*Shania Twain voice* Let’s Go Girls! There are three ingredients that make the PERFECT girl’s night: good food, great drinks, and a lively atmosphere. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of spots for you and your girlfriends to get dressed up, hit the town, and soak in each other’s awesomeness. From cocktails, to music, to mouthwatering bites, this list has everything you need to make your next Girls Night Out the best one yet. Don’t forget to queue up those female anthems to set the tone for the night, too (Cyndi, Ariana, Beyonce, Lizzo, we’re looking at you).
180 N Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607
I’m truly convinced that no girl’s night is complete without slamming a shot of Patrón and throwing the ice glass that it came in at a bell. Lucky for those who agree with me, Federales has it all. Not only can you find sweet and refreshing cocktails (hello, mango margarita), but the food is out of this world. Next time you and your girls are in need of mouth-watering bites like shrimp tacos and smoked brisket nachos, strong drinks, and a vibrant spot to spend some quality time together, Federales is your place.
I have two words for you that are important to any good GNO: Espresso. Martinis. Along with our favorite caffeinated cocktails, Gallucci’s offers homemade Italian comfort food that invites you and your girls to kick back, and indulge in savory comfort favorites like Cacio e Pepe, Napoletana pizza, and spinach and ricotta arancini. Their craft cocktails and wine list tie everything at Gallucci’s together for the perfect night with your #squad.
905 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
It can often feel like your girls’ nights are always going to the same three places, BUT, new to Fulton Market is Lyra. With incredible Greek food and inventive cocktails, your tastebuds and best friends will thank you for finding this new and exciting spot. Our picks from the menu? The starter plate (complete with spicy feta, tzatziki, and tarama), charcoal-grilled meatballs, and of course a Santorini Spritz to top off a delectable meal at Lyra.
626 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654
Pasta, pizza, and wine. Do I really need to say more? Nestled in the bustling Near North neighborhood, you’ll find Quartino. This bi-level Italian eatery with a gorgeous patio is the perfect spot to take your group for sharing delicious small plates and perusing through the extensive wine list. Quartino emphasizes an “approachable atmosphere” and you’ll be sure to feel right at home as you connect with friends and satisfy your cravings with some of the best Italian food Chicago has to offer.
58 E Oak St, Chicago, IL 60611
You may know Cooper’s Hawk from their extensive wine list and delicious food, but did you know they recently opened Esquire by Cooper’s Hawk in the Gold Coast? Being the first restaurants under the “by Cooper’s Hawk” name, they will feature menus from visiting, critically acclaimed chefs, keeping Chicago known as one of the best cities for food in the world. If you and your girlfriends are looking to try a place with ever-changing menus, wine choices from Master Sommelier, Emily Wines (yes, that is her last name), and a cozy atmosphere, look no further than Esquire by Cooper’s Hawk.
3207 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
When you and your girls are looking to catch up over a hand-picked charcuterie and refreshing drinks, you have to stop into Figo Wine Bar. Located in Lakeview East, this intimate wine bar focuses on shareable menu items, where you can also choose from various meats and cheeses for you and your friends to build your perfect charcuterie. What’s better than a girl’s wine tasting night in a cozy, rustic restaurant? Nothing!
12 W Elm St, Chicago, IL 60610
We discovered this little joint in the classic girl’s night theme: we went somewhere together, got bored, so we pulled up Google map and typed in bars nearby. There was no reason other than we thought The Sparrow had a cool name like those hidden regular’s bar, so we decided to give it a shot, and gosh, what a delight!
Reflecting the sophistication of the surrounding Gold Coast neighborhood, The Sparrow is a hidden gem, especially for rum lovers with its extensive list of sugar cane rums. With its low-key yet elegant interior, we honestly can’t think of a better place for some private talk between girlfriends.
3700 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60613
Ladies, it’s time to go see the Queens! At Kit Kat Lounge in Wrigleyville, the name of the game is gorgeous Drag Queens, and the energy they bring is electric. With a huge martini menu, fun shots, and sweet margaritas, your night at Kit Kat Lounge will be taken up a notch with a little buzz and highly entertaining drag show. Best part? They also offer drag brunches to turn the basic bottomless mimosas into something extraordinarily fierce.
1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
At the Violet Hour, you and your friends are sure to feel sophisticated and satiated because of their upscale, elegant decor and enticing menu. With classic cocktails like a Manhattan, negrini, and gin gimlet, paired with “Shaken and Stirred” Violet Hour classics, there is something on the menu for everyone in your group. If you’re looking to do something out of the ordinary, the Violet Hour also hosts virtual cocktail-making classes via Zoom, where they provide all the supplies you need to make the perfect cocktail in the comfort of your best friend’s apartment.
3201 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657
If you and your girls are more into day drinking than staying out all night, Drew’s on Halsted is the place for you. Drew’s huge brunch menu is the perfect place to nurse your headache from last night, and turn the day into something a little more energetic with their hand-crafted cocktails, innovative martinis, and coffee-centric drinks. If you’re looking for something unique for you and your girls, Drew’s also hosts an outstanding Cabaret show that can only be reserved by calling, so make sure you get your spot quickly!
Honorable Mention: Taco Bell
JK! But just to be fair, we all know that at the end of a booze-filled girls night, you’re scouring Uber Eats for the best-drunk food your $10 can buy. What sounds better at 2 AM than crunchy nachos, a Mountain Dew Baja Blast, and sweet, sweet cinnamon twists. So thank you, Taco Bell, for being there all those nights (or days!?) when our stomachs are eating us from inside out.
We’d also like to thank the Taco Bell gods for FINALLY bringing back the Mexican Pizza this year. 2022 is looking up!
Featured Image Credit: The Violet Hour