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Chicago bar reviews

Where should you drink tonight? Read our reviews of Chicago bars to find the best spots for cocktails, beer or wine.

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With hundreds of bars to pick from, Chicago's bar scene can be daunting. Make your decision easier with our bar reviews, with our picks for the best cocktail bars, best wine bars, best beer bars and more.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to the best bars in Chicago

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Lazy Bird
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • West Loop

This basement bar in the West Loop is easily one of the best new bars of the year.

Carol’s Pub
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Uptown
  • price 1 of 4

Uptown’s famous late-night honky tonk tavern is back from the dead and good as ever.

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Neon Wilderness
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Wicker Park

Equal parts neighborhood joint and refined cocktail bar, Brad Bolt’s good-humored watering hole is just what Wicker Park needed.

Good Measure
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • River North

This snug, punk-tinged cocktail bar fills a void in River North and slings lip-smacking drinking food, to boot.

Time Out loves

The Aviary
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

When Grant Achatz does a cocktail bar, it should go without saying that it's no ordinary cocktail bar. At the Aviary, which opened next door to Next in 2011, cocktails receive the same innovative treatment as the food at Next or Alinea. That is to say, you should expect to drink cocktails like the Junglebird, a science experiment in liquid density, with layers of rum, campari, pineapple-lime syrup and rum "pearls" suspended in the drink. O'Doyle Rules comes with a fried banana snack on top of the rum-curry-cognac concoction, while Loaded to the Gunwalls is delivered with a single tapered candle. The drink, with pineapple, hazelnut and Batavia Arrack, is served in a glass ship in a bottle. You've never seen a drink like it, and given how rare a visit to the Aviary is, you may never again.

The Drifter
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Like the first time I tried to go to the Violet Hour and walked straight past the door, I had no idea how to get into the Drifter, a new bar located underneath Green Door Tavern. But while the Violet Hour was Chicago’s first nouveau speakeasy, bar culture has changed over the past eight years—now, when a bar claims to be a speakeasy, all that means is that it’s dark, with well-made cocktails and bartenders in retro clothes. The Drifter breaks the mold, since it’s actually located in an old speakeasy space, and it’s missing the pretentious trappings a lot of cocktail bars have. In speakeasy days, people would enter a door a couple blocks away and get into the bar through a window, which has been covered over. We had to ask at Green Door how to get in, so I’ll save you the trouble: Walk through Green Door, head downstairs and enter through the wooden door that’s next to the restrooms. There’s no sign, but if the door guy isn’t there taking names for a waitlist that grows longer as the night goes on (though we walked right in at 5:30pm on a Saturday), knock and he’ll let you in. Once inside, the space is dark, cozy and full of objects that were already there when bartender Liz Pearce (Gage, Drawing Room, Aviary) took over the unused space. There are old paintings, like one of FDR that overlooks the end of the bar, a bullet-riddled Mobil sign, flags billowing from the ceiling and dozens of dusty old bottles lined up atop the bar. It’s a comfortable, low-key spot to hang out, and

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Celeste
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

Bar review by Amy Cavanaugh Before a new bar or restaurant opens, chefs and publicists usually inundate social media with updates, obsessively document recipe testing via Instagram, and provide “first looks” to every media outlet in town. By the time the place actually opens, you’ve already seen everything.   Not so with Celeste, which I listed as “new bar in Swirl Wine Bar space” under “date unknown” on the document I use to track new openings, right up until February 3, the day it actually opened.  The lack of buzz means two things: One, there’s plenty to discover on a menu that hasn’t obsessively been covered. And two, you can get a seat. Celeste has become a popular industry spot—on my first visit, Sepia head bartender Griffin Elliot was sitting at a booth in the Deco Room upstairs; on another, I sat next to Steve Dolinsky at the first floor bar. Celeste is owned by brothers Nader, Fadi and Rafid Hindo; Freddie Sarkis (Sable Kitchen & Bar) and Sterling Field (Carriage House) handle bar duties. Former Sepia bartender Josh Pearson also helped with the opening before becoming the brand ambassador for Absolut Elyx. There are two bars: A first floor bar that’s long and sleek, with a more approachable cocktail menu and a DJ, and a quieter upstairs bar, which glows with light from big chandeliers and where Field makes cocktails that are more complex—and more expensive. Food, from Aaron Lirette (last at Acadia, he’s been working on Celeste for the last year and a half), is availa

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

There’s a lovely moment in Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—the HBO documentary on the late Fred Rogers—that discusses the importance of creating quiet spaces. A peeler slowly works its way around an apple; Rogers sets an egg timer to show the actual length of a minute. It’s meant to reject the loud, crude mass media aimed at children in television’s early days, but it also echoes the overstimulation with which many of us live, work and eat now, thanks to a certain device we keep glued to our sides. But from the moment I entered Kumiko’s plant-filled foyer to a welcome cup of cinnamon chai tea, a sense of meditative calm washed over me. This Japanese-inspired cocktail bar and restaurant from Julia Momose (GreenRiver), Cara and Noah Sandoval and chef de cuisine Mariya Russell (all Oriole), is one of measured pace and care. Kumiko’s eight-seat omakase bar lends a peek into the humming kitchen through an intricately carved wood shade that acts as a focal point of the restaurant. My date and I had booked our barstools about a month in advance for the $130 omakase experience, in which Momose and her skilled team pair a series of fixed Japanese bites with sakes and bespoke cocktails. “Do you tend to go for bright and citrusy? Bitter or savory?” asked our meticulously suited bartender once we were settled. His easy warmth goaded me into oversharing beyond my cocktail preferences in the same way I sometimes psychologically unload on hospitable baristas. A progression of nigiri came first. C

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The Loyalist
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

There are two options when you enter John and Karen Urie Shields’ Smyth + The Loyalist. You can head upstairs to Smyth for a modern fine dining experience, complete with a prix fixe menu, or you can walk downstairs to the Loyalist, a sultry bar with upscale bites (including an amazing cheeseburger) and killer cocktails. Positioned in the West Loop, the spot is perfect for a before- or after-dinner drink, but you could also spend a whole night there. The Loyalist’s cocktail menu is the centerpiece, springing from the mind of former MFK bartender Roger Landes. The menu is well rounded, with a mix of light and spirit-forward drinks, including twists on classics and more original ideas. All the cocktails have at least one special component, such as the use of Chinato in place of Campari in the Innocents Abroad with Gentiane, creating a citrusy and bitter negroni. Likewise, the Nothing Noble combines bourbon with demerara sugar, a bit of Amargo Valet and mint for an herbal twist on a classic old-fashioned. It isn’t just the variations and balance that makes these cocktails interesting—there’s also something to be said for the presentation. Drinks come in beautiful etched glass goblets and fancy thin-walled lowballs that exude quality and attention to detail. The food works well for the space too, with primarily small plates made for sharing—a sharp contrast to the fine dining dishes served upstairs. The most notable thing on the menu is the cheeseburger, served on a sesame seed bu

Big Star
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Mezcalerias
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

This fun, honky tonk-style taqueria in the Windy City’s Wicker Park neighborhood couldn’t be more serious about its tacos, and it shows: its al pastor variety is a thing of pure beauty. Marinated pork shoulder is roasted to crackling on a spit, then carved into tortillas and topped with grilled pineapple and onions, plus plenty of fresh cilantro. 

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Lazy Bird
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • West Loop

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Cheers theme song and the idea of a place “where everybody knows your name.” The thing is, on nights when I can sneak away and splurge on a round of craft cocktails, I seek out places where no one knows my name. It’s not that I’m anti-social—more than anything, it’s about reveling in quality time with close friends. Lazy Bird, the bar in the basement of the Hoxton hotel helmed by Lee Zaremba, ticks all the right boxes for that kind of night out. The space is so dimly lit that you can barely see across the room, and seating is configured in a way that gives each party a sense of privacy—even if you are seated two feet away from the next table. And don’t plan on checking your email or Instagram feed while you’re here; the subterranean space is a black hole for cell service. Those qualities alone make Lazy Bird a solid watering hole. But when you toss in Zaremba’s pièce de résistance of a menu—a whopping 52 classic cocktails that have been refined and perfected—this place easily enters Best New Bar of 2019 territory. Just as my date and I snagged seats along the wall opposite the bar, our server presented us with a beautiful book of tipples to choose from—each accompanied by hand-drawn illustrations from Kate Dehler and bite-sized descriptions penned by Zaremba. When we asked for a second menu so that we could browse simultaneously, our server told us that there weren’t enough to go around. As soon as we ordered our first sips—an Aviation for m

Three Dots and a Dash
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Bar review by Amy Cavanaugh There are, it seems, two Three Dots and a Dash. There’s the crowded, noisy Three Dots, where a DJ plays Justin Timberlake and you’re lucky to get a seat—and even if you do, someone will be elbowing you in the back as they urge their friend to “Chug! Chug! Chug!” their marigold-accented tiki drink. Then there’s the serene tiki bar, where you can sit at the raffia-decorated bar and listen to island-themed music while you eat coconut shrimp. I just can’t seem to find the second Three Dots. I’ve been to the bar on several occasions, weekdays and weekends, at 5:15pm, right after Three Dots opens, and at 11:15pm for a nightcap after dinner. No matter when I go, the bar is raucous and the music is loud. Friends swear they’ve been to Three Dots when it’s quiet and you don’t have to yell at your companions to be heard. I haven’t found that magic time yet. But it’s River North, right? And Three Dots is the hot new bar, and a Melman project at that, so of course people are going to line up in the alley, where a blue light marks the door and a bouncer with an earpiece checks IDs, right? Right. So I’m going to move on and tell you why you should pack your earplugs and just go anyway. First of all, you won’t realize how much you were missing perfectly made tiki drinks in your life until you have one here. Since Trader Vic’s closed in 2011, there hasn’t been a dedicated tiki bar in the city, and we’ve needed one. These aren’t frozen daiquiris dispensed from a mac

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Ludlow Liquors
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Avondale

Enterprising barchitects Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue (Sportsman’s Club, Estereo) took another shot at reviving the beloved Orbit Room space in Avondale—this time with much success. Ludlow Liquors carves out a distinct identity for itself through a roster of spirit-forward cocktails available by the ounce plus greasy drinking food that artfully blends Midwestern nostalgia with Filipino tradition. Entering the dim, orange-cast tavern while the Clash crooned reggae-lite punk over the speakers evoked the familiar, snug embrace of a neighborhood dive (though, for the record, it’s far cleaner and lacks the typical old-bar musk). Despite the fact that the doors opened for service just an hour earlier, the 17-seat bartop was totally occupied. My husband and I slid into one of the toffee-hued leather booths lining the wall opposite the bar to peruse the menu. Most of the cocktails here are available as one-, two- or three-ounce pours, allowing guests to sip sample-sized portions of the boozy offerings. At first, I dismissed the idea as far too Brooklyn for our big-shouldered city. Who’d opt to go small on a drink like the Summit—a light, bright and nutty whiskey martini with Suntory Toki, fino sherry and persimmon liqueur? Or the charming absinthe-washed Sportsman, with caramel-scented bourbon, Italian rhubarb amaro and a double dose of bitters? But as I neared the bottom of my first coupe, the appeal of sampling an ounce or two of the Delicious #7—a botanically inclined mescal and

Estereo
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Café bars
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

You might as well be walking into a Wes Anderson film when you enter Estereo, where everything is tinted slightly yellow-gold and patterns—from tiled floors to detailing on the bar—make you feel like you’re on set. The all-day bar from Heisler Hospitality (Pub Royale, Sportsman’s Club, Trenchermen, Queen Mary Tavern) has a “leave your worries at the door” vibe that transports you to an island town where three old guys wearing oversized button-downs sit at the bar all day long. And you can sit all day long, too. The bar opens daily at 11am with coffee from Dark Matter and pastries like guava croissants and chocolate croissants, while afternoons offer a list of ten cocktails based on specific spirits. Drinks come from Ben Fasman (Sportsman’s Club, Big Star) and Michael Rubel (Lone Wolf, Violet Hour), with spirits like pisco, cachaca, rum, tequila and mescal dominating the menu. The menu changes regularly, with one exception: the Breezy, a highball served in a branded plastic cup (this somehow feels fun and whimsical rather than childish or gimmicky) with your choice of spirit (gin and rum are our favorites), Yerba Mate, Falernum, lime and soda. It’s built to be an easy sipper year-round—light with just enough body to pull us through the cold winter. The drinks are exceptional, but what really makes this place tick is its vibe. Music from a turntable fills the air with bright Latin-American tunes. Settle in at the large, triangle-shaped bar that dominates the space, or for a mor

Most popular Chicago bars

The Aviary
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

When Grant Achatz does a cocktail bar, it should go without saying that it's no ordinary cocktail bar. At the Aviary, which opened next door to Next in 2011, cocktails receive the same innovative treatment as the food at Next or Alinea. That is to say, you should expect to drink cocktails like the Junglebird, a science experiment in liquid density, with layers of rum, campari, pineapple-lime syrup and rum "pearls" suspended in the drink. O'Doyle Rules comes with a fried banana snack on top of the rum-curry-cognac concoction, while Loaded to the Gunwalls is delivered with a single tapered candle. The drink, with pineapple, hazelnut and Batavia Arrack, is served in a glass ship in a bottle. You've never seen a drink like it, and given how rare a visit to the Aviary is, you may never again.

The Drifter
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Like the first time I tried to go to the Violet Hour and walked straight past the door, I had no idea how to get into the Drifter, a new bar located underneath Green Door Tavern. But while the Violet Hour was Chicago’s first nouveau speakeasy, bar culture has changed over the past eight years—now, when a bar claims to be a speakeasy, all that means is that it’s dark, with well-made cocktails and bartenders in retro clothes. The Drifter breaks the mold, since it’s actually located in an old speakeasy space, and it’s missing the pretentious trappings a lot of cocktail bars have. In speakeasy days, people would enter a door a couple blocks away and get into the bar through a window, which has been covered over. We had to ask at Green Door how to get in, so I’ll save you the trouble: Walk through Green Door, head downstairs and enter through the wooden door that’s next to the restrooms. There’s no sign, but if the door guy isn’t there taking names for a waitlist that grows longer as the night goes on (though we walked right in at 5:30pm on a Saturday), knock and he’ll let you in. Once inside, the space is dark, cozy and full of objects that were already there when bartender Liz Pearce (Gage, Drawing Room, Aviary) took over the unused space. There are old paintings, like one of FDR that overlooks the end of the bar, a bullet-riddled Mobil sign, flags billowing from the ceiling and dozens of dusty old bottles lined up atop the bar. It’s a comfortable, low-key spot to hang out, and

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Celeste
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

Bar review by Amy Cavanaugh Before a new bar or restaurant opens, chefs and publicists usually inundate social media with updates, obsessively document recipe testing via Instagram, and provide “first looks” to every media outlet in town. By the time the place actually opens, you’ve already seen everything.   Not so with Celeste, which I listed as “new bar in Swirl Wine Bar space” under “date unknown” on the document I use to track new openings, right up until February 3, the day it actually opened.  The lack of buzz means two things: One, there’s plenty to discover on a menu that hasn’t obsessively been covered. And two, you can get a seat. Celeste has become a popular industry spot—on my first visit, Sepia head bartender Griffin Elliot was sitting at a booth in the Deco Room upstairs; on another, I sat next to Steve Dolinsky at the first floor bar. Celeste is owned by brothers Nader, Fadi and Rafid Hindo; Freddie Sarkis (Sable Kitchen & Bar) and Sterling Field (Carriage House) handle bar duties. Former Sepia bartender Josh Pearson also helped with the opening before becoming the brand ambassador for Absolut Elyx. There are two bars: A first floor bar that’s long and sleek, with a more approachable cocktail menu and a DJ, and a quieter upstairs bar, which glows with light from big chandeliers and where Field makes cocktails that are more complex—and more expensive. Food, from Aaron Lirette (last at Acadia, he’s been working on Celeste for the last year and a half), is availa

The Loyalist
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

There are two options when you enter John and Karen Urie Shields’ Smyth + The Loyalist. You can head upstairs to Smyth for a modern fine dining experience, complete with a prix fixe menu, or you can walk downstairs to the Loyalist, a sultry bar with upscale bites (including an amazing cheeseburger) and killer cocktails. Positioned in the West Loop, the spot is perfect for a before- or after-dinner drink, but you could also spend a whole night there. The Loyalist’s cocktail menu is the centerpiece, springing from the mind of former MFK bartender Roger Landes. The menu is well rounded, with a mix of light and spirit-forward drinks, including twists on classics and more original ideas. All the cocktails have at least one special component, such as the use of Chinato in place of Campari in the Innocents Abroad with Gentiane, creating a citrusy and bitter negroni. Likewise, the Nothing Noble combines bourbon with demerara sugar, a bit of Amargo Valet and mint for an herbal twist on a classic old-fashioned. It isn’t just the variations and balance that makes these cocktails interesting—there’s also something to be said for the presentation. Drinks come in beautiful etched glass goblets and fancy thin-walled lowballs that exude quality and attention to detail. The food works well for the space too, with primarily small plates made for sharing—a sharp contrast to the fine dining dishes served upstairs. The most notable thing on the menu is the cheeseburger, served on a sesame seed bu

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Big Star
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Mezcalerias
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

This fun, honky tonk-style taqueria in the Windy City’s Wicker Park neighborhood couldn’t be more serious about its tacos, and it shows: its al pastor variety is a thing of pure beauty. Marinated pork shoulder is roasted to crackling on a spit, then carved into tortillas and topped with grilled pineapple and onions, plus plenty of fresh cilantro. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4

There’s a lovely moment in Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—the HBO documentary on the late Fred Rogers—that discusses the importance of creating quiet spaces. A peeler slowly works its way around an apple; Rogers sets an egg timer to show the actual length of a minute. It’s meant to reject the loud, crude mass media aimed at children in television’s early days, but it also echoes the overstimulation with which many of us live, work and eat now, thanks to a certain device we keep glued to our sides. But from the moment I entered Kumiko’s plant-filled foyer to a welcome cup of cinnamon chai tea, a sense of meditative calm washed over me. This Japanese-inspired cocktail bar and restaurant from Julia Momose (GreenRiver), Cara and Noah Sandoval and chef de cuisine Mariya Russell (all Oriole), is one of measured pace and care. Kumiko’s eight-seat omakase bar lends a peek into the humming kitchen through an intricately carved wood shade that acts as a focal point of the restaurant. My date and I had booked our barstools about a month in advance for the $130 omakase experience, in which Momose and her skilled team pair a series of fixed Japanese bites with sakes and bespoke cocktails. “Do you tend to go for bright and citrusy? Bitter or savory?” asked our meticulously suited bartender once we were settled. His easy warmth goaded me into oversharing beyond my cocktail preferences in the same way I sometimes psychologically unload on hospitable baristas. A progression of nigiri came first. C

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Ludlow Liquors
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Avondale

Enterprising barchitects Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue (Sportsman’s Club, Estereo) took another shot at reviving the beloved Orbit Room space in Avondale—this time with much success. Ludlow Liquors carves out a distinct identity for itself through a roster of spirit-forward cocktails available by the ounce plus greasy drinking food that artfully blends Midwestern nostalgia with Filipino tradition. Entering the dim, orange-cast tavern while the Clash crooned reggae-lite punk over the speakers evoked the familiar, snug embrace of a neighborhood dive (though, for the record, it’s far cleaner and lacks the typical old-bar musk). Despite the fact that the doors opened for service just an hour earlier, the 17-seat bartop was totally occupied. My husband and I slid into one of the toffee-hued leather booths lining the wall opposite the bar to peruse the menu. Most of the cocktails here are available as one-, two- or three-ounce pours, allowing guests to sip sample-sized portions of the boozy offerings. At first, I dismissed the idea as far too Brooklyn for our big-shouldered city. Who’d opt to go small on a drink like the Summit—a light, bright and nutty whiskey martini with Suntory Toki, fino sherry and persimmon liqueur? Or the charming absinthe-washed Sportsman, with caramel-scented bourbon, Italian rhubarb amaro and a double dose of bitters? But as I neared the bottom of my first coupe, the appeal of sampling an ounce or two of the Delicious #7—a botanically inclined mescal and

Three Dots and a Dash
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Bar review by Amy Cavanaugh There are, it seems, two Three Dots and a Dash. There’s the crowded, noisy Three Dots, where a DJ plays Justin Timberlake and you’re lucky to get a seat—and even if you do, someone will be elbowing you in the back as they urge their friend to “Chug! Chug! Chug!” their marigold-accented tiki drink. Then there’s the serene tiki bar, where you can sit at the raffia-decorated bar and listen to island-themed music while you eat coconut shrimp. I just can’t seem to find the second Three Dots. I’ve been to the bar on several occasions, weekdays and weekends, at 5:15pm, right after Three Dots opens, and at 11:15pm for a nightcap after dinner. No matter when I go, the bar is raucous and the music is loud. Friends swear they’ve been to Three Dots when it’s quiet and you don’t have to yell at your companions to be heard. I haven’t found that magic time yet. But it’s River North, right? And Three Dots is the hot new bar, and a Melman project at that, so of course people are going to line up in the alley, where a blue light marks the door and a bouncer with an earpiece checks IDs, right? Right. So I’m going to move on and tell you why you should pack your earplugs and just go anyway. First of all, you won’t realize how much you were missing perfectly made tiki drinks in your life until you have one here. Since Trader Vic’s closed in 2011, there hasn’t been a dedicated tiki bar in the city, and we’ve needed one. These aren’t frozen daiquiris dispensed from a mac

Advertising
Lazy Bird
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • West Loop

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Cheers theme song and the idea of a place “where everybody knows your name.” The thing is, on nights when I can sneak away and splurge on a round of craft cocktails, I seek out places where no one knows my name. It’s not that I’m anti-social—more than anything, it’s about reveling in quality time with close friends. Lazy Bird, the bar in the basement of the Hoxton hotel helmed by Lee Zaremba, ticks all the right boxes for that kind of night out. The space is so dimly lit that you can barely see across the room, and seating is configured in a way that gives each party a sense of privacy—even if you are seated two feet away from the next table. And don’t plan on checking your email or Instagram feed while you’re here; the subterranean space is a black hole for cell service. Those qualities alone make Lazy Bird a solid watering hole. But when you toss in Zaremba’s pièce de résistance of a menu—a whopping 52 classic cocktails that have been refined and perfected—this place easily enters Best New Bar of 2019 territory. Just as my date and I snagged seats along the wall opposite the bar, our server presented us with a beautiful book of tipples to choose from—each accompanied by hand-drawn illustrations from Kate Dehler and bite-sized descriptions penned by Zaremba. When we asked for a second menu so that we could browse simultaneously, our server told us that there weren’t enough to go around. As soon as we ordered our first sips—an Aviation for m

Estereo
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Café bars
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

You might as well be walking into a Wes Anderson film when you enter Estereo, where everything is tinted slightly yellow-gold and patterns—from tiled floors to detailing on the bar—make you feel like you’re on set. The all-day bar from Heisler Hospitality (Pub Royale, Sportsman’s Club, Trenchermen, Queen Mary Tavern) has a “leave your worries at the door” vibe that transports you to an island town where three old guys wearing oversized button-downs sit at the bar all day long. And you can sit all day long, too. The bar opens daily at 11am with coffee from Dark Matter and pastries like guava croissants and chocolate croissants, while afternoons offer a list of ten cocktails based on specific spirits. Drinks come from Ben Fasman (Sportsman’s Club, Big Star) and Michael Rubel (Lone Wolf, Violet Hour), with spirits like pisco, cachaca, rum, tequila and mescal dominating the menu. The menu changes regularly, with one exception: the Breezy, a highball served in a branded plastic cup (this somehow feels fun and whimsical rather than childish or gimmicky) with your choice of spirit (gin and rum are our favorites), Yerba Mate, Falernum, lime and soda. It’s built to be an easy sipper year-round—light with just enough body to pull us through the cold winter. The drinks are exceptional, but what really makes this place tick is its vibe. Music from a turntable fills the air with bright Latin-American tunes. Settle in at the large, triangle-shaped bar that dominates the space, or for a mor

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