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The Matchbox

River West, Chicago
  • Has a stamp of approval from Time Out Chicago and Redeye Chicago
    • Time Out Chicago
    • Redeye Chicago
  • Olivia L.
    "Best gin gimlets on earth; amazing margs"(21 Tips)
    Cris F.
    "Must haves: Margarita, Sidecar and Brandy Manhattan."(3 Tips)
    Sailing Spoken Here
    "Have the best margarita and brandy manhattan around."(12 Tips)
    MJ B.
    "The infused vodkas are delicious."(2 Tips)
67 Tips and reviews
  • margaritas
  • martinis
  • good for a late night
  • good for dates
  • good for singles
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  • Recent
  • Popular
  • Jordan
    JordanMay 14
    Been here 10+ times
    $10 classic cocktails
  • Cristina D.
    Cristina DordasJanuary 13
    Gimlet is amazingly good in here! Don't miss it!
  • Bob D.
    Bob DeGraffFebruary 26, 2016
    This place is narrower than most hallways but the cocktails are definitely excellent. They aren't steering you wrong when they tell you to go for the gimlets and margaritas.
  • Grace A.
    Grace AldridgeDecember 12, 2015
    Perfect cozy bar to get a little drunk when it's cold out. Don't order food from next door though, it's pretty gross.
  • Noah M.
    Noah ManionOctober 3, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    Seriously, #margz
  • Joseph B.
    Joseph BlewittSeptember 18, 2015
    Even on a weekday afternoon, there's no room to sit or stand. Consider that before you trek out here.
  • ben m.
    ben mJuly 14, 2015
    Been here 25+ times
    Pretty much can't go wrong with any of the cocktails. The music is always good and the beer list is always strong.
  • Redeye Chicago
    Redeye ChicagoJanuary 16, 2015
    This spot is Chicago's smallest social Petri dish at an impossible 460 square feet. After even one of the potent, oversized cocktails served here, nearly everything feels electric. Read more
  • TV Food Maps
    TV Food MapsAugust 29, 2014
    Check out The Matchbox as seen on Drinking Made Easy Read more
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedAugust 22, 2014
    Rick Gresh, chef of David Burke’s Primehouse, eats here on his nights off. He loves the Vodka gimlet. Read more
  • Kellen T.
    Kellen TerrettAugust 10, 2014
    I've meet some amazing people at the matchbox. It's my favorite bar to end up at on New Year's Eve.
  • Chicagoist
    ChicagoistAugust 1, 2014
    One of the best date bars in Chicago: it's completely unpretentious, yet also manages to remain under the radar enough that it's a perfect card to keep in your back pocket. Read more
  • Joey N.
    Joey NowakJuly 26, 2014
    They don't cheat you on drinks. Get a martini
  • Djuana S.
    Djuana StoakleyApril 23, 2014
    Been here 25+ times
    The smoked meat sandwich is still delicious!
  • Ramsey M.
    Ramsey MohsenJanuary 21, 2014
    Tiny dive, but it's awesome. Ask about the "Wizards Blood Drink" and make sure to get the magic wand with it :)
  • Sheila B.
    Sheila BondsJanuary 17, 2014
    It's called matchbox for a reason. Have a gimlet! 🍸
  • Taylor K.
    Taylor KonigsederOctober 6, 2013
    Margaritas and gimlets all the way! Tiny place, but quite a treat.
  • Paul F.
    Paul FriemelJune 16, 2013
    Get a gimlet and try not to use the bathroom if you can help it
  • Chase T.
    Chase TurnerMay 9, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    It's not on the menu, but it's the best kept secret in Chicago. Order a French 75, they'll know what you're talking about.
  • Jamie M.
    Jamie MackMay 9, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Ask for the French 75, it's divine.
  • Jake S.
    Jake SmithApril 5, 2013
    The Kentucky Tiki is the play here. It tastes like the beaches of Hawaii and the backwoods of Kentucky at the same time.
  • Paul M.
    Paul MorganMarch 31, 2013
    The margarita - thats all there is
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoMarch 6, 2013
    Every drink tastes like a classic cocktail should, replete with a healthy dose of booze. The margaritas and gimlets are still the draw: smooth, delicious and sweet: Read more
  • Erin
    ErinMarch 4, 2013
    Best Gimlet I've ever had, the powdered sugar on the rim made it even better. Gotta come back soon.
  • Shannon H.
    Shannon HeathFebruary 1, 2013
    Try the Margarita!
  • Tiffany S.
    Tiffany SteffensDecember 23, 2012
    Best place - hands down - for a cocktail.
  • Miroslav L.
    Miroslav LysyukAugust 7, 2012
    Best manhattan in town.
  • Scott K.
    Scott KahleJuly 10, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Sit inside and you'll get a much better Matchbox experience.
  • ❤Diva4life🎵
    ❤Diva4life🎵June 23, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The cosmos r off da chain.....
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoJune 4, 2012
    Gin gimlets, extra sugar, please.
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoMay 29, 2012
    Gin gimlets, extra sugar, please. -FS Read more
  • Olivia L.
    Olivia LeighMay 13, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Best gin gimlets on earth; amazing margs
  • Amanda C.
    Amanda CooperMay 10, 2012
    They make a great margarita! They also have a good cigar selection!
  • AskMen
    AskMenApril 11, 2012
    Those looking for a no-nonsense cocktail joint probably won't find a bar with fewer frills than The Matchbox. Read more
  • Olivia L.
    Olivia LeighApril 4, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Only gin gimlet in the city worth drinking
  • Kathy
    KathyMarch 18, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Great classic drinks. Try the gimlets.
  • Katie B.
    Katie BMarch 7, 2012
    Best brandy manhattans
  •  Deon P.
     Deon ParconMarch 4, 2012
    Pineapple gimlet FTW
  • Erin W.
    Erin WynnJanuary 14, 2012
    Vodka gimlet is the way to go.
  • G R.
    G RobDecember 17, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Pineapple gimlet. Just do it.
  • Leyla A.
    Leyla ArsanNovember 27, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    The original "cocktail bar" in Chicago. If you're not cool to the staff, they'll mock you publicly - so be nice.
  • Michael M.
    Michael MosesNovember 20, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    WTF. Don't get a Manhattan like everyone says. If the bartender is the well bearded guy, you are better off with beer. Is this a Manhattan?
  • Jamie
    JamieNovember 4, 2011
    Literally the size of a matchbox w/ THE best drinks! Try the pineapple gimlet (made with egg whites and powdered sugar) or any drinks made w/ their own ginger-infused vodka!
  • Adam S.
    Adam SegerOctober 9, 2011
    To prevent a hangover, Have an antioxidant-packed 70 Proof hum on the rocks & chug a pint of water at the end of your evening of outstanding cocktails here
  • S D Pete G.
    S D Pete GlassSeptember 4, 2011
    Amazing is all I can say
  • Adam S.
    Adam SegerAugust 20, 2011
    Localize your Manhattan (which they do amazingly here) with locally made hum in place of the sweet Vermouth
  • Jen R.
    Jen RobinsonAugust 17, 2011
    The world's narrowest bar. (Not really, but feels like it.) Order something with sugar on the rim. You won't regret it.
  • Karen C.
    Karen ClaytonJuly 5, 2011
    pineapple gimlet! Read more
  • Sima D.
    Sima Dahl, CSPMay 31, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Named for its tiny size, this place is huge on personality! Read more
  • Manbque
    ManbqueApril 30, 2011
    Order an old school gentleman's drink. They make cocktails right.
  • Diego R.
    Diego RufoMarch 29, 2011
    Everything is hand-made, from the fruit infused vodkas to the brandy soaked cherries they put in manhattans. You must try either an old fashioned, a side car or a margarita. Read more
  • Esquire
    EsquireFebruary 1, 2011
    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. We'd recommend getting a lemon drop, but you can't go wrong with whatever the bartender's in the mood for. Read more
  • Sailing Spoken Here
    Sailing Spoken HereDecember 14, 2010
    Have the best margarita and brandy manhattan around. Sample an extensive array of rums, beers, bourbons, tequilas, scotches & wines.
  • Tom O.
    Tom OpperDecember 5, 2010
    Favorite Chicago bar
  • Erikka F.
    Erikka FrancoNovember 3, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    Free street parking on Milwaukee Avenue.
  • Cris F.
    Cris FrancoNovember 3, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    Must haves: Margarita, Sidecar and Brandy Manhattan.
  • Melanie V.
    Melanie VJuly 19, 2010
    Fruit infused gimlets, please! Best in the city, seriously.
  • Molly F.
    Molly FloydJune 8, 2010
    If you can't grab a patio seat here, forget it. If you can, enjoy a margarita!
  • Tim R.
    Tim RessmeyerMay 22, 2010
    Who doesn't love a matchbox cosmo!?!
  • greg s.
    greg sobeckiMay 15, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    Never seen the so called mayor bijal here...and I am there a lot
  • Joanna E.
    Joanna EricsonApril 18, 2010
    Vodka gimlets are the best in the city!!
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoApril 8, 2010
    Drink this: Matchbox's excellent cocktails, such as its margaritas, come with powdered sugar. Read more
  • MJ B.
    MJ BehrmanMarch 8, 2010
    The infused vodkas are delicious.
  • Anne R.
    Anne RearnkhamMarch 6, 2010
    Go to Matchbox. Skip the beer and order the ginger and pineapple gimlets!
  • Eric D.
    Eric DunlapFebruary 20, 2010
    Manhattan, up or on the rocks.
  • Holly M.
    Holly MaloneyOctober 8, 2009
    get a sidecar
  • Pablo J.
    Pablo JaraMarch 17, 2013
    Fome la música
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