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25 Best Bars

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The Ultimate Chow Down Midtown Path

We compiled the ultimate Midtown route with some of our favorites based on our popular Best Restaurants and Best Bars lists.

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Best Bars for Cubs Fans in Indianapolis

From Fat Dan’s authentic Chicago-style deli, to $2 Old Styles at Coaches Tavern these are the best bars for Chicago Cubs fans in Indianapolis.

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Readers Take the 25 Best Bars Challenge

One couple visited all of Indianapolis Monthly’s recommended Best Bars—and have a top-five ranking of their own to share.

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Our Top 10 Dining Stories of 2013

Including Indiana State Fair (fried) food porn, a celebrity’s surprise visit at a downtown eatery, a buzzworthy drink prepared 10 different ways, and much more.

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Our Top 5 Magazine Events of 2013

Featuring our Best Bars bash, plus non-alliterative parties ranging from Best of Indy to Top Doctors, a Bridal Show to Best Restaurants. It was a fun year letting the good times roll, and we thank you for joining us.

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No. 1 – The Ball & Biscuit

As every lounge in town rolls out its pre-Prohibition cocktail list—muddling herbs and berries until their wrists go limp—you get the feeling that it’s no shtick here.

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No. 2 – The Libertine Liquor Bar

Ordering a cocktail here means sitting back and watching while a dapper bartender in a proper vest and wide-knotted tie tinkers with ice cubes and orange peels. The carefully composed drinks are nothing short of cosmic.

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No. 3 – The Rathskeller

“We restored an icon for the city,” says owner Dan McMichael. “And the city has responded.”

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No. 4 – Red Key Tavern

You’ll still find young hipster couples mingling with octogenarians, and councilmen brokering deals over a beer.

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No. 5 – 1933 Lounge

The stairway to the 1933 (named for the year Prohibition ended) leads back in time. At the top, waitresses in scandalously small red dresses cater to the suits in a lounge that’s as elegant as it is quiet.

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No. 6 – Nicky Blaine's

With no windows in sight, hours can disappear at this Monument Circle man cave, one of the last bastions for cigar-smokers in the city.

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No. 7 – Bluebeard

The cocktail menu changes seasonally, so don’t go looking for “the usual.” And the bar offers high-concept snacks ranging from charcuterie to pickles.

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No. 8 – The Brass Ring Lounge

Years before the speakeasy trend made its way to Indy full force, this establishment featured Jazz Age photos on the wall and classic cocktails like the Sazerac.

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No. 9 – The Chatterbox Jazz Club

This tiny joint is a total dive. But the jazz musicians who perform there, and the toe-tapping art-schoolers and wine-sipping literati who crowd the shotgun bar to hear them, really class things up.

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No. 10 – Wellington Pub

There are plenty of other holes-in-the-wall in Indy, and you can’t throw a dart (another Wellington pastime) without hitting a corporate bar marketing itself as a British-themed pub. But the leaded glass and woodwork here make most of those other places seem like a trip to the loo.

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