These two Chicago bars were named among the best in the U.S.

Another day, another accolade for some local favorites.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
Nine bar interior
Photograph: Marisa Klug-Morataya

In recent weeks, Chicago has topped many lists—best restaurants in the world! Top steakhouses globally!—and now, we've got another accolade to add to our belt: Esquire has included Bisous and Nine Bar, two local favorites, in their rankings of the best bars across the U.S.

We, of course, do not disagree with that assessment. 

Praising Bisous' excellent decor—both inside and outside—Esquire compares the space to a Paris-like venue that "gives you that whiff of France through the subtle sixties-inspired logo and lush booths and textures wallpaper."

As for what to drink? The L'Jardine, a freezer martini made with basil-infused brandy and CH vodka, is recommended by Esquire.

On the other hand, the allure of Nine Bar—one of Time Out's best cocktail bars and the first of its kind to open in Chinatown—rests partly on its "secret" location: It's hidden away behind Moon Palace Express, a restaurant operated by the parents of bar co-owner Lily Wang.  

Although all the cocktails made with ingredients sold in the neighborhood (think plums and Szechuan peppercorns, for example) are great, it's the Mahjong Money that resonates most with Esquire. The concoction features mezcal, Japanese whisky, matcha, honey, lemongrass and ginger. Sounds delicious indeed.

Although we're constantly singing the praises of the two drinking dens mentioned by the outlet, we must also bring up Kumiko, Meadowlark and Best Intentions, which were recently named to the 2024 list of North America’s 50 Best Bars.

Basically, Chicago is home to some awesome bars. You can almost never go wrong.

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