Best Bars With History In Chicago

October 24, 2013 7:00 AM

(Photo Credit:

Chicago is known to have an enormous amount of bars, all of which have a different feel and range from trendy to classic. However, some bars have been around since prohibition or have become popular due to celebrity visits or good, old fashioned word of mouth. Instead of just going to your favorite restaurant, take some time to visit some of these establishments that have made Chicago famous. Perhaps you will also have a legendary evening there.



17 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 427-3170

Proud to be the owner of Chicago liquor license #1, the Beghoff has been around for over 100 years, bringing the best of Germany to Chicago. Even when prohibition hit the Windy City, the Berghoff didn’t give up. Instead, the Bergoff added a restaurant to its location. By the time prohibition ended, the Berghoff was established as a great place for everyone that wanted a great taste of German beer and food. Enjoy a meal of Bavarian meatloaf, free range lamb or Berghoff beer battered cod while enjoying a signature Berghoff beer.

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

Coq D’or
140 E. Walton Plaza (Inside Drake Hotel)
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-2200

The Coq D’or looks legendary when you walk inside, and why shouldn’t it? It is said that it opened a day after prohibition ended. Along with an extensive drink list, enjoy the amazing menu which includes the shaved sirloin sandwich, the New York steak salad and peppermint chocolate cake. Make your own history here while enjoying the impeccably tasteful design.

Related: Best Bars For Business Drinks In Chicago

(Credit: Exchequer Restaurant & Pub's Facebook)

(Credit: Exchequer Restaurant & Pub’s Facebook)

Exchequer Restaurant and Pub
226 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-5633

It may feel lonely in the Loop after rush hour, but there’s always a place for college students, tourists and the after-work crowd at Exchequer Restaurant and Pub. Even though Exchequer has been around since 1969, in the 1920s, the site was a speakeasy called the 226 Club, and was visited by none other than Al Capone. The Exchequer has wonderful food and ribs, and even though it’s been around a while, Chicago locals make new memories to tell after each visit.

(credit: Old Town Ale House)

(credit: Old Town Ale House)

Old Town Ale House
219 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 944-7020

Roger Ebert called it “the best bar in the world that I know about.” John Belushi, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd visited it in their time at Second City Theater. Now a new crop of legends (and legends to be) frequent the Old Town Ale House on North Avenue. Seen as “Le Premier Dive Bar,” the Old Town Ale House has been around since 1958, and its fans have made it a Chicago destination by word of mouth. Come see the bar for yourself and have your own stories to tell.



Green Door Tavern
678 N. Orleans St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 664-5496

Back when a green door in Chicago meant that you were going into a speakeasy, the Green Door Tavern made its way past prohibition into present day. Called Chicago’s oldest tavern, Green Door has drink specials every night of the week, along with a menu that includes carne asada and grilled salmon. Even though the times have changed, Green Door Tavern is still a favorite of Chicago locals and visitors looking for a great night out.

Related: Best Martini Bars In Chicago

Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She has traveled to Europe on several occasions, and keeps her readers up to date with local and international style, shopping, fashion and beauty trends. Her work can be found at

More From CBS Chicago

News Via Email
Podcast Network

Watch & Listen LIVE