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Cheese, charcuterie, dishes and wine on a table.
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas for Time Out

The 16 best wine bars in Chicago

Whether you prefer an acidic chenin blanc or a bold syrah, the best wine bars in Chicago have a pour for you.

Morgan Olsen
Jeffy Mai
Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Jeffy Mai
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Unwinding after a long day with a drink feels great. And while there are plenty of terrific cocktail havens and craft beer temples in the city, sometimes you just want to crack open a bottle of wine and keep pouring until it’s dry. These spots are our favorites for that, offering everything from fancy bubbles to robust reds. You’ll find choices from producers all around the world alongside selections of trendy natural wines. Don’t worry if you’re a novice, though—the trained staff at the following places can steer you in the right direction and provide some helpful insight. If you’re hungry, there are delectable snacks and light bites to be had as well. So prepare to sniff, swirl and sip with our guide to the best wine bars in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best bars in Chicago

Best wine bars in Chicago

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Humboldt Park
  • price 2 of 4

The novella-length menu at this low-key Humboldt Park alcove contains loving and helpful descriptions of an impressive selection of wines. You can practically feel beverage director Jamie McLennan's passion oozing off the pages. The staff here is always happy to help point you in the right direction, and thanks to the array of small plates served until as late as 11pm, this is the kind of warm, simple neighborhood place you’ll never want—or need—to leave.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • River West/West Town
  • price 1 of 4

Whether you're looking for a special bottle of wine to take to a dinner party or you're hankering for a loaded charcuterie board, this all-day cafe and bottle shop has you covered. The menu at All Together Now sources market-fresh produce from Midwestern farms and utilizes smoked and cured meats from Underground Meats in Madison, Wisconsin. Stop by throughout the day for hearty sandwiches and small plates, or plan a post-work outing for a beefy smash burger and seared duck breast. Wines by the glass go for $11–$16, and a roster of local beers and coffees round out the menu.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • West Loop
  • price 2 of 4

Oenophiles and those in search of a post-work drink in the Loop would do well to head to this lively European wine bar overlooking the Chicago River. Run by Bonhomme Group, the team behind popular concepts such as Beatnik and Porto, GoodFunk highlights natural wines from eclectic producers around the world. You’ll want to pair your bottles with interesting bites like a foie gras shooter and jamón ibérico flatbread, and you should plan to arrive early because the small space fills up fast.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Logan Square

Take a trip across the pond at this intimate and sultry den located below Testaccio. Modeled after the wine bars found in Paris, Soif—which means “thirst” in French—is the ideal place to bring a date for a cozy evening. There’s plush banquette seating, low lighting and a rotating selection of 50-60 bottles, most of which are produced in France and fall in the $50-$70 range so you can drink reasonably without breaking the bank. If you’re hungry, nibble on cheeses and other small bites like escargot and salmon rilettes.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Shopping
  • Liquor stores
  • Bucktown
  • price 2 of 4

An environmentally conscious wine shop, Red & White specializes in natural wines and hard-to-find and obscure booze in all forms. The storefront's wine bar, Noisette, unsurprisingly pours from the same vein, though guests can expect to find different bottles than what's available up front. The beautiful, modern space also serves a variety of small nibbles including oysters, convervas and charcuterie.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Logan Square

From the folks who brought us beloved watering holes like Scofflaw and Slippery Slope comes this funky Logan Square wine bar pouring minimal-intervention wines by the glass and bottle. The 40-seat interior is outfitted in warm, intricate woodwork from Chicago design studio Threefold, and the sprawling warm-weather patio has room for 100. Outside Voices offers a tight menu of snacks and charcuterie, but critic-approved restaurants like Parson's Chicken & Fish and Giant are nearby if you're craving something heartier.

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  • Restaurants
  • West Loop

When your average wine night calls for a serious upgrade, grab a seat at Joe's Imports, a sleek and sexy wine bar situated in the heart of the West Loop. Before you start pondering the lengthy vino list, ask your server for an order of the fried parmesan puffs and the whipped ricotta. Once you've got some sustenance in front of you, peruse the drinkable options—which range from Champagne and chenin blanc to brunello and syrah.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • West Loop

This subterranean wine bar is all but hidden in a quiet pocket of the West Loop. But once you step inside, you'll get the sense that it's every nearby residents' favorite secret. Situated below upstairs bed-and-breakfast Publishing House, the Press Room offers a robust selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Sip picks from Chile, Spain, Argentina, Israel, Washington and beyond. Pours are best paired with a cheese and charcuterie board, or the tartine.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

If you're still trying to catch up on the natural wine trend, Webster's is a great place to start your boozy education. Founders Janan Asfour and Tom MacDonald source their bottles from small, family-owned producers, which means regulars are constantly treated to some fascinating pours. One of our favorite things about Webster's is that most varietals are offered by the glass, bottle and 2.5-ounce tasting, so you can easily build your own wine flight on the fly. It's easy to pace yourself, too, with small plates like grilled oysters, housemade pasta and conservas.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

This sleek, shiny bar in Tree Studios boasts—as the name suggests—the city’s best selection of bubbles. Most of it doesn’t come cheap (it never does), but you’re not just paying for the booze—you’re paying for some of the most educated bartenders in town. Take advantage of their knowledge and ask lots of questions. And when you’ve had enough education (and wine), head downstairs to Pops’ cocktail bar, WaterShed.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Rush & Division
  • price 2 of 4

Stylish and eclectic, Alpana Singh’s new concept in the Gold Coast is a reflection of her distinguished career. The prominent sommelier has put together a massive list of pours from around the globe, and there’s an option for every palate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the trained staff are more than capable of guiding you toward a decision. For nourishment, Singh has developed a menu of “wine-inspired cuisine,” which includes pastas and steaks. On the design side, the striking space sports jungle print wallpaper, hanging ceiling plants and walls devoted to framed photos of famous women.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Grand Boulevard
  • price 2 of 4

There’s a dearth of wine bars on the South Side so this new Bronzeville establishment is a more-than-welcome addition to the local scene. Although the wine isn’t produced here, sommelier Derrick Westbrook has curated a varied selection of red and sparkling pours. Most are offered by the glass but there are also a few choice bottles, as well as flights. We recommend enjoying them with an order of salt cod fritters or fries tossed in adobo seasoning.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bucktown
  • price 2 of 4

All-day cafes are having their moment in Chicago and we’re quite ok with that, especially if there’s a wine component involved. Pompette, a new spot from a trio of industry vets, shines the spotlight on Old World natural wines from small producers across France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Complementing them are European-influenced small plates and pastries, such as crab croquettes and beet falafel.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Shopping
  • Liquor stores
  • River West/West Town
  • price 2 of 4

This combination wine shop and bar has a few outposts scattered throughout Chicago, but we most enjoy hanging out at the West Town location, where you'll find a sizable glass list and an abundance of drinking snacks to pad your belly with. And since you're already here, you should take home a bottle or two of wine. For convenience sake, of course.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Lake View

Pulling its inspiration from cozy Italian wine bars, Figo offers almost 50 different kinds of vino in a rustic-modern space that's anchored by a long, tile-lined bar. Go early in the evening to watch the sun go down through the sprawling front windows, or roll up at the end of the night for an order of tiramisu and a glass of prosecco. The dinner menu is killer, too, with highlights like the crispy arancini, gnocchi in pesto sauce and chimichurri-smothered steak.

  • Restaurants
  • Latin American
  • Logan Square

The Spanish word "penumbra" translates to "partial darkness," which is a fitting name for this dimly lit Logan Square wine bar that locals flock to. The menu is approachable, with a curated selection of pours available by the glass as well as a laundry list of bottles to choose from. The dinner menu offers more than small snackables, with a lineup of steaks, seafood, hearty vegetarian dishes and a handful of desserts.

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