Thirsty Thursdays: Top 5 Bars in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago in Illinois is commonly known as the “windy city” and it is more than just skyscrapers and office blocks. For the traveller, Chicago offers a night life to rival any city in the USA and with a huge range of diverse bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants, you won’t know where to start. First of all, get started with some cosy hotel to stay in such as the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown and then get your beer gut and hungry stomach ready to sample the delights of five of the best bars in Chicago. This short list should get you going, and could even act as a pub crawl as you drink the night away in a good range of bars surrounded by the bright lights of Chicago.

Chicago by night

Photo by Adrienne Frie via

1. Fado Irish Pub
Every good pub crawl deserves to have an Irish pub incorporated into it and Chicago has its fair share of Irish pubs scattered all over the city. It’s tough to pick a favourite one, but the Fado Irish pub stands out due to its traditional Irish decor, its live European Soccer (and other sports), its Happy Hour, and a superb range of beers and Irish whiskeys, not to mention the food.

2. The Violet Hour
If you are after some top-notch cocktails in a swanky trendy bar, then the Violet Hour is the place to be. The bar serves up signature cocktails, bottled cocktails, mixology demonstrations, and has a menu to water the mouths of any cocktail lover. The Violet Hour has received a James Beard catering award for its cocktails.

3. The Fountainhead
With Chicago being a city boasting countless skyscrapers, it would seem ridiculous not to include a rooftop bar in the top five. With great views, craft beers, and sublime cocktails, this is a very sociable bar especially in Summer months on the rooftop. The main bar is a busy place to hang out and the only real downside is that they close early at the weekends.


Photo by The Fountainhead

4. Revolution Brewery
Revolution Brewery is the pick for any beer lovers. This bar and brewery dishes up a range of over fifty home made beers per year. The main Brew Pub is in Logan Square and it is renowned for having the finest, freshest beer in all of Chicago. They also offer some quirky meal dishes such as the popular bacon-fat popcorn!


Photo by Revolution Brewery

5. The Library
The last bar on this list is a bit of a well-kept secret as the Library bar can be hard to find. It is situated underneath Gilt Bar and is a gem of a place. It’s a dark lounge which has actual library booths and shelves stacked with a load of old books. The food menu is good, the drinks are diverse, and you’re in a drinking den away from the office blocks above.

Chicago offers a huge range of bars and this quick top five merely scratches the surface. It’s a lively city with a vibrancy and diversity to it when the sun goes down.

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