15 Of The Best Speakeasy In Chicago

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Chicago has a renowned history of speakeasies, and clandestine bars that thrived during the Prohibition era of the 1920s and early 1930s. Today, many of these covert establishments have undergone a revival, transforming into contemporary speakeasies that provide patrons with a distinctive and intimate experience.

This article will delve into 15 of the best speakeasy in Chicago, each boasting its own unique ambiance and historical significance. For both residents and tourists, these spots serve as crucial destinations for those enthusiastic about immersing themselves in the vibrant cultural heritage of the city.

1. The Blue Room

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Located in the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant's basement, The Blue Room is a new speakeasy-style bar. Recreating the Prohibition-era vibe, it features low lighting, leather furniture, and an intimate ambiance. It hosts live performances on a small stage and offers a variety of whiskey-heavy cocktails.

With a decor blending luxurious leather seating, exposed brick walls, and Art Deco-style lighting fixtures, this spot aims to recreate the energy and vibe of historic speakeasies without legal concerns.

Address: 1401 S. Michigan Avenue

2. Dorothy

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Dorothy in Chicago is a cozy speakeasy bar with a unique, hidden entrance, providing a warm and inviting atmosphere. The cocktail menu features a variety of drinks, including fancy cocktails and exclusive beer.

Located near Humboldt Park and Ukrainian Village, patrons can explore nearby restaurants for a meal before or after visiting. So, if you are in search of a charming and popular speakeasy bar in Chicago, this is the ideal destination for a relaxed night out.

Address: 2500 W Chicago Avenue

3. Milk Room

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Milk Room, an exclusive micro speakeasy bar in the Chicago Athletic Association, specializes in rare and vintage spirits, offering an intimate drinking experience for just 8 seats. The cozy and stylish ambiance is known for serving cocktails with rare ingredients.

Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the best bars in America, this speakeasy Chicago bar operates with limited evening hours, and reservations are recommended for those seeking a unique experience with rare and vintage spirits.

Address: 12 S Michigan Avenue

4. Nine Bar

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Hidden behind Moon Palace Express in Chinatown, Nine Bar is a stylish speakeasy-style cocktail bar. Inspired by the owners' travels in Tokyo and Hong Kong, its ambiance boasts exposed brick, dim lighting, and neon touches.

This popular spot features a diverse drink menu with beer, sake, and unique cocktails using rare ingredients. The curated snack menu by renowned chef Elvis Mom includes dishes like vegan milk bread French toast and pork katsu.

Address: 216 W Cermak Rd

5. Osito's Tap

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One of the famous Speakeasies in Chicago, Osito's Tap is a hidden gem, embodying the speakeasy spirit with a cozy and intimate ambiance. The dimly lit space creates a relaxed atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a laid-back evening.

This bar offers a unique experience with a diverse craft beer selection, blending a speakeasy vibe, curated drinks, and delightful food options in the heart of the Windy City, and is a must-visit speakeasy bar in the neighborhood.

Address: 2553 S Ridgeway Avenue

6. Nightshade

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Located in the basement of Moonflower, a plant-themed establishment in Portage Park, Chicago, this clandestine bar is known as a local gem. With its dim and inviting atmosphere, the bar stands out for its well-crafted specialty cocktails and is a must-visit spot in the neighborhood.

Operating separately from its upper-floor counterpart, the bar offers casual and friendly service, making it an appealing alternative for young residents looking for a unique nightlife experience near Portage Park.

Address: 4359 N. Milwaukee Avenue

7. Golden Teardrops

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In the basement of Land & Sea Dept.'s Lonesome Rose in Logan Square, Chicago, this speakeasy-style bar has a dark and moody vibe with light-absorbing black-lacquered surfaces. Unlike the upstairs area, it's not completely hidden, and there's a sign to help patrons find it.

Famous for its excellent, spirit-forward drinks, the bar serves a range of unique cocktails made with rare ingredients. With limited hours, it's a popular spot for young locals seeking a distinctive and intimate drinking experience.

Address: 2101 N California Avenue

8. Pigtail

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Nestled within the José Andrés restaurant group in Chicago's River North, Pigtail is a speakeasy-style bar situated at Lonesome Rose. It exudes a playful and fun atmosphere, adorned with pigtail-inspired decorations like curly pigtails on the walls and flying pigs on the mirrors.

Offering bespoke cocktails and small bites with a focus on Spanish cuisine, this bar is a favored destination for those in search of a distinctive and intimate drinking experience in the city center.

Address: 500 N Clark St #465

9. The Drifter

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Renowned for its distinctive and mysterious vibe reminiscent of a traditional speakeasy, The Drifter bar boasts dim lighting, vintage decor, and a hidden entrance, creating a secretive and intimate atmosphere.

The place is celebrated for its skillfully crafted cocktails, offering a menu that blends both classic and innovative drink options. Additionally, the venue also features live entertainment like burlesque performances or live music, enhancing the overall appeal of the speakeasy experience.

Address: 676-8 N Orleans Street

10. The Violet Hour

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A popular speakeasy in the Windy City, The Violet Hour is known for its stylish and intimate ambiance with dim lighting and elegant decor, providing a sophisticated setting. The bar specializes in finely crafted cocktails, featuring innovative and ever-changing drink options made with high-quality, fresh ingredients.

This commitment to excellence in both atmosphere and mixology has solidified this bar as a top choice for those seeking a standout speakeasy experience in the city.

Address: 1520 N Damen Avenue

11. The Office

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Located in the basement of Chicago's Aviary, The Office is a distinguished speakeasy known for its upscale atmosphere. It's an extension of the innovative Aviary cocktail lounge, offering a sophisticated setting with subdued lighting and chic decor. The bar is renowned for its extensive cocktail menu crafted with premium and rare ingredients.

The talented bartenders excel in creating inventive and well-balanced drinks, solidifying this bar Office as one of Chicago's premier speakeasies, and making it a must-visit in Chicago.

Address: 955 W Fulton Market

12. Dorian's

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Dorian's, discretely located in Wicker Park, is a distinguished speakeasy found behind Through The Record Shop. Known for its inventive cocktails, minimal intervention wine, globally inspired dishes, and progressive performances, it appeals to a diverse crowd.

The elegant setting, complete with an Italian-made hi-fi system for vinyl DJ nights and a live music stage, adds to its unique atmosphere. Widely favored, it's a top choice for those seeking a distinctive drinking experience in Wicker Park.

Address: 1939 W North Avenue

13. The Bamboo Room

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Located within the Three Dots and a Dash tiki bar in Chicago's River North neighborhood, this speakeasy-style venue, led by cocktail expert Kevin Beary, offers a tropical drink menu. The bar has become a popular destination for those seeking expertly made, innovative cocktails in a lively and stylish setting.

Featuring creatively crafted cocktails with a focus on exotic and high-quality ingredients, the ambiance is vibrant and tropical, providing a unique and immersive experience for patrons.

Address: 435 N Clark Street

14. Punch House

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Nestled in the basement of Thalia Hall in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, this bar draws inspiration from the maritime origins of its signature drink. It offers a diverse selection of punch drinks, beer, and wine, complemented by a food menu featuring McPunch Fish Sandwiches and Smash Burgers.

Regular events such as music nights and DJ sets enhance the overall experience, making it a favored destination for cocktail enthusiasts and locals alike who appreciate its unique ambiance.

Address: 1227 W 18th Street

15. The Alderman

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The Alderman is a small, 16-seat cocktail spot in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, nestled within Pilsen Yards. Known for its cozy and hidden atmosphere, it offers a unique and exclusive experience.

With friendly staff, efficient service, and great drinks, it's a popular choice for those seeking a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Its location behind a "very cool wall" adds to its speakeasy charm, making it a sought-after destination for both cocktail enthusiasts and locals.

Address: 1163 W 18th Street