Chicago has always been known for its creative touch with alcohol (especially during Prohibition), so it's no surprise the city has a flourishing culinary cocktail scene.
The Drawing Room
, recently voted "Cocktail Lounge of the Year" by Nightclub & Bar Magazine
, will truly demonstrate how culinary cocktails are a work of art in Chicago. And you need not worry if you can't get a seat at the bar. The Drawing Room has custom-built bar carts to create your drink order at your table.
Also making headlines is The Aviary
, the latest innovation from world-famous chef, Grant Achatz of Alinea
. One estimate has The Aviary serving 23 different flavors of ice, including mint, for a little extra flavor in every drink.
And jazzy stalwart Pops for Champagne
has been pouring a list of 125 sparkling wines for more than three decades. Here's a tip: Musicians accompany the bubbles Sunday through Tuesday.
You'll find that some of the best hot spots include our very own Chicago hotels.
The Pump Room
at PUBLIC Chicago
is back with classic martinis once enjoyed by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart. Its revival also brings innovation with an impressive cocktail list from some of Chicago's most notable mixologists.
The Lounge at the JW Marriott
shakes up the Chicago Board of Trade cocktail with Bombay Sapphire Gin, white grape juice and cucumber while ROOF the Wit Hotel
and Vertigo Sky Lounge
atop the Dana Hotel
take cocktail hour to new heights. Or check out the commanding view of the Chicago River and skyline from below at Rebar located in the Mezzanine Level of the Trump International Hotel & Tower
Enjoy the cozy and calm atmosphere of Bernard's at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago
(formerly the Elysian Hotel). This 34-seat bar keeps with the hotels 1920s, Coco Chanel-inspired aesthetic.
Yes, it's a burden of riches in Chicago, and finding something to do on any given night is effortless. As Sinatra sang in his paean to the city, it's "one town that won't let you down."
A cocktail and a tune? Well isn't that grand!
Located just north of the River, and right off State Street, are two gems that will have you singing all night long.
Howl at the Moon
is the home of dueling pianos. Jam to Guns ‘n' Roses and AC/DC covers or one of the many other crowd favorites. If one piano player doesn't know your requested song, the other undoubtedly will.
A few blocks north, the winking eye of the Redhead Piano Bar
sign welcomes you. Here the bow-tied bartenders shake and stir, while couples chatter until they break out in to song.
Downtown you'll find plenty of sports bars that will entertain regardless of a game. Head to Rockit Bar & Grill
on Chicago's Hubbard Street, a trendy hot spot for locals and visitors alike.
Also downtown is Fado, an authentic Irish pub with double-barreled Guinness taps on all three levels. Stay for the live music. For more Irish fun, check out Timothy O'Tooles for pub grub and the game or stop in at Butch McGuire's
, on Division Street, a staple since the advent of singles bar, where even Hugh Hefner used to frequent.
Head to Chicago's Wrigleyville where the streets are lined with sports bar after sports bar. You can't go wrong with a neighborhood named after its historic field. Join the cheering and beer-ing at places like the Cubby Bear
and Murphy's Bleachers
. These long-time favorites are nearly as much fun as being at the stadium.
If craft beers are what you’re after, beer lovers today have a much more colorful range of regional brews to choose from, and the settings range from taverns and sports bars to gastro pubs and beer gardens.
Chicago has so much nightlife that you might have to schedule an extra day just to recover. From dance clubs to swanky lounges, you'll find it all - and more - so rest up!
If you're in the mood to mingle, check out Studio Paris
, Chicago's hottest night spot. Located above the restaurant Paris Club, Studio Paris features an impressive lounge seating area under a retractable glass roof that opens to the Chicago cityscape. Guests can take in music spun by guest DJs from around the world, all while enjoying a cocktail at the 25-foot bar.
For a cutting-edge "top-secret" scene, head to the avant-garde military hideaway, The Underground
, complete with artillery case cocktail tables and illuminated world maps. The Underground is an upscale nightclub often frequented by celebrities and international DJs and was called the "Hottest Night Club" by Entertainment Weekly
The Underground isn't the only club below sea level. HUB 51
, a private lounge below the restaurant HUB 51, becomes an exclusive nightclub on weekends where you can hear resident DJs spin beats that will have you dancing all night long. Or make it full circle and come back for brunch at HUB. There's a 10 percent discount for anyone that shows up in their pajamas, or better yet, a bigger discount if you're still in last night's outfit.
Other popular haunts include Bull & Bear
, Hubbard Inn
, and Gilt Bar
The Chicago club scene would not be complete without long-time favorites, including Enclave
, Cuvee Ultra Lounge
and Excalibur Night Club
. So put your dancing shoes on because this town will have your feet moving all night long.