After many years of exploration, I'm thrilled to share my top picks with you. Whether you're looking for a casual night out with friends or a romantic date spot, Evanston has something for everyone.

From cozy pubs to trendy cocktail bars, I've reviewed 12 of the best bars in Evanston, IL. So grab a drink, sit back, and let me be your guide to the lively bar scene in my hometown.

Ward Eight

Ward Eight
🗺️ 629 W Howard St, Evanston, IL 60202
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 5 PM–12 AM
Thursday: 5 PM–12 AM
Friday: 5 PM–1 AM
Saturday: 5 PM–1 AM
Creative food menu
Talented Chef
Knowledgeable bartenders
Deviled eggs are a work of art
Delicious pulled pork aroma

First of all, the menu at Ward Eight offers a creative twist on classic bar food. The talented chef has put together an array of dishes that are sure to please any palate. But what really stood out to me were the deviled eggs - they're practically a work of art!

The bartenders at Ward Eight are also noteworthy - they're not just mixing drinks, they're crafting cocktails. They know their stuff and can make recommendations based on your preferences. And speaking of drinks, the aroma of the delicious pulled pork wafting from the kitchen had my mouth watering.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Ward Eight for a night out in Evanston. You'll be impressed by the creative food options and knowledgeable bartenders. And don't forget to try those deviled eggs - they're too good to miss!

You might also want to check out the best bars in Oak Park.

Five & Dime

Five & Dime
🗺️ 1026 Davis St Upstairs, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-869-4343
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 5–9:30 PM
Thursday: 5–9:30 PM
Friday: 5–9:30 PM
Saturday: Closed
Great ambience and food
Hard to locate
Delicious smoked salmon and shrimp dumplings
Cute rooftop restaurant
Wonderful rooftop date

Firstly, let me tell you that finding this hidden gem was quite a task. It's tucked away in an alley, but don't let that discourage you because the search is worth it! Once I entered, I was immediately taken aback by the cozy and chic vibe of the place. The ambience is perfect for a night out with friends or even a romantic date.

Now let's talk about the food. Oh my goodness, I can't stop raving about it! The smoked salmon and shrimp dumplings were simply divine. They were so good that I had to order them twice! And if you're looking for something sweet to balance out your savory meal, their dessert menu won't disappoint either.

But what sets Five & Dime apart from other bars in Evanston is their adorable rooftop restaurant. It's perfect for a wonderful rooftop date with your significant other or even a small gathering with friends. Trust me when I say that the view from up there is breathtaking!

Overall, Five & Dime has quickly become one of my favorite bars in Evanston. So next time you're in town, make sure to check it out and indulge in their delicious food and cute rooftop restaurant.

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The Blue Horse Tavern

The Blue Horse Tavern
🗺️ 1026 Davis St B, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-869-4343
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11:30 AM–9 PM
Monday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
Tuesday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
Wednesday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
Thursday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
Cozy Booths
Good Food
Great Service
Skilled Bartender
Great Cocktails

Firstly, the atmosphere at The Blue Horse Tavern is so cozy and inviting. I was seated in one of their comfortable booths which made me feel like I had my own private nook to enjoy my drinks in.

Speaking of drinks, the bartender here is a skilled mixologist. Their cocktails are amazing! I tried their signature cocktail, The Blue Horse, which was a perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors. It definitely lived up to its reputation as one of the best cocktails in Evanston.

But it's not just about the drinks here, the food is also worth mentioning. The menu offers a range of tasty options that pair perfectly with their cocktails. I highly recommend trying their truffle fries or chicken wings if you're in the mood for some delicious bar food.

What really stood out to me though was the great service provided by the staff. They were friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about their menu. It's always a plus when you feel welcomed and taken care of while enjoying your night out.

Overall, I would definitely recommend The Blue Horse Tavern as one of the best bars in Evanston. Whether you're looking for a great cocktail, tasty bar food or just a cozy spot to hang out with friends, this place has got you covered!

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Bat 17

Bat 17
🗺️ 1709 Benson Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-733-7117
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–9 PM
Monday: 11 AM–9 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–9 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–9 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–9 PM
Friday: 11 AM–10 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–10 PM
Delicious burgers
Attentive service
Reasonable prices
Great Bloody Marys

Firstly, let's talk about their burgers. Oh my, they were delicious! I ordered the "Bat Outta Hell" burger which was a heavenly combination of bacon, onions, and blue cheese. Each bite was juicy and full of flavor. It's safe to say that Bat 17 knows how to make a great burger.

I also have to give credit to their attentive service. The staff was friendly and made sure that we had everything we needed throughout our visit. They even gave us recommendations on which beers would pair well with our burgers.

Now let's talk about the prices at Bat 17. They are definitely reasonable for the quality of food and drinks they offer. I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable it was considering the prime location in Evanston.

Finally, if you're a fan of Bloody Marys like myself, then you'll be delighted to hear that Bat 17 serves up some great ones. They come garnished with all sorts of goodies like pickles, olives, celery sticks - it's almost like having a meal in itself!

In conclusion, Bat 17 is a fantastic bar in Evanston that should not be missed. From their delicious burgers to their attentive service, there's something for everyone here at reasonable prices. Plus, they serve up some killer Bloody Marys!

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Tapas Barcelona

Tapas Barcelona
🗺️ 1615 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-866-9900
🌐 Website
Sunday: 5–9 PM
Monday: 5–9 PM
Tuesday: 5–9 PM
Wednesday: 5–9 PM
Thursday: 5–9 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
Friday: 5–10 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
Saturday: 5–10 PM
Small shareable Spanish dishes
Bacon wrapped dates are outstanding
Great interior design
Delicious sangria
Excellent service

Firstly, the interior design of this bar is simply stunning. From its colorful tiles to its impressive lighting fixtures, Tapas Barcelona definitely has an atmosphere that's worth mentioning.

But let's talk about the real reason people come here - the food and drinks. The small shareable Spanish dishes are a must-try, but what really stood out were the bacon wrapped dates. These little morsels are truly outstanding and I would recommend them to anyone who visits.

The sangria was also quite delicious, and I'm not just saying that because I had a few too many glasses. It was refreshing and fruity without being overly sweet.

Lastly, the service deserves recognition as well. Our server was attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. She even recommended some dishes that we wouldn't have thought to order on our own.

All in all, my experience at Tapas Barcelona was top-notch. If you're looking for a great place to grab some drinks and delicious bites with friends or family, this is definitely one of Evanston's best bars!

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🗺️ 1932 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-424-0420
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Monday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Tuesday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Wednesday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Thursday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM–12 AM
Saturday: 11:30 AM–12 AM
Delicious pizza and salad
Generous with donations
Great daily specials
Best pan seared salmon in Evanston

First of all, let's talk about the food. The pizza and salad were delicious! I mean, I could have eaten them all day long. And when I found out that they were generous with their donations to local charities? Well, that just made me want to order another slice!

But let's not forget about the drinks. Bluestone offers some great daily specials that are sure to please any palate. And if you're a fan of salmon like me, then you will be pleased to know that they serve the best pan seared salmon in Evanston.

The atmosphere at Bluestone is casual yet trendy, making it the perfect spot for either a night out with friends or a date with your significant other. Plus, their outdoor seating area offers a great view of downtown Evanston.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Bluestone for its delicious food and drinks, charitable donations, and fantastic atmosphere. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

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Firehouse Grill

Firehouse Grill
🗺️ 750 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
☎️ 847-733-1911
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11:30 AM–9 PM
Monday: 4:30–10 PM
Tuesday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Wednesday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Thursday: 11:30 AM–10 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM–11 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM–11 PM
Delicious food
Friendly staff
Clean interior
Reasonable price
Yummy flavors

First things first, the food was absolutely delicious! I ordered their famous cheeseburger and it was cooked to perfection. The meat was juicy and the cheese melted just right on top of it. It was so good that I had to order a second one.

The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming. They made me feel like a regular even though it was my first time there. They were attentive to my needs and always checked up on me to see if I needed anything else.

The interior of the bar was also very impressive, everything is clean and well-organized. The atmosphere is cozy yet modern, making it perfect for a night out with friends or family.

What's more impressive is that the price of their food and drinks are very reasonable compared to other bars in Evanston. You can enjoy great food and drinks without breaking the bank.

One thing that really stood out for me is the variety of flavors they have on their menu, from classic American dishes to more exotic options - there's something for everyone!

Overall, Firehouse Grill is definitely one of the best bars in Evanston! Great food, friendly staff, cleanliness, reasonable prices, and yummy flavors - what more could you ask for?

You might also want to check out the best bars in Aurora.

Celtic Knot Public House

Celtic Knot Public House
🗺️ 626 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-864-1679
🌐 Website
Sunday: 4–9 PM
Monday: 4–9 PM
Tuesday: 4–9 PM
Wednesday: 4–9 PM
Thursday: 4–9 PM
Friday: 4–10 PM
Saturday: 4–10 PM
Nicer hosts
Amazing split pea soup
Authentic food
Attentive service
Highly recommend

First off, I want to say that the hosts were some of the nicest people I've ever met. They made me feel welcome as soon as I walked in the door. And let's talk about the food. The split pea soup was absolutely amazing! It had just the right amount of seasoning and was served hot and fresh. Speaking of food, they really hit the mark on authenticity. I felt like I was transported to Ireland with every bite.

But it wasn't just the food that impressed me. The service was also top-notch. The staff was attentive and made sure everything was perfect for my visit. They even gave great recommendations on drink pairings with my meal.

Overall, I highly recommend Celtic Knot Public House for anyone looking for a genuine Irish experience in Evanston. From the friendly hosts to the delicious food, this place is definitely a must-visit spot on my list of best bars in Evanston!

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Tapville Social - Evanston

Tapville Social - Evanston
🗺️ 810 Grove St, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-905-0873
🌐 Website
Sunday: 12–9 PM
Monday: 4–10 PM
Tuesday: 4–10 PM
Wednesday: 4–10 PM
Thursday: 4–10 PM
Friday: 4–11 PM
Saturday: 12–11 PM
Variety of drinks
Custom beer flights
Cashless concept idea
Friendly wait staff
Tasty and quickly served food

First of all, let's talk about the drinks. Tapville Social definitely doesn't disappoint in this department. They have a wide variety of drinks available, from classic cocktails to unique craft beers that you won't find anywhere else in Evanston.

One thing that sets Tapville Social apart from other bars is their custom beer flights. You can choose any four beers on tap and create your own little tasting menu. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but with beer!

Another unique feature of Tapville Social is their cashless concept idea. That's right, you won't need to worry about carrying cash or cards around with you because everything is done through their app. It's like the future has arrived early at this bar.

But what really stood out to me was the friendly wait staff. They were always attentive and ready to make recommendations if I couldn't decide what to order next.

Lastly, I have to mention the food - it was both tasty and quickly served! The menu offers delicious bites that pair perfectly with whatever drink you're enjoying.

Overall, I had an amazing time at Tapville Social - Evanston and would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a fun night out in Evanston.

You might also want to check out the best upscale bars in Chicago.

Lush Food & Drink - Evanston

Lush Food & Drink - Evanston
🗺️ 2022 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-475-6900
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 12–8 PM
Tuesday: 12–8 PM
Wednesday: 12–9 PM
Thursday: 12–9 PM
Friday: 12–10 PM
Saturday: 12–10 PM
Fantastic food and service
Accommodating to specific diets
Limited menu executed extremely well
Low-key atmosphere and charming patio
Knowledgeable and friendly staff

Firstly, let me just say that Lush Food & Drink - Evanston is the perfect spot for those looking for a relaxed and low-key atmosphere. The charming patio seating area is the best place to enjoy their fantastic food and drinks while enjoying the sunshine.

Speaking of food, the limited menu executed extremely well! As someone who has specific dietary needs, I was pleasantly surprised by how accommodating they were. Their staff is knowledgeable about their dishes and are more than happy to make suggestions based on your preferences.

Let's talk about service. The staff at Lush Food & Drink - Evanston provides fantastic service from start to finish. They are friendly, attentive, and genuinely care about making your experience memorable.

Overall, I highly recommend Lush Food & Drink - Evanston to anyone looking for a great bar with excellent food and service in Evanston. It's definitely one of my favorite spots in town!

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Ridgeville Tavern

Ridgeville Tavern
🗺️ 1520 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
☎️ 847-905-0485
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Wednesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Thursday: 4 PM–12 AM
Friday: 12 PM–1 AM
Saturday: 12 PM–1 AM
Great drinks
Phenomenal food
Beer and wine on tap
Friendly staff
Improved decor

First off, let me just say that Ridgeville Tavern is not your average bar. From the moment I walked in, I noticed the improved decor, which gave the place a modern and sophisticated feel. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, making it the perfect spot for a night out with friends or even a date.

One of the highlights of my visit was definitely the drinks. The bartenders were skilled and knowledgeable, crafting some of the best cocktails I've had in Evanston. And if you're more of a beer or wine person, they have plenty on tap to choose from.

But let's talk about the food. Oh my goodness, the food! It was phenomenal. Every dish we ordered was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. They offer an extensive menu with something for everyone - from small plates to entrees - all made with fresh ingredients.

And what really stood out to me was how friendly and welcoming the staff were. They truly went above and beyond to make sure we had a great experience.

In conclusion, Ridgeville Tavern is definitely one of Evanston's best bars. Great drinks, phenomenal food, beer and wine on tap, friendly staff, and improved decor - what more could you ask for? So gather your friends or significant other and head over there for a night you won't forget!

Peckish Pig

Peckish Pig
🗺️ 623 W Howard St, Evanston, IL 60202
☎️ 847-491-6778
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10:30 AM–2:30 PM
Sunday: 4:30–9 PM
Monday: 4:30–9 PM
Tuesday: 4:30–9 PM
Wednesday: 4:30–9 PM
Thursday: 4:30–9 PM
Friday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Saturday: 10:30 AM–2:30 PM
Saturday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Lovely patio
Delicious food and drinks
Great service
Accommodating for events
Wide selection of craft beer

First off, I have to mention the lovely patio at Peckish Pig. It's perfect for a summer evening with friends or a romantic date night. The ambiance is cozy and inviting, making it a great spot for any occasion.

Now let's talk about the food and drinks. Oh my! The menu here is absolutely amazing. From small plates to entrees, everything we tried was delicious. And don't even get me started on the drinks - they have a wide selection of craft beer and some tasty cocktails.

The service at Peckish Pig is top-notch. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable about both the food and drink menus. He even gave us some recommendations that were spot on!

What also caught my attention was their willingness to accommodate events. If you're looking for a place to host your next party or gathering, Peckish Pig should definitely be on your list.

Overall, I highly recommend Peckish Pig to anyone looking for a great bar experience in Evanston. With its lovely patio, delicious food and drinks, great service, accommodating event space, and wide selection of craft beer - what more could you ask for?

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Alex Irvin

Alex enthusiastically explores her hometown of Chicago with an adventurous spirit and a pen in hand. As a freelance writer, Alex specializes in reviewing places in and around the city. From restaurants to theaters, Alex brings attention to interesting finds throughout the area. Along with her reviews, Alex writes articles on Chicago's neighborhoods, engaging events, and her own travel stories. When Alex can't be found behind a computer, you'll find her sampling the newest restaurant, attending a play or strolling around the city.