Behold the 16 hottest drinking spots in Chicago

Beyond where to eat right now, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater often have another burning question: Where should one drink right now? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering the best standbys and neighborhood essential restaurants across the city and the Eater Heatmap highlights where the restaurant crowds are flocking to at the moment, the Eater Chicago Bar Heatmap shows the hottest bars and restaurants from north to south which have been open for less than nine months, where cocktail, beer, and wine aficionados are drinking right now.

Fall and its cooler weather has officially hit Chicago as the calendar flips to October, meaning the long-awaited patio and rooftop season is mostly over. But fall also usually means an influx of highly-anticipated new openings, such as these three new additions to the heatmap: a new Wicker Park cocktail bar/restaurant/record store combo, a come-as-you-are hotspot from the people behind dearly departed Bar DeVille, and the most-hyped clubstaurant in the city. Meanwhile, three also drop off, as Hotel Zachary’s buzz is stifled after the Cubs’ season ends, and Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club and The Gringo’s heat die down after successful runs on the heatmap. Happy drinking.

Bar Ramone

The first wine bar from Chicago’s largest restaurant group gives River North an extensive selection of both affordable and swanky vintages. The deep list offers an array of French, Italian, and glass pours, as well as porrons, sangrias, and a few cocktails. Spanish snacks and small plates round out the experience in the sophisticatedly redesigned space.


Lettuce Entertain You’s newest entry to the parade of Fulton Market hotspots is Aba, a sun-drenched rooftop Mediterranean charmer helmed by chef C.J. Jacobson of Ema. While a dedicated restaurant, the space includes multiple bars, an extensive elevated outdoor space, and plenty of upscale lounge seating to sip on an array of summery cocktails from bar star Liz Pearce as well as large-format drinks, luxe cocktails made with rare booze, and an extensive wine list.