Bars, Restaurants

9 Coziest Places to Eat & Drink in Chicago

Winter weather is here… and for Chicagoans, that means braving the cold — while still enjoying what our city has to offer. Worry not, the chilly temperatures and snowfall don’t dampen the spirits of Chicagoans. There are plenty of places to cozy up, with a cocktail of choice or hearty meal. Our team at Preview Chicago compiled a list of our favorite spots that always feel welcoming, warm, and full of ambiance.

 

Bookmark this list of Chicago’s coziest bars and restaurants…

 

Gilt Bar

230 W. Kinzie Street  •  Gilt Bar

 

Bavette’s

218 W. Kinzie Street  •  Bavette’s

 

Maude’s

840 W. Randolph Street  •  Maude’s Liquor Bar

 

RL Restaurant

115 E. Chicago Avenue  •   RL Restaurant

 

RM Champagne

116 N. Green Street  •  RM Champagne

 

BLVD

817 W. Lake Street  •  BLVD

 

Celeste

111 W. Hubbard Street  •  Celeste

 

Drawing Room

12 S. Michigan Avenue  •  The Drawing Room

 

The Library

1301 N. State Pkwy  •  The Library

 

Tell us your favorite cozy winter spot in Chicago!

 

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Bars, HOTSPOTS II

Preview Chicago Presents The Top 5 Margaritas In Chicago

Watch our video and then see what our friends at timeout.com/chicago think below.

Best margaritas in Chicago

Adobo Grill

Adobo Grill

Adobo Margarita, $9.75
At Adobo Grill, start with a perfect margarita made with Herradura Blanco, Gran Torres orange liqueur and fresh lime that’s shaken tableside. For $1.25, the bartender will pour a layer of Del Maguey Chichicapa on top—it adds smokiness and makes the drink super boozy. We have a personal two-drink max on these, so drink slowly.—Amy Cavanaugh

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Old Town
Antique Taco

Antique Taco

Rosemary’s Margarita, $13
It makes sense that the cutest taco joint in town also has the cutest margarita. At Antique Taco, the simple margarita—tequila, plus fresh lime and orange juices—gets a hint of sweetness and herbal notes from rosemary simple syrup. It’s garnished with a sprig of rosemary and available both by the pint and quart—considering the heat some of the tacos carry, you’ll want to go big.—AC

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Wicker Park
Big Star

Big Star

Classic Margarita, $8
Big Star makes two margaritas: the classic, with Lunazul Blanco, lime and orange curacao, and the Big Star, which adds in mezcal. While we’re usually all over mezcal margaritas, here it’s a bit too strong. Stick with the simple but well-crafted classic, which is also available in a pitcher for $37, a requirement if you’re whiling away an afternoon over a plate of tacos.—AC

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Wicker Park
Commonwealth Tavern

Commonwealth Tavern

The Rita, $11
You won’t taste the sriracha that’s supposedly added to this otherwise classic margarita, but you won’t miss it, either. This is one of the most balanced, smooth and bright margaritas we’ve had in ages, thanks to a hefty supply of fresh lime juice, agave nectar and Don Julio tequila, plus a splash of orange juice and Cointreau.—Laura Baginski

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Roscoe Village
Del Toro

Del Toro

Pepino Margarita, $8
The margarita starts simple—silver tequila, lime, Cointreau—and then the bartender doctors it up with cucumber, jalapeno, simple syrup and a chile pequin rim. The cucumber makes it taste light and fresh, while the chile-lime salted rim adds heat to every sip.—AC

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Pilsen
Frontera Grill

Frontera Grill

Splurge margarita, $35
While the gold flakes may remind you of Goldschlager shots in college, drinking this margarita, served neat in a filled-to-the-brim martini glass, will end a lot better than those frat ragers. That’s because this drink is made with incredibly high-end ingredients (hence, the incredibly high-end price): Riazul anejo tequila ($60 a bottle at Binny’s), Grand Marnier, the French aperitif Pineau des Charentes and those aforementioned gold flakes. If you like cognac (the tequila is aged in Cognac barrels and Pineau des Charantes is infused with the stuff), you’ll like the mellow Sweet Tart flavor of this drink. If you don’t…uh, stick with Goldschlager?—LB

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River North
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

Morgan Street Margarita, $10
Proof that Maria’s is the most underrated cocktail joint in town: this margarita, which is made with Monte Alban Mezcal Joven, 1800 Reposado Tequila 100, lime juice and spicy simple syrup. There’s only a bit of heat, but combined with the smoky mezcal, it’s so good you’ll want to order a second immediately after you finish your first.—AC

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Bridgeport
Masa Azul

Masa Azul

Where There is Smoke, $10
The Mexican restaurant knows its tequila, and there are several margaritas on the cocktail list. Where There is Smoke is a recent addition, and the name says it all: The smoky mezcal hits you up front and it’s followed by fire from the serrano pepper. The orange liqueur and lime juice mellow both flavors out, resulting in a balanced margarita.–AC

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Logan Square
Mercadito

Mercadito

Margarita Tradicional, $11.50
When it comes to margaritas, keeping it simple is often the best course of action. This River North hotspot offers 11 margaritas, most of which are mixed with unexpected ingredients like cumin salt and almonds, but the best of the bunch is a straightforward adherent to the form: El Jimador Blanco tequila, agave nectar, Grand Marnier and fresh lime juice. Caution: Do not pay an extra $3 to “add smoke” to this margarita, unless you like a mouthful of campfire.—LB

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River North
Parson's Chicken & Fish

Parson’s Chicken & Fish

Margarita Humosa, $8
Parson’s patio may not be open year-round, but thankfully you can still drink the margarita any time the craving strikes. The mezcal cocktail is rimmed with malic acid and sugar, which makes it taste just like Sour Patch Kids—it’s a smoky-sweet treat we just can’t get enough of.—AC

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Logan Square
Takito Kitchen

Takito Kitchen

Pineapple Serrano, $11
Between the tequila, Cointreau, pineapple and spicy Serrano, there’s a lot of flavor here, but it all melds together beautifully. And while we’re not entirely sure what the bartenders are doing to make the chile-citrus-salt-sugar rim so good, we also don’t really care.—AC

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Shop, Shops

Top 10 Chicago Boutiques You Need To Visit

Chicago has it all. From the food to the activities to the shopping. Wait, did someone say shopping?

chicago boutiques

With summer in full bloom, we’re all out and about. What better way to spend a warm day than shopping around the city? We’ve got a list of amazing Chicago independently owned boutiques you need to visit sometime you are in the mood to shop.

Check out the Top 10 Chicago boutiques you need to visit below:

  • Local Goods Chicago: 5354 W. Devon Ave. Chicago, IL 60646
    • This shop offers amazing locally made merchandise and items that advertise Chicago. You can find Abbey Brown Soaps, sweets from Cheshire Cat Confectionery, and crafts from Muggy Tuesday.
  • Milk Handmade: 5137 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
    • This Andersonville shop specializes in handmade goods as well as homemade soaps.
  • Alapash: 1944 W Montrose Ave. Chicago, IL 60613
    • This Ravenswood boutique sells everything you need for your terrarium and even D.I.Y. kits!
  • Transistor: 3819 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60613
    • This gallery is stocked with goods from 80s artists. There is even a recording space and its own webcast!
  • Belmont Army: 855 W Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
    • This 1975 shop has skater gear, trendy fashion clothes and vintage boots! Perfect place to go to when you’re looking for a fun outfit.
  • Heritage General Store: 2959 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
    • A stunning bike store that features handcrafted bikes in Chicago. There is even a coffee shop and retail store.
  • Virtu: 2035 North Damen Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
    • This cute gift shop offers stocks paper goods, jewelry, kitchen wares, and anything else that fits in a a little bag or box.
  • SIlver Moon: 1721 W North Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
    • This shop is owned by a former rock-star so you know it’s a place to be! Silver Moon features vintage bridal good and accessories from straw hats to cuff-links!
  • Penelope’s: 1913 W Division St. Chicago, IL 60622
    • This clothing shop has amazing clothing for both men and women. They even have store pugs! Puppies to play with!
  • Open Books: 213 W Institute Pl. Chicago, IL 60610
    • This nonprofit organization gets books through programs, book donations, and more. Who wouldn’t want to donate books and pick another book while they are at it?

Have you ever been to any of these local Chicago boutiques? What did you buy?

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