There are so many great places to get a good drink in Chicago, it truly feels impossible to explore every brewpub, cocktail lounge, and dive bar. It is even hard to pick your favorite spots in each neighborhood of the city, especially in River North, which is full of great bars. That is why I want to help you navigate to 5 of the most unique spots to grab a drink in River North. The only way I could think to really narrow this down is the following scenario:
You’re in Chicago for 1 night, you have 5 hours to grab a few drinks before hitting the hay for your 9am flight. It kind of seems like a challenge at this point… and who doesn’t like a challenge? The River North neighborhood, 5 hours, 5 drink spots.. Go!
The Berkshire Room
The Berkshire Room is the perfect start to an evening in River North. Their classic cocktails with a twist get your palate going for an evening ahead. The most impression thing about this cocktail lounge is their extensive Sotol, Mezcal, and Pisco spirit list. Those are three of my favorite spirits that get down played at many restaurants & bars, but at The Berkshire Room they’re celebrated.
When in River North for the evening you must always go to Eataly whether it’s to eat or drink, they have you covered. I highly recommend tasting their featured wines at any of their wine bars, as well as stopping by their brewpub. The best part, you can do all of this in one space and even get some shopping done while you drink. Grab some gourmet Italian foods to bring home with you!
The Public House is a lively nightlife spot where you could truly party all evening. However, you don’t have to be in full on “party mode” to enjoy this bar. Where it’s really at is the Cake Shakes. Yup, Cake Shakes; craft beer, ice cream, and a big slice of delicious cake. They have your chocolate or vanilla covered on the daily, but keep an eye on their Instagram for specialty features.
Rossi’s is a River North classic, it is honestly the only dive bar in the neighborhood. They don’t have a website, there is no social media accounts to follow, and no “mixologist” behind the bar. They offer cheap beer, simple cocktails, a juke box, and friendly bartenders. Rossi’s is a true cozy, feel good joint, and it’s right next to Public House so why not make a pit stop?
3 Dots and a Dash
This is in a specific order for a reason, Three Dots and a Dash needs to be your last stop of the night for the perfect evening out. It is an underground tiki bar featuring the best of the best in spirits and cocktail decor. It might be a $15 drink, but it’s going to be a stiff cocktail with amazing flavors. All of their cocktails are unique, the glassware is all customized, and the flavor is always on point. No matter what you order at Three Dots and a Dash it will consistently be the best tiki drinks you’ve ever had.
Now that you’ve essentially done a relay race of drinking you’re going to need some food in your stomach too. Find out our top 3 recommendations for your Classic Chicago Bites in River North and how Chicago Food Planet can help you explore the food scene here.