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Photos: Marc Much

Updated: Where to Drink in Chicago Right Now

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Not many things go better with summer weather than drinks. Whether you fancy an Old Fashioned or a Margarita, the Cocktail Heatmap will help you quench that thirst. The updated map shows you more new places along with some old favorites to enhance that summertime sipping. These beverage programs have mastered the art of booze and their concoctions will satisfy selective drinkers and those who want a beer or something simple, too.


Did we miss your favorite spot? Leave us a comment and tell us where you like to drink.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Sportsman's Club

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This new hotspot from Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner combines elements of a cocktail lounge, classic Chicago dive, French hunting club and retail store. Four cocktail offerings rotate on a daily basis, many utilizing an amaro machine, and there’s also a selection of packaged goods including whiskey, wine and bitters available for sale.

Slippery Slope

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Dancing, skee ball and all-around fun, Danny Shapiro's selection of bottled cocktails, and the tight and cheap beer selection make the Slope one of the hottest bars of the season.

Three Dots and a Dash

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Paul McGee’s bar is a tiki paradise that will have you wondering how you ever did without such drinks before now. Step through an alley doorway to a theme world of skulls, pirate ships, straw hut-covered bars and plenty of rum cocktails. There are classics like Mai Tai and Pago Pago, as well as more modern riffs like Painkiller No. 3 (Bajan rum, Jamaican rum, coconut liqueur, passionfruit, pineapple, cream) served in a variety of souvenir mugs.

Celeste

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Three floors of art deco stylings, a new rooftop deck, and a massive book of a cocktail menu add up to a can't-miss drinking experience.

Punch House

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Located in the basement of Thalia Hall under Duesek’s Board and Beer, Punch House is a ‘70s-style cocktail bar offering sailor-inspired punches. Bring some friends because while you can order by the glass, you’ll need the help for the carafes and punch bowls. Options include the Dusek Punch, featuring Good bourbon, lemon, raw sugar, dark ale and nutmeg.

The Dawson

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Billy Lawless’ “drinking-focused restaurant” features an extensive beverage program crafted by Clint Rogers and a massive patio. Each drink is meant to be paired with an item from the food menu, and utilizes housemade sodas, aperitifs and both clear and brown liquors. In addition, wines by the glass and draft beers are also available alongside shots of the day.

Analogue

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Former Violet Hour bartenders Robby Haynes and Henry Prendergast have opened Analogue in Logan Square. The cozy, 50-seat space will offer a small cocktail list that changes frequently and focuses on one aspect as well as purls, which are beers laced with bitters. There's also a dance floor, an elevated DJ booth and very good New Orleans-style dishes from chef Alfredo Nogueira.

Lagunitas Brewing - Chicago

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An oasis of fresh Lagunitas straight from the source is your prize for navigating the trippy maze of winding hallways and stairwells within the newly-opened largest brewery in the state.

CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar

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Out to change minds about vodka, CH Distillery is Chicago’s first distillery with a cocktail bar. The focus is on vodka and gin but rum and whiskey are also available in spirit-driven cocktails. The selection includes “Rhymes with Orange” (Serrano chili vodka, lime, CH orange curacao, watermelon), Cease and Desist (Lapsang Suchong infused London Dry Gin, ginger, honey lemon) and more.

The Red Lion Pub

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The beautiful build-out, hard-to-find British beers, stacks of books and interesting conversation at the resurrected Red Lion Pub combine to give Lincoln Park an anti-party bar.

Bottlefork

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Rockit Ranch and Kevin Hickey's drinking-focused restaurant includes one of the best cocktail selections in Chicago.

Henry's Swing Club

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The myriad of fun drinks, parlor games, and relaxed vibe at Henry's are a unique and welcome addition to the River North party scene.

Chicago Distilling Company

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Logan Square continues to heat up. This small, family-owned bar and distillery features a simple menu filled with eight cocktails and a small wine and beer selection, as well as a vodka and 90-proof white whiskey available to purchase. Distillery tours are also offered on weekends and Thursdays and can be booked online.

Whiskey Trust Tavern and Distillery

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Boystown's iconic Spin closed to give way to the whiskey, couches, and secret passageways at Whiskey Trust. Don't miss the nightclub next door, Chloe's, or the beautiful enclosed patio in the rear.

Billy Sunday

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Mathias Merges’ cocktail haven Billy Sunday has received rave reviews and it’s not hard to understand why. Building off the successful Yusho beverage program, mixologist Alex Bachman puts his twist on classics like the Old Fashioned, Bijou and Daiquiri. And a section solely devoted to tonics offers the Kent, one of the best Gin & Tonics in town.

Scofflaw

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If you like gin, then you’ve come to the right place. The Logan Square parlor combines the feel of your neighborhood bar with a craft cocktail menu that’s sure to please. The list favors gin-based libations (there's more than 50 types behind the bar), but includes enough variety to remain accessible to all. So take a break from the martini and try something new.

The Aviary / The Office

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Award-winner Charles Joly leads the beverage program at this highly acclaimed spot and continues to craft new surprises. Andrew Brochu heads up the food menu and if you're feeling lucky, try and see if you can get into the exclusive Office underneath.

The Violet Hour

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The cocktail lounge that paved the way for the rest of the city is just as popular as ever. Step inside the intimate space and peruse through an extensive handcrafted drink menu that includes gin, vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, brandy and portable bitters creations. To get the full experience, try the Juliet & Romeo or the Sazerac.

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Sportsman's Club

This new hotspot from Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner combines elements of a cocktail lounge, classic Chicago dive, French hunting club and retail store. Four cocktail offerings rotate on a daily basis, many utilizing an amaro machine, and there’s also a selection of packaged goods including whiskey, wine and bitters available for sale.

Slippery Slope

Dancing, skee ball and all-around fun, Danny Shapiro's selection of bottled cocktails, and the tight and cheap beer selection make the Slope one of the hottest bars of the season.

Three Dots and a Dash

Paul McGee’s bar is a tiki paradise that will have you wondering how you ever did without such drinks before now. Step through an alley doorway to a theme world of skulls, pirate ships, straw hut-covered bars and plenty of rum cocktails. There are classics like Mai Tai and Pago Pago, as well as more modern riffs like Painkiller No. 3 (Bajan rum, Jamaican rum, coconut liqueur, passionfruit, pineapple, cream) served in a variety of souvenir mugs.

Celeste

Three floors of art deco stylings, a new rooftop deck, and a massive book of a cocktail menu add up to a can't-miss drinking experience.

Punch House

Located in the basement of Thalia Hall under Duesek’s Board and Beer, Punch House is a ‘70s-style cocktail bar offering sailor-inspired punches. Bring some friends because while you can order by the glass, you’ll need the help for the carafes and punch bowls. Options include the Dusek Punch, featuring Good bourbon, lemon, raw sugar, dark ale and nutmeg.

The Dawson

Billy Lawless’ “drinking-focused restaurant” features an extensive beverage program crafted by Clint Rogers and a massive patio. Each drink is meant to be paired with an item from the food menu, and utilizes housemade sodas, aperitifs and both clear and brown liquors. In addition, wines by the glass and draft beers are also available alongside shots of the day.

Analogue

Former Violet Hour bartenders Robby Haynes and Henry Prendergast have opened Analogue in Logan Square. The cozy, 50-seat space will offer a small cocktail list that changes frequently and focuses on one aspect as well as purls, which are beers laced with bitters. There's also a dance floor, an elevated DJ booth and very good New Orleans-style dishes from chef Alfredo Nogueira.

Lagunitas Brewing - Chicago

An oasis of fresh Lagunitas straight from the source is your prize for navigating the trippy maze of winding hallways and stairwells within the newly-opened largest brewery in the state.

CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar

Out to change minds about vodka, CH Distillery is Chicago’s first distillery with a cocktail bar. The focus is on vodka and gin but rum and whiskey are also available in spirit-driven cocktails. The selection includes “Rhymes with Orange” (Serrano chili vodka, lime, CH orange curacao, watermelon), Cease and Desist (Lapsang Suchong infused London Dry Gin, ginger, honey lemon) and more.

The Red Lion Pub

The beautiful build-out, hard-to-find British beers, stacks of books and interesting conversation at the resurrected Red Lion Pub combine to give Lincoln Park an anti-party bar.

Bottlefork