Take a break from the constant commotion of Chicago’s big city life with these top bars in Chicago. The craft beer scene has taken hold in Chicago, but there are still plenty of places that adhere to the art of a good cocktail. Here are a few spots that will hook you with inventive recipes and keep your glass full. Good times.
Theme bars are usually good for a couple visits before they fizzle out and you take your friends to the old neighborhood standby. But when it comes to Lost Lake’s innovative and thorough commitment to the Tiki theme, you’ll be asking for more. This bar offers serious cocktails that pack in the rum and tropical flavors, and if you get enough of them in you then you’ll quickly erase any memory of Chicago’s no-nonsense winter months. This Logan Square bar will transport you to a different state of mind and a pretty decent state of inebriation with its inventive cocktail menu.
The Loop stays open later with this ping pong bar situated a stone’s throw from the banks of the Chicago River. A massive 50-foot cocktail bar overlooks the simultaneous parties going on around 16 ping pong tables. AceBounce’s bar offers Chicago-centric interpretations of English recipes, like the Ollie Palmer, which combines local Chicago spirits like North Shore Chamomile Citrus Vodka with Pimm’s No. 1 to do an American version of the classic Pimm’s cup cocktail. Like whiskey? Well, once you taste your way through the immense whiskey list at AceBounce you will certainly be a convert. Make sure to get a few sips of AceBounce’s private barrel of Knob Creek while you’re at it.
If a more low-key joint is on your bucket list for Chicago bars, then Sparrow is a must. This charming bar in Chicago’s Gold Coast has the feeling of a pre-war speakeasy and specializes in rum cocktails. Sparrow has respect for the craft of bartending and the artisans behind the bar can tell you the stories behind every spirit and liqueur on the menu.