With St. Patrick’s Day days away, there’s never been a better time to enjoy some good old fashioned Irish coffee. Or perhaps even some new fashioned Irish coffee? Even beyond the holiday, now is a great time to savor warm and cozy sips before the weather takes a warm turn. Throughout the city, bars and restaurants are pouring their own takes on this boozy, warming staple, be it a traditional rendition or a more neoteric take. Here are some of the best Irish coffees in Chicago:
D4 Irish Pub: While this Streeterville staple may seem like a pretty classic haunt, they’re not too timid to get creative and push the envelope. Case in point, their Irish coffee isn’t your typical warm brew. Rather, the brunch beverage is served chilled, made with Two Brothers Leviathan cold-brew coffee and Bushmills-infused whipped cream. It’s silky, delicate and the perfect blend of bitter and sweet, with a bit of a smoky undertone from the cold-brew.
CC Ferns: It’s Irish coffee for breakfast at this hip Humboldt Park coffee shop, where drinks frequently toe the line between lattes and cocktails. The whiskey cream latte is a prime example, a twist on an Irish coffee made with aromatic baking spices, whiskey, cream and steamed milk. It’s poured into a cute saucer-sized mug for sipping in one of the shop’s quaint lounge chairs, and it’s great fuel for getting a little work done on your laptop if you’re feeling saucy.
The Grafton: It doesn’t get much more quintessential Irish than a whiskey-spiked coffee at this go-to haunt. Pleasantly potent, this thing packs a punch, with a good amount of sweetness from the cream to help balance out. Pro tip: the coffee is best enjoyed sitting by the on-site fireplace.
Fado Irish Pub: One of the signature sippers at this River North pub, the Fado Irish Coffee is a real soul-soother, made from Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey, brown sugar, hot coffee and cream. It’s capped off with a few sprinkles and swirls of cinnamon, which add a nice fragrance to the medley.
Chief O’Neill’s Irish Pub: It’s all about tradition at Chief O’Neill’s, where the hot coffee, sugar, cream and whiskey are all bold, strong and in perfect harmony with one another. Best to let the drink mellow for a bit, to cool it down and also let the flavors marry and meld together, infusing some of that sugar throughout the drink.
Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro: Save room for dessert at this North Center institution, because the Irish coffee is not to be missed. Basically a boozy dessert-in-a-glass, this minty, refreshing rendition contains Tullamore D.E.W., Columbia Roastery coffee, whipped cream and creme de menthe.