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Relaxing bars in Chicago

Discover the serene havens amidst Chicago's bustling nightlife with our guide to the city's top relaxing bars, where ambiance meets exquisite drinks for a soul-soothing experience.

September 19, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 12
A view the Chicago skyline, with the Chicago river in the foreground.

Chicago, the Windy City, is renowned for its bustling nightlife, iconic deep-dish pizza, and a skyline that leaves many in awe. Yet, amidst the city's energetic rhythm, there are pockets of tranquility waiting to be discovered. These are places where the ambiance is meticulously crafted, the drinks are a labor of love, and the vibe is soothing to the soul. Let's embark on a journey through some of Chicago's top bars that epitomize relaxation.

The Library at Gilt Bar

Hidden from the bustling streets of Chicago, The Library at Gilt Bar is a sanctuary for those seeking solace. The ambiance is reminiscent of a classic reading room from a bygone era. Dim, ambient lighting casts a warm glow over plush seating, creating an intimate setting perfect for whispered conversations. The cocktail menu is both extensive and exquisite, with each drink crafted to perfection. It's not just a bar; it's an experience that transports you to a world where time slows down. 

Easy Does It

The name says it all. Easy Does It is a haven for those who believe in the art of relaxation. The atmosphere is deliberately laid-back, encouraging patrons to leave their worries at the door. The interiors are a blend of modern aesthetics with a touch of rustic charm. Large windows allow for natural light to filter in, creating a serene environment. The drink menu is diverse, catering to a range of palates. Whether you're in the mood for a classic cocktail or something more adventurous, this bar ensures every sip is a journey of flavors. 


After a taxing day, Remedy offers the perfect antidote. This bar is designed with comfort in mind, from its cozy interiors to its extensive drink menu. Soft lighting, coupled with comfortable seating, creates an environment where relaxation is inevitable. The bartenders are not just mixologists; they're artists who take pride in their craft. Each drink is a masterpiece, blending flavors in a way that tantalizes the taste buds. It's a place where you can truly escape and find your remedy. 

The Pink Squirrel

Step back in time with The Pink Squirrel. This bar is a delightful fusion of vintage charm and contemporary elegance. The decor is inspired by the retro era, with neon lights and classic memorabilia adorning the walls. But it's not just about aesthetics; the drink menu is a testament to the bar's commitment to quality. From classic cocktails to innovative concoctions, there's something for everyone. It's a place where memories are made, and stories are shared over perfectly crafted drinks. 

Kindling Downtown

Situated in the heart of downtown Chicago, Kindling is more than just a bar; it's a refuge. The wooden interiors exude warmth, making it an inviting space for all. Ambient lighting sets the mood, while the curated playlist adds to the overall experience. The drink menu is a blend of classics and modern twists, ensuring there's something for every palate. Whether you're catching up with old friends or making new ones, Kindling offers an environment that fosters genuine connections.


Dorian's is the epitome of elegance and sophistication in the heart of Chicago. As you step through its doors, you're greeted with an ambiance that exudes chic charm. The decor is a harmonious blend of modern aesthetics and timeless elegance, creating a space that feels both luxurious and welcoming. The bar boasts a curated selection of drinks, each crafted with precision and passion. The bartenders here are more than just mixologists; they're storytellers, weaving tales through their concoctions. Whether you're looking for a quiet corner to reflect or a lively spot to engage in deep conversations, Dorian's offers the perfect backdrop. 

EZ Inn

EZ Inn is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. Stripping away the frills and fuss, this bar focuses on what truly matters - creating an environment where patrons can relax and be themselves. The interiors are unpretentious, with a touch of rustic charm that adds to its allure. Large windows flood the space with natural light during the day, while soft lighting creates a cozy ambiance at night. The drink menu is diverse, with options ranging from classic favorites to innovative blends. It's a place where you can let your guard down, enjoy a drink, and savor the present moment. 

Lemming's Tavern

A beloved spot among Chicago locals, Lemming's Tavern offers an authentic taste of the city's vibrant bar culture. The atmosphere is unassuming, yet there's an undeniable warmth that permeates the space. Friendly staff greet you with genuine smiles, making you feel right at home. The drink menu is varied, catering to both traditionalists and adventurers. Wooden interiors, coupled with ambient lighting, create a cozy setting that's perfect for unwinding. Whether you're a regular or a first-time visitor, Lemming's Tavern ensures every experience is memorable. 

Empty Bottle

Contrary to its name, Empty Bottle is a place brimming with life, energy, and soul. This bar is a melting pot of cultures, tastes, and stories. The eclectic vibe is palpable from the moment you enter, with diverse crowds coming together in the spirit of celebration. The decor is a mix of modern art and vintage charm, creating a unique environment that's both edgy and comforting. The drink menu is a reflection of the bar's ethos - diverse, innovative, and full of surprises. It's a place where every night is a new adventure, and every drink tells a story. 

Ten Cat Tavern

Rounding off our list is Ten Cat Tavern, a true gem in Chicago's bar scene. This establishment exudes nostalgia, with decor that transports patrons to a simpler time. The ambiance is laid-back, making it an ideal spot for those looking to escape the city's frenetic pace. The drink menu is a blend of classics and contemporary favorites, ensuring there's something for everyone. Soft lighting, coupled with soulful tunes, sets the mood for a night of relaxation and rejuvenation. It's a place where memories are forged, and the spirit of Chicago comes alive.

Chicago's bar scene is a reflection of its rich tapestry of cultures, tastes, and experiences. Each establishment offers a unique perspective, yet they all share a common goal - to provide a haven for those seeking solace in the midst of urban chaos. So, the next time you find yourself in the Windy City, remember that relaxation is just a bar away. Cheers to the moments that await!


*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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