Best Bourbon in Chicago

Taste of Kentucky
March 28, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Where to down this barrel-aged spirit.

Big Star
Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.7

A "garage turned honky-tonk taco shack" , Paul Kahan’s "Wicker Park institution" boasts a "party atmosphere" fueled by "loud vinyl" , "to-die-for" tacos and a "ferocious spirits selection" , not to mention "killer margaritas" ; factor in "low prices" and a "popular" patio with an "outdoor fiesta" –vibe and it’s no wonder it "can be hard to find a table" , but a walk-up window offers an "easy" take-out fix.
Longman & Eagle
American · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

This "popular" , "hipster" hangout in Logan Square features "superb" , "innovative" New American fare highlighting "unique ingredients and preparations" dispensed in a "lively" "bar atmosphere" fueled by "awesome drinks" ; a no-reservations policy means it’s often "crowded" , but fans say it’s "worth the wait" for a "meal you’ll be telling people about for a long time."
Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar
Bar · Bridgeport · $$
Food - · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

Regulars beg "don't tell anyone" about this Bridgeport "beer mecca" with more than 470 "rare crafts on rotation" , plus funky cocktails and an "equally amazing liquor store" up front; low-lit yet brightened by colorful glass bottles, handmade furnishings and artwork, not to mention "neighborly" service, it's the "epitome of a South Side best-kept secret" P.S. Korean Polish street food is available from its adjacent sibling Kimski.
Burlington Bar
Bar · Logan Square · $
Food - · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

This "hip" whiskey and bourbon–bent bar in Logan Square hosts local and touring music acts and DJs who keep it "crowded on weekends" ; fans "love the bartenders" too, along with "reasonable" drinks and cheap specials that sweeten the deal.
Delilah's Chicago
Cocktail Bar · Sheffield & DePaul · $
Food - · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

"Still the punkest bar in town" , this "eclectic" DePaul-area "hole-in-the-wall" is "one hell" of a place, bringing together "bizarre movies" and "rows and rows of peculiar poisons" (namely, an "unbelievable" whiskey selection); even if it's "not for everyone" , the "surly-looking" bartenders "know their business" , the owner's "passionate" and the music's "incredible" , adding up to a "don't-miss" for "dive" -lovers.
Chicago q- Barbecue Restaurant Down Town - Gold Coast Best BBQ
Barbecue · River North · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

A "higher-end" BBQ experience can be had at this "hopping" Gold Coast ’cue joint turning out "finger-lickin’" ribs and other "updated" smokehouse eats alongside a "terrific bourbon selection" ; the "cool" , "inviting" digs feature leather banquettes and lots of wood, and there's a patio too; P.S. try not to "overdose" on the complimentary pickles and chips.
Sable Kitchen & Bar
American · River North · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

"Inventive" , "fun-to-share" American plates "just click" at this River North hang in the Hotel Palomar where "killer" cocktails fuel a "high-energy" bar scene in "luxe" surrounds; it's a "bit pricey" for some who find it "just OK" given the "hype" , but most conclude "there's little room for disappointment here."
Bub City
Barbecue · River North · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

You can have a "country good time" at these "upbeat" BBQ joints dishing "good ol'" Southern comfort food ( "super-creamy" mac 'n' cheese, "orgasmic" spoonbread) in sprawling digs with a "down-home" atmosphere and entertainment from "up-and-coming" bands; sure, they can get "loud" and draw a "rowdy crowd" on weekends, but they work for a "fun night out."