Winter in Chicago isn't just a great time to see the Bears' season go up in flames -- it's also a great time to see actual flames at one of these: the 10 best fireplace-equipped drinking spots in town, ranked from #10 to #1, so you're never caught drinking at #11. Gross.
Near North Side
A top-notch date spot, ENO wine bar boasts a cozy aquarium fireplace and a varied menu that will impress anyone who’s into wine, cheese, or chocolate. And if your date isn’t into wine, cheese, or chocolate, it might be time to find a date who... is?
Besides the stone fireplace, Grafton is also equipped with hearty eats like shepherd’s pie and fish & chips, a nice selection of whiskey, wine & beer, and live music throughout the week.
Maybe skyline views, high-energy day parties, and leggy models voguing down a table-slash-runway aren’t your idea of "cozy", but take one look at that stunning fireplace setup and yeah, that's exactly your idea of cozy. Score a seat and order up a Soaked in Cider, made with Glenmorangie 10 year, baked apple bitters, cinnamon syrup, apple cider, and fresh lemon juice.
Scofflaw: come for the excellent cocktails. Stay for the excellent kitchen offerings. Stay even longer for the free cookies that are passed out at midnight, and then beg the staff to spend the night beside the warm fireplace because you’re convinced you’ll never make it home in the soul-crushing cold. Hey, it’s worth a shot.
6. Moody's Pub
Moody’s probably looks as medieval today as the day it opened in 1959 (or is it 1459?) -- and we mean that as a compliment. The Edgewater pub basically feels like a castle’s basement, assuming you know of a castle basement that also does excellent burgers and pitchers of sangria alongside a sweet-ass fireplace.
The "fireplace" at Table, Donkey and Stick is actually a fire pit, but it still makes a great spot to visit because one (and by one, we mean you) can step outside and warm up on a chilly winter's eve. It works with the overall theme of the joint, which prepares rustic mountain fare inspired by the hearty folk of the Alps. As a bonus, stop by on Mondays for 50-cent PBRs and $5 small plates. Yes, 50-cent PBRs is not a typo.
Stunning views. Elegant décor. Speakeasy vibe. Inventive drinks (such as the $2,000 Suit, made with Kappa Pisco, CH Amaro, crème de banane, chai tea, and lime... PS it doesn't cost $2,000). While Drumbar is a no-brainer destination in the summer, it also has plenty to offer in the winter, thanks to outdoor fire pits and a fireplace-equipped lounge area that's The Best.
3. Hubbard Inn
Hubbard Inn bills itself as a Hemingway-inspired restobar, and features classic dinner club décor complete with tufted sofas and stocked bookshelves. The establishment actually offers two separate fireplace lounges on two floors, both of which are great spots to enjoy alllllll the drinks, Hemingway-style.
For a restaurant that serves up entire wild boars, goats, and alligators, one fireplace simply will not do. Hence, Frontier offers spots to warm one’s self upstairs in its Elixir Room, as well as on the year-round patio. The décor is heavy on the exposed brick and stained woods, making each visit feel like a trip to some mountain lodge. Specifically, a mountain lodge where alligators roam and it’s cool to eat them.
Scoring a seat at this spot takes a bit of know-how, but it’ll all be worth it once you’re kicking back and feeling like your boss’ boss. Start off by ordering a drink at the Mercadito Fish Co. bar (get the Ginger Smash, with Maker’s Mark, lemon, mint, and candied ginger), then head on over to the adjacent Talbott Hotel’s lobby. Servers will deliver the drinks right to you, and afterwards you can confidently tell everyone within earshot that you’re actually a railroad tycoon (because you totally are... right?).
1. ENO505 N Michigan Ave, Chicago
2. The Grafton Pub4530 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
3. Roof on the Wit201 N State St, Chicago
4. Moody's Pub5910 N Broadway St, Chicago
5. Table, Donkey and Stick2728 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
6. Drumbar201 E Delaware Pl, Chicago
7. Hubbard Inn110 W Hubbard St, Chicago
8. Frontier1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
9. Talbott Hotel20 E. Delaware Place, Chicago
10. Scofflaw3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
A top-notch date spot, ENO wine bar boasts a cozy aquarium fireplace and varied menu that will impress anyone who’s into wine, cheese, or chocolate. And if your date isn’t into wine, cheese, or chocolate, it might be time to find a new one.
The Grafton Pub has all of your favorite things: a huge whiskey list (separated by country of origin), an equally huge beer list (both bottle and draft, with a separate "Foreigners" section), hearty eats (like the Guinness beef stew), and live music. There are some surprises as well, such as Chocolate Cheery mead and Sump Imperial Stout.
Do you like models, bottle service, and DJs? If so, theWit's rooftop lounge is for you. More than just a glitzy bar, the 27th-floor hotspot features a retractable roof (it's open year-round, after all), a 3D video-mapping wall, and a sleek bar that turns into a runway. The food and drink menu is equally fit for a glam squad, serving up flatbreads, seafood towers, fancy craft cocktails, and punch bowls.
Moody’s probably looks as medieval today as the day it opened in 1959 (or is it 1459?). And we mean that as a compliment. The Edgewater pub basically feels like a castle’s basement, assuming you know a castle basement that also does excellent burgers and pitchers of sangria, alongside a sweet ass fireplace.
Table, Donkey and Stick is all about the Alps: independent wines and Bavarian beers, cuisine influenced by the mountainous regions of France & Germany, even the cozy layout imitates lodges housing Alps hikers.
Not only is Drumbar one of the sexiest rooftop lounges in Chicago, the 18th-floor bar atop the Raffaello Hotel has a brag-worthy selection of whiskey, scotch, bourbon, and cognac. The sleek spot has a cozy den-meets-gentlemen's club decor with dark leather couches, wood-paneled walls, and a marble bar. During the summer, the seasonal outdoor patio makes it even more of an after-work drinking destination near the Magnificent Mile.
A Hemingway-inspired haunt decked with heavy wooden communal tables, eclectic oil paintings, and vintage books, HI's turning out snacks and small plates like goat cheese croquettes w/ tomato jam, pan-fried sweet breads, and more. The establishment actually offers two separate fireplace lounges on two floors, both of which are great spots to enjoy alllllll the drinks, Hemingway-style.
It may not be the final frontier, but with ice-taps pouring 16 traditional and seasonal brews, a meat heavy menu featuring specialty sausages, steaks, and "Animal Service", flat screen TVs, and a beer garden, you won't need to explore any further. Allied: Ready yourself for Animal Service with some Smith & Forge, the hard cider that's built strong -- built from Apples and built to Refresh.
Originally built in 1927, Talbott's a boutique Gold Coast relic on Delaware Place that juxtaposes antiquated decor with modern technology.
This classy bar in Logan Square will make a gin lover out of even the most gin-averse of clientele. It's one of Chicago's top cocktail bars because it proves that the versatility of gin extends far beyond the usual G&T and because it's outfitted with antique sofas that are palatial AND comfortable. Scofflaw also serves a menu of better-than-basic small bites, and the kitchen is open until 1am daily.