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Chicago’s Best Cocktail Bars

When it comes to drinking dens, Chi-town is never short of options, but recently the Windy City has seen a host of new crafty cocktailers shake up the scene. From a Mexi-fun mezcal mixer to a former-pharmacy turned classic corner bar, here are the top new spots you should be sipping at.

Mezcaleria Las Flores

This achingly hip sipper on Logan Square is all about the new answer to tequila. Bartender Jay Schroeder knows his agave from his sotol, saving you a trip to Mexico. Blue walls and bar stools keep things colourful, with tables for tucking into tacos.

3149 W Logan Blvd, West Town,


A wall of mirrors serves as a menu sporting cocktail names at Moneygun (from the much-loved Thalia crew), including the Pink Squirrel, a bonkers combo of ice-cream, hazelnut and chocolate liqueurs. Despite the moniker, Moneygun is a cosy affair, with leather stools encircling a convivial bar.

 660 W Lake St, Near West Side,

Spilt Milk Tavern

This mod corner crib (from the uber-talented barkeeps behind SparrowLone Wolf and Nico Osteria) teams floral William Morris wallpaper with a 40-foot mahogany bar and milky pendants. It was once a 1920s pharmacy, so drinks playfully riff on that theme. Now that’s our kind of medicine!

2758 W Fullerton Ave, West Town,

Eight Bar and Patio

The vampishly gorgeous ground-floor bar of rave-busy steakhouse Maple & Ash teams hot dogs (bacon-wrapped with foie gras, black truffle and cognac-mustard sauce) with fanciful tipples inspired by Magic 8 Ball responses. Shake the ball and see what hits the bar!

8 W Maple St, Near North Side,

El Che Bar

For wood-fired Argentinean tidbits and punchy LatAm quaffs, make for El Che, the new West Loop bar-resto from La Sirena Clandestina’s John Manion. The cocktail list spans pisco, mezcal and cachaça, prepped with smoke, fire and ash effects. Perch at the marble counter overlooking the grill. 

845 W Washington Blvd, Near West Side,

A version of this article originally appeared on Pencities Chicago on 17 October 2016.

For more ace Chicago bars and insider intel on the Windy City…

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