Fall in Chicago: The City’s Best Hard Cider

September 23, 2016 | By JD Eaton
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

As the temperature  cools down in Chicago, many of us are reveling in classic fall activities. From picking up that Pumpkin Spice Latte on your way to the neighborhood farmer’s market to taking a trip out of the city to pick apples at a local orchard, we have plenty of delicious options. One of my favorite things about fall is apple cider- the truly good, fresh, unpasteurized apple cider. Much of that can be found at local markets or grocery stores, but a related craze can be a bit more fun to track down– the city’s best hard apple cider.

We’ve rounded up some of the best places in Chicago to sample a variety of hard apple ciders, starting with the most obvious answer:

The Northman

In March, The Northman, Chicago’s first cider bar, opened to great success in Lincoln Square. With 18 ciders on draft and an additional 80 offering in bottles and cans, it is a must-visit destination for cider fans. Customers usually begin with a sample of The Northman’s semi-dry house cider to gauge their palate and help select an option, although the house is very good. The entire experience transports you to a faraway country, whether that’s a pub in England or a farmhouse bistro in France, it may be in the eye of the beholder. The environment is reflected in the menu, which offers a variety of choices. While it may be a bit of a trek for those living downtown, it’s well worth the trip.

Farmhouse Tavern

A chicly rustic spot in River North, Farmhouse Tavern, utilizes local ingredients and creates most of their menu from scratch. The farm-to-table approach also includes dry cider made from organic apples grown on their farm in Mineral Point, WI. The long menu of craft beer options includes many local options, with two other ciders on draft  from Vander Mill in Spring Lake, Michigan.

The Publican

One of Fulton Market’s most popular restaurants, The Publican, puts a focus on fresh seafood and vegetables. Their weekend brunch is legendary, although all meals are served with an impressive beer list. The current menu features seven cider options, ranging from Oregon to Spain.

The Bad Apple

Known as a prime location for creatively topped burgers, the Bad Apple also offers an extensive draft list, which often includes a few great cider options. It’s a fun, eclectic stop for those looking to step off the beaten path.


If we missed your favorite spot for hard cider in Chicago, please share it in the comments below! For more Chicago news and lifestyle posts like this, follow the link below to sign up for our newsletter.

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