6 Chicago Bars Perfect For a Blind Date

Ah, “blind” dates—the moment you get to see if this person you met on a dating app looks like/sounds like/is who they say they are. 

They can be surprising, exciting, brutal, or all of the above. So, frankly, you need all the help you can get. And any ‘ol bar won’t do. Since dating is war, you gotta arm yourself with some good spots that will (hopefully) make this blind date successful or at the very least bearable. Ready? Go.

Corridor Brewery

Beer flights are great ways to #1 assess your date’s personality and taste, and #2 keep you from having to order another drink if it’s not going well.

Bonus: this Southport brewery has a great front patio and also yummy pizzas…if it IS going well. Or if it’s still going poorly but you want pizza to make you feel better.

3446 N. Southport, Chicago, IL 60657


Sick of dates that only involve drinking (how dare you?) Head to this new-ish River North spot where you can play some serious pong (ping, that is). Best way to see if your potential match is fun and energetic.

344 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60654


Mix it up and suggest brunch for a first date. Con: daylight. Pro: their Sumo Bloody Mary. Sure it’s $40, but with hella accoutrement— tocino grilled cheese, steamed duck bao bun, crab handroll, crispy pork belly, wok fired shishito peppers, applewood bacon, sunda potatoes, lumpia, takuan, kai-lan—it will be such an adventure that even if your date is a dud, you will never forget the experience.

110 W Illinois Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Lost Lake

The reason this is a good first date bar is it’s theme-y enough to give you stuff to chit chat about but not cheesy. Also if you wanna cut right to the chase with your date, you can suggest a shared drink and see what happens.

3154 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Cody’s Public House

Great beer selection, dog-friendly (as in, indoors!), pretzel sticks at the bar, pool…what more could you ask for (besides compatibility and chemistry with your date?) Don’t be greedy.

1658 W. Barry Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657

The Charleston

A cash-only bar is FANTASTIC for first dates because there is no awkward moment when the bill comes. Not to mention this neighborhood tavern is really cute and really dark. Oh and there’s a photo booth in case you wanna capture how bad or good things are going!

2076 N Hoyne Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Other hot tips for blind dates: pick a spot with live music for moments when the convo drops, choose a spot with fun bartenders (for the same reason), and avoid rooftops (too difficult for quick exits).

Good luck, godspeed, and bottoms up!

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