Eyebrow-singeing punch bowls, beers made out of beets, boozy Shamrock Shakes—all popped up in one of the best years for bar openings in Chicago in ages. Forget speakeasies and self-serious mixology temples; it’s all about lively tiki bars, sophisticated wine spots, and lounges with Instagram-worthy views.
How do we know? We visited every remotely promising spot to throw open its doors in the city in 2015 (54 in all), evaluating each on drink quality, service, and ambiance. Bonus points went to bars that pushed the envelope (a British naval bar, a “culinary brewery”). Here’s to the 20 best reasons to leave your house this winter.