Popularly known as “The Windy City” is a place steeped in history, culture, the blues – and of course, I’d be remiss not to mention- an exceptional bar scene. Let’s take an exciting tastebud-tingling journey through some of the best bars in Chicago for young adults. Buckle up, it’s about to be a wild ride.
Table of Contents
14 Top Bars in Chicago For An Awesome Night
1. Billy Goat Tavern
By Angel Contreras Local Guide
Hang on to your hats, folks, first stop is the legendary, soul-stirring Billy Goat Tavern. With the overpowering aroma of sizzling cheeseburgers, their ‘cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger’ chant has become an iconic experience.
While the food is amazing, their bar scene is a supporting act worth its weight in liquor gold. Every Chicagoan and visiting patron worth their salt should sit here, downing a cold one, feeling the history soak into them from the worn, wooden bar counters. Just a stone’s throw from Michigan Avenue, Billy Goat Tavern should be a priority if you want to experience the fun bars in Chicago.
2. The Green Mill Cocktail bar
By SERPİL YILMAZ
Next, we shimmy over to the jazz heartland of Chicago, The Green Mill. Remember Al Capone? He used to hang out here. Filled with the echoes of saxophones and sultry singers, this is one of the coolest bars in Chicago taking you back in time in the middle of a Chicago blues scene. Crafty cocktails and the promise of a time travel to Chicago’s edgy past? It’s a ‘jazz-hand, high-kicking yes’ for me.
3.The Berghoff Chicago Bar
By The Berghoff Restaurant
Raise your steins high, friends. We’re marching into The Berghoff. A Gothic-style masterpiece brimming with good-natured warmth. Here, German tradition meets Chicago grit. The booze? Steins of in-house brewed beer, Hefeweizen, and Dunkel hit the spot.
And the sweetest cherry topping? It also happens to be one of the best old-town Chicago bars. Who’s up for a game of ‘Greetings from Berghoff’ postcards, anyone? If you’re in the USA and you like the vibe of rustic bars, here are some of our favorite bars in Austin, Texas.
4. Cindy’s rooftop bar in Chicago
By Cindy’s Rooftop
Looking for rooftop bars in Chicago? This place has got to top your list. When it comes to view, Cindy’s stands tall and proud. Nestled atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, the panoramic vista of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan is a sight for sozzled eyes.
Now, I’m not one to get sappy, but let’s face it, sipping on their inventive and artistic drinks while the Windy City spreads out before you? That’s a little bit of bar heaven right there.
5. The J. Parker Cocktail Bar In Chicago
The J. Parker
Speaking of views, The J. Parker won’t be left behind when it comes to the best cocktail bars in Chicago. A Lincoln Park neighborhood gem, with its art-deco-inspired design, succulent small bites, and an array of liquid sunshine cocktails, it’s a must-visit in the warmer months.
6. LondonHouse Chicago
Stepping into LondonHouse Chicago is like stepping into a smoother, suaver version of reality. Their bar, full of glamour, glitz, exquisite cocktails, and unmatched views of the Chicago River, will have you sashaying and swaying, dreaming of life as a debonair 007 agent in one of the most unique bars in Chicago.
7. Three Dots and a Dash West Loop Chicago bar
Three Dots and a Dash
Ready to switch gears? Three Dots and a Dash is our next West Loop Chicago bar. You can practically hear the trill of ukuleles and feel sand between your toes in this loop-area hideaway. Get your hula on with tropical-themed cocktails served in kitschy tiki mugs.
8. Emporium Arcade Bar
Turning back the hands of time, we get to Emporium Arcade Bar. This nostalgia-laden bar-cum-arcade cranks up the fun quotient. A frosty beer in one hand, gaming joystick in the other – childhood memories and adulthood privileges collide in one of the biggest bars in Chicago!
9. The Magic Parlour
The Magic Parlour
A night at The Magic Parlour is a night of mystery, intrigue, and gasps. Located within the opulent Palmer House Hilton, mentalist Dennis Watkins will dazzle you with his magical skills. Grab your favorite potion from the bar and prepare to be wowed in the cool bars of Chicago.
10. Hopleaf Bar
Patrick Ho Local Guide
Are you craving comfort food classics and craft beers? Hopleaf Bar in Andersonville, with its Belgian-inspired menu, cozy ambiance, and encyclopedic beer list will be your sanctuary.
11. Map Room
Shawn Riggins Local Guide
Globetrotters, unite! At Map Room, a worldly collection of brews awaits. Diverse, extensive, and inviting, their beer menu symbolizes the spirit of Chicago – a melting pot of culture and ideas.
12. Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar
Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar
Straddling Bridgeport and McKinley Park, Maria’s is not just a bar, it’s a community-driven treasure. It’s all about communing over Korean-Polish fusion food and a dizzying array of craft beers here.
13. The Aviary West Loop Chicago bar
Jaclyn Local Guide
Our bar hop will be incomplete without a visit to our favorite West Loop Chicago bar – The Aviary. It’s not just a bar, it’s an institution, where each cocktail is a masterpiece, a symphony of taste, and a dance for the eyes.
14. The Violet Hour
The Violet Hour
To wrap it up, we head to The Violet Hour, an elusive Wicker Park treasure, where high-quality cocktails are crafted with nearly reverential determination, shrouded by velvet curtains in an intimate, sublime setting.
Our Final Words
A night out in Chicago is nothing short of a grand adventure. From history-laden stalwarts like The Berghoff to the experimental genius of The Aviary, the city’s bar scene reflects its ethos – diverse, bold, and unapologetically fun!
The real magic of the best bars in Chicago, apart from all the drinks and decadence, lies in their stories, their spaces, and the people you share them with. So, here’s to your next ‘cheers’ amidst the city skyscrapers, accompanied by the symphony of clinking glasses, laughter, and music.