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Lounge Acts

Five places we love for cocktails… and a great meal.

The Dr. Funkhouser cocktail from Three Dots and a Dash

1. Celeste
Attention to detail abounds at this gorgeous multistory River North newcomer—from its Louis Sullivan-inspired metalwork to its gold-leaf ceiling. That same mentality applies to the drink menu (check out the cool stemware) and food, including our favorite dish, baby octopus with crispy chickpeas and blood orange romesco. 111 W. Hubbard St., 312.828.9000

2. Billy Sunday
Who would’ve thought fine-dining vet Matthias Merges would know the ins and outs of running a bar. But when you think about it, there’s a reason this pint-size Logan Square spot never fails to impress with its perfectly balanced cocktails and concise but mighty menu of small plates, including the terrific bread and butter pickles. 3143 W. Logan Blvd., 773.661.2485

3. Three Dots and a Dash
With an extensive menu full of potent and meticulously made tiki drinks from cocktail master Paul McGee, it’s hard to stop at just one (go ahead, we dare you). Thankfully, with the equally creative food offerings (we’re partial to the coconut shrimp and Polynesian spare ribs), we don’t have to. 435 N. Clark St., 312.610.4220

4. CH Distillery
It couldn’t have been easy to become Chicago’s first (and only!) distillery/cocktail bar, but we’re glad the founders of this West Loop spot did. Grab a seat at the bar and pay your respects to the stills behind the window with any one of its terrific cocktails coupled with booze-friendly fare from chef JP Doiron, including pillowy gnocchi with mushrooms. 564 W. Randolph St., 312.707.8780

5. The Berkshire Room
Just beyond the doors of the Mag Mile's Acme Hotel, you’ll find one of the city’s most progressive cocktail lists (thanks Benjamin Schiller!), an Old World vibe and a “snacks” menu that’s more than its name indicates. Order the Double Barrel Manhattan and the foie gras torchon and you'll see what we mean. 15 E. Ohio St., 312.894.0945