We love the tropical cocktails at Lost Lake so much that we asked co-owners Shelby Allison and Paul McGee to open their own bar inside Time Out Market Chicago (which is why you won't find them on the list below). The hidden cocktail counter specializes in rum-soaked tipples that will transport you to a faraway island. After your first sip, you’ll understand exactly how McGee and Allison won the title of Best Cocktail Bar in America from the discerning Tales of the Cocktail as well as Bar of the Year at Time Out Chicago’s 2018 Bar Awards.
August 2021: After a year that was particularly rough for dives, taprooms and cocktail bars, the latest update to Time Out Chicago's DRINK List has finally arrived. We're happy to report that classic spots like Scofflaw and Old Town Ale House are still alive and well, but we're even more overjoyed to add some fresh drinking destinations to the mix. Pull up a seat at taprooms (Life on Marz Community Club, Whiner Beer Co.), spots for sipping natural wine (All Together Now, Easy Does It) and cocktail bars (Bokeh, Osito's Tap) throughout the city. Raise a glass to the best bars in Chicago!
In a city where faded Old Style signs swing outside of beloved dive bars and lines snake around the block at trendy cocktail lounges, the best bars in Chicago act as meeting places, date locales and venues for celebrations. With so many great places to grab a beverage, our list of our all-time favorite bars around town is expansive—and inclusive of taprooms at Chicago breweries, wine bars uncorking bottles of red and white as well as the finest cocktail bars Chicago has to offer. In a city that's packed with places to belly up and have a drink, these watering holes shine extra bright and boozy. Take a look at the best bars in Chicago and find the perfect destination for your next night out.