This excellent Chicago bar was just named one of the best newcomers in the U.S.

Nine Bar in Chinatown keeps topping national lists.

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

Nine Bar, Chinatown's pretty great first cocktail bar, was just named one of the best new drinking dens in the U.S. by Bon Appetit—an accolade that we whole-heartedly agree with. 

Already bestowed a similar title by Esquire just a few weeks ago, Nine Bar is clearly deserving of all the praise. The destination is a modern take on the "spirit of Chinatown," as described by Bon Appetit, delivering on all fronts. 

"A DJ streams hip-hop in the back corner under floating white umbrellas, and bartenders mix drinks like a mai tai fortified with an orgeat syrup," writes the publication. "That sweet syrup, made with cookies baked at a local Chinese bakery, injects nostalgia into the classic drink. It’s one of many charming ways Nine Bar creates something new without boxing out the past."

Part of Nine Bar's allure certainly relies on its "secret" location and the space's overall vibe: Hidden away, right behind Moon Palace Express, the restaurant operated by the parents of bar co-owner Lily Wang, the moody, Blade Runner-esque destination is outfitted with a long bar, a few couches and tables. 

Patrons get to thoroughly enjoy the lineup of Asian-inspired plates and sandwiches without having to shout their opinions about each dish—the music isn't too loud and fellow diners tend to be the opposite of obnoxious. 

As for specific orders, we suggest indulging in the McKatsu, a fried pork sando packed with flavor, and washing it down with the classic Mai Tai, which is enhanced with the surprising use of an almond cookie orgeat syrup.

Although we had already included Nine Bar on our list of best cocktail bars in Chicago, it's always nice to have a national outlet agree with our sentiments and praise one of our very own. See you there this week for a celebratory drink?

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