By Elizabeth SanFilippo
When winter descends on Chicago, it sometimes seems like nothing can ever warm you up. But these five restaurants/bars do their best to get rid of the winter chill with some piping hot and delicious drinks. From hot toddies brimming with whiskey to international hot chocolates, these tasty concoctions will not only keep you warm but will also please your palate.
Angel Food Bakery
1636 W. Montrose St.
Chicago, IL 60613
Angel Food Bakery may be known for its amazing cupcakes, but don’t forget the decadent Barthelona hot chocolate, a Spanish version of the winter drink topped with a dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream. This hot drink is so thick, you may even want to consider eating/drinking it with a spoon instead. With such great flavor, this Spanish chocolate is also used in some of the bakery’s other desserts like the brownies.
Duke of Perth
2913 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
The Scottish pub Duke of Perth may be known for its top-notch fish and chips, but come cool weather, the pub also serves some piping hot toddies and warm apple ciders with or without brandy, along with a slew of other warm drinks. Cold alcoholic ciders are available year round as well. The ciders are crisp with perfect sweetness while the hot toddies pack a good punch, making the high price tag of about $7 worth it. If you’re just looking for a shot of whiskey, the Duke of Perth has that too, especially since it has the largest selection of single malt whiskeys in the city.
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4530 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
This Lincoln Square pub is all about Irish comfort food and nothing is more comforting than its menu of “winter warmers,” which includes a deliciously sweet housemade hot toddy created with Bushmill’s Whiskey. Other hot drinks include a marshmallow coffee among various non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. All of the winter warmers are perfect on their own but even better when enjoyed in front of The Grafton’s fireplace after finishing off a meal of traditional meatloaf or fish and chips.
5210 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Considering Simon’s Tavern is located in an old Swedish neighborhood, it’s only appropriate that the dive bar likes to serve a traditional Swedish drink that is sure to warm you up: a hot, spiced, mulled wine called Glogg. Even better, every Glogg comes with a gingerbread cookie. Just be forewarned; the Glogg doesn’t taste like it has alcohol in it but it most definitely does. The drink is also only available during the winter months.
449 N. Clark St. (door is on Illinois)
Chicago, IL 60654
Rick Bayless long ago perfected his gourmet Mexican treats and at his newest restaurant, XOCO, there’s nothing like ending a meal with some sugary churros dunked in a thick, traditional Mexican hot chocolate. This hot drink is like no other since the chefs grind up a variety of roasted cocoa beans from Mexico and then add either milk or water depending on the drink. The spiced Aztec is just one that’s sure to please your palate as it even includes a dash of chile and allspice — the perfect drink for a cold winter’s day but also available year round.
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Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.