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A bottle of Suntory Toki whisky sits on a bar between the tall silver spout of the highball machine and a fizzy toki highball
(left to right) A Toki highball, a bottle of Suntory Toki whisky, and a Suntory Toki highball machine.
Photo courtesy of Suntory Toki

15 Places to Drink Japanese Highballs in Chicago

The classic cocktail, made easier with the Suntory Toki highball machine, is here just in time for summer.

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(left to right) A Toki highball, a bottle of Suntory Toki whisky, and a Suntory Toki highball machine.
| Photo courtesy of Suntory Toki
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

When it comes to a refreshing drink, sometimes you just want a highball. A mix of an alcoholic base and (usually) a carbonated beverage, served in a highball glass, these drinks are the ideal 5 o’clock cocktail or brunch beverage. And one of the most classic highballs is the whisky highball. Rising in popularity in the ‘50s, this cocktail is one of the mainstays of Japanese drinking culture and has become popular in the United States along with Japanese whisky. And Suntory Toki whisky, known for its blend of subtly sweet flavor with a spicy finish, is a natural choice for this beverage.

Where can you nab one of these crisp, refreshing cocktails? While highballs can be made by hand at bars everywhere, these Chicago spots serve up highly carbonated, perfectly balanced highballs with the help of Suntory Toki’s highball machine. Try these restaurants and bars for a perfectly mixed highball, made with Suntory Toki, every time.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. For updated information on Chicago coronavirus cases, please visit the City of Chicago’s Coronavirus Response Center. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infection rates are lower for outside activities than dining indoors, but the level of risk involved with even outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants and their patrons following strict social distancing, face covering, and other safety guidelines. Find a local vaccination site here.

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1. Ramen Wasabi

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2101 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

Open since 2010, this Japanese-owned restaurant is a hidden gem among locals and visitors. While they’re known for serving up both traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine, they also serve up Suntory Toki highballs. With the Toki highball machine behind the bar, you can be certain that you’ll get a perfectly fizzy pour that’ll pair well with any dish you order.

2. Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

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1482 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

No stranger to importing ingredients directly from Japan when a U.S. substitute isn’t up to snuff, authenticity is guaranteed at Kizuki. And what’s more authentic than pairing your meal with a Japanese whisky highball? (Answer: Not much.) Try one of the ramen bowls with a crisp Suntory Toki highball.

3. Smyth and The Loyalist

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177 N Ada St #101
Chicago, IL 60607

This dual-concept restaurant features a tasting menu restaurant (Smyth) on the first floor and a bar and lounge (The Loyalist) just below it. Whichever one you choose to visit, order the Suntory Toki highball: at the Loyalist, there’s their flavorful umami-influenced Kombu Toki Highball that takes its name from battera kombu, or Japanese kelp. For gin lovers, there’s also a sweet, citrusy Roku Gin Highball featuring orange and lemon verbena.

4. Punch House

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1227 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

The Punch House is located in a “hidden” basement bar, and is known for serving up creative cocktails and hosting a rotating list of DJs. Order a meticulously crafted, handmade Suntory Toki Highball garnished with a fresh lemon peel, a thirst-quenching drink.

5. Lowcountry Lakeview

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3343 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

Located in the Wrigley area (with another location in the South Loop), this restaurant focuses on Cajun seafood boils. Build your own bag with your choice of sauce and pair it with an ice-cold and fizzy Suntory Toki highball (or two), perfect to complement your meal.  

6. BITES asian kitchen + bar

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3313 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

With an outdoor patio that’ll make you want to stay awhile, this spot focuses on Asian tapas (small plates). Pair them with a refreshing Suntory Toki highball from the bar, the perfect combo for summer meals outdoors. No better excuse to order one than a Suntory Toki highball happy hour, Monday through Fridays, too.

7. Gaijin

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950 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

Set in an industrial warehouse-like space, Gaijin is focused around traditional okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake. Pair the meal with a classic highball from the bar’s Suntory Toki highball machine, made with expressed lemon oil and garnished with an aromatic lemon peel. When you’re looking to mix up your highball order, try the 950W-Hai, an oolong tea-based highball featuring Suntory Roku Gin; the Lychee Highball, made with Suntory Haku Vodka, lychee liqueur, chai tea syrup, and orange bitters; and the seasonal highball with Suntory Haku Vodka, cucumber, blackberry, and lemon.

8. Blind Barber

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948 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

The Chicago outpost of the barber-and-bar combo captures the ‘70s nostalgia of a ‘do and a drink. Go in for a trim, stay for the perfectly carbonated Suntory Toki highball.

9. Momotaro

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820 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

Peruse the robust menu at this Japanese restaurant while sipping on a Suntory Toki highball; its delicate flavor and fizzy punch will perfectly pair with anything you order.

10. Moneygun

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660 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661

Moneygun made a name for itself in its classic cocktails, making it a natural place to stop in for a Suntory Toki highball. The combination of carbonated seltzer plus the complex Suntory Toki whisky has made the highball a winning combo for decades.

11. TenGoku Aburiya

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651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101A
Chicago, IL 60661

Grab a table (or saddle up to the bar) at this izakaya restaurant to order a Suntory Toki highball to pair with some of the small Japanese plates on the menu; a little bit of bubbly will only enhance the meal. The menu has a full suite of Suntory Highballs, with an indulgent Hibiki Highball, a “Hakuhai” featuring Haku Vodka, and a Roku Gin “Sonic,” a lighter, refreshing Japanese take on a G&T with equal parts tonic and soda water.

12. Gilt Bar

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230 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

Open since 2010, Gilt Bar offer a good mix of American classics. You can sit on the patio with an order of handmade Suntory Toki highballs to kickstart a summer night. And should you feel like another refreshing drink without the brown liquor, try the bar’s Suntory Japanese G&T, the Roku Tonic.

13. Good Measure

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226 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

This River North bar serves up a carefully curated and eclectic menu; the Suntory Toki Highball, garnished with a lemon twist, is the three-ingredient wonder that’ll bring the whole meal together.

14. Sushi-San

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63 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

This River North restaurant is a must-visit for sushi, and features made-to-order hand rolls on the menu. The ideal pairing for the menu? A handmade Suntory Toki highball, garnished with a lemon, will refresh your palate as you indulge in course after course.

15. RAMEN-SAN

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59 W Hubbard St #2
Chicago, IL 60654

This noodle shop in River North serves an array of Japanese food and drinks into late hours. Don’t forget to order a Suntory Toki highball to pair with your meal. For a sweeter indulgence, Japanese Yuzu Highball featuring Toki uses a hint of yuzu juice for a slightly sweeter take on the classic Toki Highball.

Enjoy Responsibly. Suntory Whisky Toki® Japanese Whisky, 43% Alc./Vol., ©2021 Beam Suntory Import Co., Chicago, IL.

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

1. Ramen Wasabi

2101 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Open since 2010, this Japanese-owned restaurant is a hidden gem among locals and visitors. While they’re known for serving up both traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine, they also serve up Suntory Toki highballs. With the Toki highball machine behind the bar, you can be certain that you’ll get a perfectly fizzy pour that’ll pair well with any dish you order.

2101 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

2. Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

1482 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

No stranger to importing ingredients directly from Japan when a U.S. substitute isn’t up to snuff, authenticity is guaranteed at Kizuki. And what’s more authentic than pairing your meal with a Japanese whisky highball? (Answer: Not much.) Try one of the ramen bowls with a crisp Suntory Toki highball.

1482 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

3. Smyth and The Loyalist

177 N Ada St #101, Chicago, IL 60607

This dual-concept restaurant features a tasting menu restaurant (Smyth) on the first floor and a bar and lounge (The Loyalist) just below it. Whichever one you choose to visit, order the Suntory Toki highball: at the Loyalist, there’s their flavorful umami-influenced Kombu Toki Highball that takes its name from battera kombu, or Japanese kelp. For gin lovers, there’s also a sweet, citrusy Roku Gin Highball featuring orange and lemon verbena.

177 N Ada St #101
Chicago, IL 60607

4. Punch House

1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

The Punch House is located in a “hidden” basement bar, and is known for serving up creative cocktails and hosting a rotating list of DJs. Order a meticulously crafted, handmade Suntory Toki Highball garnished with a fresh lemon peel, a thirst-quenching drink.

1227 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

5. Lowcountry Lakeview

3343 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

Located in the Wrigley area (with another location in the South Loop), this restaurant focuses on Cajun seafood boils. Build your own bag with your choice of sauce and pair it with an ice-cold and fizzy Suntory Toki highball (or two), perfect to complement your meal.  

3343 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

6. BITES asian kitchen + bar

3313 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

With an outdoor patio that’ll make you want to stay awhile, this spot focuses on Asian tapas (small plates). Pair them with a refreshing Suntory Toki highball from the bar, the perfect combo for summer meals outdoors. No better excuse to order one than a Suntory Toki highball happy hour, Monday through Fridays, too.

3313 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

7. Gaijin

950 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

Set in an industrial warehouse-like space, Gaijin is focused around traditional okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake. Pair the meal with a classic highball from the bar’s Suntory Toki highball machine, made with expressed lemon oil and garnished with an aromatic lemon peel. When you’re looking to mix up your highball order, try the 950W-Hai, an oolong tea-based highball featuring Suntory Roku Gin; the Lychee Highball, made with Suntory Haku Vodka, lychee liqueur, chai tea syrup, and orange bitters; and the seasonal highball with Suntory Haku Vodka, cucumber, blackberry, and lemon.

950 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

8. Blind Barber

948 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

The Chicago outpost of the barber-and-bar combo captures the ‘70s nostalgia of a ‘do and a drink. Go in for a trim, stay for the perfectly carbonated Suntory Toki highball.

948 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

9. Momotaro

820 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

Peruse the robust menu at this Japanese restaurant while sipping on a Suntory Toki highball; its delicate flavor and fizzy punch will perfectly pair with anything you order.

820 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

10. Moneygun

660 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661

Moneygun made a name for itself in its classic cocktails, making it a natural place to stop in for a Suntory Toki highball. The combination of carbonated seltzer plus the complex Suntory Toki whisky has made the highball a winning combo for decades.

660 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661

11. TenGoku Aburiya

651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101A, Chicago, IL 60661

Grab a table (or saddle up to the bar) at this izakaya restaurant to order a Suntory Toki highball to pair with some of the small Japanese plates on the menu; a little bit of bubbly will only enhance the meal. The menu has a full suite of Suntory Highballs, with an indulgent Hibiki Highball, a “Hakuhai” featuring Haku Vodka, and a Roku Gin “Sonic,” a lighter, refreshing Japanese take on a G&T with equal parts tonic and soda water.

651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101A
Chicago, IL 60661

12. Gilt Bar

230 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654

Open since 2010, Gilt Bar offer a good mix of American classics. You can sit on the patio with an order of handmade Suntory Toki highballs to kickstart a summer night. And should you feel like another refreshing drink without the brown liquor, try the bar’s Suntory Japanese G&T, the Roku Tonic.

230 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654

13. Good Measure

226 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

This River North bar serves up a carefully curated and eclectic menu; the Suntory Toki Highball, garnished with a lemon twist, is the three-ingredient wonder that’ll bring the whole meal together.

226 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

14. Sushi-San

63 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

This River North restaurant is a must-visit for sushi, and features made-to-order hand rolls on the menu. The ideal pairing for the menu? A handmade Suntory Toki highball, garnished with a lemon, will refresh your palate as you indulge in course after course.

63 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

15. RAMEN-SAN

59 W Hubbard St #2, Chicago, IL 60654

This noodle shop in River North serves an array of Japanese food and drinks into late hours. Don’t forget to order a Suntory Toki highball to pair with your meal. For a sweeter indulgence, Japanese Yuzu Highball featuring Toki uses a hint of yuzu juice for a slightly sweeter take on the classic Toki Highball.

Enjoy Responsibly. Suntory Whisky Toki® Japanese Whisky, 43% Alc./Vol., ©2021 Beam Suntory Import Co., Chicago, IL.

59 W Hubbard St #2
Chicago, IL 60654

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