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.

September in Chicago means summer and its long-awaited patio and rooftop drinking season are winding down. But fall is on the horizon and usually that means an influx of highly-anticipated new openings, such as these three new additions to the heatmap: Lettuce Entertain You’s first wine bar, a jam-packed patio hotspot in Wicker Park, and a subterranean Scotch and classic cocktail bar in the Gold Coast. Meanwhile, three also drop off, as Ludlow Liquors, Flight Club, and The Front Room’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.