Whether you’re planning a laid-back outing with loved ones or looking for a way to celebrate a special event, Chicago features plenty of bars to explore. You’ll find dive bars, craft beer, historic spots, specialty cocktails, and more in our city. In fact, there are so many great places to try, planning a bar visit can start to feel overwhelming.

That’s where Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. comes in. We’ve put together this list of some of the best bars in Chicago for you to check out.

Carol’s Pub

Cheers of Beer
Image via Unsplash by kazuend

No list of must-visit Chicago bars would be complete without a mention of Carol’s Pub. The beloved late-night honky tank bar has been an Uptown mainstay since 1972.

Today, a remodel and fresh menu make the dive bar the place to go for live music, food, drinking, and late nights. The bar certainly has tons of character!

Complement cheap beer with a sandwich or wings, or get a cocktail and some bar food. There’s also a wide-ranging whiskey menu to explore. Whether you’re looking for a historic place to host a party or you’re just planning a fun night out, you’ll want to have this popular spot on your list.

Half Acre

If your idea of a great bar outing involves beer, you won’t want to miss Half Acre. This Chicago-based beer company has everything on the brewing spectrum. Whether you’re in the mood for classic beers or experimental offerings, you’ll likely find a new favorite from Half Acre.

The company offers two brewery spaces—there’s the original location on Lincoln Avenue and an expanded facility on Balmoral. Both spaces boast taprooms and kitchens, and you’ll want to reserve some time to check out both. Each location features a unique menu to help you soak up Half Acre’s great beer selection. The Lincoln location also houses the company retail shop, while the Balmoral site includes an outdoor beer garden.

No matter which location you visit, you can look forward to a fun and unique experience. The beer is simultaneously inventive and accessible, so you’ll quickly see why Half Acre is a local icon.

Lazy Bird

In the mood for cocktails? Pay a visit to Lazy Bird. This cool cocktail den is located in Houston Hotel’s basement, so you can enjoy a night of drinks surrounded by locals and visitors alike in an upscale, fun atmosphere.

Rich mahogany and leather-bound books add to the sexy vibe of this Chicago bar, and live entertainment on the weekend takes the experience to the next level. Of course the highlight here is the cocktail menu, which spans 52 choices and offers up everything from bourbon to brandy, gin to aged rum and more.

Keep in mind that you can’t make reservations here. Lazy Bird operates on a strictly first come, first served basis, so plan ahead for a visit to this bar.

The Office

Take a break from work at The Office, an intimate speakeasy located right below The Aviary. There, you’ll find vintage spirits and classically inspired cocktails to take you on a trip back in time. You’ll have to look for this fun bar, but once you find it, you’re in for a breathtaking experience.

The details on display at The Office really take things to the next level. From decadent food to antique spirits to the check written in handwritten calligraphy, this unique Chicago spot really has it all.

Not sure what you want to drink on a night out? Ask the bartender for the “dealer’s choice.” They’ll also you questions to get a sense of your taste, then come up with a drink based on what you describe. No matter what you end up drinking, a visit to this speakeasy is sure to create a memorable experience.

Pilsen Yards

Head over to Pilsen Yards for a uniquely hip experience. The Pilsen neighborhood is now home to this hipster hub, the perfect spot for hanging out with friends while enjoying the atmosphere and drinks. Simple art-lined walls, exposed brick, and wood tables come together with an open air vibe for a comfortable setting.

You can enjoy live music and vinyl DJ sets on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday, and art exhibits rotate bi-monthly. A clear roof, radiant-heated cement floor, and radiant overhead heaters make this an especially warm and cozy space for hangouts with family and friends.

Of course, the menu boasts plenty to look forward to as well. Indulge in some Latin street food like tacos and carne asada along with your tequila, mezcal, or whiskey. Pilsen Yards also features The Alderman, an intimate, 18-seat cocktail lounge. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Pilsen Yards when you’re planning a night out.


A longtime institution in Logan Square, Scofflaw is a gin-focused cocktail bar that has something for everyone. You’ll find plenty of non-gin options, including craft beer, daily punch specials, and rum and tequila drinks. So while Scofflaw is a must-visit on any list of Chicago bars if you’re into gin, a night out at Scofflaw promises a little something for everyone in your group, whether they’re gin aficionados or not.

The Victorian-style salon serves an assortment of small plates along with their beautifully crafted cocktails—and the small plate menu takes simple bar food to the next level. Don’t forget the fresh-baked cookies at midnight when you’re plotting your night out.

You can count on Scofflaw whether you’re looking for brunch on a patio, dinner and drinks, or anything in between. And you’ll definitely want to keep coming back—the cocktail menu rotates every three months, so there’s always something new to try at Scofflaw.

That wraps up Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co.’s list of some of the best bars to explore in Chicago. Did your favorite bars make the cut, or did we miss a hidden gem or two? Let us know if we missed any of the Windy City’s best, most iconic watering holes and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!