Presidio Completes My Mission For A Great Bloody Mary


On a dreary, cold Sunday morning, nothing sounds quite as good as a cup of coffee and of course, a Bloody Mary.  I decided to venture over to Presidio, a neighborhood restaurant and cocktail lounge.   Situated next to the elevated trail known as the 606, the unassuming establishment is nestled between an alley and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate on Damen Avenue in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Upon stepping into this Northern California-inspired restaurant, I was greeted with an industrial feel from the exposed beams, brick-lined walls and wooden doors with hidden storage behind.  A cozy lounge area with raised seating provides more of a conversational space for patrons to enjoy food and cocktails.  Metal chairs with cowhide cushions line the bar to finish out the space and the San Franciscan vibe continued with Sparrow Coffee cold brew on tap.  

After bellying up to the bar, I witnessed a handful of cocktails being made and I knew that I was in just the place to feed my craving.  I went ahead and proceeded with my order, which consisted of the Breakfast Burrata accompanied with walnut raisin toast, fresh berries and honeycomb.  The Benedict with poached farm eggs, smoked bluefish, cucumber, dill hollandaise on a poppy seed bagel and last, but certainly not least, the Mission Mary.

Presidio’s Bloody Mary or Mission Mary is made with a house mix and CH Distillery Vodka, which is local to Chicago.  Served in a Piña Colada-style cocktail glass, ice is not used in the drink itself; rather it’s chilled prior to pouring.  At first glance, you notice the numerous speckles of spices soaking in the brick red, almost brown in color, tomato blend.  Upon first sip, a bold and zesty peppery flavor fills your taste buds followed by celery salt, horseradish, Cholula and a surprising subtle sweetness from the mango added.  Though slightly gritty in texture from the seasonings, the drinkability is not hindered.  And while minimalist, a garnish of cured meat, aged hot pepper cheddar and a house pickled pepper was added on top, all of which were tasty.

Overall, one of my favorite Bloody Mary’s for its unique blend of flavors.  Coupled with the delicious food, my experience was superb!  Also, the soap in the restroom smells amazing!  I ended up reaching out to the restaurant to ask what they used and found out it’s from Diptique down the street.  The scent is called Savon.

4.5 celery stalks

Price: $10

1749 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

About The Author 

Based in Chicago, Jason is a Bloody Mary enthusiast in search of the best eats, drinks and vodka-soaked tomato concoctions the Windy City and beyond has to offer.  Sunday Funday Lover, Curious Foodie and Avid Explorer, there’s never a dull moment in his adventures.  

Follow his journey at or on Instagram: @eatdrinkandbloodymary