Whether you want Rhum Agricole blanc blended with coffee, or a beer and a shot, there’s a bar for that—a really great one.

Chicago has come a long way from being a post-shift, whiskey-and-beer town (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It’s just that the drinking scene is as wide and varied as the city itself. These days, you’ll see that it thrives with creative bartenders experimenting with ingredients, techniques, and philosophies. Whether seeking out austere, polished classics in the Loop, or heading to Logan Square—where new cocktail dens open regularly—for playful tiki drinks, there’s something for everyone. Want to try a really unique pet nat wine? Or a classic cocktail made expertly well? You’ve got options. Just want that beer and a shot? No problem, that’s still an option: Our list of Chicago’s best bars has it all. This list was last updated September 2019.

Three Dots and a Dash


With a thatched faux-roof, colorful mood lighting, and statuesque ceramic mugs, Three Dots and a Dash leaves no doubt about what it is: a tiki bar that’s dedicated to the aesthetic without veering too far into the kitsch. The classic tiki preparations, including the bar’s namesake cocktail, receive their own section of menu. But the real fun is in exploring Kevin Beary’s modernized flights of fancy. If you’re feeling especially saucy, dip your toe into the Reserve section to see what a $65 tiki drink tastes like.