Smile Politely

I drank the cowboy sangria from Cowboy Monkey

I took myself out for a drink in Downtown Champaign, and it was the highlight of my pandemic. I put on a jacket and wandered around, looking for a good outdoor table to enjoy an adult beverage. I saw lots of spaced tables outside, tucked off Neil Street by Cowboy Monkey, and it looked like a safe place to imbibe, so I gave it a go.

I ordered a cowboy sangria ($8) at the bar inside Cowboy Monkey. The sangria is available in white or red, and I chose red. I grabbed my drink, picked a table by the street, and sat down solo to enjoy it. The sangria was deliciously fruity with a red wine finish. I had a lovely time sipping this punchy drink in a fancy glass outside.

Indoor dining is available, and the tables inside were well spaced and had dividers between booths if that’s more your jam. The seating outside had open air tables in addition to little greenhouses — and lots of them, so distancing was easy to accomplish.

The inside of Cowboy Monkey showcases many bottles of liquor at the back of the bar. There is a computer for ringing orders in the center below. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The bartender was great, and it was nice to be out and about once again in Downtown Champaign. My sangria was excellent, and I recommend it — but there are many cocktails on the menu at Cowboy Monkey. They have $3 lime margaritas during the week, and wine for $4 everyday.

The drink menu from Cowboy Monkey sits atop the food menu on a wooden bar in low lighting one evening in Downtown Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Cowboy Monkey is also sharing the location with Aroma Cafe, so those same tables available in the evenings for cocktails are available for coffee in the mornings.

Cowboy Monkey
6 Taylor Street
M-Th 4 to 11 p.m.
F 4 p.m. to midnight
Sa 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. + 4 p.m. to midnight
Su 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. + 4 to 9 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

Food + Drink Editor

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