Bar industry experts curated by Time Out Chicago have chosen the best bars in Chicago – and there are definitely some to add to your Chicago summer bucket list.
This June, we got together in the west loop at The Herbarium (right next to Au Cheval – I’m still digesting that burger). After tasting inventive cocktails from William Grant & Sons, which were notable next to individual sized bottles of Rose with cones on them. It seriously felt like a summer spin New Year’s Eve.
Time Out Chicago’s editor, Morgan Olsen announced the winners for Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2018, who were ranked and profiled by an industry-renowned panel of high-profile drinks experts and top bartenders. The panel included Julia Momose, beverage director at Oriole; James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang; Benjamin Schiller, beverage director at The Fifty/50 Group; Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Mattias Horseman; Monkey Shoulder Ambassador Vance Henderson; and , the Olsen, herself.
The full list of Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2018 winners:
- Bar of the Year presented by Hendrick’s Gin: Lost Lake
Guys! I haven’t been here. I was excited about this bar back in 2015 when it opened. For about a year and a half I was following Logan Square’s bar and restaurant scene as a new business writer (shout out to JAM for the best brunch of my life), but I transitioned out and sadly haven’t really explored Logan Square that much besides the occasional PBR, Jamison shot, and pizza special at Boiler Room. If you make a bar crawl out of Lost Lake, I would also add the vintage sports club and eatery, Park & Field to your list of summer time bars – it gave me Cali vibes in their patio with the fire pit and summer games 🙂
- Best Legacy Bar presented by Monkey Shoulder: Green Mill
Green Mill is a staple. I use to go every Friday night with visitors from Hi USA Hostel. I personally love it for a date night on Sunday with the poetry slam.
- Best Wine Bar presented by Segura Viudas: Red & White Wine Bar
- Best New Bar: Golden Teardrops
- Best Bar-Restaurant Program: Bad Hunter
- Best Bar Crew: Sportsman’s Club
- Best Cocktail in Chicago: Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch at Maple & Ash
Maple & Ash recently got on my radar. It’s always a popular spot – even when I pass through it in the Gold Coast on a Tuesday.
- Sexiest Cocktail: Spanish-Style Gin and Tonic at Cindy’s
Cindy’s is the best – actually all of Chicago Athletic Club is because it’s versatile for a girl’s night, book club hangout, or a sexy date night. I think I visit Cindy’s the most often. Need to add this cocktail to my list, though 🙂
- Best Speciality Bar: Todos Santos
- Most Creative Drinks List: The Drifter
- Most Stylish Bar: Prairie School
Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2018 panelists
- Mattias Horseman
- Vance Henderson
- Ed Marszewski
- Julia Momose
- Danny Shapiro
- Calvin Martin
- Christopher Marty
- Benjamin Schiller
- Brenton Engel
- Paul Hletko
- Caitlin Laman
- Nandini Khaund
- Belinda Chang
- Morgan Olsen
- Zach Long
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.