Yelp’s Top 25 Places to Drink is a list unlike any other “best of” out there. Sure, you’ll see your obvious local favorites on the list, but it’s also chock full of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path joints like Zumbier tucked away in Waukegan, surrounded by various warehouses and businesses. From fine dining to shawarma food trucks — find them all in Yelp’s Top 25 Places to Drink in the Chicago North Shore.
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Topping this year’s Top 25 Places to Drink list is North Shore Distillery, a distillery located in Green Oaks, IL offering one of a kind crafted spirits from vodkas, gins, rums and aquavit. North Shore Distillery was also ranked on our Top Gin Distilleries in the US and Canada.
Pro tip: You’re going to want to make a note of these spots, so we made it easy for you. For great businesses at your fingertips, get the Top 25 to-go. Follow this collection on Yelp.
- North Shore Distillery (Green Oaks)
What they’re known for: their locally crafted spirits including vodkas, gins, rums and aquavit
Yelpers say: “The staff is friendly, helpful and so knowledgeable about their craft. I had a wonderful old fashioned here and tried the rum and a seasonal cocktail as well. If you’re not sure what to get, try spinning the “Wheel of In-Decision” and let chance (or someone else) pick for you.” –Mel C.
- Zumbier (Waukegan)
What they’re known for: Home-Craft Beers
Yelpers say: “My go-to brewery. Every beer, no matter if it’s my style or not, is excellently brewed. Larry, Talea, and their crew treat this as an art and it shows. The first IPA I’ve ever truly enjoyed came from ZümBier (Liberty Call- if you get the chance to try it, do so!).” –Joan P.
- Backlot Coffee (Evanston)
What they’re known for:
Yelpers say: “Great coffee, lots of unique options. Their cardamom rose latte had just the right amount of spice. They have an array of pastries as well, sadly I was too late for their famous cinnamon rolls. The service was wonderful, I really appreciated the friendliness. Definitely recommend this place for a coffee if you’re in the area!” –Jessica G.
- Love That Spice (Highland Park)
What they’re known for: Artisan spices, and teas from around the world
Yelpers say: “Lovely shop with a kind and very personable owner who will help you find what you need or the perfect remedy for what ails you! They also blend and serve a variety of natural teas in various flavor.The owner Marlena’s husband grinds the spices at night and everything is made in-house and fresh. The aroma when you walk in is amazing and the shop is laid out so nicely.” –Joani O.
- Brew Lounge (Des Plaines)
What they’re known for: Espresso & Boba Lounge
Yelpers say: “All time favorite cafe, love the low key vibe of it. The owners are really nice as well as the aesthetic on the inside of the cafe. Have such a variety of drinks, I always make myself try something new.” –Gabby Z.
- Lina’s Frozen Treats & Cafe (Niles)
What they’re known for: Known for their freshest, fusion of American, Filipino and Mexican flavors in bubble teas, smoothies, Acai bowls and frozen yogurt
Yelpers say: “FILIPINO PRIDE. I was stuck between their froyo or halo halo so I opted for the halo halo.This was delicious and I ate like half in my car because I knew it was going to melt. It’s topped with their ube soft serve. Let me tell you – I think my favorite part of the halo halo was the ube soft serve. It was the most richest soft serve ever. The ube flavor was on point! It makes me want to go back and get their soft serve. ” –Name of Yelper
- Sketchbook Brewing Company (Evanston)
What they’re known for: A craft brewery in Evanston and Skokie offering beers brewed from locally sourced supplies.
Yelpers say: “I’m not one for hyperbole, but this might be one of the best bars I’ve ever been to. Not only is there a great selection of beer on tap, but you can also take home a four-pack or six-pack of many of the very same beers. ” –Jon S.
- Spirit Elephant (Winnetka)
What they’re known for: Being a vegan restaurant and cocktail bar
Yelpers say: “If Anthony Bourdain was alive and a vegan, he would probably give this place an A+! Stumbled upon it by accident and it was a true gem. We sat at the bar, had amazing drinks and the food was delicious. ” –Jayson L.
- Hometown Coffee & Juice (Glencoe)
What they’re known for: A homey cafe for all ages to enjoy coffee, juice, and American Breakfast classics
Yelpers say: “The best coffee, avocado toast and muffins. Blueberry and chocolate muffins are large, moist and have the best flavor. The service is fast and there is a good amount of seating indoors and outdoors. A good place to do some work or meet a friend for breakfast or lunch. ” – Nikki J.
- Newport Coffee House (Evanston)
What they’re known for: House roasted coffee beans from all over the world
Yelpers say: “Here’s what you need to know: this is my favorite coffee shop in all of Chicagoland. It doesn’t get more elegant, more beautiful, with better service and quality… ANYWHERE. Even the decaf is phenomenal and better than most caffeinated espresso drinks. Mikael and Lotha are phenomenal entrepreneurs and deserve all the success and recognition for this gem of a roastery/cafe that enhances Evanston tremendously. In addition to their over coffee roasts, They have phenomenal bespoke chocolate options and house made coffee ice cream” –Aj K.
- Kings and Convicts Brewing Co (Highwood)
- Tealicious Bubble (Evanston)
- CoCo & Blu (Arlington Heights)
- Temperance Beer Co (Evanston)
- Cafe Koco Bowl (Morton Grove)
- Fibs Brewing (Des Plaines)
- Off the Wall Cafe (Park Ridge)
- Happy Lemon (Evanston)
- Milkcow Cafe (Vernon Hills)
- Macushla Brewing Company (Glenview)
- Ravinia Brewing Company (Highland Park)
- Consume (Lake Zurich)
- Scratchboard Kitchen (Arlington Heights)
- Lynfred Winery (Wheeling)
- Copper Fiddle Distillery (Lake Zurich)
Methodology: This is an all-time list of the Top Places to Drink in the Chicago North Shore area according to Yelp. We identified businesses in the coffee & tea, cideries, bubble tea, brewpubs, breweries, beer, wine & spirits, meaderies, kombucha, juice bars & smoothies, tea rooms, wineries, bars, beer gardens, coffee shops, beer hall, wine tasting rooms, and distilleries category on Yelp, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews. This list looked at businesses in and around the Chicago North Shore area. All businesses were marked open on Yelp as of May 14th, 2022. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of May 14th, 2022.