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Best Bars to Bring Your Kid

Beat Kitchen If you frequent this bar and concert space for indie-rock or comedy shows, you know it’s one of the top underground venues in the city; however, it may be difficult to imagine toting your little darlings here. On Sundays at noon, though, it’s just the place to take them, because that’s when the … Read more

Best Boozy Brunch Spots in Chicago

NEW Dove’s Luncheonette The folks behind next door neighbor Big Star launched this Mexican-ish diner last year, and predictably, the alcohol is reason enough to pull up a stool. The whole drink menu is on offer all day, but you’ve obviously got a Bloody Mary on the brain. The one here is a small but … Read more

Here Are the Top Drinking Trends of 2015

In Out Innovative bar food from pedigreed chefs The “gastropub with a twist.” What does that even mean? The unmarked speakeasy with an entrance you can’t find Signage so ostentatious that the bar is impossible not to find Classic cocktails: Nice to see you again, Rob Roy. Drinks with 20 ingredients—and only 2 you can … Read more

Best Bars to Close a Business Deal

Sable Kitchen & Bar Don’t be fooled by the two sports-tuned TVs flanking the bar. In this hot spot, you’ll find chic execs who enjoy Mike Ryan’s impeccably devised drink menu (full of original craft cocktails), the inventive small plates (airy tuna tostadas are a favorite), and an attentive, all-business waitstaff. Because it’s near major … Read more

Best Bars to Dance Without Going to the Club

NEW Slippery Slope Don’t let the lengthy line outside dissuade you from visiting Scofflaw’s (see “Best Bars to Go on a Third Date”) cool kid sister. If you do, you’ll miss out on one of the city’s most inviting nightly parties, a hip homage to the now-defunct dancehall Bonny’s. The house beer comes with a … Read more

Best Bars to Do a Craft Shot

Table, Donkey and Stick If you’re game to try the Brooklyn booze trend dubbed the pickleback—a shot of whiskey chased with pickle brine—order one at this Alpine-inspired bar/restaurant with an inviting back patio (enclosed and hearth-heated during winter). Bartenders pair bourbon with rotating brines (cauliflower, onion, leek) for kicky 20-and 30-somethings, whose faces often contort … Read more

Best Bars to Drink Before or After the St. Pat’s Parade

Beverly’s beloved South Side Irish Parade (March 15) runs down Western Avenue, and though the street is lined with Irish pubs, the two best are next-door neighbors. Both pour Guinness, of course. But they’re also the most iconic and most likely to be frequented by in-the-know neighborhood revelers. Keegan’s Pub (10618 S. Western Ave.) is … Read more

Best Bars to Hold a Book Club Meeting

At the Red Lion Pub (Lincoln Park, 2446 N. Lincoln Ave., redlionchicago.com), bookshelves line the walls, and rooms are themed (English history, World War II, African studies). Named for Oscar, the Wilde Bar & Restaurant (Lake View, 3130 N. Broadway, wildechicago.com) has its own “grand library,” complete with fireplace. Both bars have a mature ambiance … Read more

Best Bars to Listen to Live Music

JAZZ Jazz Showcase College kids hang with jazz lifers at this 68-year–old joint, the only spot in town that books an all-star lineup and takes reservations. Cover isn’t cheap—tickets run up to $40 on weekends—but that extra dough gets you access to such vets as Pat Martino (playing a six-show residency this month) sans those … Read more