Where to Drink Wine in Chicago

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The city is brimming with toast-worthy bars and bottle shops

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Chicago’s wine scene is an exciting place.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

One thing’s for certain: Chicago can never have too many wine bars. For almost 30 years, they’ve been one of the city’s top destinations for first dates, special occasions, civilized girls’ night out festivities, and more. Plus, if you’re rolling solo, you’ll be hard-pressed to stay that way for long.

Wine bars tend to be ideal spots to make friends fast — including with the people who work there. Everyone’s enthusiastic to chat about their favorite wines and adventures with vino, and if you’re super lucky, someone’s guaranteed to share a bottle. Peruse Eater Chicago’s selections for the best places to sip and swirl around town.

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Originally opened in 1962 as a pizzeria, Angelo’s underwent a makeover in 2015 and added a wine program and new dishes. The neighborhood spot now features thin-crust pizzas, pasta, salads, charcuterie, bruschetta, sandwiches, and more alongside bottles and flights. Outdoor dining is available on the patio.

What’s not to love about this unpretentious Roscoe Village eatery that’s a long-time favorite for date night? Volo is a casually cool destination specializing in boutique wines, artisan cheeses, and many delicious options for sharing. That ranges from chilled oysters to charcuterie with knowledgeable staffers always available to help you with unconventional wine pairings. One of Volo’s biggest draws is its spectacular year-round patio that’s spacious and a favorite for post-work gatherings.

Robust wood-fired pizzas, a sizeable wine list, and wallet-friendly daily specials have helped solidify Frasca as a neighborhood go-to. Try the Italian sausage pie — loaded with fennel sausage, sautéed onions, and mozzarella — with a glass of Cabernet. Al fresco dining is available on Frasca’s outdoor patio. 

The OG of Chicago’s wine bar scene, Webster’s Wine Bar served an extensive fermented grape selection for two decades first in Lincoln Park before moving to the current Logan Square location in 2014. Dates, friendly gatherings, and light meals are common in the dim, casual space, and the wine list focuses on Old World vintages, including a vast array by the glass.

Cheeses. Such beautiful cheeses. There’s no simpler way to pair wine than with a host of the best artisan cheeses from this region as well as France and Spain. Beautiful Rind, situated in Logan Square, features six- and three-ounce pours of global rosé, Chenin blanc, pinot noir, and other selections. Pairing classes are held regularly by local and visiting cheesemongers, plus the menu changes daily and you can take bottles to go. There’s also a patio.

For owner Sonya Mlodzek, J9 Wine Bar is all about family. Named for her late sister Jeanine and housed inside a Lincoln Park building her father purchased in 1975, the seven-year-old bar has carved out a niche as a neighborhood go-to for a nostalgic, familiar glass of wine or unusual varietal selected by wine director Johnna Battaglia. Balance the wine with a cheese and charcuterie board or choose from a lineup of potato chip pairings.

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When three former Webster’s Wine Bar employees decided to open their own wine bar in Humboldt Park back in 2009, the area gained both a neighborhood hangout and an oenophile destination. Credit that to showcasing wine growers from around the world with a variety of specialties, including terroir-focused, organic, and biodynamic pours. The food only helps and nearly all of the plates rotate on the regular. The only item that stays on full-time? The burger is a Slagel Farm beef patty that is topped with bacon aioli, red onion, and cheddar. Patio seating is available.

The one-stop shop in Ukrainian Village is stocked with a first-rate supply of wine, cheese, and snacks. Make self-isolation better by picking up some bottles and groceries to-go or grab a seat on the outdoor patio and dive into a host of Midwestern-style dishes. All Together Now also offers picnic kits, a wine club, and a wine and cheese hotline for personalized recommendations.

The West Town outpost of Lush aims to be all things for its customers year-round. During the summer, it’s a popular neighborhood hang for the ample patio seating. In the winter, guests cozy up to the best seats in the house, near the fireplace. Organic eggs, artisan cheeses, prepared gourmet meals, and more may be purchased from the market. And the restaurant offers a Parisian cafe-style setting for those looking to get out of the house over a bottle or two of vino. Selections vary from cool regional finds to international stars.

A Michelin star was awarded in 2021 to this Portuguese- and Spanish-inspired spot that’s one of the most visually impressive places to open in Chicago in years. Most of its vibrant interior is imported, and of course, the food and wines are, too. But what makes the wines truly stand out is that Porto’s partners and beverage team travel annually to Spain and Portugal to seek out new talent. The ever-changing list reflects that and keeps guests coming back for more.

The former Zed451 building in River North is now home to Chicago Winery, a cavernous downtown space that houses a working winery, rooftop event space, and contemporary Midwestern restaurant Liva from executive chef Andrew Graves (Alinea, Next Restaurant). That means that patrons can sip chardonnay or zinfandel made on-site while trying cherry blossom-cured duck breast with porcini brodo and pickled turnips. Tastings and tours are also available.

A corner of a dining room is lined with a glass wall that looks into a working winery.
Peer through that window to see the winery at work.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

As the name suggests, Champagne is the focus of this corner fixture, which opened its doors more than 35 years ago. River North denizens and visitors alike will find one of the largest collections of sparkling bottles, including to-go packages. If the selection process ever seems daunting, turn to the team (many of whom have been there for decades), who can also offer guidance and food pairing recommendations. On Mondays, Pops features a different and unique magnum to pour by the glass.

The team behind lavishly decorated restaurant hits Beatnik, Porto, and Mama Delia doesn’t shy away from funkiness in style or wine. Such is the ethos at Goodfunk, Bonhomme Group’s natural wine bar in the former home of Cafe Bonhomme near Wacker and Lake. Drinkers can expect around five red, five white, and five skin-contact (orange and rose) wines by the glass, along with plenty of bottles that rotate regularly.

A pink marble bar is lit with candles and lined with velour chairs.
Good Funk neighbors sister restaurant Beatnik on the River.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

After, the bar and lounge from two-Michelin-starred Ever’s chef Curtis Duffy and sommelier Michael Muser offers Chicagoans an elegant on-ramp to the pair’s brand of luxurious dining and drinking. Previously wine director at the late, three-Michelin-starred Grace, Muser is known for an exacting approach and high expectations for his staff’s wine knowledge. But at After, his aim is to please with ideal representations of each varietal. Intricately designed down to the last acoustic panel, After also provides an opportunity for patrons to taste Duffy’s cooking without footing a significant bill for Ever’s spendy tasting menu.

Fall 2017 saw the opening of West Loop B&B the Publishing House and its subterranean wine bar. Visitors have a global selection of more than 70 bottles from which to choose. The drinking menu complements the season-driven fare — from charred broccolini to seared scallops — and a nice mix of cheeses and charcuterie. Patio seating is available and there’s regular live entertainment.

Oscar Salinas, Adam Jimenez, and August Marron, the trio of friends and Chicago natives behind part-time wine shop and bar Los Naturales, are taking a novel approach to combat the snooty stigma associated with wine. Housed inside Pilsen restaurant Caminos de Michoacan (owned by Jimenez’s family), the Cellar aims “to quench the hood’s thirst with wines worth chugging” and is a regular at pop-ups and events around the city.

Bronzeville Winery, from urban planner Cecilia Cuff and Silver Room owner Eric Williams, remains one of the toughest tables in town, due, in part, to its noteworthy assortment of wines by the glass, bottle, or flight. There’s an emphasis on Black-owned and women-owned vintners, plus a menu that ranges from small appetizers to large, shareable plates.

A staple in the Beverly neighborhood for more than 20 years, Wild Blossom is the only producer of mead on the Northern Illinois Wine Trail. Sustainability is a key practice here because they raise their own bees and collect the honey to make the centuries-old fermented beverage. They also purify and use water from Lake Michigan to produce their wines, such as white honey sangria as well as Chicago Bulls Blood, made from a cabernet, Syrah, and merlot blend. Weekly tours and tasting classes are available, plus there is patio seating.

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Originally opened in 1962 as a pizzeria, Angelo’s underwent a makeover in 2015 and added a wine program and new dishes. The neighborhood spot now features thin-crust pizzas, pasta, salads, charcuterie, bruschetta, sandwiches, and more alongside bottles and flights. Outdoor dining is available on the patio.

What’s not to love about this unpretentious Roscoe Village eatery that’s a long-time favorite for date night? Volo is a casually cool destination specializing in boutique wines, artisan cheeses, and many delicious options for sharing. That ranges from chilled oysters to charcuterie with knowledgeable staffers always available to help you with unconventional wine pairings. One of Volo’s biggest draws is its spectacular year-round patio that’s spacious and a favorite for post-work gatherings.

Robust wood-fired pizzas, a sizeable wine list, and wallet-friendly daily specials have helped solidify Frasca as a neighborhood go-to. Try the Italian sausage pie — loaded with fennel sausage, sautéed onions, and mozzarella — with a glass of Cabernet. Al fresco dining is available on Frasca’s outdoor patio. 

The OG of Chicago’s wine bar scene, Webster’s Wine Bar served an extensive fermented grape selection for two decades first in Lincoln Park before moving to the current Logan Square location in 2014. Dates, friendly gatherings, and light meals are common in the dim, casual space, and the wine list focuses on Old World vintages, including a vast array by the glass.

Cheeses. Such beautiful cheeses. There’s no simpler way to pair wine than with a host of the best artisan cheeses from this region as well as France and Spain. Beautiful Rind, situated in Logan Square, features six- and three-ounce pours of global rosé, Chenin blanc, pinot noir, and other selections. Pairing classes are held regularly by local and visiting cheesemongers, plus the menu changes daily and you can take bottles to go. There’s also a patio.

For owner Sonya Mlodzek, J9 Wine Bar is all about family. Named for her late sister Jeanine and housed inside a Lincoln Park building her father purchased in 1975, the seven-year-old bar has carved out a niche as a neighborhood go-to for a nostalgic, familiar glass of wine or unusual varietal selected by wine director Johnna Battaglia. Balance the wine with a cheese and charcuterie board or choose from a lineup of potato chip pairings.

When three former Webster’s Wine Bar employees decided to open their own wine bar in Humboldt Park back in 2009, the area gained both a neighborhood hangout and an oenophile destination. Credit that to showcasing wine growers from around the world with a variety of specialties, including terroir-focused, organic, and biodynamic pours. The food only helps and nearly all of the plates rotate on the regular. The only item that stays on full-time? The burger is a Slagel Farm beef patty that is topped with bacon aioli, red onion, and cheddar. Patio seating is available.

The one-stop shop in Ukrainian Village is stocked with a first-rate supply of wine, cheese, and snacks. Make self-isolation better by picking up some bottles and groceries to-go or grab a seat on the outdoor patio and dive into a host of Midwestern-style dishes. All Together Now also offers picnic kits, a wine club, and a wine and cheese hotline for personalized recommendations.

The West Town outpost of Lush aims to be all things for its customers year-round. During the summer, it’s a popular neighborhood hang for the ample patio seating. In the winter, guests cozy up to the best seats in the house, near the fireplace. Organic eggs, artisan cheeses, prepared gourmet meals, and more may be purchased from the market. And the restaurant offers a Parisian cafe-style setting for those looking to get out of the house over a bottle or two of vino. Selections vary from cool regional finds to international stars.

A Michelin star was awarded in 2021 to this Portuguese- and Spanish-inspired spot that’s one of the most visually impressive places to open in Chicago in years. Most of its vibrant interior is imported, and of course, the food and wines are, too. But what makes the wines truly stand out is that Porto’s partners and beverage team travel annually to Spain and Portugal to seek out new talent. The ever-changing list reflects that and keeps guests coming back for more.

The former Zed451 building in River North is now home to Chicago Winery, a cavernous downtown space that houses a working winery, rooftop event space, and contemporary Midwestern restaurant Liva from executive chef Andrew Graves (Alinea, Next Restaurant). That means that patrons can sip chardonnay or zinfandel made on-site while trying cherry blossom-cured duck breast with porcini brodo and pickled turnips. Tastings and tours are also available.

A corner of a dining room is lined with a glass wall that looks into a working winery.
Peer through that window to see the winery at work.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

As the name suggests, Champagne is the focus of this corner fixture, which opened its doors more than 35 years ago. River North denizens and visitors alike will find one of the largest collections of sparkling bottles, including to-go packages. If the selection process ever seems daunting, turn to the team (many of whom have been there for decades), who can also offer guidance and food pairing recommendations. On Mondays, Pops features a different and unique magnum to pour by the glass.

The team behind lavishly decorated restaurant hits Beatnik, Porto, and Mama Delia doesn’t shy away from funkiness in style or wine. Such is the ethos at Goodfunk, Bonhomme Group’s natural wine bar in the former home of Cafe Bonhomme near Wacker and Lake. Drinkers can expect around five red, five white, and five skin-contact (orange and rose) wines by the glass, along with plenty of bottles that rotate regularly.

A pink marble bar is lit with candles and lined with velour chairs.
Good Funk neighbors sister restaurant Beatnik on the River.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

After, the bar and lounge from two-Michelin-starred Ever’s chef Curtis Duffy and sommelier Michael Muser offers Chicagoans an elegant on-ramp to the pair’s brand of luxurious dining and drinking. Previously wine director at the late, three-Michelin-starred Grace, Muser is known for an exacting approach and high expectations for his staff’s wine knowledge. But at After, his aim is to please with ideal representations of each varietal. Intricately designed down to the last acoustic panel, After also provides an opportunity for patrons to taste Duffy’s cooking without footing a significant bill for Ever’s spendy tasting menu.

Fall 2017 saw the opening of West Loop B&B the Publishing House and its subterranean wine bar. Visitors have a global selection of more than 70 bottles from which to choose. The drinking menu complements the season-driven fare — from charred broccolini to seared scallops — and a nice mix of cheeses and charcuterie. Patio seating is available and there’s regular live entertainment.

Oscar Salinas, Adam Jimenez, and August Marron, the trio of friends and Chicago natives behind part-time wine shop and bar Los Naturales, are taking a novel approach to combat the snooty stigma associated with wine. Housed inside Pilsen restaurant Caminos de Michoacan (owned by Jimenez’s family), the Cellar aims “to quench the hood’s thirst with wines worth chugging” and is a regular at pop-ups and events around the city.

Bronzeville Winery, from urban planner Cecilia Cuff and Silver Room owner Eric Williams, remains one of the toughest tables in town, due, in part, to its noteworthy assortment of wines by the glass, bottle, or flight. There’s an emphasis on Black-owned and women-owned vintners, plus a menu that ranges from small appetizers to large, shareable plates.

A staple in the Beverly neighborhood for more than 20 years, Wild Blossom is the only producer of mead on the Northern Illinois Wine Trail. Sustainability is a key practice here because they raise their own bees and collect the honey to make the centuries-old fermented beverage. They also purify and use water from Lake Michigan to produce their wines, such as white honey sangria as well as Chicago Bulls Blood, made from a cabernet, Syrah, and merlot blend. Weekly tours and tasting classes are available, plus there is patio seating.

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