River North is a popular neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, with a population of 34,460, according to the 2020 population census.
River North has a lot of galleries and historical sites that had broken world records in the past, like Merchandise Mart, which was the largest building in the world when it was commissioned in 1930, and Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain, which is a famous landmark in Illinois.
There are a lot of things you can do while in the area and there are you get to visit some of the best bars in River North.
Some activities include exploring the Navy Pier and Carl Hammer Gallery and visiting rave clubs and top bars in the area with a host of fun-filled activities and drinks for patrons to enjoy.
If you are in River North and want to know the lively bars in town, here is a list of the cool bars in River North, Chicago.
Best Bars in River North
1. Arbella Chicago
Arbella Chicago is one of the most popular River North bars that has grown exponentially.
The bar has witnessed due to its reputation as one of the top River North bars which gives lovers of good drinks something to cherish and relish.
This upscale bar looks to please its numerous customers with the best drinks served in a comfortable dining hall that is nothing short of classy and pristine, with decor designed to give the bar a vibrant look.
Arbella Chicago is a bar lover’s dream come true with a beautiful interior that needs not beg for attention and furnishings with exquisite finishing to give the bar an expensive look and a sophisticated appearance that customers can appreciate.
The bar has a vast collection of non-alcoholic mocktails like Smoking Kills, Coffee Run, Francey Martini, etc. There are also Alcoholic drinks like Glass of Vino, Peru-N-Back, Mexican Dance-off, Miller Lite, Modelo, and so much more you can order for your drinking pleasure.
This fabulous bar opens from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am on Mondays, 5:00 pm to 2:00 am on Tuesdays to Fridays, and 5:00 pm to 3:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 112 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: 312-846-6654.
2. Bar Goa
Bar Goa is a perfect drinking spot for lovers of Indian drinks. It is ideal for those who seek to enjoy the native brews of the region the bar is named after.
The famous bar serves its customers a collection of native Indian drinks and brews that have won the hearts of many who love the tropical feel of the bar and its deep cultural knowledge of how to prepare these native drinks to satisfy customers.
The famous bar was established a few years ago by hospitality experts couple Rina and Manish Mallick, the co-owners of Randolph Street Indian restaurant in River North.
Bar Goa opened to cater to the drink needs of River North locals and guests who want something different from the regular beers and imported wine bars we have around; this needs birthed Bar Goa and has since made its way into the circles of top bars in River North.
This fantastic bar has a chic appeal, one of the features that endear it to new and returning customers who enjoy the various menu options the bar offers in its spacious and luxurious interior that is both comfortable and pleasant to sit in.
The bartender recommends drinks such as Yuletide Sour, Sea Foam, Global Nomad, Mariana Rose, Moody Tongue Porter, Kingfisher, Johnnie Walker Black, Fighting the 69th, Whistle Pig Bourbon, and so much more for those willing to start their evening on a special note.
The bar opens from 5 pm to 10 pm on Mondays to Wednesdays, 5 pm to 12 am on Thursdays to Fridays, and 12 pm to 12 am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Address: 116 W Hubbard Street, Chicago 60654. Phone: 312-900-0197.
3. Berkshire Room
If there is something River North has in abundance, it is a collection of top bars worth a lot, and it knows how to give customers a good time. Berkshire Room is an example of River North bars customers enjoy visiting due to its excellent customer service and satisfying offerings.
Berkshire Room is part of the prestigious fifty/50 restaurant group known to be one of the leading names in the hospitality industry in America.
The bar is considered one of the fun bars in River North due to its lively yet peaceful atmosphere, made even more cheerful by the type of crowd it attracts. The bar is a usual meeting spot for aristocrats looking for a place to lay low and enjoy a couple of drinks in one of the private booths of the bar.
Berkshire Room is an excellent spot to hang out with buddies if you are looking for a place with exquisite design taste and a high-toned appearance that is incredibly pleasant to see.
The offerings available at the bar are in tune with the beauty and reputation it enjoys as one of the fun River North bars. The patrons often order drinks like Chase Vodka on the Rocks, Svedka, Big Gin, Death’s Door, Beefeater, Arette, and many other exciting choices.
Berkshire Room opens on Sundays to Thursdays from 4 pm to 2 am and on Fridays to Saturdays from 4 pm to 3 am.
Address: 15 E Ohio Street, Chicago, Phone: 312-894-0800.
Celeste is a famous bar with four floors of absolute fun, excitement, and grandeur. It will leave your jaws open in amazement as you explore every floor and its impressive offerings that have been well-curated.
Opened in 2014 by hospitality experts Nader, Fadi, and Rafid Hindo, this impressive bar has four floors that are created and designed to serve unique purposes and people based on what they are interested in at the bar.
It is common to find captains of industries on the fourth floor as that is where the word ‘classy’ is given a new meaning.
The offerings available on all floors include Cava Naveran Brut, Cava Naveran Rosado, Palazzo Tronconi, ‘Frusinate Arrá-Iete Bianco’ (1L), Rogue Vine “Jamon Jamon,” Moscatel, Miller High Life, Modelo, and so much more.
The bar opens on all four floors on Wednesday to Friday from 7:00 pm to 4:00 am and on Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am.
Address: 111 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: 312.828.9000
5. Three Dots and a Dash
Three Dots and a Dash is an underground Tikki bar you will enjoy visiting. It has a lot to offer customers who find the place interesting enough to drink at a very pocket-friendly price that rivals that of other cool bars in River North.
The famous bar stands as one of the most patronized River North bars you should visit during your stay in this area if you are looking to have a great time, as the bar is known to have a wide range of tropical offerings at a budget price.
Led by Kevin Beary, a well-recognized figure in River North, this bar has made a name for itself as one of the places to visit in River North with its genuine hospitality and excellent customer service it offers to customers, all at a budget price.
If you want to dine in a place with more to offer than just drinks among River North Bars, then this bar is your best place.
The guests are served with cups that have different unique character designs that you might find spooky but thrilling in the well-designed bar that is nothing short of beautiful and lively.
There are numerous menu options available for the drinking pleasure of customers. There are drinks like English Harbor Port Cask, English Harbor Madeira Cask, English Harbor 5 Yr, English Harbor 10 Yr, Ron Centenario 25 Yr, Atlantico Platino, Matusalem 15 Yr, etc.
The bar opens from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am on Sundays to Wednesdays, 4:00 pm to 1:00 am on Thursdays and Fridays, and 2:00 pm to 1:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 435 N Clark St (in the alley), Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 610-4220.
6. The Bassment
The Bassment is a good bar you should consider patronizing if you want to experience the rich feel of nightlife in one of the best bars in River North.
This fabulous bar is home to some of the most amazing drinks you have ever had. It is also waiting to share its rich customer service and genuine hospitality with you whenever you visit to explore its many offerings.
Known as a great place to enjoy nightlife fun and a perfect spot for people who love live music that resonates with the times, guests get ushered into the bar’s lush greeting room through a secret door that customers walk through and introduces them to the mystery of the bar.
The bar has a large expansive interior that often houses hundreds of nightlife patrons looking to have a great time and enjoys good music and the numerous offerings available at the bar.
Suppose you are looking to enjoy your evening at this bar. In that case, you can start your evening with drinks like Dua Lipa, Bowie, The Bassment Old Fashioned, The Bathtub, Artist of the Month, Bruno Mars, and a host of other drinks named after celebrities that match its character and feel.
The Bassment opens from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am on Thursdays and Fridays and 8:00 pm to 3:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 353 W Hubbard St Lower-Level Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 386-5778.
7. The Drifter Chicago
The Drifter Chicago is a perfect drinking and hangout spot for people looking to visit a special place that is small enough to sit few people but big enough to accommodate their various needs.
This small yet beautiful bar is a great place to visit in River North due to its impressive ambiance that makes customers feel at home.
The bar is an incredible spot to hang out and forget the hassles of life while you enjoy the many offerings the bar has to offer, and best believe that the offerings are exceptional and numerous.
The Drifter Chicago has a small interior but is often filled with people looking to enjoy a drink or two while they listen to live music flow like a river from the piano as they want the quality air and feel in the bar.
People who have visited the bar recommend drinks like Tarot Card Cocktails, I Just Blue Myself, Glenfiddich 21yr Reserva Rum Cask Finish, Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, Cincoro Reposado Luxury Tequila, and so much more.
The fantastic bar opens from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am on Wednesdays to Fridays and 5:00 pm to 3:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 676 N Orleans Street, Chicago, IL 60654, River North, Near North Side. Phone: (312) 631-3887.
8. Underground Cocktail Club
Underground Cocktail Club is a famous nightlife hospitality business that has made a name for itself as one of the top River North bars that patrons should visit for a beautiful time and a relaxing feel at a reasonable price worthy of the value offered by the bar.
This incredible nightlife business has set a standard that distinguishes it among the fun bars in River North. Its classy and beautiful interior is perfect for bougie patrons looking to splurge around while having a good time.
Underground Cocktail Club has a pleasant interior with catchy colors and different private booths designed to give the interior a rich and exquisite high-end appearance.
The drinks offered at the bar include French 75, Manhattan, Good Karma, Raspberry Smash, Chocolate Martini, Cloudy Bay, and so much more.
Underground Cocktail Club opens from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am on Fridays and 8:00 pm to 5:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 56 W Illinois Street, Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 644-7600.
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9. Lazy Bird
Lazy Bird is a popular bar located on the cellar level of the famous Hoxton Hotel in Chicago. It hosts numerous people seeking the thrill of live music and the pleasure of satisfying drinks to make their night wholesome and enjoyable.
The bar is a household name among River North bars that enjoys massive recommendations and patronage from locals and guests who are seeking a pleasurable night out alone or in the company of others with a pocket-friendly budget in mind.
Lazy Bird is ranked among the best bars in River North due to its pleasant interior that looks alluring to the eyes and its entertaining music collection that spans from the early 60s to modern-day tunes that makes patrons lose it on the dance floor.
Lazy Bird has a lot you can enjoy in terms of hospitality, entertainment, and drinks. You can indulge in drinks like Irish Whiskey, Aged Rum, Old Tom Gin, London Dry Gin, Brandy, Cask Strength Bourbon, and many other exciting choices on the drinks list.
The bar opens from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am daily.
Address: 200 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607. Phone: (312) 761-1799.
Moneygun is a fine cocktail bar that you will surely enjoy patronizing as it takes customer satisfaction seriously and ensures that all customers have a great time and enjoy the many drinks available at the bar at a great price.
Moneygun is a beautiful place to visit if you want to let loose, relax and enjoy a pleasant evening.
The bar has a beautiful décor with red lights giving the place a club-like feel to set the mood for patrons who are ever-eager to have a great time.
If you consider visiting this bar, you cannot go wrong with classic cocktails like Blood and Sand, Negroni, Long Island Ice Tea, Cosmopolitan, and so much more.
The bar also has Beers and Wines such as Tecate, Guinness, Miller High Life, Gruet Blanc De Blancs, and so much more.
Moneygun opens from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am on Tuesdays to Sundays.
Address: 660 W Lake St Chicago, IL 60661. Phone: (312) 600-0600.
11. Bar Mar by Jose Andres
Bar Mar is an exquisite bar and relaxation spot in the heart of Chicago with an exceptional feel that makes customers prefer the bar over other top River North bars for its beautiful appearance and classy décor.
Owned by one of Times Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the person of Jose Andres, the bar is a beautiful place to explore with many eye-catching features.
Bar Mar is home to some of the best drinks collections, including Floral Cloud, Apollo, Salt Air Margarita, Ultimate G&T, The Rebel, Domaine Blanchet, etc.
This fantastic bar opens from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm on Mondays to Fridays 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Saturdays.
Address: 120 N Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606. Phone: (312) 820-6602.
Cava is one of the finest cocktail bars you will come across if you are surfing through the list of top bars in River North that ticks all the boxes.
This light bar is perfect for group visits if you and your friends and family are looking for where to spend your evenings and have a swell time in its exquisite lounge with Spanish decorations.
Cava has a groovy feel, with customers trooping in and out regularly during its open hours to enjoy their share of the bar’s offerings and explore fun activities that make the night out fun and enjoyable for patrons at the bar.
If you find this bar interesting enough for a visit, ask the bartender to pour you drinks like Moe’s Mule, Moe’s Margarita, Sangria, Agua De Pepino, La Valentina, Holy Water, The Boss Pour, and so much more.
The bar opens its doors from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am on Fridays and 10:00 pm to 3:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 155 W Kinzie St Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 245-2000.
13. Club Lago
If you are in the mood for some Italian hospitality, then you should head to this bar cum restaurant located in River North.
Club Lago is considered a brilliant find for people who stumble upon the bar and discover that it has many unique features and a refined sense of hospitality which it uses to treat its guests to a good time that they will remember for a long time.
The bar has been under the leadership and ownership of partners GianoCarlo and Guido since it opened in 1952. It has since grown to become a household business that satisfies the thirst and sates customers’ hunger year after year with refined drinks made to please.
The bar has an appealing and pleasant appearance that will take you back to the early 50s but still with a spark that will steal your attention and captivate your admiration with its pristine appearance and well-structured interior.
Regulars at this bar are fond of drinks like Ricco Bianco, Mezzacorona Chardonnay, Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio, Zardetto Prosecco (Veneto, Italy), Gabbiano Chianti, and so much more.
Club Lago opens its doors from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on Mondays to Thursdays and 11:00 am to 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Address: 331 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 951-2849.
14. Sweetwater Tavern & Grille
This comfy bar is a perfect spot for people looking to satisfy their taste buds and drench their tongues in some of the most satisfying drinks served in Chicago.
Sweetwater Tavern & Grille is a good bar and food place in River North that beckons patrons with its irresistible offerings, including a vast collection of delicious beers, satisfying rum, and an array of other incredible drinks.
The bar is a great place to unwind as it has a pleasant air and a calming ambiance that customers enjoy, as it helps them get in a groovy mood as soon as they step foot into the lush and spacious interior of the bar.
The menu offerings of the bar come at affordable prices that beat their quality and the cost of other nearby bars that offer the same quality of service as Sweetwater.
The list has prominent and well-known drinks like Dutch Mule, Kentucky Mule, Goose Island Botthenectar, Stella Artois, Miller Lite, Sweetwater 420, Allagash White, etc.
The bar opens from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm on Sundays to Thursdays, 11:00 am to 12:00 am on Fridays, and 10:00 am to 12:00 am on Saturdays.
Address: 225 N Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60601. Phone: (312) 698-7111.
15. Clark Street Ale House
Clark Street Ale House is a relaxing spot you will love to visit over and over again, either alone or in the company of a loved one, as it has a relaxed feel to it with enough privacy and a quiet atmosphere for customers to enjoy.
This bar is an excellent spot to visit if you want to take a loved one on a date to a bar rather than a restaurant. The bar is also ideal if you want to hang out with the lads, as this spot has so many drink options to choose from and many features for you to explore and enjoy.
The bar is in the quiet part of town, and it often welcomes important people who patronize the place for their meetings and casual hang out to spend time with buddies and exchange friendly banter.
If you are a lover of good beer and Ales brewed locally, this bar is a perfect fit for you as it has drinks like Crackle and Pop, Christmas Ale, Cinnamon Vixen, Little Crush, Dalmore, Glendronach, Glengoyne, and so much more.
Clark Street Ale House opens from 4:00 pm to 4:00 a daily.
Address: 742 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 642-9253.
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River North is a beautiful area you will enjoy exploring for its outstanding and exciting nightlife.
If you will patronize any of these bars, be sure to go with your ID, as all bars and nightclubs in the are have strict rules regarding the minimum age of patrons, which must be 21 and higher when they patronize the bars.
Have fun at these bars and enjoy your drinks responsibly with great attention to you’re alcohol tolerance level.