16 Great Whiskey Bars in Greater Peoria



As the former Whiskey Capital of the World, it’s safe to assume the Peoria Area knows what it’s doing with whiskey. Whether you enjoy the spirit neat in a tumbler or made into a creative cocktail, these 13 spots have amazing selections.

Check these 10 fast facts about Peoria’s rich distilling history, which dates back to the early 1800s.

2 Chez Restaurant  {Peoria}   //   This fine dining restaurant offers crafted cocktails to enjoy. So grab a stool, put your tasting hat on and order some nibbles from the menu while you’re at it. Maximize your experience by asking for a cocktail with locally distilled bourbon by Illinois Made Maker, JK Williams. 

Alexander’s Steakhouse  {Peoria}   //   is a popular local spot in Peoria. Due to the caliber of clientele it regularly entertains, Alexander’s Steakhouse is one of the most high-end drinking spots in town, so expect an older, more mature collection of whiskeys here. Ask for recommendations from your bartender—they are well-versed in the selection.

Ashers Bar + Grill  {Pekin}   //   This spot was featured on America’s Best Restaurants for their record size tenderloin. But that’s not the only impressive thing about Ashers—-their whiskey selection is breathtaking. It transforms the entire establishment’s vibe into a cozy boutique hangout in Downtown Pekin. Expect a menu full of classic drinks taken up a notch. 

Corks by the River  {Havana}   //  Expect glasses and flights of Cork’s extensive whiskey selection any night of the week. With a menu full of classic cocktails, beer, wine and small plates, this Main Street staple is a great local spot with a great whiskey selection.

Hearth Restaurant   {Peoria Heights}   //   Hearth is known for their encyclopedia of exotic whiskeys. The bar features more than 150 varieties, many hailing from lesser-known whiskey destinations like New Zealand or France. If it’s too hard to choose, you can ask the bartender for a whiskey flight for a sampling. Hearth also offers a “Whiskey World Tour” program, where you can keep track of what whiskeys you have tried on your official whiskey passport. 

Jack’s on Adams  {Peoria}   //   One of Downtown’s busiest bars, Jack’s on Adams’ expansive menus offer glasses and flights of bourbon, rye and scotch, classic and specialty cocktails, beer, cider, wine and more, on top of great bar snacks and full meals. These guys really know what they’re doing—evident from the high-quality liquor stocking the shelves.

Jim’s Bistro   {Peoria Heights}   //  Due to the caliber of clientele being regularly entertained, Jim’s Bistro is one of the most high-end drinking spots in town. These guys really know what they’re doing—prepare to get the best whiskey advice ever! Grab a stool, put your tasting hat on and order some nibbles from the menu—this is the perfect place to enjoy a classic cocktail. 

Kemp 208  {Morton}   //   At Kemp 208, expect a warm and inviting atmosphere with an impressive bar selection. The bartenders mix up house-made syrups that give a jolt of soda carbonation, and paired seamlessly with the wide variety of whiskeys offered. It’s a great spot for a tumbler of whiskey.

Lulu’s Craft Beverage Co.  {Havana}   //   You can just sit back, relax, enjoy a beverage, and forget the world outside. The menu is packed with classic vintage whiskey cocktails to enjoy. This upscale, craft beverage bar has beautiful exposed brick giving a high-end cocktail concept with a speakeasy-style aesthetic.

Maquet’s Rail House   {Pekin}   //   The Rail House has filled every nook and cranny with obscure brands and bottles of spirits. The bartenders have a loose pour, and the restaurant is prime real estate for people-watching. Be sure and order some grub to accompany your cocktail at this local watering hole—the whiskey options are vast and the food is amazing.

Suite Fire Bar + Grille  {Peoria}   //   You wouldn’t stumble upon this destination restaurant and bar, tucked away inside Holiday Inn + Suites at Grand Prairie, unless you set out to look for it. But it’s got one of the most experienced bar staffs in town. The whiskey selection is unlike anything else. If you like bourbon, you’re especially lucky here. This upscale and casual atmosphere packs a punch with its roster of cocktails and welcoming ambiance.

The Missing Zither  {Peoria}   //   Everything is made in-house daily—-from the syrups to the botanical essences—-and features locally roasted espresso beans to enhance the massive whiskey selection that fuels their  libations menu. Most of the carefully crafted cocktails hail from the Prohibition Era, thus are heavy on the whiskey (and light on the mixers). It’s one of our favorite hidden gems in the region.

The Lounge  {Wyoming}   //   This small town spot offers nothing short of a good time. If you’re looking for something unique, feel free to leave your fate in the hands of your bartender;  who loves nothing more than to hear your preference of liquor, followed by: “make me something special”. And it’s bound to be good. Real good.

12Bar Lounge  {Peoria Heights}   //   On the third floor above Edge, sits an impressive whiskey collection. They also host live music on a regular basis. Bartenders have a loose pour, and the restaurant is prime real estate for people-watching, particularly on the outdoor patio. The 12Bar is one of Peoria Heights’ more refined spots, with farm-to-table fair and high-quality liquor stocking the shelves.

Thyme Kitchen + Craft Beer  {Peoria}   //  While the food at Thyme is definitely deserving of all its accolades, the bar is just as worthy as a stopover. You won’t believe the impressive whiskey menu (we’re talking 60 bourbons alone, plus over a dozen ryes, and 16 whiskeys) that will wet your whistle at Thyme. If you’re struggling with which spirits to sample, we recommend the whiskey flights.

Whiskerz Pub  {Lacon}   //   Grab a stool and put your tasting hat on, this hometown pub has an impressive whiskey collection. Whiskerz Pub offers a fun atmosphere for a great night out on the town. Enjoy the live music and the generously poured beverages.

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