An acclaimed Chicago bar has just been recognized as one of the best in the world.
Kumiko, the elegant cocktail temple helmed by renowned mixologist Julia Momosé, is ranked No. 25 in this year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Bars. It marks the first time a Chicago spot has made the top 50 since 2018. Kumiko was No. 61 in last year’s rankings, which (despite its name) honors 100 bars.
Opened in 2018, Kumiko is a Japanese-inspired bar and restaurant in the West Loop that’s earned numerous accolades for its exquisite cocktails and inventive plates. Momosé won a James Beard Award this past summer as well for helping write the cookbook The Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes.
In Time Out Chicago’s review of Kumiko, critic Maggie Hennessy wrote it “raises the bar on fine dining and delivers a superb lineup of sake- and shochu-centric sips and delicate bites imbued with Japanese flavors.”
The awards were announced at a ceremony in Barcelona. Fittingly, the host city is also home to the bar that claimed the coveted No. 1 spot, Paradiso. This is the first time a place outside of New York or London has received the distinction. All in all, the list features entrants from 26 cities around the globe. New York led the way with six honorees: Double Chicken Please (No. 6), Katana Kitten (No. 9), Attaboy (No. 22), Overstory (No. 34), Dante (No. 36) and Employees Only (No. 47). Miami’s Cafe La Trova landed at No. 21.
First published in 2009, The World’s Best 50 Bars is an annual list compiled by votes from more than 650 drinks professionals. Chicago establishments that have been previously recognized include The Aviary, Three Dots and a Dash and Lost Lake, the beloved tropical bar that shuttered in early 2022.
You can check out the full list of winners here.