It is a pain when you have to plan with very little time. That too, when it is urgent. That is why we put in precise and careful effort in preparing this list. From Chicago’s finest breweries, iconic blues club to the beloved neighborhood bars, below are the best bars in Chicago.
Old Town Ale House
“The Local’s Best Bar in Chicago”
Believe it or not, the bar owes its creation to a saloon in San Francisco, Vesuvius. Just as you might have gotten the vibes from its name, the bar does have a story to tell. It used to be known as Ale House Juke Box back in the day. So, cutting the story short, in 2005, the current owner Tom got hold of the bar. The bar boasts of a mural on its walls. On the mural, around fifty to sixty of the bar’s loyal customers are on display. Old Town Ale House is infamous for the political porn paintings on its ceilings. Thus, one cannot help but list this place among the best bars in Chicago.
If you are to visit this bar, then remember to keep your drinks order plain and straightforward. At Old Town Ale House, the average beer costs around $3.50.
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
“The Jazz Bar Lounge”
Alongside the independently owned restaurants is Chicago’s most unique venue, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. This place serves up Martinis and Manhattan’s with live jazz music.
So, if you’re looking for classic Uptown with the best music, then look no further than this joint. The Green Mill is known to be the jazz center of the universe.
The lounge has a 1970’s style haunt that hasn’t lost its charm over the years. The bar remains one of the last venues of its kind in the country.
The cocktail lounge sits in one of the most acclaimed areas of old Chicago, Illinois. Also, it has classy decor at every turn and fancy twinkling lights. With a history that other joints would kill for, the Green Mill is among the best bars in Chicago.
“Best Bar in Chicago for Tacos and Beer”
It is amongst the most bustling bars in Chicago. Hence, if you are planning to stop by, then expect a long waiting time. Although, we assure you that it will be worth it. Big Star has plenty number of drinks to offer.
Besides, it boasts of the cheapest whiskeys, which is just a total bargain.
The drinks menu has cocktails and especially margaritas in tall pitchers. Big Star combines the town’s best Taco Tuesdays with your choice of beer or bourbon.
Big Star is offering what it calls Supper Club Subscription. If you decide to avail of this deal, get prepared family meals for an entirety of three weeks.
You may also order only or make use of its takeaway services from the bar’s Wicker Park spot.
Also, the staff is very hospitable, and the service is exceptional. So much so that it is an award-winning team at One Off Hospitality!
Half Acre Beer Company
“Chicago’s Best Can Beer Location”
The bar brews about 500 gallons of craft beer at any given time. In 2009, the bar became the city’s original craft brewery to sell can beer.
The bar has two breweries, one for all the canned beer and one for the taproom. It serves fantastic nachos with “science cheese,” a blend of cheddar, jack cheese, and whole milk. Moreover, Half Acre also uses sodium citrate to keep them nice, soft, and gooey.
Half Acre will show you the process of brewing, fermenting, and packing craft beer. So, if you’re curious about the origins of your beer, then this is the brewery for you.
The Violet Hour
“The Best Bar Experience in Chicago”
Making your way to this bar can be quite a treasure hunt. It is because there are no signs. Hence, look for the bar’s murals and the long waiting line. If that was not enough, then the bar has a few house regulations.
Unlike other bars and pubs in and around the city, the Violet House flourishes on serene elegance. If you are new to the Windy City, then you must pay a visit to this bar!
Securing its place among the best bars in Chicago, The Violet house offers nothing short of fancy. The bar boasts of many awards and accolades for its drinks, food, and service.
The Violet House serves delicate and refreshing cocktails such as the Ted’s Talk. It is apple brandy mixed with herb saint and tart cherry on top.
“Best Spot for Food and Bar in Chicago”
If you’re looking for a spot to go to before a baseball game, there’s only one place to go to, Murphy Bleachers.
Previously known as Ray Bleachers, Jim Murphy bought it in 1980 and is now known to be among the best bars in Chicago.
Due to Jim Murphy’s vision, Murphy’s Bleachers became known across the country as the spot to go during a game. And it continues to be a popular hangout spot in the neighborhood.
A long space with clay tile tiles, an impressive wooden counter, and exposed brick walls make up the sports bar. Besides, the famous Wrigley Field is just a few feet away. From the rooftop, you can get a complete view of the field.
It is the best place to watch your favorite team play while grabbing their famous half-pound burger. Also, you may get a hot dog or a beer.
Green Door Tavern
“The Best Bar in Chicago for Beer”
The bar has stood the test of time and faced numerous incidents. Surviving through fires and prohibitions, Green Door Tavern is one of the few bars from the past still functioning. Hence, one can feel the history and its local flavors as one steps into the bar.
For those of you who are into astrology, here is a treat for you. The tarot cards display the cuisine and drinks menu. Thus, do not forget to explore the craft beer on tap. Green Door Tavern has excellent ambiance and décor and offers the best beer selection in Chicago.
We recommend that you go straight downstairs. It is because you might have to wait a while to get into the secret room hidden behind the mural. By doing so, you can enjoy your drinks at the main bar while waiting to be called.
The bar’s earnest desire is to give each customer a memorable time. We ensure that your mind would be already planning to come back by the time you leave.
“Best Bar in Chicago to Chill”
Somewhere in Chicago, beyond a lake, lies a gem.
A chill environment and a staff adorned in tropical attire. The bar has a selection of over 300+ rums and a daiquiri variation. This tiki bar is an excellent place to get away from the hot summer sun.
But makes a tiki drink so great? It’s what’s in the glass and what’s going on around the person holding the drink. At Lost Lake, both parts come together to give their guests an unforgettable experience.
Lost Lake takes the formula that their tiki forefathers and makes it their own. This modern blend feels like a tropical wave. Besides, this tiki bar will make you feel like you are on vacation. From the tropical music, flowers in your drinks, and a refreshing cocktail, it feels like Waikiki.
Billy Goat Tavern
“Best Bar for Beer and Burger”
The grill bar boasts of being the most incredible tavern keeper in Chicago city.
Billy Goat Tavern has been functioning since the early 1930s. The origin story of this bar is quite comical. According to legends, a goat walked into the bar, and from then on, it began to be known as Billy Goat Tavern. The bar has branches and sister restaurants all over the United States. For example, on Madison Avenue, it goes by the name Billy Goat Inn.
The bar specialty is the Cheezburger. It is a customizable grilled chicken cheeseburger with fresh ingredients and freshly baked buns; because of this burger and its reputation, many list Billy Goat Tavern among Chicago’s best bars.
“Most Friendly Bar of the Locals in Chicago”
Just the mention of Kingston Mines rings a knowing smile to the face of many a Chicagoan.
It is a legendary Blues Club where the barbecue ribs are almost as good as the electricå guitar solos. The popular venue has been showcasing the best of the blues since 1968.
Doc Pellegrino founded the blues bar as a way to bring people together. Now more than four decades later, as one of Chicago’s most beloved venues. Also, it is the oldest and largest blues club in the country.
Kingston Mines embodies a lifestyle unlike any other in Chicago. It’s a place with a distinct vibe that appeals to families, students, and young professionals. With live music, seven nights a week and two stages are a must-see destination for music lovers.
The Map Room
“Serving The Best of the Best in Chicago”
The bar is what you call the best of both worlds. It serves fresh coffee, pancake, and other items on the breakfast menu in the morning hours. By nightfall, it offers a wide assortment of beer transforms into a mysterious tavern. Moreover, what might catch you off-guard is that the Map Room does not serve food at night. Rest assured! You are more than welcome to order delivery or carry your food to the bar.
The Map Room makes sure it always has 25 beers on the tap. The beer labels range from domestic to international brands as well. Thus, if the number of available beers confuses you, do not feel shy to ask the staff. They are always ready to recommend some of the crowd favorites.
“The Bar For Gin Lovers in Chicago”
Scofflaw is a Logan Square neighborhood cocktail bar with a gin-centric back bar. It has a wide range of gin available. From the familiar to the unusual, as well as a creative cocktail menu, Scofflaw has it all. Gin-based drinks are the main show stoppers in the bar. Besides, the variety and menu change every three months.
Danny Shapiro and his partners discovered they shared a love for gin and drinks in 2012. Thus, Scofflaw’s becoming a “gin focus” cocktail bar was a natural process.
With a burning fireplace and mismatched furniture, the cocktail bar has a homely and chill setting. The bar fits in just right with the hip atmosphere at Logan Square. Scofflaw’s concept has been embraced wholeheartedly by the neighborhood. Also, it is now a staple of logan square.
Three Dots and a Dash
“The Best Bar in Chicago”
If you a local, then you must have already been to this bar by now. And in case you are planning a visit to the city, jot it down on your bucket list.
Three Dots and a Dash is hugely famous for its tiki drinks. Such as the exquisite flaming ones. Although, what the bar is indeed known for is its wide variety of rum selections. It boasts of over 200 labels of rum.
Whatever you order, be assured of an excellent presentation and service. No wonder Three Dots and a Dash is amongst the best bars in Chicago.
For those who want to feel fancy and luxurious, they can avail the bar’s Reserve section. Find out how an expensive $65 tiki cocktail feels like.
Remember to reach before time as it might be hard to get a parking spot.
“Best Music Bar in Chicago”
Situated between Lincoln Park and Bucktown in the Elston Industrial Corridor lies The Hideout. The bar also goes by the name of the Hideout Inn. Also, it is a former factory bar and a music venue.
It’s a fun place to unwind with a drink while enjoying some great local talent. The bar features different kinds of music with a strangely good blend of people. With a combination of a warm environment, it offers an affordable menu. Besides, it also imparts a sense of community. It is no wonder the Rolling Stones termed The Hideout the best bars in Chicago.
And if the food and drinks are not enough, get some shirts and other products for sale.