15 of the Best Bars and Breweries in Chicago

chicago best barWhether you are looking for a night on the town or even a brunch with drinks and entertainment in the Chicago area, we have the place for you. And even if you are a local or just visiting for a short trip, these locations all help contribute to what makes the city equally as unique and charming. That’s why they are at the top of our list!

With that in mind, learn more about Chicago’s 15 best bars and breweries:

1. Scofflaw

Well-known as the gin cocktail bar in Chicago, the Scofflaw experience encapsulates an inviting environment, cocktails that are unique and beautifully crafted, as well as food that goes above and beyond.

Additionally, Scofflaw’s kitchen is open until 1 a.m., offers an alternative late-night menu, and serves warm cookies as a nice late-night treat.

2. Kumiko

Kumiko is a Japanese dining bar located just in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. This authentic Japanese bar offers dishes that are made with traditional ingredients and techniques that can be paired with a cocktail on the menu. Not to mention, Kumiko welcomes each customer with open arms when you dine with them.

3. Bokeh

Since 2019, Bokeh has specialized in creating a welcoming and intimate environment with seasonal cocktails, bar snacks, and small plates to share with family and friends. Whether you are looking for a casual date night or even a special evening with a group of friends, Bokeh’s atmosphere includes rotating DJs and art shows, first and second-chance happy hour offerings, and overall friendly customer service.

4. Punch House

Located down in the basement of Thalia Hall, Punch House is a comforting and inviting environment that specializes in cocktails, sandwiches, various bar snacks, ice cream, and of course, punch.  With 1970s-inspired décor throughout the space, you can enjoy a gathering with friends alongside song selectors and DJs for your entertainment.

5. The Alderman

If you are looking for an intimate cocktail bar, The Alderman is a place that you should try. Featuring creations from Chicago’s award-winning mixologist Lance Bowman, the menu includes a group of year-round staples as well as a rotating list every couple of months.

6. Billy Sunday

Billy Sunday is best known for drinks that take a more creative approach, as well as the classics accompanied by an elevated menu of bar foods. This cocktail bar is also known for featuring one of the largest collections of fernet and Amaro, scotch, bourbon, and rum in North America.

7. The Hampton Social

As a coastal-inspired hotspot located in the heart of the city, The Hampton Social provides a relaxing environment with hand-crafted cocktails and that coastal cuisine. The menu also offers a weekend brunch and cocktail menu for individuals to relax and unwind during weekend visits.

8. Moody Tongue

At Moody Tongue, the goal is to create a culinary brewing experience that blends high-quality ingredients and flavors that are familiar to the pallet. Their brewmaster, Jared Rouben, connects the kitchen and the brewery to provide a simplistic, yet strong pairing between the food and the beverage.

Additionally, Moody Tongue offers private tastings for those wanting to learn more about its variety of culinary beers and styles.

9. Old Irving Brewing

In the Old Irving Park neighborhood, Old Irving Brewing is a craft brewery that offers a diverse array of styles that are proudly brewed in the Chicago area. Old Irving’s menu offers a combination of delicious food, quality craft beers, and a creative expression of a cocktail menu.

The brewery also features a brew calendar that showcases when which beers are available, if not year-round, so you can plan ahead!

10. Burnish Bush Brewery

With the goal of serving the greater Chicago community, Burning Bush is a microbrewery that is deeply passionate about quality craft beer and a personable hospitality experience.

Burning Bush’s space also includes a dog-and-family-friendly taproom and a sun-filled patio on which you can relax and enjoy your food and beverage.

11. Forbidden Root

At Forbidden Root, beer is said to be the most creative beverage. That is why they incorporate a variety of herbs, spices, fruits, flowers, and roots into their flavors and recipes.

Alongside their craft beers, Forbidden Root serves seasonal dishes that complement the craft beer offerings.

12. Cole’s Bar

Cole’s Bar is a music and comedy venue that is known for hosting an assortment of live events throughout the year. From open mic nights to album release parties, you can book Cole’s Bar for whatever event that you need and be accompanied by a full drink menu.

13. Big Chicks + Tweet

Since 2003, Big Chicks + Tweets has specialized in non-traditional dishes and organic ingredients when possible. Offering generous breakfast, lunch, and brunch portions, pair your delicious food with the wine of the month!

It is also important to note that the interior has been specifically decorated by artist Zuleyka Benitez, and it is one that you do not want to miss!

14. Sidetrack

As a multi-level bar and entertainment center, Sidetrack is an establishment that can be considered an inclusive space and community for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. From theme nights, such as 90s night, show tunes night, drag night, and so much more, Sidetrack is a space that creates a new and inviting experience each and every time!

The club also includes a seasonal drink menu, specialty drinks and shots, and even a frozen drink selection.

15. Nobody’s Darling

Nobody’s Darling is an assorted cocktail bar intended to promote relaxation in an intimate environment. They also offer Happy Hour on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, as well as an impressive assortment of high-end spirits for consumer enjoyment.

Want to Be Featured in Our Best of Chicago Series?

If you are wanting to be featured in our Best of Chicago series, please contact us today to learn more. We are looking forward to showcasing additional unique bars and breweries in the Chicago area!

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Rachel Calvis

About the Author

Rachel Calvis

Rachel is an Online Marketing Specialist at Sixth City Marketing. Her main role is constructing and editing concise marketing copy for our B2B and B2C clients.

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