24 craft brew and food ranging from burgers to sandwiches to go with drinks.
The Ludlow Liquors, located in Avondale, is one of the most celebrated openings of 2018. In a span of less than a year, this place run by the owners of Sportsman’s Club has carved a niche for itself. The bar also has a lovely outdoor patio where you can relish your drinks while taking a shot of some interesting food prepared here. Apart from drafts punches, killer whiskey classics, cheap beer, it also serves cocktails in ounces, which many patrons find very helpful. You can have classic cocktails and also good food here, permanent food space, dine hard. You can get here delicious Pilipino eggrolls, Chicago rib tips and the super delicious pot roast sandwich.
This unusual place is open only 4 days a week, Thursday through Sunday, from 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM and closed for the rest of the week. This is the latest bar from the Land and Sea Department. It is located in the North California Avenue.
The Golden Teardrops is a unique clandestine basement bar hidden beneath Lonesome Rose. You will be surprised to find this bar totally dark, and you will need some time to adjust to the light, or lack of it. This is a low ceiling 40-seater bar where you will find the seating arranged in a friendly speakeasy style. The cocktails here are expertly mixed with some simple ingredients. You can find some martini variations and mid-century classic cocktails. You need to remember that no food is served here and come prepared for that with either early or late food. It is better to arrive early to enjoy the place to avoid much heavier crowd slightly later in the night. You sometimes see the bartenders lighting the burnt-out candles when they are not mixing drinks for the customers to get some light into the mostly dark interiors.
The Lost Lake is located in the west Fulton market St. The bar is open from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM Wednesday through Sunday, with Saturday close timings extended by one hour. And is one of the best bars in Chicago open late.
This is arguably the best tiki bar in the whole of Chicago where you can have fun and blissfully spend a late evening. You will enjoy its tropical heritage announced subtly through its banana leaves wallpapers and thatched bamboo in a very refined way. This is one tiki bar which serves American Chinese food along with rum. You will find here a huge variety of 200 choices of rum from the Cocktail professional Paul McGee who runs this place. You can choose rum which you can have from a lovely volcano bowl. Also available here are some very good tropical fruit juices like pineapple, passion fruit and even tamarind, which will surely give you a tingling sensation. Some of the best drinks here which can be tried are aged Trinidadian rum, and the one with a rather long name, Lonely Island lost in a Foggy Sea. You can also try rum blended with coffee, pineapple, lime and sugar.
The Aviary is an Aliana group place in the west loop opened in 2011, where the cocktail connoisseur Grant Achatz runs an amazing cocktail bar. Here you can find the cocktail, as also the food, are both prepared with extreme care and are extremely delicious. The Aviary will never fail to surprise you with their bold and adventurous mix of drinks with different ingredients in varying proportions which just explode in your mouth as you sip slowly. Some of the drinks which are truly amazing are Junglebird, O’Doyle Rules, and Loaded to the Gunwales. You might not have seen anything like some of the drinks served here, and that is exactly why we have included The Aviary in our list of best bars of Chicago.
10.The ladies room
The Ladies Room is located in the West Diversey Avenue and opens between 6:00 PM and 10:30 PM from Wednesday to Saturday.
It is a relatively small hidden place, and it finds a place in our list of 10 best bars in Chicago for good reasons. Unless you are specifically looking out for this place in Logan Square, there is a good chance that you might miss out on this place. On entering, you will be shown a table which is preset for you. You will find that this bar is the sexy little lounge you always wanted to relish a drink in with its intimate seating, red lights, and soft music. All drinks served here are very good, especially the cocktails which just blows you away. You will see the interior décor fabulous. The bar is divided into a few sections like New Mad Style, Classics Reimagined, and Big Guns. Even though some of the cocktail names may sound familiar, you will find the taste here very different, unique, to what you might have seen and tasted earlier. This is the specialty of the Ladies Room, where the interesting and unique taste makes you end up inquiring about the ingredients and encourages you to be more adventurous with your choices. The one thing you need to be prepared for is for a limited food menu.
We have tried to pack in as much information as possible regarding the best bars in Chicago, which you can plan to visit while in the city of Chicago. However, there are so many other bars which are equally good, bold, innovative, in different ways that a visitor might find interesting and exciting. Trip.com helps you out by providing all the relevant bits and pieces of information you need to make every aspect of your trip enjoyable and memorable.