15 Best Chicago Restaurants And Bars To Celebrate Halloween

Correction (10/25/22): A previous version of this article stated voodoo bingo at Ina Mae Tavern is on Thursdays. It is on Wednesdays.  

Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, is sometimes jokingly referred to as the Third Coast, but for the upcoming weekend, it might as well be the Ghost Coast. October 31 is, unfortunately, occurring on a Monday this year, which does serve to amp up the fright factor, but it also puts somewhat of a damper on Halloween festivities taking place on the day itself. The preceding Halloweekend, however, will be full of holiday hijinks.

Let the kids have their candy — the bars and restaurants on this list are offering up tricks and treats of a different sort. There's a family-friendly outing with pastries and pumpkin carving, there's a sports bar that's turned itself into a horror movie, and there's a cocktail party offering spooky cabaret-style entertainment, not to mention pop-ups with photo ops and more spooky Halloween-themed cocktails than you can shake a bloody stick at. Even if partying's not your style, you can always enjoy a quiet(?) drink in a bar where not all spirits come in a bottle as yet another way to spend a wickedly wonderful Windy City Halloween.

Black Lagoon at The Dandy Crown

While the name Dandy Crown conjures up images of a typical British pub, this place isn't all that typical, especially in the month of October when it opens the pop-up known as the Black Lagoon. Even though most of the bar's Halloween events, such as trivia nights and pumpkin carving, have already taken place this year, on Wednesday the 26, it's hosting an Emo Night because nothing's more terrifying than reliving your cringiest high school moments (also it's a chance to break out the black eyeliner a few days early). Plus, the Black Lagoon remains open through 11:30 p.m. on Halloween night.

The food and drink menus at the Black Lagoon offer all manner of spooky specials. For starters, why not enjoy some sacrificial lamb tartare or tasty dead fish dip? (Not like one made from live fish would be any less scary.) On the main menu are Squid (ink) Game Ravioli filled with chicken and kimchi, Black Soul Bacon with sauteed greens, and Pollo of the Dead, the sandwich that puts an end to the chicken wars by burying the competition (literally). Cocktails include the Blood Rave with mezcal, falernum, beet juice, lemon, anisette, and bitters; the Nightwish with vodka, sherry, banana liqueur, lemon, and cardamom bitters; and the Screaming Banshee with gin, apricot liqueur, pineapple syrup, lime, yogurt, soda, and bitters; plus there are several nonalcoholic drink options including the Satanic Panic made with Ritual "tequila," pineapple, falernum, and lime.

Black Flame Tipsy Tea at The Gwen

The Gwen, named for sculptress Gwen Lux, may be in its late '90s, but its current incarnation is geared towards a younger, hipper crowd with amenities like rooftop yoga, a champagne vending machine, and the popular tipsy tea. The Halloweekend Black Flame tea, available at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday, features Hocus Pocus-themed cocktails and drag performances. For $80 per person, you'll get either unlimited tea-spiked cocktails (or cocktail-spiked teas) or regular tea plus unlimited prosecco. For $65, there's a non-tipsy version where the bottomless tea is of the non-alcoholic kind. All three teas include an assortment of scones, pastries, and savory bites such as crostini and cheese puffs.

If an afternoon mini-meal isn't your cup of tea, the Gwen's cocktail lounge has a special menu featuring cocktails named after tarot cards. Feel like playing The Fool? Your matching drink is made with vodka, pear liqueur, lemon, simple syrup, apple bitters, ginger ale, and butterfly pea tea. Prefer to drink alone? How about a Hermit with mezcal, coffee liqueur, vanilla, and walnut? If you're in a minor arcana mood, you might like a Page of Swords with gin, pistachio orgeat, lemon, and egg white or else an Ace of Wands milk punch recipe featuring bourbon, allspice, grapefruit, lemon, and ginger. If you can't make it to the Gwen by All Hallow's Eve, you can try the tarot drinks up through November 14.

Black Rose Halloween Party at Adalina

Adalina is an upscale modern Italian restaurant on Chicago's Gold Coast with a Michelin-starred chef. Needless to say, it doesn't run to loud, raucous parties, so its Black Rose Halloween Party, which takes place in the restaurant's speakeasy-style Rose Lounge, may be more subdued than some of the shindigs on this list. Still, the party, which is a ticketed event, does show Adalina attempting to let out its hair to some extent and could be a sight worth seeing. The event begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday October 29 and isn't scheduled to wrap up until 2 a.m. on Sunday October 30. 

For your $25 ticket, you are promised "a night of specialty spooky craft cocktails, treats & fun," although that ticket only covers the cost of a single cocktail plus a dessert. Still, it's not such a bad bargain when you consider that the drinks on the Rose Lounge's regular menu start at $16 and run up to $40 and that Adalina's desserts are priced between $12 and $15. At the very least, the cover charge gets you a $28 value plus whatever else is included in the way of festivities.

Dread Lobster at Heritage

Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar may have merited a full-length feature in Sophisticated Living, but that doesn't mean the place without a sense of humor. Many fine dining establishments take the game so seriously that you could never even imagine seeing any kind of Halloween menu, much less one inspired by a — gasp! – chain restaurant! Heritage, however, seems to delight in costuming itself as "Dread Lobster" during the final week of October.

While Heritage's regular menu is still available at this time, from October 25 through 31, it will be augmented with tongue-in-cheek offerings like a "Char-Boo-terie" board as well as putting its own spin on more mainstream dishes such as mozzarella sticks served with a fermented tomato marinara sauce and pickle dip and grilles shrimp skewers with the heads left on. Plus, what would any Red Lobster homage be without cheddar biscuits? (Heritage's special tweak is adding togarashi butter). Heritage has even added some "boos" (well, booze) to the dessert menu, offering a Guinness brownie with bourbon ice cream and butterscotch made with real Scotch as well as a mudslide milkshake including Kahlua, original Bailey's Irish Cream, salted chocolate ice cream, and espresso.

Haunted Homecoming at Barcocina (Lakeview vs. West Town)

Barcocina, a Mexican restaurant with locations in Lakeview and West Town, is holding Halloween parties at both places, which isn't at all unusual. In fact, it'd be weird if the festivities were limited to just one spot. What is a bit odd is the restaurant billing its Haunted Homecoming party as a battle of Northside vs. Westside without giving any indication of how the locations are supposed to compete. Will there be a head count, or is judging done by the number of tickets sold? Will the winner be determined by sales receipts? More importantly, does the winning restaurant (and its patrons!) get anything out of the deal besides bragging rights?

These are answers we do not have. Tickets, priced at $50 per person, come with unlimited house margaritas, beers (domestic and Mexican), house wines, and/or cocktails made with a single spirit and mixer. Each party will also have a DJ, a photo booth, and a costume contest with cash prizes. At the West Town location, you may be able to reserve a table with prior notice, while the Lakeview one allows for the possibility of booking either a table, an outdoor couch complete with a fire pit, or an igloo.

Khepri Cafe

It's only fitting that Khepri Cafe, a coffee shop with an affinity for the mystical and magical (its menu features a range of smoothies named for Egyptian deities), is finally throwing a Halloween party. As per the company's Instagram, it's a first-time celebration, but the fact that it has tacked on the descriptor "annual" seems to indicate an intent to repeat. The event is a daytime one as the restaurant itself does not keep evening hours – it begins at 11 a.m. It will wrap up by 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 29 Khepri also notes that it's an all-ages event, implying that it is not specifically for kids but is still intended to be family-friendly.

This not-so-spooky event will involve pumpkin carving and other crafts, trick-or-treating (not sure whether this is open to the over-12s), a costume contest with prizes, and a professional photographer. There will also be plenty of donuts and drink specials, although we'd expect the latter to be booze-free since the cafe does not offer alcoholic beverages on its regular menu. It does, however, run to CBD drinks so you can still relax and unwind even without a visit from the Halloween spirits.

Lottie's Pub

Lottie's Pub is all about celebrating anything there is to celebrate. Nearly every weekend brings game day watch parties, while the Pub recently held a family fall festival with a petting zoo, cookies, and plenty of fall-themed food and drinks. It has also celebrated the run-up to Halloween with its "Tent Flix & Thrill" series of spooky double features. The last of the Halloween movies are being shown from October 25 through 27, with the kid-friendly "Monster House" at 5:30 p.m. followed by "Scream" at 8 p.m.

On Halloween Monday, however, Lottie's has something else in store: a Day of the Dead party lasting from 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. featuring costumed characters (read: photo ops), performances, and door prizes. Mexican drink specials will also be offered, including Dos Equis for $4, a shot of Dobel tequila priced at $5, and Dos Equis canned margaritas for $7. At 7 p.m., a Halloween trivia contest kicks off with bonus points given to any teams competing in costume. The team that wins the trivia contest gets a $50 gift card, the second-place team gets a $30 one, but the team with the best group costume receives a $100 gift card. The same drink specials continue throughout the trivia contest, although neither beer nor tequila is known as much of a memory booster.

Nightmare at Navy Pier at Offshore Chicago

While Navy Pier's annual Pumpkin Lights display is a more or less family-friendly one, on October 29, Offshore Chicago, which bills itself as the world's biggest rooftop bar, is hosting a Nightmare at Navy Pier Halloween party for adults (21+) from 8 p.m. to midnight. From the graphics on the EventBrite site, it seems the nightmare that's in mind is more of the "Before Christmas" than "On Elm Street" variety, so more classic horror kitsch and less killer with razor-sharp "claws."

Tickets to the festivities cost $125 apiece, but for that price, you not only get music, dancing, the ability to enter into a costume contest, the chance to earn various door prizes, and assorted nibbles to snack on, but you'll also have access to an open bar with no limits on how much you can drink. (As long as you promise to catch a Lyft — or an Uber — home, for pity's sake! Chicago traffic is scary enough on an ordinary night without you adding to the holiday mayhem.) While the food menu hasn't been made available, Offshore Chicago shared on its Facebook page the names of several special drinks that will be pouring for the occasion: a bourbon-based Satan Sour, a rum-spiked Zombie Punch (possibly inspired by the classic tiki cocktail), and a vodka-based Witch, Please!

Nightmare on Clark Street at Deuce's Major League Bar

One silver lining to the dark cloud that hung over the Cubs' season this year is that their absence from the playoffs means that the bars in Wrigleyville have had plenty of time to enter into full-on Halloween mode. One such establishment, Deuce's Major League Bar, has gone all-out by transforming itself into a multi-level haunted house attraction called Nightmare on Clark Street. Tickets to the haunted house, which is open up through October 31, cost $43 apiece, and anyone under 18 needs to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Under-16s aren't allowed in at all, so yeah, we're guessing it's meant to be pretty spooky (or has some seriously R-rated ghosts).

If you prefer a haunted dinner experience, however, you'll have to book a separate reservation for Nightmare on Clark Street's Halloween-themed popup, where you can enjoy such monstrous menu items as Nightmare Nachos (same as the regular kind), pumpkin risotto Jack O'Lantern Balls, a ghost pepper cheese and Italian beef-topped burger called The Headstone, and a sandwich called the Fried Egg Bat (although this last one could be a remnant of the bar's year-round baseball theme). Even if you can't get a table, you can still enjoy a few spooky drinks at the bar, such as a Michael Meyers Michelada with a bloody syringe, a candy eyeball-topped Cookies & Scream, or a Potion de Muerte, a margarita with red wine float and spider ring garnish.

Sweet Dreams/Carnival of Chaos at Rizzo's Bar and Inn

Rizzo's Bar and Inn is another Wrigleyville bar that refuses to be haunted by the specter of the Cub's collapse. Instead, it, too, has gone full-on haunted house with a Sweet Dreams horror homage featuring scenes and characters from movies including "Friday the 13th," "Halloween," "IT," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Silent Hill," and "Zombieland." The popup allows you to pose and interact with the props and scenery, and a $10 ticket also comes with a free drink plus discounts on any subsequent ones you may order. Unlike the Nightmare on Clark Street popup, this one has no age restrictions, although it is asked that you exercise some discretion (no one wants to witness a traumatized three-year-old). Needless to say, under-21s don't get any free booze.

While Sweet Dreams runs through Tuesday the 1, the best night to visit is Saturday since then you can experience a two-fer (for a slight upcharge): $15 in advance (or $25 at the door) not only gets you a visit to Sweet Dreams plus a free drink, but you can also attend the Carnival of Chaos Halloween party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The party will feature costumed revelry, a DJ, dancing, and ginormous decorations with a "twisted circus" motif. Sound like something you might need more than a single drink to face down? For $45 (or $55 at the door), you can have access to an open bar throughout the event.

Treehouse of Gore at Replay

Lincoln Park bar Replay got into the Halloween spirit early this year, dressing up part of its space as a "Stranger Things"-themed popup on September 1 (reservations are free, but required or strongly suggested). While this installation is set to run through October 31, Halloweekend will feature yet another popup, a Simpsons-themed "Treehouse of Gore." On October 27, there's a Duff Beer tasting event ($20 for eight 4-ounce pours plus a full-size beer and a souvenir koozie), while October 29 brings a Halloween party — $25 tickets come with two free drinks and entry into the costume contest with prizes for best "Simpsons" and "Stranger Things"-inspired outfits. There's also an event on Sunday October 30: a screening of a new "Treehouse of Horror" episode where a $25 ticket comes with two drinks, popcorn, and another souvenir koozie.

Replay also has drink menus for each popup. A "Stranger Drinks" menu features libations ranging from the S.S. Butterscotch made with vanilla vodka, chocolate, butterscotch liqueurs, and soda to Hopper's Breakfast, which is a can of Schlitz with a whiskey chaser. In the Treehouse of Gore, you can get opt for an Easy-Bake Coven made of Skrewball, chocolate bitters, and orange syrup; a Forbidden Donut concocted from caramel vodka, crème de cacao, strawberry puree, lemon, and a mini donut garnish; or a Flaming Moe shot with black raspberry brandy, cranberry and pineapple juices, served en flambé, and safely.

Voodoo Lounge at Ina Mae Tavern

Ina Mae Tavern in Wicker Park has a New Orleans-inspired menu and theme, so naturally, it is going with voodoo as a Halloween motif. In addition to usual events such as a rocking blues brunch and live music, the restaurant's Voodoo Lounge is hosting Halloween week activities, including voodoo bingo on Wednesday, a jazz funeral on Friday, and a Halloween party with a DJ and costume contest (with prizes!) starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday. On Halloween itself, the lounge opens at 4 p.m. and will feature goodie bags, cookie decorating, and free hot chocolate for kids.

The Voodoo Lounge menu also features themed cocktails for the Halloween festivities. These include the absinthe-based Death in the Afternoon (a favorite of Hemingway's), a draft vodka/blood orange concoction called Zombie's Blood Punch, Black Widow Sangria, a whiskey with black cherry Black Magic, a gin and crème de violette Witch's Blood Martini that's essentially a maraschino-free Aviation, a spicy tequila and pineapple concoction called El Diablo, and the Southern Transfusion, an extra-Halloweeny Hurricane which will be served in a blood bag. If you're more of a beer drinker, the menu's got you covered there, too, with the Great Lakes Brewery imperial red ale known as Nosferatu.

Witches Brew at Hubbard Inn

Hubbard Inn, located in Chicago's River North neighborhood, has three separate floors, one with a restaurant, one with a cocktail lounge, and the third and top floors being used as an event space. It's the last of these three that has undergone a very special seasonal transformation this year. Up through Halloween, it's being used to house an interactive, Hocus Pocus-themed cocktail party.

The Witches Brew: Spellbinding Cocktail Experience is a ticketed event, with tickets priced at $40, and there are two seatings available on October 29 and again on October 31 – an early one from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and a late one from 8:30 to 10 p.m. For the price of admission, you will get to take selfies (or even photos of your friends) hanging out in the Sanderson Sisters' house and then be entertained by a cabaret performance. Drinks aren't included, but five Hocus Pocus-inspired cocktails will be available for purchase.

Red Lion Pub

The Red Lion Pub, as far as we're aware, has no specific Halloween events planned for this year. While it will be hosting a ghost tour on both Friday and Saturday nights, this isn't a once-a-year thing. It seems the Red Lion is a regular stop on the Nightly Spirits Chicago haunted pub crawl (tickets priced at $28 for 21+ tours from 7:30 to 10 p.m). Because, as the pub's management admits, it is believed that the premises are haunted.

So who's haunting the Red Lion, and why? The British-style pub occupies premises formerly inhabited by an establishment known as Dirty Dan's Western Saloon, one that closed up shop sometime prior to the early '80s. (The Red Lion's been in business since 1984.) Perhaps this is why, as Windy City Ghosts reports, several resident specters are in western attire. There is also a little girl ghost who appears to be lost, but the most active of these revenants is said to be a lady doused in lavender perfume who shrieks, moans, locks people out of the bathroom, rearranges furniture, and knocks over plates of food. No one seems to know the back story of this pesky ghost, though, nor those of any of the more benign ones. One very well-known ghost, however, has yet to put in an appearance — while John Dillinger was gunned down across the street, his spectral remains apparently keep to their own side of the road.

Fireside Restaurant and Lounge

Another of Chicago's most haunted establishments is the Fireside Restaurant and Lounge, a place where folks do get into the Halloween spirit by hosting an annual event, but unfortunately, it's already over for the year — the restaurant was the site of the after-party for the annual Crypt Run/Walk, an event that starts and ends at the Victorian-era Rosehill Cemetery conveniently located right across the street. While the Fireside is no longer offering the special Crypt Run menu created for the occasion, the bar menu, at least, does feature a few seasonally-appropriate beverages: Ommegang All Hallows Treat Stout, Blake's Caramel Apple Cider, and 3 Floyds Zombie Dust IPA.

As to the hauntings, Abe Litberg, the Fireside's former manager (per LinkedIn), told WGN News a few years back that "We've dealt with a lot of spooky occurrences around here," these being doors opening on its own, glasses breaking, beer taps opening and flooding the floor, and other such annoyances. Other staff members have corroborated these stories, but no one's been able to describe any specific ghosts, nor are there any stories about people dying on the premises. Instead, the general feeling is that the spooks buried in Rosehill Cemetery, unlike Dillinger's wraith, don't mind crossing the street to do a bit of haunting whenever they get tired of resting in peace.