Editor's Note: These listings are not ranked. They reflect a collection of the best offerings in town.
1. Severin Bar at The Omni Severin
40 W. Jackson Pl., 317-634-6664
This space’s latest revamp combines a wall of mustard-colored booths softly lit by pendant lamps with rustic touches like exposed brick, a wall of distressed wood, and some Mason-jar presentations. The bar menu is solid, and a potent Perfect Manhattan lives up to its name.
2. Plat 99 at The Alexander
333 S. Delaware St., 317-624-8200
Score one of the low-slung sofas with the votive-lit coffee tables along the windows of this second-level room strung with colored-glass lamps. Lean in close as you drizzle mignonette over your plate of oysters. Order the foamy-pink Twelve Mile Limit Fizz, served in a seductive coupe glass. [See our Plat 99 review here.]
3. Lobby Bar at JW Marriott
10 S. West St., 317-860-5800
The soaring blue-glass hotel houses both a trattoria with a wine wall and an upscale sports bar. But the best sipping happens in the sprawling lobby-lounge area, a good-looking maze of sectionals with prime people-watching sightlines. [See Lobby Bar's 25 Best Bars write-up here.]
4. Level One at Hyatt Regency
1 S. Capitol Ave., 317-632-1234
Tucked into a nook just off of the hotel’s atrium lobby, mod velour seats provide a comfy roost for sipping house martinis and nibbling flatbread pizzas in the soft glow of plasma-screen TVs.
5. Canterbury Kitchen & Bar
(Formerly known as Turner’s Cocktail & Cuisine at Canterbury Hotel)
23 S. Illinois St., 317-634-300
Visiting celebs gravitate toward the hotel’s smaller rooms and boutique sensibilities. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of an IndyCar driver or a touring performer (plus escort) over your flute of Veuve Clicquot.
This article appeared in the July 2013 issue.