The 24 best wine bars and wine restaurants in Chicago 2024

"Chicago is a kaleidoscope of variety," says Star Wine List's Chicago ambassador Torrence O'Haire about the wine scene in the city. Here Tory leads the way to the wine bars and wine restaurants you definitely don't want to miss during your next visit.

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  1. Phone: +1 (872) 342-2079

    Address: 1709 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago

    One of the most anticipated new spots is West Town’s stylish Brasero, the second location of the group behind the excellent El Che Bar. Brasero is Chicago’s best example of Brazilian cuisine - no overindulgent steakhouse here, rather skilled, flavorful, creative interpretations of dishes from all over the region, plus a massive masterpiece of a Feijoada sized for a full table of guests. While they’re quick to show off their Caipirinhas and creative cocktail list (which are excellent), they give equal thoughtfulness to an excellent South American wine list celebrated as “100 under $100” - the...

  2. Phone: +1 (312) 222-1888

    Address: 52 West Illinois Street, Chicago

    California Wine List of the Year International Open 2024

    Sometimes, you want a cozy hole-in-the-wall to snuggle up to a pizza, solo. Other times, you want RPM Italian. I’ll admit, I dragged my feet visiting RPM, originally - so many downtown Chicago restaurants are all style, no substance. Meaningless glamour with thoughtless food and a massive bill for a forgettable evening. RPM Italian’s glamour is all substance, though, and it’s become a personal favorite when I’m looking for a glitzy night on the town or a celebration. The food is a unique combination of gorgeously elegant and purely Italian - a difficult balance to achieve with a cuisine whos...

  3. Phone: +1 (773) 348-4600

    Address: 2008 West Roscoe Street, Chicago

    Everyone loves a great neighborhood bar, and one of my favorites happens to be the excellent low-key wine bar Volo, in Roscoe Village on the northwest side of downtown Chicago. For starters, anywhere that has a $1-oyster happy hour is already a prime target on my list, and if I can drink bargain-priced Pol Roger while I drown myself in bivalves, I’ll be a regular for sure. Volo’s low-key neighborhood charm is complimented by a friendly staff, a concise and clearly wine-pairing-focused food menu, and a generous and often-changing by-the-glass list. The beverage program is rooted in an excel...

  4. Phone: +1 (773) 252-1558

    Address: 1558 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

    People love to talk about their favorite “hidden gem” or “hole-in-the-wall” wherein they’ve had some of their favorite dining experiences. For me, that’s Taxim. No, it’s not the new-kid-on-the-block, yes their website is a little wonky, but get a reservation (or roll the dice - it’s a neighborhood fave, so often packed) and make sure to sit on the rooftop deck for some of the best traditional Greek food you’ll ever have. We’re not talking about some downtown gyro stand or colorless “grandma’s moussaka” - from the house-made grilled sausages to the wild fennel-filled pastries, to the mastic-sp...

  5. Phone: +1 (312) 475-1100

    Address: 115 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago

    Chicago is full of hot, new, trendy locations, creative concepts, and the hippest variations on wine/beer/cocktails from the most unusual corners of the world. But sometimes, you just want it done right, in an old-school way. That’s when you visit RL Restaurant. Yes, that Ralph Lauren - but this Gold Coast standard is a benchmark in its class. You won’t find much modernism or invention, but that’s far from a criticism; what they do, they do impeccably well - perfect Dover Sole, crab-stuffed avocado, a killer grilled veal chop - straight out of a 1970s country club, served by excellent waitst...

  6. Phone: +1 (312) 291-9427

    Address: 217 West Huron Street, Chicago

    Best Short List of the Year International Open 2024

    One of Chicago’s newer and more exciting additions is the fine-dining tasting-menu-only Indian concept from Chef Sujan Sarkar. Clean, charmingly mid-century decor provides a delicate canvas for really excellent meals that provide a unique expression of both traditional and modern Indian cuisine. The wine program is an absolute delight, led by their glittering wine director, who’s designed one of the more unique menus in the city, themed not on region or raw material, but on artistic movements. Explore “Pop Art” for fun sparkling and chillable reds, or “Impressionism” for something subtler an...

  7. Phone: +1 (312) 929-3185

    Address: 180 North Wacker Drive, Chicago

    Sailing in on the current of the natural wine trend, Good Funk’s shiny downtown wine bar is a fun stop before/after dinner, or a perfect escape from your downtown hotel if you’re into the “funky” stuff, or curious about this whole “Natural Wine” thing. I have to begin with a disclaimer: on the best days I’m a natural-wine skeptic, on my moodier days, I’m practically an antagonist. That said, I was successfully charmed by the clever snacks and interesting wine list that is indeed really hipster, but is thoughtfully curated in such a manner that it welcomes wine nerds of all persuasions - from...

  8. Phone: +1 (312) 265-1130

    Address: 845 West Washington Boulevard, Chicago

    In the meatpacking city of Chicago, copycat steakhouses are on every corner. El Che stands out as an Argentine gem, and frankly, one of the best spots in the city for a wine and food experience - especially (but not exclusively) if you’re in the mood for beef. The menu is lovingly South American, with stellar empanadas, expectantly excellent steaks, and plenty of other grilled options for those searching beyond the cow - their house-made Morcilla (blood sausage) is exceptional. The wine list here is a true magnum opus - reportedly the only 100% South American list in the country. It spans th...

  9. Address: 4160 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

    Apero is pure joy at 4:30 in the afternoon. Anytime, really, but to name one’s café after the golden hour would indicate the best time of arrival, wouldn’t you think? Truly, Apero has the most French vibe of any spot in Chicago, as far as I’m concerned. The light food menu is modern and nonspecifically (but deliciously) Euro-chic, the wine list is global, but the vibe is instantly and impeccably French. A young, hip crowd lounges on the patio, drinking vermouth and burrowing through happy-hour-oysters like a walrus and/or carpenter - stylish yet unstuffy, you’ll be ready to light a Gauloise...

  10. Phone: +1 (312) 578-0763

    Address: 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

    On the main Millenium Park drag in downtown Chicago, things can get eye-rollingly touristy pretty quickly. But, in a desert of chain restaurants, deep-dish pizza, and food-truck hot dogs, a cozy, charmingly Italianate, upscale wine bar like Acanto is an oasis. Honor dictates that I disclose this restaurant is a part of the group I work for personally, but it’s also the restaurant I visit the most in my free time, so reader, take that as you will. With a bustling downtown clientele, Acanto’s buzz in their dimly lit dining room, their direct-from-Milan marble bar, or their lush sidewalk patio...

  11. Phone: +1 (312) 624-8055

    Address: 831 North State Street, Chicago

    The newest restaurant from local Master Sommelier Alpana Singh, Alpana is a beautifully designed dinner spot in Chicago’s glamorous Gold Coast. Take a seat at the gorgeous bar or book a table and enjoy a creative menu of globally influenced, Italian-inspired cuisine, with options like tagliatelle and romesco sauce or “butter chicken meatballs” - both delicious. Earning my “best wine-list writing” award (for what it’s worth), the wine list truly shines, demonstrating wine director Singh’s expertise, as well as the skill of her team. Each wine is well-described in a concise, welcoming blurb th...

  12. Phone: +1 (773) 661-1599

    Address: 2119 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago

    All Together Now is a fun neighborhood spot that does an excellent job acting as both retail (a funky wine shop and carryout deli/fromagerie) and bistro, with a fresh, modern menu of great sandwiches, vegetable-heavy small plates, and some of my favorite cheese-and-charcuterie boards in the city. The well-priced wine program invites exploration: they offer a creative glass-pour list, and for a very reasonable $10 to $ 15 corkage fee, they’ll serve any of the 150 bottle options they offer in their wine shop. They feature predominantly modernist (some might say verging on “hipster”) wines, with...

  13. Phone: +1 (312) 377-2002

    Address: 615 West Randolph Street, Chicago

    Put in the simplest words: Avec was one of the first restaurants I ever visited in Chicago back in my college years. Avec is still one of my favorite spots, now that I live here some 15 years later. The bright, golden location provides that charming combination of warm and stark that can only say “wine bar”. Situated just outside the main Fulton Street Market area (which can be a bit of a yuppie-bermuda-triangle on a busy night), it benefits from a little quieter city block - but certainly can be just as impossible to find a seat without a reservation on the weekends. The menu is unabashedly...

  14. Phone: +1 (312) 332-7005

    Address: 71 West Monroe Street, Chicago

    Italian Village is an experience in its own right, for certain. Turn the kitsch-factor up to eleven, color everything in 1970’s Italian-American technicolor, and ignore any diet goals for an evening of red sauce and melted cheese, in the best, most low-key hedonistic way. As you’re burrowing through your lasagne, be prepared to be thoroughly impressed by one of the largest wine collections in Chicago, with 1,300 primarily Italian listings of truly impressive breadth and depth. This is a true history of Italian wine - no modernists allowed. Libraries of reserve wines, all the famous names fro...

  15. Phone: (773) 281-8888

    Address: 2232 West Roscoe Street, Chicago

    Originally a local-darling of a wine shop started 20 years ago, Lush has since evolved into a tasting room/wine bar/bistro with three locations and a dedicated following of passionate partakers. The Roscoe Village wine retail room is a veritable theme park of bottles of all levels, price points, and rarity (all of which are drinkable on-site with a minor corkage fee), and the large bar area and pretty patio offer guests a great spot to sit and wax poetic about the world of wine. The menu offers a wide range of fairly classic (but great quality) glass pours, with an open array of flight optio...

  16. Phone: +1 (312) 944-8888

    Address: 8 West Maple Street, Chicago

    The jewel of the luxurious Gold Coast neighborhood north of downtown is certainly Maple + Ash, a huge, glamorous steakhouse lead by a two-Michelin-starred chef, and boasting what has been lauded as one of the “world’s best wine lists.” Everything about this spot is over-the-top, from their 100+ page wine list to their “I don’t give a f*@k” option on their dinner menu, where, for a large chunk of cash, they parade food out to your table all night. The raw bar is excellent, and, while there are some lovely composed entrees, the steaks and chops are clearly the emphasis here. The wine list is o...

  17. Phone: +1 (312) 877-5348

    Address: 700 North Sedgwick Street, Chicago

    "Near downtown, Obélix is a new location from the owners of the local favorite French spot Le Bouchon. An upgrade in cosmopolitan style, apropos of the spendy River North neighborhood, Obélix retains its French style, but with a slightly more modernist, global culinary touch (think: duck breast with miso, steak tartare with kombu). They also have a lovely variety of raw-bar options, perfect to take advantage of alongside their champagne collection. The wine list is nearly exclusively French (with a dozen U.S. bottles provided mostly for the stubborn), and they do it very well. The generous of...

  18. Phone: +! 3122667677

    Address: 601 North State Street, Chicago

    40 years of popping bottles has enshrined Pops for Champagne with a title of “Chicago standard,” undoubtedly. Situated on a busy corner in the heart of downtown Chicago’s shopping district, visitors are delighted to find a charming, unpretentious (though clearly high-end) champagne bar that speaks directly to locals and wine nerds, not just crowds of tourists. Boasting one of the best champagne collections I’ve ever seen, one is invited to dive as deeply into sparkling-wine-obsession as their interest (and pocketbook) allows. The atmosphere is comfortable, the staff knowledgable and welcomin...

  19. Phone: +1(773) 292-1616

    Address: 954 North California Avenue, Chicago

    A quick stop west of downtown, one of the gems in the Humboldt Park neighborhood is this long-standing wine bar with a massive local following. The vibe is exactly what a cozy neighborhood hole-in-the-wall should be, with dim lighting, low ceilings, and significant kitsch-factor in the decor, but the menu is anything but ordinary. The wine program leans into the trendy “natural wine” movement but without dogma or pretention. A generous list of crunchy options highlighting the bar’s nerd-chic style - Jura, Basque cider, sherry, orange wine, and ancestral method sparklers all share strong place...

  20. Phone: +1 (312) 441-1920

    Address: 123 North Jefferson Street, Chicago

    Fine dining can be a hotly debatable concept - one diner values ostentation, another precision, and another innovation, each arguing which restaurant is “better”. In contrast to fussier or more luxurious locations, Sepia sits comfortably in my esteem as simply “impressive.” Sepia is a plush, gorgeous location tucked into downtown’s “Printers’ Row” (hence the print-themed name and decor) that has held an esteemed spot among Chicago fine dining for fifteen years. The cuisine is clean, modern, and excellently composed - with some of my favorite desserts in the city - and the service is warmly pro...

  21. Phone: +1 (773) 309-2300

    Address: 163 North Green Street, Chicago

    Tucked into the heart of the trendy Fulton Market District is one of Chicago’s newer wine-centric restaurants: The Oakville Grill and Cellar. In a neighborhood that can often be more style than substance, The Oakville boasts a surprising amount of both. With two gorgeous levels including a beautiful outdoor top-floor patio, and a dinner menu of fresh, seasonal, “California-style” cuisine, The Oakville is an Instagram influencer’s dream. The wine program pulls zero punches - it does a commendable job of balancing the expected index of famous Napa names with plenty of delightful surprises (when...

  22. Phone: +1 (773) 486-8525

    Address: 2728 West Armitage Avenue, Chicago

    I’ll try to write this as professionally as I’m able, because I adore Table, Donkey, and Stick. Consider even that the subtitle of this small, rustic bistro & wine bar is “crusty bread, brandy, fire” - how could it not be exceptional? Table, Donkey, and Stick is tucked into the Logan Square neighborhood, a short jaunt from downtown Chicago (and a fun area for trendy new food and drink options). Their menu is gently alpine-themed, with an excellent selection of cheeses and charcuterie, and a regularly changing array of small plates. A few (very delicious) entrées are on offer, but the menu cle...

  23. Phone: +1 (312) 464-1744

    Address: 444 Michigan Avenue, Chicago

    A rather hidden gem on the “Magnificent Mile” of downtown Chicago, Purple Pig sits at the back of a main-drag retail front as a welcome sanctuary from the throngs of shoppers. It’s definitely easy to miss, and yet its reputation ensures it’s always bustling. The Purple Pig claimed its style as a salumeria/charcuterie specialist, and they indeed do that remarkably well, though their full menu - tapas-style small plates from around the Mediterranean meant for sharing - is diverse and delicious. It’s a delight to find a menu in a pizza-soaked area known for catering to families and tourists tha...

  24. Phone: +1 (773) 292-9463

    Address: 2601 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

    Webster’s Wine Bar is a nearly 30-year-old institution in the Chicago wine scene, holding down its busy corner in Logan Square with devoted regulars and many popular public wine tasting events. They tout their expertise on “natural and minimal-intervention wines,” as is a trend in wine bars right now, and their generous glass-pour list leans heavily into the crunchy and funky with obvious passion. Their bottle list is broad and similarly creative, with a true dedication to appeasing the most intense wine nerds; 1993 Chinon Blanc, anyone? The food menu is concise and well-appointed to pair wit...