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Updated: Where to Drink in Chicago Right Now

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Keep yourself warm during this cold season with a good cocktail. 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 that are heating up this winter. These beverage programs have mastered the art of craft cocktails and their diverse concoctions will satisfy even the most selective drinkers. And if you just want a beer or something simple? Well, you should be ok there, too.

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

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

The Radler

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The long-awaited German beer hall from Nathan Sears and Adam Hebert is finally open and doesn’t disappoint. The spaces seats 167 people and the menu offers a selection of imported drafts and bottles, and will eventually include vintage brews, along with cocktails and wine. And while you’re drinking, you’ll want to nosh on some bar snacks, housemade sausages and classic dishes like German onion pie.

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.

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 purls, which are beers laced with bitters. The bar also features a dance floor, an elevated DJ booth and New Orleans-style dishes from Alfredo Nogueira.

Lone Wolf

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The long wait for a table on Restaurant Row just got a little more bearable with the opening of Lone Wolf, a spot for before and after-dinner drinks. The cocktail menu is split into two parts: three light and sweet Sgroppino for the pre-dinner crowd and four heavier, bitter drinks for later. The beer selection rotates eight drafts and the food is provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

Chicago Distilling Company

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Logan Square continues to heat up with its latest addition. 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.

Fairways

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Golf fans will want to check out Fairways in Lincoln Park, the first golf simulator restaurant and bar in the city. The two-floor space features a dining room, lounge and bar along with four virtual golf-simulators ($50/hour) with seating areas. The menu offers upscale bar food and a drinks list including wines, whiskey and bourbon, scotch, cocktails and 18 draft beers.

Temperance Beer Company

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Temperance Beer Company is finally here, bringing the first craft brewery to the historically dry city of Evanston. Under brewmaster Claudia Jendron, previously of Goose Island, the opening menu contains selections including Gatecrasher (English IPA), Root Down (Porter) and National Anthem (wheat ale with blueberries). The tap room will host food trucks seasonally and guests are invited to order food in. A beer garden is also in the works for spring.

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.

The Dawson

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Billy Lawless’ “drinking-focused restaurant” features an extensive beverage program crafted by Clint Rogers. 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 and off-menu Jell-O shots.

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.

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.

Bub City

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Paul McGee’s drinks program focuses on dozens of whiskeys to complement the country theme and barbecue-heavy menu. Signature cocktails include an Old Fashioned and frozen 'Mexican Firing Squad' concoction.

American Junkie

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Love all things American? Then head to American Junkie for the full-on experience with its retractable roof, descending DJ booth, new upstairs "Attic", largest single-panel high-definition television screen in the Midwest and plenty of US flags. The drinks menu offers a wide variety of draft and bottled beers, wines and craft cocktails like the Cheating Tiger (Jim Bean Black, Combier peach, tea, lemon) and You’ll Thank Me Later (Bombay gin, orange, thyme). Complementing them are dishes from the kitchen courtesy of chef Kendal Duque.

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.

The Barrelhouse Flat

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Stephen Cole's temple to cocktails shakes things up in Lincoln Park with some deceptively strong craft drinks. The menu features all of the classics as well as some modern concoctions, along with punches that are available in flowing bowls.

The Radler

The long-awaited German beer hall from Nathan Sears and Adam Hebert is finally open and doesn’t disappoint. The spaces seats 167 people and the menu offers a selection of imported drafts and bottles, and will eventually include vintage brews, along with cocktails and wine. And while you’re drinking, you’ll want to nosh on some bar snacks, housemade sausages and classic dishes like German onion pie.

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.

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 purls, which are beers laced with bitters. The bar also features a dance floor, an elevated DJ booth and New Orleans-style dishes from Alfredo Nogueira.

Lone Wolf

The long wait for a table on Restaurant Row just got a little more bearable with the opening of Lone Wolf, a spot for before and after-dinner drinks. The cocktail menu is split into two parts: three light and sweet Sgroppino for the pre-dinner crowd and four heavier, bitter drinks for later. The beer selection rotates eight drafts and the food is provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

Chicago Distilling Company

Logan Square continues to heat up with its latest addition. 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.

Fairways

Golf fans will want to check out Fairways in Lincoln Park, the first golf simulator restaurant and bar in the city. The two-floor space features a dining room, lounge and bar along with four virtual golf-simulators ($50/hour) with seating areas. The menu offers upscale bar food and a drinks list including wines, whiskey and bourbon, scotch, cocktails and 18 draft beers.

Temperance Beer Company

Temperance Beer Company is finally here, bringing the first craft brewery to the historically dry city of Evanston. Under brewmaster Claudia Jendron, previously of Goose Island, the opening menu contains selections including Gatecrasher (English IPA), Root Down (Porter) and National Anthem (wheat ale with blueberries). The tap room will host food trucks seasonally and guests are invited to order food in. A beer garden is also in the works for spring.

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.

The Dawson

Billy Lawless’ “drinking-focused restaurant” features an extensive beverage program crafted by Clint Rogers. 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 and off-menu Jell-O shots.

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.

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.

Bub City

Paul McGee’s drinks program focuses on dozens of whiskeys to complement the country theme and barbecue-heavy menu. Signature cocktails include an Old Fashioned and frozen 'Mexican Firing Squad' concoction.

American Junkie

Love all things American? Then head to American Junkie for the full-on experience with its retractable roof, descending DJ booth, new upstairs "Attic", largest single-panel high-definition television screen in the Midwest and plenty of US flags. The drinks menu offers a wide variety of draft and bottled beers, wines and craft cocktails like the Cheating Tiger (Jim Bean Black, Combier peach, tea, lemon) and You’ll Thank Me Later (Bombay gin, orange, thyme). Complementing them are dishes from the kitchen courtesy of chef Kendal Duque.

Billy Sunday

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

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.

Related Maps

The Aviary / The Office

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

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.

The Barrelhouse Flat

Stephen Cole's temple to cocktails shakes things up in Lincoln Park with some deceptively strong craft drinks. The menu features all of the classics as well as some modern concoctions, along with punches that are available in flowing bowls.

Related Maps