Chicago’s nightlife is as diverse as its multitude of neighborhoods. From cozy taverns to luxury wine bars, you can find just about any atmosphere down a stroll on a single street. Check out our list of the best neighborhoods for bar hopping in Chicago to discover your new favorite night-out destination.
Wicker Park contains an eclectic mix of bars and pubs clustered around Six Corners (where North, Damen, and Milwaukee avenues intersect). Kick off the night at Emporium Arcade Bar, a funky bar with decades of arcade games and various beers. Next, stop by a swanky speakeasy called The Violet Hour for a unique cocktail. Lastly, finish off the night with a drink at The Revel Room, a cozy bar with vintage decor and a room with book-lined walls.
Swing by the bars in Wrigleyville on a Cubs game day for a lively night out. Up and down Clark Street, you’ll find an array of Cubs-themed casual bars to catch a game, listen to live music, or just hang out. The neighborhood favorites include Sluggers (a sports bar with batting cages), The Cubby Bear, Gman Tavern, and Nisei Lounge (a classic dive bar with darts, pool tables, and a jukebox).
Logan Square is overflowing with intimate wine bars, chic new hotspots, laidback breweries, and vintage digs. Where do you even start? To soak in a warm summer evening, grab a table beside the garage door windows at Estero, or take a seat on the outdoor patios at Easy Does It or Parson’s Chicken & Fish. Head to a neighborhood favorite such as The Native, Spilt Milk Tavern, or Pilot Project Brewing for a great group environment. You can’t go wrong with a stroll down Milwaukee, Armitage, or Diversey in Logan Square.
Old Town is a historic neighborhood brimming with taverns and pubs to peruse. Most bars are concentrated on Wells Street, like The Glunz Tavern, Woodie’s Flat, The VIG, Benchmark, The Rabbit Hole, and Declan’s Irish Pub. On North Avenue, check out Old Town Ale House, a neighborhood landmark full of character and covered in eccentric art.
The neighborhood of Andersonville stays true to its Scandinavian roots with a flourishing bar scene. Take a stroll down Clark Street to discover the wide range of drinks and atmospheres that Andersonville offers. For all the craft beer enthusiasts, Hopleaf provides a decadent array of beers to sample (make sure you order a side of their loaded pommes frites). Simon’s Tavern is a classic neighborhood joint known for its glögg slushies (made from mulled wine) in the summertime.
A neighborhood famous for its thriving restaurant scene also delivers when it comes to being a bustling nightlife spot. Get fancy with an intricate cocktail from The Darling, or go for a traditional dive bar experience at Richard’s Bar. Other neighborhood favorites include Trivoli Tavern, Fox Bar, Lone Wolf, Bandit, The Press Room, and Recess.
Along with a plethora of tasty food options, Lincoln Park’s collection of bars makes it an excellent neighborhood for bar hopping. Take a trip across the pond at Red Lion Pub, an English pub with a homey, literary atmosphere. For a high-end experience, soak in the expansive Lake Michigan views from The J. Parker rooftop. End the night with some friendly competition at Replay Lincoln Park, where you can play over 50 vintage arcade games and choose from a lengthy beer list.
In the neighborhood of River North, you’ll find a more upscale ambiance for a fancy night out on the town. Most bars are clustered along Hubbard Street. Escape to an island-themed oasis at Three Dots and a Dash and try one of their trendy tiki cocktails. Catch a game at the sophisticated Theory sports bar on one of their plasma TVs. For a live music experience, check out the lineup at Bub City and grab some barbeque along with one of their whiskey drinks.
Featured Image Credit: Lone Wolf Tavern