WHY HERE: Deeply inspired by Latin American culture, Estereo’s cocktails are at once strong and refreshing, just like this welcoming bar’s vibe. Take the Breezy, aka the house specialty: your spirit of choice (pisco, cachaça, rhum agricole, mezcal—they’re all here) is blended with yerba mate, house-made falernum and lime juice and topped with a splash of soda. Add a giant cement triangle of a bar and the staff’s all-vinyl Cuban jazz collection, and call yourself a regular.
WHY NOW: With little fanfare, Estereo has become one of the best bars in Chicago thanks to its come-as-you-are crowd, unmatched spirits list and no-B.S. service. Plus, the bar’s unique design means there’s almost always a seat.