Bars serve as social sanctuaries, uniting individuals to unwind, connect, and relish the camaraderie of shared moments. Beyond being mere places for libations, they emerge as hubs of entertainment, relaxation, and community. Whether it’s the snug ambiance of a pub, the vivacity of a sports bar, or the sophistication of a cocktail lounge, bars offer a diverse spectrum to cater to varied tastes. Patrons can select from an assortment of beverages, spanning classic cocktails to craft beers, cultivating an atmosphere that accommodates both celebration and contemplation. With amiable bartenders and diverse playlists, bars foster an environment where strangers evolve into friends, celebrations come alive, and the pulse of life resonates in the clinking of glasses and the hum of conversation.

Embark on a journey through Chicago’s dynamic nightlife with our thoughtfully assembled compilation of the Finest Bars in the city! Whether you prefer the elegance of cocktail lounges or the laid-back charm of pubs, each venue on our list guarantees a memorable experience. Immerse yourself in expertly crafted concoctions, soak in the vibrant atmosphere, and create lasting memories. Let us be your guide as we open the door to Chicago’s spirited bar scene, leading you to the most exceptional establishments where every sip is a celebration of the city’s lively essence. Here’s to uncovering the heartbeat of Chicago’s nightlife! Cheers!

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1 Old Town Ale House

Since its establishment in 1958, the Ale House has metamorphosed into Chicago’s quintessential dive bar. A testament to its enduring charm, the Old Town Ale House is hailed by Sean Parnell of the Chicago Bar Project as a nostalgic relic, capturing the ambiance of Old Town in the 60s and 70s. As a neighborhood landmark, it stands as a classic Chicago joint, resonating with a timeless appeal that locals and visitors alike cherish. The pub has garnered a reputation that extends beyond its walls, becoming a must-visit destination. The “Official Chicago Bar Guide (1994)” encapsulates the Ale House experience, emphasizing its role as a haven for winners, losers, and everyone in between, some of whom may find it difficult to ever leave. In the heart of Chicago, the Ale House stands as a living testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant pub culture.

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Monday 3pm–4am
Tuesday 3pm–4am
Wednesday 3pm–4am
Thursday 3pm–4am
Friday 3pm–4am
Saturday 3pm–5am
Sunday 3pm–4am

Review on Tripadvisor– “Perfect late night joint and its open until 4 – or it was on the Wednesday night we visited. Prices seemed OK $27 for a couple of beers and 2 JD & Cokes. Quick service and interesting decor and I guess its seen its fair share of up and coming comics who perform opposite..” – Alf13

2 Gilt Bar

Gilt Bar
Gilt Bar, meticulously reconstructed and reenvisioned, exudes a renewed sense of culinary and aesthetic excellence. With a dedication to the joy of dining in bars and savoring drinks in restaurant settings, Gilt Bar remains a beacon of indulgence. The opulent yet playful ambiance, enhanced by marble floors and timbered ceilings, elevates the experience of enjoying a sumptuous menu comprising American classics, global wines, and vintage cocktails. The sultry space, now more lavish than before, enchants with its delightful furnishings, upholstered walls, and captivating details bathed in an inviting amber glow. Gilt Bar invites patrons to immerse themselves in a world where culinary delights and refined elegance seamlessly converge.

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Monday 4–9pm
Tuesday 4–10:30pm
Wednesday 4–10:30pm
Thursday 4–10:30pm
Friday 4–11pm
Saturday 4–11pm
Sunday 4–10:30pm

Review on Facebook – “Stopped by for HappyHour.  The Teeny Martinis were lovely.   Beautiful decor and the food was delicious.” – Cheryl Goggin

3 The Lodge Tavern

The Lodge Tavern
Nestled in the vibrant pulse of Chicago’s bars and nightlife, The Lodge Tavern, inaugurated in 1957, stands as an enduring icon and the oldest establishment in the Gold Coast’s Division Street Entertainment District. Throughout its storied history, The Lodge has consistently played the role of a cherished neighborhood meeting place. Patrons gather for convivial conversations over a selection of beers, classic drinks, and a generous supply of complimentary peanuts. Whether visitors from afar or local regulars, everyone discovers The Lodge to be as welcoming as home, offering a comforting ambiance accentuated by a familiar and amiable staff. Since its inception, The Lodge Tavern has remained a timeless haven, inviting all to partake in the warmth of camaraderie and the spirited essence of Chicago’s nightlife.

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Monday 10am–4am
Tuesday 10am–4am
Wednesday 10am–4am
Thursday 10am–4am
Friday 10am–4am
Saturday 10am–5am
Sunday 10am–4am

Review on Google – “Don’t usually give 5 stars, but it’s worth giving. I have known this pub for decades, how it’s survived the covid and recession I’ll never know. However, I was with friends, and we had a great time catching up while staff service was excellent, and food drinks were outstanding..” – Winston Lindsay

4 Cleos Bar and Grill

Cleos Bar
Cleos Bar and Grill proudly collaborates with the American Bocce Co, embracing their motto, “play more bocce.” At Cleos, we’re dedicated to facilitating just that! Whether you’re a seasoned player or a complete novice, we encourage everyone to join in the fun. No experience? No problem! The best way to learn is by playing, and our bocce courts welcome enthusiasts of all levels. League nights are a mix of beginners and veterans, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. Beyond league nights and private events, Cleos’ Bocce Courts are open to all who wish to throw, providing an opportunity for practice and enjoyment. Come experience the camaraderie and joy of bocce at Cleos Bar and Grill!

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Monday 12pm–2am
Tuesday 12pm–2am
Wednesday 12pm–2am
Thursday 12pm–2am
Friday 12pm–2am
Saturday 12pm–2am
Sunday 12pm–2am
Review on Tripadvisor: “I came here on a Friday Night for the $6 fish fry and $4 well drinks. Both were equally delicious. I have been here several times and I am never disappointed.”- Kami1129

5 Richard’s Bar

Richard’s Bar
Richard’s Bar, a cherished establishment in Chicago’s vibrant nightlife, invites you to experience the epitome of local charm and camaraderie. Nestled in the heart of the city, our historic bar, founded in 1933, has been a cornerstone of the community, providing a timeless space where patrons can unwind, connect, and create lasting memories. With a rich history and a commitment to preserving the essence of a classic Chicago bar, Richard’s Bar offers a welcoming ambiance, friendly staff, and an extensive selection of libations to suit every taste. Whether you’re a local looking for a familiar haunt or a visitor eager to immerse yourself in Chicago’s authentic spirit, Richard’s Bar beckons you to revel in the tradition of a true neighborhood gem. Join us for an unforgettable experience where every visit feels like coming home. Cheers to the timeless allure of Richard’s Bar!

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Operation Hours

Monday 8am–2am
Tuesday 8am–2am
Wednesday 8am–2am
Thursday 8am–2am
Friday 8am–2am
Saturday 8am–3am
Sunday 12pm–2am

Review on Google: “Might be the most legit tavern I’ve ever been to in my life and I don’t say that lightly since I’ve been to a lot of those. They truly don’t make em like this anymore, it is like stepping into a time machine. Famously “allows” smoking, even the bartender lights up in front of the no smoking sign. Jukebox mostly plays Sinatra of course, and obviously, cash only. Feels like Joe Pesci is gonna walk in any minute. A guy just bought a round for the 3 of us patrons here as I type this on a Sunday afternoon, just a few of us in a smoky tavern as crooners softly play on the jukebox, it feels like I’m in a painting. Time seems to stand still here and it’s a beautiful thing. One of my favorite bars anywhere.”- Tom

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