We’re not here for philosophical questions like “is an espresso martini truly a martini if it doesn’t have gin or vermouth?” Just like the age old question of whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that espresso martinis are delicious. So if you don’t happen to have the ingredients to make one at home, you can grab an excellent version at any of the spots on this guide.
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This Italian restaurant in Bucktown is meant to resemble a 1940s supper club, and that’s why coming here always puts us in the mood for a cocktail. And while they’re famous for their signature martini, they also make a fantastic espresso version.
We’re pretty sure that the pioneers weren’t drinking espresso martinis out on the plains. But at Frontier, a pioneer-themed restaurant in Wicker Park, we can imagine they would. And it turns out that an espresso martini goes very nicely out by the fire on this place’s patio.
If you’re looking for a spot with great cocktails and live music (trust us, you are), visit M Lounge in the South Loop. This dimly lit jazz lounge has a lengthy martini list, and is a perfect spot for a relaxed date night.
If you still want great cocktails but are looking for a more upbeat vibe, hit up Persona instead. This club in River North has a heated patio, Happy Hour specials, and a DJ Thursday through Sunday.
Moneygun is a very fun bar that’s attached to Saint Lou’s Assembly in the West Loop. It has big leather booths, great music, and fantastic cocktails (yes, including espresso martinis). Grab dinner next door, then plan to stay here for the rest of your night.
Pilsen Yards has a great back patio with a retractable roof, lots of heaters, and even a heated floor. Come here for drinks and dishes like sweet corn tamales and ceviche. You won’t even notice that it’s technically still winter.
The rooftop bar at LondonHouse Chicago is an excellent place to enjoy a view of downtown Chicago and some upscale bar snacks (like tenderloin skewers or truffled pot pie bites). Add in a cocktail and you might just decide to stay the night.