Food & Drink

40 shot-and-a-beers. 15 'hoods. All $7 or less.

Published On 03/05/2014 Published On 03/05/2014
Thrillist
FLICKR/RAELENE GUTIERREZ
Thrillist
FLICKR/OFACE KILLAH
FLICKR/LINDSEY TURNER
FLICKR/HOLGER H.
Kevin Alexander
FLICKR/SANTIAGO ZAVALA
FLICKR/DAVID PIERCE
FLICKR/J R
Thrillist
FLICKR/DAVE NEWMAN
FLICKR/JOSE
FLICKR/RAELENE GUTIERREZ
FLICKR/ROBERT S. DONOVAN
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1. Simon's Tavern 5210 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Andersonville)

This Swedish-centric joint in Andersonville is decked in Viking swag and serves up warm winter drinks like Glögg, a hot mulled wine.

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2. The Southern 1840 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Setting up shop in the former Chaise Lounge space, TS aims to be more of a down-home, laid-back boozer than its coastally inspired predecessor, with a long timber bar surrounded by wood-planked high-top tables that contribute a classy picnic vibe, but thankfully no picnic baskets, or that silly Yogi Bear would mess up EVERYTHING.

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3. The Flat Iron 1565 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

The Note's been transformed from a live music venue to a divey neighborhood tavern, with walls graffiti'd up by nine local artists (buxom women, devils, aliens, robots, etc). The remodel's from the guy who runs the laid-back trio Nick's Beer Garden, Nick'

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4. Big Star 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

A lot of things about Wicker Park's Big Star will make you feel like you're in Texas. First, there's the taco-centric menu that features a dozen taco varieties and necessary sides like guacamole and queso. Then there's the drink selection, which is heavy on whiskey, tequila, and craft beer. The massive outdoor patio begs for you to order a margarita and drink the day away, especially during the summer when the seasonal music series is in full swing.

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5. The Anthem 1725 W DIvision St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Because sports and nostalgia are natural companions so long as you aren't a Cubs fan, the folks behind Bangers & Lace are opening The Anthem, a retro-themed athletics bar decked with a 19thC American flag, reclaimed school lockers, and station-wagon-esque wood paneling along the L-shaped bar, which is presided over by a mere four flats and a couple of projectors, though just tell those bitter dudes to shut up and confront their dad, already!

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6. The Corner Bar 2224 N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

This Bucktown watering hole bills itself as a "true Chicago tavern" with cheap drinks, a friendly atmosphere, and special events happening sporadically throughout the year.

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7. Gallery Cabaret 2020 N Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Bucktown)

With a prime spot in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, Gallery Cabaret is one of the premier destinations in the city for live music, comedy nights, and poetry readings.

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8. Lottie's Pub 1925 W Cortland St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Bucktown)

Born in 1934 as a destination for Chicago’s mobsters to gamble and indulge in prostitution, the modern-day Lottie’s promises its guests beer, bar snacks, and a little slice of history. The pub has, obviously, undergone renovations, but its exposed brick walls, wood paneling, and various memorabilia help maintain its old-time, neighborhood atmosphere. Now offering a full menu of bar food favorites -- chicken tenders, nachos, burgers, pizza, and the like -- and a large selection of cheap beer, the two-story dive draws a mixed demographic to its corner in Bucktown.

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9. Bullhead Cantina 1143 N California, Chicago, IL 60622

This red-hued dive is slinging nearly 50 whiskeys and getting all kinds of serious about its tacos, hand-making corn tortillas for everything from banana leaf-cooked carnitas, to chipotle-sauced Southern-fried chicken, to sweet potato w/ pickled cabbage & roasted corn, roasted Korn no longer being an option because that dude's like a born-again Christian or something.

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10. L&L Tavern 3207 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

Lakeview's L&L Tavern has a dark and storied past, but remains one of the city's more interesting dives because of it. It’s rumored that both Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy frequented the tavern, the former scoping out his next victim through the window facing the street, and the latter in a full clown suit. So… what are you waiting for? Sip your PBR tall boy and realy familiarize yourself with the serial killers by sitting in the very bar -- maybe even the very chair -- they once occupied. Or just go because the beers are cheap, that works too.

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11. Delilah's 2771 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Delilah’s is a truly remarkable place disguised by the facade of a dreary, punk rock dive. Monday through Saturday, it’s an above-average Lincoln Park hangout with some 200 beers, 750 whiskeys, music, and a rotating art gallery featuring local artists. But the real magic happens on Sundays during football season, when Buffalo fans unite in the narrow dive to shout at TVs showing their beloved Bills. This is no average football viewing, this is serious -- I’m talking tears, dolphins engulfed in flames during Miami match-ups, and bear hugs in victories and losses alike. With every touchdown, a devoted fan buys a round of shots for the bar, and every surface is constantly covered in cans of Labatt Blue. Game days at Delilah’s are not for fair weather Bills (or Sabres) fans, nor for anyone shouting anything other than “Let’s Go Buffalo!”

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12. The Drum and Monkey 1435 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

This Little Italy Irish pub has great drink prices/deals, tasty pub grub, and some of the best prices you'll find in the area.

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13. The Boiler Room 2210 N California, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

This industrial restaurant-slash-bar in Logan Square does pizza, beer, and general comfort food (fried cheese balls, poutine, mac & cheese) really really well. The pizza options are staggering: aside from simple cheese, pepperoni, and sausage pies, there are more than 15 specials and a build-your-own options. The Boiler Room's real claim to fame is its PB&J special: a slice of pizza, PBR tall boy, and a Jameson. There's plenty of communal tables and a great outdoor patio, and if you couldn't tell from the aforementioned PBR and whisky special, this place is a hipster destination.

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14. The Owl 2521 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

From the folks behind laid-back landmarks Easy Bar and Estelle's, The Owl sports a similarly dive-y vibe, with dim amber lighting, a softly curving, 40-stool'd bar, and, held over and spruced up from the previous occupants, a retro-looking waterfall, which you're sure to go chasing...with a beer!

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15. Longman & Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Longman & Eagle, the Michelin-starred gastropub in Logan Square, has an exclusive whiskey selection (clocking in at over 400 labels), a craft cocktail menu, and an extensive beer list all fit for the most pretentious of drinkers, in the least pretentious of atmospheres. Longman takes a flavor-forward, honest approach to eating and drinking, and because it doesn’t accept reservations, there is always a wait for brunch, happy hour, and dinner alike. (And it is always worth it.) While whiskey may be king, the regional American fare has just as much to offer, hence the Michelin star. The menu changes often, but expect anything from beef tallow beignets and veal brains to wild boar sloppy joes, chicken and waffles, and a burger that, if you know what's good for you, you will order.

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16. Gold Star Bar 1755 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Gold Star's got something for every dive-lover; they've got free popcorn, cheap booze, and a jukebox.

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17. Happy Village 1059 N Wolcott Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Happy Village is a neighborhood bar located in Ukrainian Village. While it may be unassuming from the outside, the interior is sleek and lively, and there’s a back room housing two ping pong tables. The backyard beer garden -- fully equipped with a pond and goldfish -- is open year-round, though let’s face it, this is Chicago. The neighborhood bar is cash only, but with daily specials, perpetually cheap beers (Old Styles for just $2… again, the Chicago thing), and free ping pong, a visit to happy village will leave your wallet happy, too.

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18. Paramount Room 415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

This dual-level space dishes out a number of internationally inspired dishes, and it also features a full liquor bar, craft beers, and a number of domestics as well.

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19. Cork Lounge 1822 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613 (Roscoe Village)

This completely-remodeled Irish speakeasy is sporting five plasmas and a 35ft mahogany bar loaded with 13 taps, from Guinness to Trumer Pils.

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20. Rossi's Liquors 412 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

In a forest green storefront on North State St., with signs advertising fine wines and packaged goods, Rossi's Liquors is a River North mainstay. The store is home to a selection of beers, wines, liquors -- fine, and otherwise -- and to a dark, unpretentious bar oft patronized by those in search of a post-work drink. Rossi's is a welcoming, neighborhood dive where the lights are dim, the jukebox constantly rocking, and the drinks cheap enough that it's easy to get lost in your own thoughts.

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21. Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Empty Bottle's got awesome live music, a photobooth, and a cheap booze selection.