The Aviary

Bars , Lounges West Loop
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(3 user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams
Loaded to the Gunwalls cocktail at The Aviary.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams
O'Doyle Rules cocktail at The Aviary.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams
Juniper cocktail at The Aviary.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams
Juniper cocktail at The Aviary.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha Williams
Beverage director Micah Melton at The Aviary

When Grant Achatz does a cocktail bar, it should go without saying that it's no ordinary cocktail bar. At the Aviary, which opened next door to Next in 2011, cocktails receive the same innovative treatment from beverage director Micah Melton as the food at Next or Alinea. That is to say, you should expect to drink cocktails like the Junglebird, a science experiment in liquid density, with layers of rum, campari, pineapple-lime syrup and rum "pearls" suspended in the drink. O'Doyle Rules comes with a fried banana snack on top of the rum-curry-cognac concoction, while Loaded to the Gunwalls is delivered with a single tapered candle. The drink, with pineapple, hazelnut and Batavia Arrack, is served in a glass ship in a bottle. You've never seen a drink like it, and given how rare a visit to the Aviary is, you may never again.

Venue name: The Aviary
Address: 955 W Fulton Market St

Opening hours: Wed-Sun 6pm-2am (3am on Sat)
Transport: El stop: Green, Pink to Morgan. Bus: 8, 20, 56, 65.
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Chelsea M

The Aviary is an exceptional place to celebrate a special occasion. The atmosphere here is definitely classy - a swanky cocktail lounge mixed with a magical chemistry lab. Service is impeccable, from the doorman (reservations highly suggested) to the knowledgable main server and everyone in between. Only downside is fellow patrons who feel entitled to bad behavior because they are splashing some cash. Drinks included an old-fashioned inside an ice ball broken with a slingshot, and delicious complimentary mescal anniversary cocktails!

Erin Delahanty
moderatorStaff Writer

This is probably the most unique drinking experience you can have in Chicago. I've been multiple times and I'm always blown away by how innovative the cocktails are. If you don't have a reservation try going right when they open, it's usually fairly easily to get a table then.


Worth the time for reserving ahead and dropping in for a drink experience. They'll treat you well. Drinks are amazing, too.