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A yellow cocktail in a martini glass on a dark black bar.
Chicago has many places to find great martinis, including Good Fortune.
Good Fortune [Official Photo]

Where to Sip Magnificent Martinis in Chicago

12 spots that make terrific versions of one of the most beloved classic cocktails

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Chicago has many places to find great martinis, including Good Fortune.
| Good Fortune [Official Photo]

Made popular by iconic movie spy James Bond and known by writer H. L. Mencken as “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet,” the martini is one of the most beloved classic cocktails to date. Comprised of just three ingredients — gin, vermouth, and garnish — the traditional tipple is shaken and served up in its namesake glass, a vessel whose long stem helps to keep the cocktail as ice-cold as possible. And while the drink’s longstanding history has seen its popularity take hold most prominently in three-martini lunches and serious steakhouses, bartenders around town are shaking up the status quo, delivering precariously full pours at corner fixtures and four-star restaurants alike, all while incorporating ingredients as varied as saffron, sherry, Lillet, and latkes.

Here’s where to sip martinis in Chicago now.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Deer Path Inn

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255 E Illinois Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-2280
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Patrons feel instantly glamorous upon entering this inn, set in a suburban Tudor manor house and brimming with stone fireplaces, rich fabrics, and opulent chandeliers. The regal experience continues at the bar, where Jorge Centeno greets drinkers with a menu of thoughtful classics with fun spins (a “Winter G&T” with pine syrup and peppermint; a “Holiday Mule” with cranberry puree and cinnamon). That creativity plays into the martinis, too: A dirty martini is made with chrysanthemum flowers and bee balm brine over olives, and a Manischewitz martini features a garnish of latkes and jelly doughnuts. 

A swanky suburban wood-paneled bar.
The bar at Deer Path Inn
Deer Path Inn [Official Photo]

2. Good Fortune

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2528 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 666-5238
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Imported Parisian fabrics and velvet banquettes help to make even the most mundane of days feel special at this recently opened restaurant, where chef Charlie Welch serves a menu of Mediterranean-meets-Midwestern plates. Pair them with the house martini, an on-tap rendition with gin, vermouth, fino sherry, amontillado sherry, and orange saffron. If patrons are craving just a taste, the team also offers a rotating tiny ‘tini — the first of which was inspired by the ever-popular lemon drop.  

A yellow cocktail in a martini glass on a dark black bar.
Good Fortune has popular house martinis.
Good Fortune [Official Photo]

3. Club Lucky

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1824 W Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-2300
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This neighborhood restaurant has spent 30 years catering to Bucktown denizens who frequent the corner fixture for Italian staples like lasagna Bolognese, chicken marsala, and linguine primavera. Beyond the plates and 1940s vibes, it’s the martini selection that steals the show, a menu comprised of everything from a classic gin rendition to those inspired by regular patrons (e.g. the “Catalano Sidecar,” named for local saxophonist Frank Catalano). An experienced imbiber can opt for the “Always Lucky,” a vermouth-free Ketel One riff served with a choice of blue cheese olives or Gibson onions. 

4. Sparrow

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12 W Elm St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 725-0732
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For a quick taste of 1930s Havana, head to this Gold Coast bar, where vintage phone booths, jazz sounds, and lush, tropical greenery await. Between daiquiri Mondays and an abundance of El Presidentes, rum is the focus here — but beverage director Peter Vestinos is just as passionate about martinis. Case in point: One of the bar’s most popular orders, the Astoria, is a coupe of vermouth, orange bitters, and Old Tom gin (which the team doubles down on for their version). 

Sparrow
Sparrow offers popular martinis and other cocktails in a throwback Havana-themed bar.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

5. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

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1028 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-8999
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There’s nothing small about the servings at this steakhouse, which has gained a loyal following since it opened doors more than 30 years ago. Regulars flock here for 22-ounce bone-in ribeyes, double baked potatoes (comprised of nearly two pounds of pureed Idaho potatoes), and a towering three-layer carrot cake. Those portion sizes extend to the bar, where a team offers 10-ounce martinis and caters to a variety of preferences, right down to spirit, proportion, and garnish. In these parts, best to go with a Gibson — the name inspiration behind this longstanding spot. 

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6. Beauty Bar

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1444 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 226-8828
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This dance hall-salon combo has spent the past decade welcoming West Town revelers for themed parties, comedy shows, and trivia nights. Visit Wednesday through Sunday, when a team of beauty pros provides manicures alongside a choice of martini. If choosing a color is challenging, just wait — seven variations of the classic cocktail are on offer, all with cheeky, salon-inspired titles: E.g. the “Bed Head” (with tequila and pineapple), the “Blowout” (with ginger liqueur and whiskey), and the “Relaxer” (a dirty martini riff), to name a few.

The interior of a popular bar and salon.
People love the drinks, manicures, and dancing at Beauty Bar.
Beauty Bar [Official Photo]

7. Matchbox

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770 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 666-9292
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The environs may be tiny, but the pours are generous at this legendary West Town bar, which clocks in at a cozy 460 square feet. If patrons are lucky enough to snag a seat, most consider it a solid night of watching the bartenders do what they’ve been doing best for the past 25 years — shaking and straining spot-on variations of the classics, from margaritas and gimlets to Manhattans and old fashioneds. Forget too-filled martini glasses here — a mini carafe accompanies every order, ensuring no spills and big-time patron gratitude.

8. Shaw's Crab House

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21 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 527-2722
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This spring marks 35 years for this seafood haven, where fish is flown in daily from both coasts and the oyster bar continues to reign (thanks to a selection of 12 different varieties each day). The martinis are just as celebrated — seasoned bartenders can prepare the classic variation to the guest’s preference, which most often includes a paper-thin top layer of crushed ice (further proof of serious shaking skills). For a detour from the original that is just as decadent, try the elderflower or lemon drop variations — or the key lime with vanilla vodka, fresh lime juice, and a graham cracker rim. 

A bartender with a bowtie and suspenders mixes classic drinks.
Shaw’s has terrific martinis and other classic cocktails.
Shaw’s Crab House [Official Photo]

9. RPM Steak

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66 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 284-4990
Visit Website

The classic steakhouse undergoes many a modern twist at RPM Steak, the upscale eatery that has proven to be far more than a meat and potato go-to. Coal-roasted king crab, black truffle steak frites, and a 14K chocolate cake are just a few of the ways to heighten any day of the week — as is the “1970s Perfect Martini.” The team uses 1970 Beefeater gin and vermouth that they freeze for two days before serving, ensuring a dilution-free, ice-cold cocktail.

10. Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

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218 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 624-8154
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There are a handful of reasons to reserve a table at this sultry River North steakhouse, including colossal seafood towers, bone marrow add-ons, and a taste of Brendan Sodikoff’s famed burger. Diners have eight more by way of the martini list, a compilation of familiar takes like vespers and cosmopolitans, along with lesser known riffs like the Astoria (with Hendrick’s, Lillet Rose, and orange bitters).

A dim restaurant dining room with mirrors and red booths.
Bavette’s is a sultry spot to sip a martini.
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf [Official Photo]

11. Cherry Circle Room

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12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 792-3515
Visit Website

Slipping into a booth at this hotel hideout is like slipping back in time; one encounter with the table side cocktail service proves it. Many diners spring for some of the house favorites (think quail egg-topped beef tartare with gouda or prime bone-in ribeye), but start with a round of martinis. Drinkers can fashion the classics here, but most opt for the signature version du jour: the “Nice New Outfit,” with London dry gin, dry and blanco vermouth, verjus, kummel, and celery bitters. 

A throwback wood-paneled bar.
Drinking a martini in Cherry Circle Room is like going back in time.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

12. Vol. 39

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39 S LaSalle St #200
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 604-9909
Visit Website

Those seeking a serious spotlight on the classics will find it at this swanky libation haven in the Loop, which offers a menu spanning the greats, including nine different kinds of old fashioneds and a flight of history’s most defining drams. Inspired by the once fashionable three-martini lunch, don’t miss the six-martini happy hour, six one-ounce pours of the most sought-after martinis. Pair them up with any of chef Brian Millman’s bites, from deep dish potato chips to (Wagyu) pigs in a blanket.  

1. Deer Path Inn

255 E Illinois Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045
A swanky suburban wood-paneled bar.
The bar at Deer Path Inn
Deer Path Inn [Official Photo]

Patrons feel instantly glamorous upon entering this inn, set in a suburban Tudor manor house and brimming with stone fireplaces, rich fabrics, and opulent chandeliers. The regal experience continues at the bar, where Jorge Centeno greets drinkers with a menu of thoughtful classics with fun spins (a “Winter G&T” with pine syrup and peppermint; a “Holiday Mule” with cranberry puree and cinnamon). That creativity plays into the martinis, too: A dirty martini is made with chrysanthemum flowers and bee balm brine over olives, and a Manischewitz martini features a garnish of latkes and jelly doughnuts. 

255 E Illinois Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

2. Good Fortune

2528 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
A yellow cocktail in a martini glass on a dark black bar.
Good Fortune has popular house martinis.
Good Fortune [Official Photo]

Imported Parisian fabrics and velvet banquettes help to make even the most mundane of days feel special at this recently opened restaurant, where chef Charlie Welch serves a menu of Mediterranean-meets-Midwestern plates. Pair them with the house martini, an on-tap rendition with gin, vermouth, fino sherry, amontillado sherry, and orange saffron. If patrons are craving just a taste, the team also offers a rotating tiny ‘tini — the first of which was inspired by the ever-popular lemon drop.  

2528 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

3. Club Lucky

1824 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

This neighborhood restaurant has spent 30 years catering to Bucktown denizens who frequent the corner fixture for Italian staples like lasagna Bolognese, chicken marsala, and linguine primavera. Beyond the plates and 1940s vibes, it’s the martini selection that steals the show, a menu comprised of everything from a classic gin rendition to those inspired by regular patrons (e.g. the “Catalano Sidecar,” named for local saxophonist Frank Catalano). An experienced imbiber can opt for the “Always Lucky,” a vermouth-free Ketel One riff served with a choice of blue cheese olives or Gibson onions. 

1824 W Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

4. Sparrow

12 W Elm St, Chicago, IL 60610
Sparrow
Sparrow offers popular martinis and other cocktails in a throwback Havana-themed bar.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

For a quick taste of 1930s Havana, head to this Gold Coast bar, where vintage phone booths, jazz sounds, and lush, tropical greenery await. Between daiquiri Mondays and an abundance of El Presidentes, rum is the focus here — but beverage director Peter Vestinos is just as passionate about martinis. Case in point: One of the bar’s most popular orders, the Astoria, is a coupe of vermouth, orange bitters, and Old Tom gin (which the team doubles down on for their version). 

12 W Elm St
Chicago, IL 60610

5. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

1028 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611

There’s nothing small about the servings at this steakhouse, which has gained a loyal following since it opened doors more than 30 years ago. Regulars flock here for 22-ounce bone-in ribeyes, double baked potatoes (comprised of nearly two pounds of pureed Idaho potatoes), and a towering three-layer carrot cake. Those portion sizes extend to the bar, where a team offers 10-ounce martinis and caters to a variety of preferences, right down to spirit, proportion, and garnish. In these parts, best to go with a Gibson — the name inspiration behind this longstanding spot. 

1028 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

6. Beauty Bar

1444 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
The interior of a popular bar and salon.
People love the drinks, manicures, and dancing at Beauty Bar.
Beauty Bar [Official Photo]

This dance hall-salon combo has spent the past decade welcoming West Town revelers for themed parties, comedy shows, and trivia nights. Visit Wednesday through Sunday, when a team of beauty pros provides manicures alongside a choice of martini. If choosing a color is challenging, just wait — seven variations of the classic cocktail are on offer, all with cheeky, salon-inspired titles: E.g. the “Bed Head” (with tequila and pineapple), the “Blowout” (with ginger liqueur and whiskey), and the “Relaxer” (a dirty martini riff), to name a few.

1444 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

7. Matchbox

770 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

The environs may be tiny, but the pours are generous at this legendary West Town bar, which clocks in at a cozy 460 square feet. If patrons are lucky enough to snag a seat, most consider it a solid night of watching the bartenders do what they’ve been doing best for the past 25 years — shaking and straining spot-on variations of the classics, from margaritas and gimlets to Manhattans and old fashioneds. Forget too-filled martini glasses here — a mini carafe accompanies every order, ensuring no spills and big-time patron gratitude.

770 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

8. Shaw's Crab House

21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611
A bartender with a bowtie and suspenders mixes classic drinks.
Shaw’s has terrific martinis and other classic cocktails.
Shaw’s Crab House [Official Photo]

This spring marks 35 years for this seafood haven, where fish is flown in daily from both coasts and the oyster bar continues to reign (thanks to a selection of 12 different varieties each day). The martinis are just as celebrated — seasoned bartenders can prepare the classic variation to the guest’s preference, which most often includes a paper-thin top layer of crushed ice (further proof of serious shaking skills). For a detour from the original that is just as decadent, try the elderflower or lemon drop variations — or the key lime with vanilla vodka, fresh lime juice, and a graham cracker rim. 

21 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611

9. RPM Steak

66 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654

The classic steakhouse undergoes many a modern twist at RPM Steak, the upscale eatery that has proven to be far more than a meat and potato go-to. Coal-roasted king crab, black truffle steak frites, and a 14K chocolate cake are just a few of the ways to heighten any day of the week — as is the “1970s Perfect Martini.” The team uses 1970 Beefeater gin and vermouth that they freeze for two days before serving, ensuring a dilution-free, ice-cold cocktail.

66 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

10. Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

218 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
A dim restaurant dining room with mirrors and red booths.
Bavette’s is a sultry spot to sip a martini.
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf [Official Photo]

There are a handful of reasons to reserve a table at this sultry River North steakhouse, including colossal seafood towers, bone marrow add-ons, and a taste of Brendan Sodikoff’s famed burger. Diners have eight more by way of the martini list, a compilation of familiar takes like vespers and cosmopolitans, along with lesser known riffs like the Astoria (with Hendrick’s, Lillet Rose, and orange bitters).

218 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

11. Cherry Circle Room

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
A throwback wood-paneled bar.
Drinking a martini in Cherry Circle Room is like going back in time.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Slipping into a booth at this hotel hideout is like slipping back in time; one encounter with the table side cocktail service proves it. Many diners spring for some of the house favorites (think quail egg-topped beef tartare with gouda or prime bone-in ribeye), but start with a round of martinis. Drinkers can fashion the classics here, but most opt for the signature version du jour: the “Nice New Outfit,” with London dry gin, dry and blanco vermouth, verjus, kummel, and celery bitters. 

12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

12. Vol. 39

39 S LaSalle St #200, Chicago, IL 60603

Those seeking a serious spotlight on the classics will find it at this swanky libation haven in the Loop, which offers a menu spanning the greats, including nine different kinds of old fashioneds and a flight of history’s most defining drams. Inspired by the once fashionable three-martini lunch, don’t miss the six-martini happy hour, six one-ounce pours of the most sought-after martinis. Pair them up with any of chef Brian Millman’s bites, from deep dish potato chips to (Wagyu) pigs in a blanket.  

39 S LaSalle St #200
Chicago, IL 60603

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