They may not be as talked about as much as a restaurant’s dishes, a bar’s cocktails, or the caliber of service at either, but make no mistake about it: Bathrooms in the places we dine and the bars we imbibe can leave a long-lasting impression. And while some bathroom experiences aren’t always for the best, there are plenty of spots around town that are gaining — and maintaining — reputations for restrooms that are as memorable as they are mandatory. From the biggest budgets to the biggest urinals, here are the city’s best places to do the business. Ordered from west to east.Read More
12 Chicago Restaurant Bathrooms You’ll Want to Put on Instagram
Restaurants’ bathrooms can be as memorable as their meals
The Boiler Room
Customers might encounter some commuting déjà vu at this Logan Square hangout, where the bathrooms were built to mimic the doors and interiors of the El train — right down to hanging hand straps.
In addition to being known for its live music, cheap drinks, former onsite boxing matches, and punk rocker clientele, this Western Avenue dive claims to house one of the “oldest, giant-est urinals in the world.” Just to be clear, that’s code for “no excuses.”
Do look up in the bathrooms of this farm-forward restaurant. Ceilings never looked better, and that’s all props to the palm leaf mural wallpaper that was printed in the Netherlands. Locally-made custom mirrors, quartz countertops, and classic subway tiles help round out the breezy and bright look.
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The bathrooms at this tasting menu destination are adorned with colorful fish wallpaper and wall hangings signifying special memories for husband-and-wife team John and Karen Shields. Take, for example, the framed menu from Charlie Trotter’s, the restaurant where the duo met while working together, or the note from legendary French chef Michel Troisgros.
Dusek's/Punch House/Thalia Hall
When patrons aren’t getting creative on the dance floor at Punch House or at a concert upstairs at Thalia Hall, test your artistry in this venue’s subterranean bathrooms. Chalkboard paint covers its walls, creating a canvas for designers and wordsmiths alike to unwind in between eats, sips, and encores.
The name of this River West bar says it all. Everything about it is small, except for the expertly made cocktails — which are often accompanied by a sidecar of whatever the bartenders can’t fit into your glass. As such, chances are customers will need to hit the restrooms at some point, and when they do, they’ll nee magical shrinking powers. They make airplane loos look large.
The restrooms at this West Loop newcomer are just as luxurious as the rest of the space thanks to details like a cream-colored leather chandelier, pink velvet ottoman, and several custom, 1950s-era vanities. Couple that eye candy with textured wallpaper, floor to ceiling gold mirrors, individual gold stalls, and a black marbled floor, and it’s easy to see why you’ll be reaching for Instagram in no time.
Roti Modern Mediterranean
Expect some serious photo opps in the bathroom of this fast-casual eatery, where a collection of Mediterranean-inspired tiles make up a floor-to-ceiling spectacle of bright colors and patterns.
Ladies, if you step into this bathroom and think you’re in the wrong place, think again. That life-size male mannequin that’s perched up against the wall in front of a urinal is just for show, rest assured. Nevertheless, it’s only natural that the dummy dupes dames on the regular, especially when his costumes change as often as they do (the staff here has been known to dress him up for special occasions and holidays.
Compelled to create bathrooms worthy of conversation starters, DineAmic Group owners David Rekhson and Lucas Stoioff decided to design spaces that were at once noteworthy and necessary. In these parts, that means high-heel patterned wallpaper, vibrant pink ceilings, and, of course, a diligently turning disco ball.
Visitors won’t miss a moment of the action at this Streeterville saloon, which features foosball, pool, and eats from Downtown Dogs until the wee hours every day of the week. That’s because the bathrooms here are equipped with two-way mirrors, giving folks on the inside a rare glimpse into the bar and its nightly bustle. Fear not — no matter how exposed you may feel, those glancing your way as they sip on pints are facing nothing more than their own reflection.
The Signature Room at the 95th
Between upscale eats, on-point cocktails, and a longstanding reputation for being one of the city’s most-luxe dining retreats, there are reasons aplenty to visit this sky-high institution. The same sweeping views that surround the dining room also extend to the restroom by way of floor-to-ceiling windows.