Food & Drink

The Bloody Mary Update: 15 Chicago Bloodys that'll blow your mind

Sean Cooley Published On 06/10/2014 Published On 06/10/2014
Sean Cooley

Because you've already tried all 10 of the most ridiculous Bloody Marys in Chicago, we've got a new batch of absolutely insane Bloodys for you (one of them has pizza on it!!!), all of which were on display at this past weekend's Bloody Mary Competition.

Better yet, 13 of the 15 you can get immediately at the bars and restaurants that make 'em (the HQ and Sunda ones are brand-new, but you can probably get those too, if you ask nicely).

Sean Cooley

Stanley's Kitchen & Tap (address and info)
Lincoln Park
Bloody Mary + Drinkable fried chicken + Jalapeño waffles (!!!!) = Alllll the yes.

Sean Cooley

Fat Cat (address and info)
Uptown
Awesomely filled with house-Sriracha and smokey BBQ sauce, we're guessing it was still the lardon -- an extra-fatty hunk of bacon -- that played the biggest role in them winning the competition.

Riverview Tavern (address and info)
Roscoe Village
You're on the right path when your drink looks like it rolled around in a football tailgate. The Hail Mary Fill Your Face Bloody Mary (served on weekends) features: a slice of pizza, a mini-cheeseburger, a pickle, pepperoni, a blue cheese-stuffed olive, pepperoncini, cheddar, smoked bacon, celery, and two slices of salami. Somewhere underneath all that is their house-made, mix-equipped Bloody.

Sean Cooley

Five Star (address and info)
West Town
A Chicago dog-style deviled egg and caramelized lemon sit atop watermelon radishes and blistered shishito peppers on Five Star's Bloody skewer.

Sean Cooley

Sunda (address and info)
River North
From the team that makes a 32oz Bloody with essentially an entire buffet on top, comes a decadent drink holding up a Wagyu beef & seared foie gras slider, soft-shell crab legs, botan shrimp, salmon eggs, and chicken feet. Lots and lots AND LOTS of chicken feet.

Sean Cooley

Three Aces (address and info)
Little Italy
Key ingredients in Three Aces' brunch cocktail include bacon Sriracha, smoked paprika, pickle juice, and Revolution's chocolaty Eugene Porter.

Sean Cooley

Headquarters Beercade (address and info)
Lincoln Park
A cocktail that will launch with HQ's new kitchen-equipped River North location, the Hulkish Bloody is colored with green tomatillos, green apples, grapes, and green tea, then finished with... a quesadilla.

Sean Cooley

Fountainhead (address and info)
Ravenswood
Also known for its Cleetus Heatus made with North Shore Distillery aquavit, Fountainhead brought its standard Bloody spiced with Co-op Habanero Hot Sauce and roasted poblanos, tomatillos, and garlic, then topped it with an admittedly phallic olive & pickle skewer.

Sean Cooley

Longman & Eagle (address and info
Logan Square
The whiskey bar keeps things simple with a V8-based cocktail, mixing in the likes of St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, horseradish, and Worcestershire, all served in a glass rimmed with Old Bay. L&E also subs in tequila for Bloody Maria's, and whiskey for Bloody Larry's.

Sean Cooley

Shoe’s Pub (address and info)
Lincoln Park
Wash down some complimentary peanuts with a Bloody Mary filled with Sriracha, pickle puree, and muddled lemons and limes, all stirred with a dried Polish sausage (aka how Mike Ditka stirs his coffee).

Sean Cooley

Paramount Room (address and info)
West Loop
Mixing Frank's RedHot, garlic powder, and both ballpark and Dijon mustard, Paramount Room's Bloody is garnished with dill havarti, cotto salami, cheddar, and a gherkin.

Sean Cooley

Hash House a Go Go (address and info)
Gold Coast
Hash House's liquid version of a BLT also includes a side of white toast with mayo.

Sean Cooley

Bub City (address and info)
River North
Putting its in-house smoker to good use on the tomatoes, Bub City's patriotic Bloody bar offering comes with a skewer of cheese curds, giardiniera, pimento olives, and pork sticks.

Sean Cooley

Farmhouse Evanston (address and info)
Evanston
The farm-to-table spot has a Bloody laden with jerky, elk sausage (?!), pickles, and cheese curds with an ancho chili & garlic powder rim.

Sean Cooley

Silver Cloud (address and info)
Bucktown
Paired with a Lakefront White chaser, Silver Cloud's small-batch, nitro stout Bloodys are skewered with pickles, peppers, and Cajun cocktail shrimp. 

Sean Cooley is Thrillist's Chicago Editor and he is still singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Follow him @SeanCooley.

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1. Bub City 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Nashville comes to River North through the doors at Lettuce Entertain You’s Bub City, whose award-winning barbecue, 100-plus whiskey labels, and live music can make you forget about that deep Chicago chill. The all-American bar brings the heat from down South with dishes like barbecued brisket (get the burnt ends), fried chicken sandwiches (the Original 8 Buck Cluck is best served with a side of those aforementioned burnt ends), spoonbread, and baby back mac & cheese. To drink, you can sip on anything from a can of Bud to a pour of Pappy Van Winkle himself. Enjoy live country music multiple nights a week, and be prepared for a rowdy dance party.

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2. Farmhouse Evanston 703 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201 (Evanston)

Farmhouse is a locally-inspired gastropub that's doling out seriously innovative eats and delicious 'tails.

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3. Fat Cat 4840 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

This casual and spacious Uptown spot is serving everything from flatbreads and burgers to salads and wings, plus some of the best Bloody Marys in town during its weekend brunch. You'll also find a rotating craft brew selection featuring more than 80 beer options, most of them American, which you should tap into before heading out to one of the two outdoor patios. Better yet, sidle up to the pool table, shuffle board, or giant Jenga.

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4. Five Star Bar 1424 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (West Town)

This West Town spot features a rock n' roll-style vibe and a 75ft, L-shaped bar doling out a number of creative cocktails, beers, and a Bloody Mary that you should write home about.

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5. Fountainhead 1970 W Montrose, Chicago, IL 60613 (Ravenswood)

This Ravenswood tavern is a mahogany-ensconced destination for craft beer and beer-focused comfort cuisine (burgers, fried chicken, steak frites). The beer list, which features a mix of local gems and international brews, is always fantastic, and there's an equally robust selection of whiskey if you're looking for something a little stronger. During the warmer months, the rooftop garden is always happening.

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6. Hash House A Go Go 1212 N State Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60610 (Gold Coast)

Just one of multiple locations across the US, Hash House serves hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners using farm-fresh ingredients and old secret recipes.

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7. Headquarters Beercade 213 W Institute Pl, Chicago, IL 60610 (Lakeview)

Cheers to never growing up. Headquarters Beercade lets you relive your childhood with all of the video games you loved and the added bonus of being able to consume alcohol while you play. There’s an extensive list of American craft drafts and games galore: whether you’re a pinball wizard looking for your next conquest, or brushing up your skills at arcade classics like NBA Jam and Mortal Combat, this bar is a gamer’s paradise. The space itself is sprawling and the vibe is convivial, making it a popular weekend destination for groups.

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8. Longman & Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Longman & Eagle, the Michelin-starred gastropub in Logan Square, has an exclusive whiskey selection (clocking in at over 400 labels), a craft cocktail menu, and an extensive beer list all fit for the most pretentious of drinkers, in the least pretentious of atmospheres. Longman takes a flavor-forward, honest approach to eating and drinking, and because it doesn’t accept reservations, there is always a wait for brunch, happy hour, and dinner alike. (And it is always worth it.) While whiskey may be king, the regional American fare has just as much to offer, hence the Michelin star. The menu changes often, but expect anything from beef tallow beignets and veal brains to wild boar sloppy joes, chicken and waffles, and a burger that, if you know what's good for you, you will order.

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9. Paramount Room 415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

This dual-level space dishes out a number of internationally inspired dishes, and it also features a full liquor bar, craft beers, and a number of domestics as well.

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10. Riverview Tavern 1958 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Roscoe Village)

Riverview Tavern's got the hookup for great American fare and awesome libations.

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11. Shoes Pub 1134 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Located in Lincoln Park West, this dive bar has been a neighborhood fixture for more than 35 years because of their friendly staff, cheap drinks, and lively ambience.

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12. Silver Cloud 1700 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

Hunker down in Bucktown at this pot-pie-slinging comfort-food cave for specials on serious brews (Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Founders Breakfast Stout), Knob Creek-spiked egg nog, house-mulled cider, and, just for Friday, dollar-off shots, which could only be blocked by... Ghanaian basketball sensation and former GW standout Pops Mensah-Bonsu!

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13. Stanley's Kitchen & Tap 1970 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Sheffield Depaul)

This neighborhood dive bar has everything you could want for your local watering hole, cheap booze, DJs, dance floor and if you're lucky an appearance by the Naked Guy.

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14. Sunda 110 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Toeing the line between swanky hotspot and sophisticated dining destination, this Asian fusion concept from Rockit Ranch Productions is a worthy choice for an undeniably hip meal out in River North. The menu offers some seriously interesting eats (duck breast kimchi, oxtail pot stickers) and includes sushi, sashimi, and plenty of wok dishes. The beer list is heavy on the Asian pours, and there are sake and speciality cocktails as well. Sunda's decor feels just as sleek as the menu with polished black bamboo and high wooden tables.

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15. Three Aces 1321 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

A rock-inspired gastropub filled with secluded black leather "gangster booths" and black glass chandeliers, TA's bringing the flavor with bar snacks from pork-fried nuts to farm-raised jerky, and Italian-influenced eats like wild boar sausage.

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