Time to pop the bubbly and celebrate! Chicago is such an incredible city and the perfect playground for any type of celebration with so many amazing restaurants, unique bars, and fun experiences! If you follow along on Instagram, I’m sure you saw myself, Ilir, and our friends bounce around Chicago for my birthday a few weekends ago and we had such a blast! It’s always nice to have a reason to celebrate and explore restaurants and bars you might not normally check out.
Today I wanted to share my recommendations for places to celebrate your birthday in Chicago for the person who is looking for something fun and exciting, but a bit more elevated and sophisticated than your normal spots. From a nice birthday dinner to an intimate cocktail experience to a treat-yourself spray tan, below are so many celebration ideas depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for.
Best Restaurants for a Birthday Dinner in Chicago
I had such a lovely birthday dinner at Siena Tavern this year! It’s a perfect spot for when you’re looking for a nice dinner, with an upbeat and inviting environment. The food is absolutely incredible and their drinks are also amazing! Ilir and I left so full after sharing the burrata, the lobster spaghetti, the truffle pizza, and some tiramisu. I want to go back and re-order everything again!
I also had such a phenomenal birthday eve dinner with my family who came into town at Pacific Standard Time! If you haven’t been, you absolutely have to go! Their menu is made of sharable plates, so I tried so many different items and every one of them was fantastic!
Here are some other places that are perfect for a treat-yourself birthday dinner:
- Gilt Bar (one of my Chicago favorites! elegant yet edgy vibe)
- Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba (fun tapas + sangria!)
- Cabra (incredible views + drinks)
- Summerhouse Santa Monica (girly + summer vibes)
- Aba (beautiful space + highly praised mediterranean food)
- EMA (another great mediterranean place that’s beautiful)
- RPM Italian (upscale Italian)
- Beatnik (one of the prettiest places in Chicago + more shared plates)
- Somerset (elevated yacht-club feel)
- Yellowtail Sushi (BYOB + delicious)
- Stella Barra (casual yet moody and romantic pizzeria)
BEST COCKTAILS BARS FOR A NICE BIRTHDAY DRINK IN CHICAGO
If you’re looking for a casual cocktail or two before heading out for the night or in place of a big night out, Chicago truly has some of the best cocktail bars! Ilir and I went to The Berkshire Room for a cocktail before heading out with our friends and had the best experience. I absolutely could not recommend coming here more! Their famous “Dealer’s Choice” option was my favorite: you pick your spirit, your flavor profile and your glassware and they create the cocktail from there. SO fun and such a unique way to cheers to another year older! The ambiance is elevated and intimate with a really fun retro vibe. We will be back over and over again!
Here are a few more cocktail bars perfect for an elevated evening of celebrating:
- Cindy’s (beautiful views!)
- Drumbar (intimate and upscale)
- The Darling (girly and picturesque)
- Violet Hour (always top-ranked cocktails)
- Maude’s Liquor Bar (moody and elusive, no pictures allowed!)
- Arbella (fun craft cocktails, go for the PB&J)
- Madison Bar + Kitchen (fantastic cocktails and bites, fun environment)
- Londonhouse (perfect for summer birthdays)
- Z Bar (another great rooftop for summer, get the disco ball with a group!)
WHERE TO GO OUT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY IN CHICAGO
We had such a great time experiencing all three floors at Hubbard Inn for a more elevated night out! Hubbard Inn was a pretty classic River North bar, but after closing down earlier this year to revamp the entire space, they completely transformed three floors into a unique experience unlike anything else I’ve seen in Chicago! Its new look and feel makes it the perfect place for a fun night out with your friends that is a bit more elevated than your typical River North or Old Town bars you go every weekend.
Its first floor has a gorgeous vintage look and has a unique shared plate menu, perfect for if you want a bite before heading upstairs. Its second floor, Blue Violet, is the most gorgeous, Instagramable place and a floral dream! Ilir and I grabbed a bite downstairs and then had our friends join us on the second floor for a nice cocktail before dancing the night away on the third floor. The cocktails were great and the area is perfect for groups. The third floor, MASQ, was so much fun for dancing with a more clubby vibe, but not too intense. The masquerade theme made the third floor feel sophisticated and was such a fun touch. Overall, if you’re looking for a really fun celebratory night out, but want something a bit more elevated than your normal bars, Hubbard Inn is the perfect destination! (And in colder months, it’s SO nice to feel like you’ve gone to three different places without having to go outside!)
Here are a few other places I love for a fun, celebratory night out:
- Bandit (old school vibe, casual and really unique)
- The Vig (you can never go wrong with throwback jams and midnight cookies)
- City Winery River Domes (perfect for winter birthdays)
- J Parker (indoor and outdoor rooftop, always the best music)
- Roof at theWit (another indoor and outdoor rooftop, really picks up later at night)
- Blind Dragon (so much fun for private karaoke)
- Waydown (amazing views and a really upbeat yet still pretty elevated scene)
WHERE TO BRUNCH FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY IN CHICAGO
If a big night out isn’t what you’re looking for, but you definitely want to pop some bubbly and indulge in a more elevated way, birthday brunching around the city is the way to go! Ilir and I went Walton Street Bar + Kitchen and had the most incredible time and best experience! The food is absolutely delicious, the ambiance is fun yet sophisticated, and then to top it off they have a bottomless mimosa deal for $22 – the perfect birthday treat! What I loved most about our experience is it felt like a more sophisticated brunch than most bottomless mimosa places, but still had the fun and celebratory vibe. You absolutely must go make your way to Walton Street!
BEST CHICAGO BEAUTY SERVICES FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY WEEKEND
Whether you just want to treat yourself to something special or you want to do a little extra something to get ready for your birthday celebrations, I love the idea of incorporating a beauty service into your birthday weekend! I rarely get a spray tan, so I headed over to goGLOW to treat myself and absolutely loved my experience! The space is gorgeous and the team is so welcoming and kind. My favorite part though is that goGLOW’s tan is clean and made with quality, organic ingredients for a healthy tan. I just feel so much happier with a tan and so glad I stopped by goGLOW!
Here are a few other fun places for a beauty treat:
- Re’Luxe Nail Salon (rose petals in the water + champagne!)
- Drybar (it’s like a party while getting your blowout)
- Ulta Beauty’s Demalogica Facial Bar (affordable and such a nice treat)
- Goldplaited (get the braid of your dreams)
We had such a fun weekend running around the city and trying out new places! Thank you to everyone who joined and made my birthday feel so special!
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?! Drop your ideas below!