During Prohibition, speakeasies were secret bars, often found hidden in basements with codes required to get in. While we’re 100 years past prohibition, many Chicago speakeasies are still alive and well. Lately, I’ve been on a hunt for these hidden gems— here are the best ones I’ve found… so far.
1. The Drifter
This historic speakeasy is located in the basement of the Green Door Tavern in River North. At the Drifter, your fate, or the fate of your cocktail, at least, is chosen by carefully selected tarot cards that are hand chosen each night and contain specially crafted drinks. You can catch nightly performances including burlesque, music, and more! Go early if you don’t have a reservation!
Hours: Wed-Sat from 5PM-2AM (3AM on Saturday)
Located above Mama Delia’s in the heart of Wicker Park, Bordel is a sultry, Golden Age, Parisian-inspired speakeasy. Experience everything from their amazing food & cocktails to their live nightly performances including jazz, burlesque, and more! I highly recommend ordering The Punch, their signature group drink served in a tea pot. Reservations recommended.
Hours: Wed-Sat from 6PM-2AM
This NOLA-inspired speakeasy can be found hidden in the basement of Storyville, a Cajun restaurant in River North. This speakeasy is inspired by the history of brothels & music in the Red Light District of New Orleans. You’ll be transported to the French Quarter with their live cabaret and jazz music and their extensive craft cocktail menu. Limited space is available, reservations highly recommended.
Hours: Thurs-Sat from 10PM-1AM
Don’t let the laundry mat storefront fool you, the Chicago Magic Lounge is one of the coolest speakeasy experiences in the city. Located in the Andersonville neighborhood, CML is part speakeasy and part magic theater. They offer spectacular craft cocktails, small plates, and an incredible & memorable magic experience. Tickets are required!
Hours: Sun-Wed from 5-11PM, Fri/Sat from 5PM-2AM
5. Soif Chicago
Okay, I’m throwing in a speakeasy on my “to-visit” list because of all the amazing reviews I have heard about it from friends and fellow content creators! Soif is an underground wine lounge located beneath the wonderful Italian restaurant Testaccio in Logan Square (I HAVE been there and 10/10 would highly recommend grabbing dinner there first!). This vintage Parisian salon has a menu focused on French gems including wines, champagnes, and craft cocktails. Limited space is available, reservations highly recommended.
Alright, my friends. I think your mission is clear— go check out all of these amazing Chicago speakeasies and let me know which one fascinates you more! Cheers! Xx—
Please remember to follow me on Instagram 🤍