At some point in your business travels, you are going to end up in Chicago and want a drink. But its bustling downtown has dozens of bars – so many, in fact, that it might be tricky to find one that suits your tastes when visiting the Windy City. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the most distinct and interesting bars in this area to help you narrow down your choices for a night on the town. Find out which of these great downtown drink spots is a good fit for your style, especially if you just have a weekend in Chicago and need to know the in places.
For a No-Frills, Blue-Collar Chicago Experience: Billy Goat Tavern
Descend below the madness of Michigan Avenue to this legendary local bar. While sipping on a pint of Schlitz, order up one of their famous cheezborgers (remember the famous Saturday Night Live skit?). Walls adorned with celebrity photos and newspaper clippings add to the character of this bar, which originally opened in 1934.
For Classy, Classic Cocktails: Sepia
With gorgeous interiors, delicious dishes and (of course) a list of expertly crafted cocktails, this is the modern speakeasy you’ve been searching for. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are regularly incorporated into the libations menu. Located in the Warehouse District, the cool factor is upped a notch by the fact that the space was originally a print shop in the 1890s.
For Tasty Food and Brews in a Relaxed Atmosphere: Miller’s Pub
A downtown staple for over 50 years, Miller’s is an excellent source of delicious craft beer, including several options from local breweries. Hearty foods like ribs, chops and steaks make up a significant portion of the food menu. Open until 4 a.m. daily, night owls can stop here after the other bars shut down for the evening.
For an All-Night Dance Party: Sound Bar
Looking to dance the night away? Check out Sound Bar, an upscale, multilevel nightclub featuring cool technology (think flat-screen monitors, laser lighting and video projections) as well as a 4,000-square-foot dance floor. If you want to party like a rock star, reserve a VIP table for bottle service.
For Breathtaking Skyline Views: Signature Lounge
If you want a memorable night in Chicago, a visit to Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center should do the trick. Sweeping views of the city from above make any drink that much better. The bar boasts numerous specialty cocktails and an extensive wine list.
The Daily Meal wants you to stay lubricated when you're on the road, so raise a glass for us when you get there.