clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Shutterstock / DisobeyArt

12 Places to Drink in Chicago During Music Festival Season

Where to wet your whistle (and maybe get some eats) between or after sets.

View as Map
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Music Festival Season is like any awards season or fashion week: you know it comes around, but tend to forget exactly when it is until it’s actually happening. And baby, it’s happening. If you haven’t been to a festival in Chicago, you’re in for a treat. With countless things to do both on the festival grounds and off, there’s something for every kind of festival-goer.

So, before, in between, and after sets—no matter the time—make sure you’re enjoying the best the city has to offer (and staying hydrated while doing it). Whether you’re looking for an ice-cold BACARDÍ mojito or Cuba Libre to cool off from the summer heat, a shaded bar to sneak off to after hours in the sun, or a spot that’ll take you from dinner to nighttime revelry, these 12 places have you covered for libation-ooza.

Read More
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Barcocina

Copy Link

Located in Lakeview with a West Town location coming soon, Barcocina is a Mexican restaurant focusing on shared plates, so bring your friends and get ready to eat. Socialize in the space that features open-air garage doors, a patio, and great rustic-meets-industrial details. You can’t go wrong with the tacos, though the crowd favorite seems to be chicken tinga, with jalapeño lime slaw and pickled onions. Sip on the “Party with ‘Cardi” cocktail featuring a BACARDÍ Rum blend, prickly pear orange juice, pineapple, rhubarb bitters, and ginger ale. Best part? Pretty much every cocktail on the menu can also be served as a pitcher.

Pizza Lobo

Copy Link

This super casual, old-school spot is the no frills situation you want for good pizza and good drinks after a long day in the sun. Located in Logan Square, this spot features a huge patio and fire pit (in fact, most of the restaurant is outside), and you can’t beat the food here. Along with the pizzas, don’t miss out: order the cauliflower. To drink, definitely go for the Banana Daiquiri, which features BACARDÍ Superior Rum, banana, and lime — it’s the epitome of refreshing. 

Shore Club Chicago

Copy Link

Located right on North Avenue Beach, this summer staple is truly unparalleled. Featuring different dining and drinking experiences, guests can choose to sit at the patio bar, the sandy oasis for lounging, or indoors. Order the lobster tacos or an elote cobb salad and refresh with their Chicago Vice (a local spin on the classic Miami Vice cocktail) — made with BACARDÍ Superior Rum, pineapple, strawberry, and coconut milk. Perfect for hanging with friends and taking in the gorgeous views, this spot is definitely popular, so try to snag a reservation, if you can. 

Arbella

Copy Link

A River North staple, Arbella has everything you want in a cocktail bar or restaurant: Intimate seating, amazingly crafted cocktails, and (occasionally) a live DJ. While it’s modern and very cool feeling, it lacks any pretentiousness you might think it holds walking into the space. They’re truly about serving up good cocktails. Order an Abandon Ship, made with BACARDÍ Cuatro, pineapple, orange, coconut, guava, carrot, nutmeg, and thank us later.

Streeterville Social

Copy Link

This rooftop destination (located at the top of Loews Hotel downtown) is a hidden gem. Open to the public with city views, plenty of seating, and high up enough to feel far away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, it is the perfect daytime or evening reprieve from the city. Service is top-notch and the drinks are tasty too, including the “This Drink Is Bananas,” made with BACARDÍ Banana Flavored Rum, banana liqueur, triple sec, lime, and pineapple. If you want to make it a group affair, they can also make a punch bowl of sorts of the same drink that serves 3 to 4 people (and is aptly named “Let’s Go Bananas”).

Untitled Supper Club

Copy Link

With a Prohibition-era design, this 18,000-square-foot space serves up some serious style. It’s actually split into 4 bars—the Library, Cabaret, Backstage, and the Drawing Room. With live entertainment and amazing eats, this place has all you need for a night out. While the food is A+, the drinks definitely take the cake. Try the Rivero’s Riviera, made with BACARDÍ Ocho, lime, pineapple, strawberry, orange triple sec, habanero, and ginger beer.

Blind Barber

Copy Link

Like its counterparts in New York, LA, and Philadelphia, Blind Barber Chicago is a fully functioning barbershop during the day and a bustling cocktail lounge by night. It’s a spot you’ll want to dance the night away on the weekends (and it gets pretty packed, so try and come early) or come for a fun date night or hang on a weeknight. With great cocktails (that’s kind of their thing), it’s a place that sets just the right mood, with almost ‘70s vibes thanks to burnt-orange leather sofas and knotty pine walls. Stuck on what to order? Try the Rum Punch, a classic cocktail, made with BACARDÍ Ocho, RumHaven, Creme De Banané, pineapple, lime, and Demerara.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

Bar Siena

Copy Link

A two-story bar and restaurant, this rustic-inspired spot in West Loop is an offshoot of Siena Tavern in River North. Offering seriously good dishes like short rib lasagna and sweet corn ravioli, this bar and restaurant located in “Restaurant Row” is perfect to fuel up. Speaking of fueling up, you try the Mojito Italiano, a cocktail made with BACARDÍ Superior Rum, basil, and house-made limoncello. (Psst… the brunch goes straight into dinner time, perfect if you’re getting a late start or craving eggs past 3 p.m.)

Courtesy of Bar Siena

Aikana Chicago

Copy Link

This spot is inspired by South and Central American cuisines. Translation? Amazing food, amazing tunes, and even better drinks and decor. With a big, communal table (but also separate tables as well), Aikana is a great place to chat with other locals, take friends who are in town, or take that special someone for an Instagram-worthy date. Order the octopus and ceviche, and get an Aikana Cuba Libre, made with BACARDÍ Ocho, cola bitters, sparkling water, and lime. 

Courtesy of Aikana Chicago

The Allis

Copy Link

Don’t fret—you don’t have to be a member of Soho House to enter (and dine) in this first floor space.(Though, if you are a member, you get discounts as well as preferred reservations.) With light Mediterranean faire and cocktails, it’s the perfect place to catch up or recharge after being out (and standing) all day. While bathed in the light from floor-to-ceiling windows, make sure to try the Lychee Keen, featuring BACARDÍ Superior Rum, lychee liqueur, honey syrup, and sparkling rosé.

Simone's

Copy Link

Located in Pilsen, Simone’s has been operating since 2010 and is the perfect bar for a late night, since it serves its full menu until 1 a.m. Try the Machata, with BACARDÍ Spiced Rum, spiced cream liquor, cream of coconut, and matcha green tea that’s shaken and served with crown of coconut flakes; or the Snow Blossom, with BACARDÍ Silver, orange blossom water, egg white, lime, and simple syrup. With a jam-packed event calendar, as well as a commitment to sustainability (they use 100% compostable containers, grow their own herbs, and offer affordable vegan and vegetarian options), this is a place you want to check out. 

Courtesy of Simone’s

Ja' Grill Hyde Park

Copy Link

If you’re looking for great Jamaican food and a good time, all signs point to Ja’ Grill. Located in Hyde Park, this popular restaurant serves up all the good things — oxtails, beef patties, jerk chicken. Don’t forget to order the drink of the Caribbean mainstay: Rum Punch. Ja’ Grill’s version features BACARDÍ Superior Rum, BACARDÍ Black Rum, coconut rum, tropical juice, and grenadine.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Barcocina

Located in Lakeview with a West Town location coming soon, Barcocina is a Mexican restaurant focusing on shared plates, so bring your friends and get ready to eat. Socialize in the space that features open-air garage doors, a patio, and great rustic-meets-industrial details. You can’t go wrong with the tacos, though the crowd favorite seems to be chicken tinga, with jalapeño lime slaw and pickled onions. Sip on the “Party with ‘Cardi” cocktail featuring a BACARDÍ Rum blend, prickly pear orange juice, pineapple, rhubarb bitters, and ginger ale. Best part? Pretty much every cocktail on the menu can also be served as a pitcher.

Pizza Lobo

This super casual, old-school spot is the no frills situation you want for good pizza and good drinks after a long day in the sun. Located in Logan Square, this spot features a huge patio and fire pit (in fact, most of the restaurant is outside), and you can’t beat the food here. Along with the pizzas, don’t miss out: order the cauliflower. To drink, definitely go for the Banana Daiquiri, which features BACARDÍ Superior Rum, banana, and lime — it’s the epitome of refreshing. 

Shore Club Chicago

Located right on North Avenue Beach, this summer staple is truly unparalleled. Featuring different dining and drinking experiences, guests can choose to sit at the patio bar, the sandy oasis for lounging, or indoors. Order the lobster tacos or an elote cobb salad and refresh with their Chicago Vice (a local spin on the classic Miami Vice cocktail) — made with BACARDÍ Superior Rum, pineapple, strawberry, and coconut milk. Perfect for hanging with friends and taking in the gorgeous views, this spot is definitely popular, so try to snag a reservation, if you can. 

Arbella

A River North staple, Arbella has everything you want in a cocktail bar or restaurant: Intimate seating, amazingly crafted cocktails, and (occasionally) a live DJ. While it’s modern and very cool feeling, it lacks any pretentiousness you might think it holds walking into the space. They’re truly about serving up good cocktails. Order an Abandon Ship, made with BACARDÍ Cuatro, pineapple, orange, coconut, guava, carrot, nutmeg, and thank us later.

Streeterville Social

This rooftop destination (located at the top of Loews Hotel downtown) is a hidden gem. Open to the public with city views, plenty of seating, and high up enough to feel far away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, it is the perfect daytime or evening reprieve from the city. Service is top-notch and the drinks are tasty too, including the “This Drink Is Bananas,” made with BACARDÍ Banana Flavored Rum, banana liqueur, triple sec, lime, and pineapple. If you want to make it a group affair, they can also make a punch bowl of sorts of the same drink that serves 3 to 4 people (and is aptly named “Let’s Go Bananas”).

Untitled Supper Club

With a Prohibition-era design, this 18,000-square-foot space serves up some serious style. It’s actually split into 4 bars—the Library, Cabaret, Backstage, and the Drawing Room. With live entertainment and amazing eats, this place has all you need for a night out. While the food is A+, the drinks definitely take the cake. Try the Rivero’s Riviera, made with BACARDÍ Ocho, lime, pineapple, strawberry, orange triple sec, habanero, and ginger beer.

Blind Barber

Courtesy of Blind Barber

Like its counterparts in New York, LA, and Philadelphia, Blind Barber Chicago is a fully functioning barbershop during the day and a bustling cocktail lounge by night. It’s a spot you’ll want to dance the night away on the weekends (and it gets pretty packed, so try and come early) or come for a fun date night or hang on a weeknight. With great cocktails (that’s kind of their thing), it’s a place that sets just the right mood, with almost ‘70s vibes thanks to burnt-orange leather sofas and knotty pine walls. Stuck on what to order? Try the Rum Punch, a classic cocktail, made with BACARDÍ Ocho, RumHaven, Creme De Banané, pineapple, lime, and Demerara.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

Bar Siena

Courtesy of Bar Siena

A two-story bar and restaurant, this rustic-inspired spot in West Loop is an offshoot of Siena Tavern in River North. Offering seriously good dishes like short rib lasagna and sweet corn ravioli, this bar and restaurant located in “Restaurant Row” is perfect to fuel up. Speaking of fueling up, you try the Mojito Italiano, a cocktail made with BACARDÍ Superior Rum, basil, and house-made limoncello. (Psst… the brunch goes straight into dinner time, perfect if you’re getting a late start or craving eggs past 3 p.m.)

Courtesy of Bar Siena

Aikana Chicago

Courtesy of Aikana Chicago

This spot is inspired by South and Central American cuisines. Translation? Amazing food, amazing tunes, and even better drinks and decor. With a big, communal table (but also separate tables as well), Aikana is a great place to chat with other locals, take friends who are in town, or take that special someone for an Instagram-worthy date. Order the octopus and ceviche, and get an Aikana Cuba Libre, made with BACARDÍ Ocho, cola bitters, sparkling water, and lime. 

Courtesy of Aikana Chicago

The Allis

Don’t fret—you don’t have to be a member of Soho House to enter (and dine) in this first floor space.(Though, if you are a member, you get discounts as well as preferred reservations.) With light Mediterranean faire and cocktails, it’s the perfect place to catch up or recharge after being out (and standing) all day. While bathed in the light from floor-to-ceiling windows, make sure to try the Lychee Keen, featuring BACARDÍ Superior Rum, lychee liqueur, honey syrup, and sparkling rosé.

Simone's

Courtesy of Simone’s

Located in Pilsen, Simone’s has been operating since 2010 and is the perfect bar for a late night, since it serves its full menu until 1 a.m. Try the Machata, with BACARDÍ Spiced Rum, spiced cream liquor, cream of coconut, and matcha green tea that’s shaken and served with crown of coconut flakes; or the Snow Blossom, with BACARDÍ Silver, orange blossom water, egg white, lime, and simple syrup. With a jam-packed event calendar, as well as a commitment to sustainability (they use 100% compostable containers, grow their own herbs, and offer affordable vegan and vegetarian options), this is a place you want to check out. 

Courtesy of Simone’s

Ja' Grill Hyde Park

If you’re looking for great Jamaican food and a good time, all signs point to Ja’ Grill. Located in Hyde Park, this popular restaurant serves up all the good things — oxtails, beef patties, jerk chicken. Don’t forget to order the drink of the Caribbean mainstay: Rum Punch. Ja’ Grill’s version features BACARDÍ Superior Rum, BACARDÍ Black Rum, coconut rum, tropical juice, and grenadine.