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  © The Chicago Bar Project
Written by Sean Parnell
Best of Chicago Bars 2007

Drum Roll, Please:

Best Bar By Locale:

Best Bar By Type:


Best Chicago Bar

  1. Sheffield's Wine & Beer Garden – the last puzzle piece is in place with barbeque
  2. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge – top-notch jazz in Al Capone's old hangout
  3. Hopleaf Bar – we are eagerly anticipating the expansion as it's getting too damned crowded...
  4. Goose Island Brew Pub – excellent brews in a very warm environment
  5. Duke of Perth – the best Chicago pub isn't Irish...

Honorable Mention: Billy Goat Tavern – can't be beat on personality
Special Mention: Safe House (Milwaukee) – how can you not love a bar with secret passages?

Best Loop – West Loop Bar

  1. Miller's Pub
  2. 17 West at the Berghoff
  3. Jak's Tap
  4. Exchequer Pub
  5. Poag Mahone's

Best South Loop – Printers Row – Bridgetport – Little Italy Bar

  1. Kitty O'Shea's (South Loop)
  2. Schaller's Pump (Bridgeport)
  3. Bullpen Bar (Comiskey Park)
  4. Weather Mark Tavern (South Loop)
  5. Hawkeye's (Little Italy)

Best River North – Magnificent Mile – Gold Coast Bar

  1. Billy Goat Tavern
  2. Redhead Piano Bar
  3. Butch McGuire's
  4. Underground Wonder Bar
  5. Zebra Lounge

Best River West – Goose Island Bar – Noble Square Bar

  1. Emmit's Pub
  2. Twisted Spoke
  3. Matchbox
  4. Five Star
  5. J. Patrick's

Best Ukrainian Village – Humboldt Park Bar

  1. Empty Bottle
  2. California Clipper
  3. Inner Town Pub
  4. Rainbo Club
  5. Black Beetle

Best Wicker Park Bar

  1. Double Door
  2. Club Lucky
  3. Smoke Daddy
  4. Silver Cloud Bar & Grill
  5. Nick's Beergarden

Best Bucktown Bar

  1. Hideout
  2. Map Room
  3. Charleston
  4. Danny's Tavern
  5. Gallery Cabaret

Best Old Town Bar

  1. Twin Anchors
  2. Olde Town Ale House
  3. Fireplace Inn
  4. Bricks
  5. Corcoran's

Best Lincoln Park

  1. John Barleycorn's Memorial Pub
  2. Goose Island Brew Pub
  3. Stanley's Kitchen & Tap
  4. Burwood Tap
  5. Sterch's

Best Lakeview Bar

  1. Duke of Perth
  2. Southport Lanes & Billiards
  3. Cullen's
  4. Toons
  5. Lincoln Tap Room

Best Wrigleyville Bar

  1. Wrigley Field
  2. Irish Oak
  3. Gingerman
  4. Murphy's Bleachers
  5. Guthries Tavern

Best Andersonville Bar

  1. Hopleaf Bar
  2. Simon's Tavern
  3. Edgewater Lounge
  4. Ravenswood Pub
  5. Charlie's Ale House

Best North & Northwest Side Bar

  1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  2. Moody's Pub
  3. Long Room
  4. Gannon's Pub
  5. Galvin's Pub

Best Suburban Bar

  1. Hala Kahiki (River Grove)
  2. Tommy Nevin's Pub (Evanston)
  3. Pete Miller's (Evanston)
  4. Walter Payton's Roundhouse & America's Brewpub (Aurora)
  5. FitzGerald's (Berwyn)

Benefitting Most from the Illinois Smoking Ban

  1. Woodlawn Tap
  2. Jake's Pub
  3. Charleston
  4. Guthrie's Tavern
  5. Matchbox

Best Anglophile Pub

  1. Duke of Perth
  2. Globe Pub
  3. Red Lion Pub (undergoing renovation)
  4. Elephant & Castle
  5. Moody's Pub

Best Bar Tradition

  1. Goose Island Brew Pub – MBA program (Master's of Beer Appreciation)
  2. Underground Wonder Bar – crowd interaction with Lonie Walker's Bad Ass Band
  3. Friar Tuck – shots out of an inflatable sheep's behind
  4. Big Joe's 2 & 6 Pub – Friday turtle races
  5. Ravenswood Pub – Thursday Rock-Paper-Scissors tournaments

Best Barbeque

  1. Twin Anchors
  2. Miller's Pub
  3. Twisted Spoke
  4. Smoke Daddy
  5. Sheffield's Wine & Beer Garden

Best Beer Garden

  1. Wrigley Field
  2. Castaways
  3. Mickey's
  4. Moody's Pub
  5. Rock Bottom Brewery

Best Beer Selection

  1. Hopleaf Bar
  2. Map Room
  3. Quenchers
  4. Sheffield's Beer & Wine Garden
  5. Goose Island Brew Pub

Best Blues Joint

  1. B.L.U.E.S.
  2. Rosa's Lounge
  3. Kingston Mines
  4. Buddy Guy's Legends
  5. Linda's Place

Best Booze Selection

  1. Duke of PerthScotch
  2. Delilah's – Bourbon
  3. Southport Lanes & BilliardsScotch
  4. Stanley's Kitchen & Tap – Whiskey and Bourbon
  5. Agave Bar & Grill – Tequila

Best Brunch

  1. Stanley's Kitchen & Tap
  2. Duffy's Tavern Grille
  3. Four Moon Tavern
  4. Twisted Spoke
  5. Beaumont

Best Burger

  1. Moody's Pub – "Moody Bleu"
  2. Hackney's – the "Hackneyburger"
  3. Billy Goat Tavern – "Cheezborger! Cheezborger! DOUBLECHEEZ!!!"
  4. Twisted Spoke – "Fatboy"
  5. Jury's – the best burger you've never heard of

Best Cocktail Lounge

  1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  2. Coq d'Or (Drake Hotel)
  3. Signature Lounge (Hancock Building)
  4. Bungalow
  5. Long Room

Best Dive Bar

  1. Weeds Tavern
  2. Kelly's Pub
  3. Inner Town Pub
  4. Simon's Tavern
  5. Crabbby Kim's Bikini Bar

Best Folk Music

  1. Old Town School of Folk Music
  2. Hideout
  3. Abbey Pub
  4. Martyrs'
  5. Schuba's Tavern

Best Former Speakeasy

  1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  2. Club Lucky
  3. Twin Anchors
  4. John Barleycorn Memorial Pub
  5. Rainbo Club

Best German Bar

  1. Chicago Brauhaus
  2. Resi's Bierstube
  3. Mirabell Restaurant & Lounge
  4. Laschet's Inn
  5. Huettenbar

Best Haunted Bar

  1. Red Lion (under renovation)
  2. Ole St. Andrews Inn
  3. Excalibur Nightclub
  4. Webster's Wine Bar
  5. Bucktown Pub

Best Irish Pub

  1. Cullen's
  2. Tommy Nevin's
  3. Irish Oak
  4. Celtic Crossings
  5. Cork & Kerry

Best Jazz Club

  1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  2. Katerina's
  3. Andy's Jazz Club
  4. Green Dolphin Street
  5. New Apartment Lounge

Best Late-Night Bar

  1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  2. Marie's Riptide
  3. Redhead Piano Bar
  4. Deja Vu
  5. Underground Wonder Bar

Best Music

  1. Empty Bottle
  2. Hideout
  3. Double Door
  4. Elbo Room
  5. Beat Kitchen

Best Neighborhood Joint

  1. Sterch's
  2. Gingerman
  3. Charleston
  4. Guthrie's Tavern
  5. Ten Cat

Best Piano Bar

  1. Redhead Piano Bar
  2. Zebra Lounge
  3. Underground Wonder Bar
  4. Hugo's Frog Bar
  5. Davenport's

Best Place to See a Cover Band

  1. Cubby Bear
  2. Joe's Sports Bar & Grill
  3. McGee's
  4. Hog Head McDunna's
  5. Castaways

Best Place to See a Fight

  1. Kincade's
  2. Liar's Club
  3. Wrigley Field
  4. Big City Tap
  5. Zella

Best Pool

  1. Southport Lanes & Billiards
  2. Gingerman
  3. Seven Ten Lounge
  4. Dave & Buster's on Clark
  5. Ten Cat

Best Pub Game

  1. Cody's – bocce ball
  2. Toons and Wellington Tap – shuffleboard
  3. Blue Frog and Guthrie's Tavern – board games
  4. Local Option – shuffle puck bowling
  5. Ten Cat – Pennant Fever (baseball pinball)

Best Pub Grub

  1. Bricks
  2. Silver Cloud Bar & Grill
  3. Twisted Spoke
  4. Cleo's
  5. Agave Bar & Grill

Best Slam Poetry

  1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  2. Weeds Tavern
  3. Funky Buddha Lounge
  4. Joy Blue
  5. Estelle's Café & Pub

Best Sports Bar

  1. Joe's
  2. ESPN Zone
  3. Murphy's Bleachers
  4. Take Five
  5. Brew & View (for big games)

Best Sunday Night Bar

  1. Cullen's
  2. Long Room
  3. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  4. Double Door
  5. Hopleaf Bar

Biggest Tourist Trap

  1. Blue Chicago
  2. House of Blues
  3. Buddy Guy's Legends (closing in summer)
  4. Kingston Mines
  5. Green Door Tavern

Farthest Back in Time

  1. Schaller's Pump – oldest bar in Chicago
  2. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
  3. Club Lucky
  4. Twin Anchors
  5. Green Door Tavern

Funkiest Bar/Club

  1. Liar's Club
  2. Danny's Tavern
  3. Delilah's
  4. Lincoln Tap Room
  5. Hungry Brain

Most Fun Cheeseball Palace

  1. Hangge Uppe
  2. Irish Eyes
  3. Burwood Tap
  4. Butch McGuire's
  5. Marie's Riptide

Most Underrated Beer Garden

  1. Resi's Bierstube – Chicago's oldest beer garden
  2. Twisted Spoke
  3. Witt's
  4. Southport City Saloon
  5. Weeds Tavern

Most Underrated or Unknown Bar

  1. Quencher's
  2. Toons
  3. Witt's
  4. Edgewater Lounge
  5. Ten Cat

Most Unique Bar

  1. Signature Lounge (Hancock Building)
  2. Matchbox
  3. Billy Goat Tavern
  4. John Barleycorn's Memorial Pub
  5. Castaways

Weirdest Crowd

  1. Nisei Lounge
  2. Friar Tuck
  3. Clark Street Dog Bar
  4. Delilah's
  5. Charleston

Bars We Miss the Most

  1. Playboy Club
  2. Tuman's Alcohol Abuse Center
  3. Brother Jimmy's
  4. Lounge Ax
  5. Bamboo Bernie's

~ Have a good story relating to this bar? Email us. ~

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