With a bar and restaurant scene of such high quality, it might not come as much of a surprise that 2 Chicago establishments have just been named in the top 50 best bars on the continent.
Following a top 10 ranking in last year’s inaugural North America’s 50 Best Bars of 2022 and coming in at number 25 in a list of the 100 best bars in the world, the first of these is none other than the returning Bar Kumiko in West Loop.
This year, however, Kumiko has company for the first time in the shape of the eight-seat microbar Milk Room located inside the Chicago Athletic Association.
Milk Room, one of 15 new entries, came in at number 38, 30 places below Kumiko which was ranked the eighth-best bar in North America.
The list was mainly dominated by bars in New York, Mexico City, and Toronto with Kumiko joined by another Midwestern representative for the first time.
Decided by a vote of 500 drinks experts, the ranking celebrates the best of North America’s drinks industry and offers the ultimate guide to the continent’s top bars and drinking destinations.
The 2023 list is the second North America-specific edition. Sponsored by Perrier, the winners were revealed at a live awards ceremony in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico on Thursday 4th May.
The World’s 50 Best Bars is owned and organized by William Reed Business Media which is also behind several other rankings including Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
They were also to thank for organizing an initiative in response to COVID-19 called the 50 Best for Recovery which raised more than $1.24m for the hospitality sector. The initiative provided grants to 217 businesses from 53 countries as a direct result of fundraising efforts.
Described as “a Japanese Dining Bar” on the bar’s website, Kumiko calls itself “an expression of elegance, commitment, and passion, from the mind of creative director and bartender Julia Momosé.” The World’s 50 Best website described Kumiko as “a sophisticated cocktail bar that blends Japanese and American influences with style and finesse” while also highlighting its impressive collection of sake, shochu, and Japanese whisky.
Milk Room, on the other hand, received praise for its beautifully restored 1930s space that features “an array of weathered, hard-to-find bottles.” It was described as “an eight-seat bar where vintage spirits and liqueurs are transformed into contemporary cocktails.”
[Featured image from Instagram / @barkumiko]