These bars show that drinking in Chicago is rarely equalled anywhere

Spending time at a Chicago bar is an unmatched experience due to the breadth of the city’s drinking establishments. This is a hard-drinking city that Prohibition couldn’t shut down, as bootleggers divided the city into sections, taking advantage of Chicago’s proximity to Canada, where they could easily import alcohol into the U.S.

From avant-garde cocktail bars where mixologists show off, to traditional bars with stiff classic cocktails, to beer halls celebrating the city’s newfound love of craft brewing, Chicago’s bars are among the best in the country. So check out this map of Chicago’s most-essential bars, as no trip to the Windy City would be complete without a visit to at least a couple of these fine establishments. Listed in alphabetical order.

Three Dots and a Dash


Walk through what feels like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride into one of the best tiki bars in America. Enter the subterranean skull and hut-adorned standout through a back alley in River North.