Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge

Why go: Delight in fire-laden libations, head-sized slushies and above all, liquid surprises in a place with no cocktail menu but plenty of ideas to satisfy.

Find it: 1579 S. 9th St.,


Why go: Snack on the kimchi pancakes and sour sausage salad while sipping something topped with herbs and whole spices that is almost — almost — too pretty to disturb.

Find it: 360 E. Erie St.,

Dock18 Cocktail Lab

Why go: Get close to your fellow drinkers in the intimate space, be wildly entertained by the bartenders and try something that will surely surprise — a cumin and chickpea cocktail, perhaps.

Find it: Inside the Lincoln Warehouse at 2018 S. 1st St.,

Foundation Bar

Why go: Be transported to a sultry island paradise complete with bamboo, carved wood, live sea life (in an aquarium) — and tiki drinks, of course.

Find it: 2718 N. Breman St.,


Why go: See and be seen in one of the city’s most attractive bar areas. The lighting is just dark enough to feel sexy but just light enough to ogle your stunning rum and bitters concoction.

Find it: 2457 S. Wentworth Av.,

Odd Duck

Why go: Fill up on impressive, internationally inspired fare such as braised octopus and lamb tagine, and finish the meal with a cloudlike gin drink, the #24.

Find it: 2352 Kinnickinnic Av.,

Tre Rivali

Why go: Make a pit stop during an afternoon of shopping. This place has just the thing to renew your motivation: a gin-and-tonic bar that joins herbs, edible flowers and citrus zests with various gins.

Find it: The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel at 310 E. Chicago St.,