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Arsenic & Old Lace at Bernard's Bar

Cocktail bar report cards

We rate 19 iconic cocktail bars to see if they’re still worth your money.

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It's de rigueur for drink enthusiasts to rave about the Aviary or put the Violet Hour on a craft-cocktail pedestal. But do those spots and other mainstays live up to the lore? We revisit 19 iconic cocktail bars to assess whether they're still worth your time and money.

Follow TOC on Foursquare to explore a list of our favorite bars. Check into three from this issue and you'll unlock our Bar Hunter badge.

The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room

How the bar’s holding up since Charles Joly jumped ship for the Aviary.

Sepia

Sepia

Expert cocktails meet Michelin-rated food.

Coq d’Or

Coq d’Or

The live music is better than the cocktails at this historic bar.

NoMI Lounge

NoMI Lounge

The view is better than the drinks at this iconic bar.

Bar DeVille

Bar DeVille

A spot worth waiting 35 minutes to snag a drink?

Tiny Lounge

Tiny Lounge

Not so tiny anymore, but still a good neighborhood option.

Violet Hour

Violet Hour

Is it worth waiting in line for this speakeasy?

Nacional 27

Nacional 27

Can you still get a good cocktail at the bar that started it all?

Weegee’s Lounge

Weegee’s Lounge

The vintage bar now serves its classic cocktails with superb service.

Double A

Double A

Why you should spend your money elsewhere.

Sable

Sable

Sometimes it’s okay to pay $13 for a cocktail.

Scofflaw

Scofflaw

The year-old Logan Square cocktail spot is an instant classic.

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