If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Chicago guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Chicago for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Le Passage to busy places like Cullen's Bar & Grill that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Lake View area? No fear - we share all the facts!



Dean and Carolyn Armstrong bought the old Flossmoor Train Station building, built in 1906, and lovingly restored it into the brewery and restaurant that it is today. Partial to ales, the brewery also has handcrafted some stouts and Imperial IPAs...  Read More



The Roof lives up to its name with impressive views of the Chicago skyline from the 27th floor of theWit Hotel. An outdoor lounge lets patrons soak in the sun on warmer days, while an indoor area (complete with fireplace) offers some respite...  Read More

Le Passage


Enter through the alley, move past the beautiful blond hostess (having met the cover charge and dress code), descend the stairs, and be transported to a 10,000-square-foot subterranean speakeasy of the new millennium. Le Passage's funky decor...  Read More

Marie's Rip Tide Lounge


Omnipresent 77-year-old Marie, the lounge's original owner and bartender, looks like your grandmother and acts like a truck driver. She runs the place, sings on occasion, does magic tricks, and for a shot of Jagermeister, she'll be your new...  Read More

WestEnd Bar & Grille
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of WestEnd


Since the neighborhood around the United Center can be a little dicey, this sports bar and restaurant is a diamond in the rough. WestEnd Bar & Grille is the place for pre-game partying for United Center sporting events, particularly Chicago...  Read More

Rockit Bar and Grill


A trendy, high-concept space draws crowds nightly to this happening bar, lounge, and restaurant. The bustling front bar is the place to see and be seen. Sample a specialty cocktail, like the Rockit Root Beer – root beer, Stoli Vanil, and Godiva...  Read More



For a nostalgic experience with the requisite hint of trendiness, Cans is the place to go. While canned beer – 27 varieties – is definitely the specialty, bottles and cocktails can also be had. Grab a seat at one of the two bars, or sink into...  Read More

Cullen's Bar & Grill


A pressed tin ceiling and cozy booths lining one wall are just a few of the details that help Cullen's distinguish itself from Chicago's glut of Irish bars and restaurants. Folks come here to grab a bite to eat or simply to knock back a couple...  Read More

Lake View


199 bottles of beer on the wall...and 30 drafts, too. How do you choose? Just ask one of the well-versed waitstaff, who can also recommend an entree to pair perfectly with your brew of choice. A somewhat smoky front room doesn't discourage...  Read More

Coq d'Or


This bar has become a Chicago landmark. It sports Prohibition-era decor, and low lighting sets the mood. The martini is the signature drink, and cabaret-style pianists and singers entertain nightly. The menu includes a number of items that come...  Read More