The 12 Absolute Best Dive Bars Near You in Chicago

Trusted Neighborhood Haunts That Deliver on Divey-ness

A dive bar can mean different things to different people: a bar that isn’t trendy, a bar where you can smoke, a bar where the bartender knows your, your best friend’s and your parents’ life stories, a bar you can stumble to at 3 am when the rest shout ‘last call,’ or simply a bar near you with dirt-cheap drinks.

Whether you’re looking for one or all of these qualities on your next night out, our list capture’s the absolute best dive bars in Chicago, down to the very last Old Style can.

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Alice’s Lounge

dive bars chicago
Photo Credit: Youtube

3556 W Belmont Ave
Hours: Wednesday – Friday 7 PM–4 AM, Saturday 7 PM – 5 AM, Sunday – Tuesday CLOSED

As one of the city’s most laid-back bars, it had to appear on our list. If you’re searching online on your phone for “bars near me that offer late-night karaoke,” we recommend stopping by Alice’s Lounge in Logan Square to try the $2 kamikazes.

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Carol’s Pub

 dive bars chicago
Photo Credit: Facebook

4659 N Clark St
Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday 4 PM – 2 AM, Thursday – Sunday 4 PM – 4 AM, Monday CLOSED

If you’re looking for bars near you that offer honky-tonk and country music where you can line dance the night away, we recommend visiting Carol’s Pub. With a somewhat old school atmosphere, this Uptown gem brings in patrons of all ages, and at all hours.

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Richard’s Bar

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Facebook

491 N Milwaukee Ave
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 2 AM, Saturday 9 AM – 3 AM, Sunday 12 PM – 2 AM

This West Town favorite is the kind of no-frills, no-nonsense place that we expect when we think of dive bars. It has all the essentials: cheap domestics, neon signs from wall to wall, and of course, a jukebox.

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L&L Tavern

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Facebook

3207 N Clark St
Hours: Monday – Thursday 5 PM – 2 AM, Friday 1 PM – 2 AM, Saturday 2 AM – 3 AM, Sunday 3 PM – 2 AM

Amidst the clubs and sports bars of Wrigleyville quietly lies this beloved city dive. A hodge-podge set up, standard shot-and-a-beer special, and dimly lit atmosphere make this tavern one of the best dive bars in Chicago.

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Happy Village

Happy Village

1059 N Wolcott Ave
Hours: Monday – Thursday 4 PM – 2 AM, Saturday 12 PM – 3 AM, Sunday 12 PM – 2 AM

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This homey Ukrainian Village bar is more friendly than edgy. If you are looking for bars near you in Chicago that feature a sprawling beer garden and a large board game selection, Happy Village will not disappoint. They even have a koi pond.

Skylark

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Facebook

2149 S Halsted St
Hours: Sunday – Friday 4 PM – 2 AM, Saturday 4 PM – 3 AM

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While this Pilsen joint may draw in a hip crowd, it’s rooted in vintage charm. It has local appeal, a photo booth, and a low-key, delicious menu.

Delilah’s

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Facebook

2771 N Lincoln Ave
Hours: Sunday – Friday 4 PM – 2 AM, Saturday 4 PM – 3 AM

Widely recognized as an in-your-face Chicago bar that plays equally aggressive tunes, this bar near you in Lincoln Park has an impressive whiskey list and the hallmark gritty vibe of a classic dive bar in Chicago.

The Empty Bottle

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: EmptyBottle

1035 N Western Ave
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 5 PM – 2 AM, Thursday – Friday 3 PM – 2 AM, Saturday 11 AM – 3 AM, Sunday 11 AM – 2 AM

This live music venue in Ukrainian Village that draws in fans of alternative and indie also offers a pool table and a handful of arcade games, making it an all-in-one dive bar experience.

Exit

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: The Current

1315 W North Ave
Hours: Sunday – Friday 9 PM – 4 AM, Saturday 9 PM – 5 AM

The definitive Chicago punk bar has been around since the early ’80s and is still going strong. This punk bar near you is located on the edges of Wicker Park and Bucktown. This dive bar in Chicago is open ’til dawn and is what some would call historic.

Rossi’s Liquors

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Yelp

412 N State St
Hours: Monday 7 AM – 2 AM, Saturday 7 AM – 3 AM, Sunday 11 AM – 2 AM

You haven’t quite been to a “hole-in-the-wall” kind of place until you’ve been to Rossi’s. This favorite bar that also functions as a liquor store is hidden in bustling River North. Enter if you dare.

Old Town Ale House

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Facebook

219 W North Ave
Hours: Monday – Friday 3 PM – 4 AM, Saturday 12 PM – 5 AM, Sunday 12 PM – 4 AM

Some argue this bar to be the hands-down best dive bar in the city. Old Town‘s late-night, artsy spot is cash-only and has plenty of personality, as it’s been around for ages. And parking is found easily nearby.

The Matchbox

dive bar chicago
Photo Credit: Yelp

770 N Milwaukee Ave
Hours: Monday – Sunday 3 PM – 2 AM

On a corner in River West sits what could be Chicago’s smallest bar. This tiny bar near you has a welcoming atmosphere and an air of familiarity. Don’t be fooled by the mixologist-level cocktails, this place has been around forever.

What’s your favorite Chicago dive bar? Let us know below!

 

At UrbanMatter, U Matter. And we think this matters.

Tell us what you think matters in your neighborhood and what we should write about next in the comments below!

 

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21 Comments

  • Avatar
    Johnny G
    Posted Oct 17, 2017 4:43 pm 0Likes

    Bruno’s, 6562 N Sheridan Rd.

  • Avatar
    Nate
    Posted Oct 16, 2017 5:31 pm 0Likes

    Gladstone Lounge & Liquors, dont let the classy name fool you.

  • Avatar
    Roger
    Posted Oct 2, 2017 3:59 pm 0Likes

    No mention of Shamrock Club or Nisei Lounge?

    You dun goofed.

  • Avatar
    Eik
    Posted Sep 9, 2017 1:56 pm 0Likes

    LIar’s Club

  • Avatar
    Joe Larsen
    Posted Sep 4, 2017 1:09 pm 0Likes

    Zachary’s on Milwaukee in Jefferson Park

  • Avatar
    Fitley
    Posted Sep 8, 2016 6:14 pm 0Likes

    Christina’s Place. $3 Guinness pints all the time. $1 burger (not a slider , meat not soy mulch)

  • Avatar
    Fitley
    Posted Sep 8, 2016 6:11 pm 0Likes

    Christina’s Place. 3759 N. Kedzie. $3 Guinness pints all the time. $1 decent burger (not a slider)

  • Avatar
    Geno
    Posted Aug 30, 2016 11:18 am 0Likes

    Totally left out the shamrock club at 210 w kinzie. Clean, divey, cheap drinks, and great food in the heart of an expensive River North. You need to consult with us dive bar pros before writing your next article.

  • Avatar
    Julie
    Posted Aug 19, 2016 10:13 am 0Likes

    Uh, remember there is a South Side? Just one mention? Seriously people there’s more to Chicago south of Congress!

  • Avatar
    Brian
    Posted Aug 15, 2016 6:01 am 0Likes

    The Hidden Cove

  • Avatar
    Tom
    Posted Aug 12, 2016 7:12 pm 0Likes

    Sigh. Another list that seems to think the city does not extend past Carmack.

    • Avatar
      chris
      Posted Aug 31, 2016 2:19 pm 0Likes

      do you mean Cermak?

      And Skylark is almost there, it’s at the intersection!

  • Avatar
    Grubblebump
    Posted Aug 12, 2016 5:29 pm 0Likes

    Totally missed Weeds Tavern, 1555 N Dayton St. Great place. Loads of fun.

  • Avatar
    mike schlutz
    Posted Aug 12, 2016 9:04 am 0Likes

    What about the Woodlawn Tap (Jimmies)?

  • Avatar
    Richard L Pniewski
    Posted Aug 8, 2016 2:54 pm 0Likes

    These are not dive bars. These are trendy little places made up to look like you are slumming. I can show you dive bars.

    • Avatar
      /H
      Posted Oct 1, 2017 9:59 pm 0Likes

      AMEN BROTHER.
      /H

  • Avatar
    Joe
    Posted Aug 2, 2016 7:32 pm 0Likes

    Tai’s til 4????

  • Avatar
    Ben
    Posted Jul 22, 2016 10:01 am 0Likes

    You’re missing Higgins! Good list though.

  • Avatar
    Stuartq
    Posted Jul 18, 2016 10:22 am 0Likes

    Love Matchbox one of my favorite. While I don’t tend to hand out in Lakeview that often I really do like L&L

  • Avatar
    Jerry Nelson
    Posted Jul 17, 2016 7:02 pm 0Likes

    Rossi’s & Matchbox!

  • Avatar
    Holly
    Posted Jul 16, 2016 9:48 am 0Likes

    Well written article and Great list! Phyllis’ Musical Inn might be number 13

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