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

Bars

Neon Wilderness

icon-location-pin Wicker Park

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

Time Out says
Bars

Good Measure

icon-location-pin River North

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

Time Out says
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Bars

Ludlow Liquors

icon-location-pin 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.

Time Out says
Bars

Golden Teardrops

icon-location-pin Logan Square

I can’t stop playing “Golden Teardrops,” the haunting 1953 single by Chicago doo-wop group the Flamingos. 

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Restaurants

The Moonlighter

icon-location-pin Logan Square

The casual sibling sports bar to Scofflaw raises the—ahem—bar for the category with easy-drinking cocktails and craft brews to please serious drinkers.

Time Out says
Bars, Breweries

Lo Rez Brewery & Taproom

icon-location-pin Lower West Side

Pilsen has collected its fair share of breweries over the last five years, with each newcomer offering a wildly different vibe. The folks behind Lo Rez Brewing have managed to re-create the simple pleasure of drinking at home inside a funky, no-fuss warehouse space. Avoiding the hops hype, the brewers here offer a short list of draft options on overhead chalkboards, plus a fridge of to-go bottles in the back. The Local Logic pilsner and Keeper Quencher Summer Saison were top picks from our visit. Stout fans will love the Public Declaration with notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon and roasted malt. It's worth noting that just like sipping brews in your parents' basement, no one here is waiting on you hand and foot. My date and I waited 15 minutes before a server approached us at the bar. For a laid-back, nowhere-to-be kind of Friday night, we weren't terribly annoyed.  Also noteworthy: You can order packaged cheese and beef jerky (both of which are surprisingly good) at the bar or bring your own food. Tables around us packed everything from Tupperware-clad picnics to goodies from nearby taquerias. Low Rez's new Pilsen taproom might not be the most glamorous opening of the year, but it has the low-key cool vibe down pat, making it worth a trip in my book.  Vitals Atmosphere: The ginormous warehouse space leaves plenty of room to mix and mingle. Did we mention it's dog-friendly? Because it is.  What to eat: BYO snacks or order cheese and jerky at the bar.  What to drink: 

Time Out says
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Bars, Hotel bars

Apogee

icon-location-pin River North

Out-of-this-world cocktails are on the menu at Apogee inside Dana Hotel

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Bars, Lounges

Wild Blossom Meadery

icon-location-pin Washington Heights

You’ll have to hike to Beverly to visit this spot, but it’s worth the journey.

Time Out says
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By neighborhood

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Photograph: Martha Williams
Bars

Pilsen

The neighborhood mostly offers low-key bars, but they're places that pay attention to drinks

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Photograph: Martha Williams
Bars

Lakeview

Sing karaoke, play bar games or relax after work with a craft beer at one of the bars in Lakeview

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