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Inventinve mixology, sumptuous lounges, lively dive scenes and beer gardens are all offered in the windy city. Here's our list of the best bars in Chicago.
Best Bars in Chicago
Sheffield's Wine & Beer Garden | Beer Garden | Lakeview
Sheffield's is a longtime haven for beer aficionados. Besides an awesome menu filled with guilty comfort food, this hip beer garden has a secluded outdoor patio enshrouded in lush overhanging trees. A great spot to enjoy craft favorites, or savor a little beer tasting, Sheffield's aims to please and delivers.
Moneygun | Cocktail Bar | Westlake
Imbued with cool speakeasy vibes, the seen-and-be-seen bar boasts a warm interior lined with cozy booths beneath a mirror-paneled cocktail menu. Order up a few crisp cocktails, Manhattans are particularly good here, and maybe a few small plates like pickled eggs and cod fritters with lobster mayo. The bartenders here know their spirits, and the ambiance is just plain cool.
East Room | Bar & Dance Club | Logan Square
A crossover between a bar and dance club, the hip urban vibes at this place start at its unusual entrance, with an old steel staircase rising along a street-art covered wall and onto a conspicuous door. Crowd sizes will vary, although busier nights will see lines that round the block, with sets from renowned acts like Gaslamp Killer or Nosaj. Despite this, the cool underground vibes and 4 am license make this a great place to spend the night, start it, or end it.
The J Parker | Rooftop Bar | Lincoln Park
Perched on the 13th floor of the Hotel Lincoln, The J Parker has some awesome views of Lincoln Park. Sadly, this also means that getting a seat on a sunny day is as hard as riding a bike while blindfolded. Nevertheless, the lively crowd, destination-themed drinks, and mouthwatering seasonal plates will make the wait worth the while.
Federales | Cocktail Bar | West Loop
An all-around great stop for anyone looking to quick back a few great margaritas, and chase them with some awesome bbq-style tacos. With a more than large enough seating space, Federales promises great service, reasonably priced (and delicious) cocktails, and a lively crowd that'll assure a fun afternoon.
The Rabbit Hole | Lounge | Old Town
Appropiately whimsical as its namesake inspiration suggest, this Alice In Wonderland themed bar is a mix of a sports bar and fun-house, with psychedelic wall art and rustic exposed brick detailing. Get in turn for a round of giant Jenga and start sharpening your steady hand with the bar's signature White Rabbit on a Dirty Mule drink. Don't worry about what's in it, the important thing here is having some plain old fun.
Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar | Bar | Bridgeport
This locally loved gem has a selection of over 500 American craft beers and international brews. If you stop by on a good night, you'll find this spot also happens to host some of the best DJ nights in town. With a lively crowd to match a fun atmosphere, Maria's is a near essential destination for anyone looking to get a feel for the Chicago bar scene.
1952 1/2 Liquorette | Bar & Restaurant | Bucktown
Tucked away behind Dixie, this resplendent southern bell type of place packs plush seating and a refined air of an old-money watering hole. The crowd here is dressed to impress, we'd recommend doing the same, and ordering up their trademark Dixie cocktail with whiskey, kola nut, baking spices, and evaporated sugar (as fancy as it sounds). The Old Fashioned here is equally impressive, and the southern-inspired po-boys and hush puppies are a must. Make some room for a night out at this spot.
The Sixth | Cocktail Bar | Lincoln Park
A place to dress up and head out. This sleek 50-seat bar offers an intimate spot for a drink with friends. Some drinks are served in mini fish tanks and gold metal pineapples, while others, like the Silly Rabbit, are poured over flavored ice cubes and Dark Matter's famous Unicorn Blood coffee and pipe tobacco. We kid you not, this is not your average bar. Be adventurous and order a "dealer's choice" cocktail, the bartender will craft you a personalized drink, while you delight in some life-changing duck fat fries.
Green Mill | Jazz Bar | Uptown
A historic lounge and one-time favorite of Al Capone (his favorite booth is still available to see), Green Mill is one of Chicago's top music venues. Known for its phenomenal jazz shows, local musicians entertain here every night of the week. Headliner cover will range from $4 to $15 dollars, and although any time is good, we'd recommend dropping in on a Friday around 5 to 8 pm.