There’s a time and a place for fancy cocktails mixed with rare spirits and on-fire garnishes, just like there's a time and a place for... not that at all. For those latter times: here're 40 under-$7 shot-and-a-beer specials, spread across 15 different Chicago neighborhoods.
5210 N Clark St
The Deal: A can of Schlitz and a well shot for $7.
3238 S Halsted St
The Deal: $5 for PBR and a shot of Evan Williams.
1658 W Cortland St
The Deal: Rotating shot specials every day of the week, but they always have $2 Hamms, so you can get a shot and beer for between $5 and $8.
The Corner Bar
2224 N Leavitt St
The Deal: $1.50 PBR every day, and daily shot specials that vary from $2-$3.
The Gallery Cabaret
2020 N Oakley Ave
The Deal: $6 Hammeson (Jameson & Hamm's) OR Jackhammer (Jack Daniels & Hamm's).
1925 W Cortland St
The Deal: A bunch of different options to make beer + shot specials for as little as $6.
1143 N California
The Deal: A PBR tall boy, a shot of the daily whiskey special, AND (!!!) your choice of a taco for $6.
Archie's Iowa & Rockwell Tavern
2600 W Iowa St
The Deal: $5 Hamm’s and a Jim Beam every day of the week, plus free pool and cheese puffs.
3458 N Lincoln Ave
The Deal: $2 staff shots and $2 Miller High Lifes.
L and L Tavern
3207 N Clark St
The Deal: $2 PBR and $3 whiskey shots (whiskey varieties change monthly).
2462 N Lincoln Ave
The Deal: $5-$6 beer + shot combination on Mondays, $6-$7 beer + shot combination on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays, $3 beer + shot combination on Thursdays, $7 for 22oz stadium cups of Miller Lite and Coors + well drinks on Saturdays, and half-price everything on Sundays.
2771 N Lincoln Ave
The Deal: PBR and Old Crow for $4, and Labatt and Maker’s Mark for $6.
1969 N Halsted St
The Deal: Modelo and a shot of tequila for $5.
1134 W Armitage Ave
The Deal: $2 shots of Malort + beers for $2-$3.
2683 N Halsted St
The Deal: $7ish for a shot of Jameson and a PBR.
2721 N Halsted St
The Deal: $3 Jameson shots every day + rotating $3 beer specials.
The Drum and Monkey
1435 W Taylor St
The Deal: $4 Jameson/Bushmills shots + $4 Smithwick’s drafts on Fridays. That adds up to $7, right?
The Boiler Room
2210 N California Ave
The Deal: The $8.50 “PB&J Special”, which includes a slice of pizza, a PBR tall boy, and a shot of Jameson. So if you wanna go glass-half-full on this: $1 shot and a beer + a $7.50 slice of pizza.
2521 N Milwaukee Ave
The Deal: $6 gets you a can of PBR and a shot of Jameson.
2428 N Western Ave
The Deal: $4 for a PBR and a well shot on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
2401 N Western Ave
The Deal: $3 shots of Malort every day + a variety of beers that are $4 or less.
Longman & Eagle
2657 N Kedzie Ave
The Deal: $2 cans of Old Milwaukee and your choice of over 50 different whiskeys for $3 a pop.
412 N State St
The Deal: $4 well shots and $2.50 tall boys.
The Chipp Inn
832 N Greenview Ave
The Deal: $4 Beam and Beast special.
Grace Street Tap
3759 N Western
The Deal: Well shots + PBR for $5.
1822 W Addison St
The Deal: $5 for 16oz of Genesee and a shot of Jim Beam, available every day but Monday.
415 N Milwaukee Ave
The Deal: $5 shot + beer, Mondays through Fridays.
3333 N Damen St
The Deal: $6.50 for PBR and a shot of Jameson, Mondays through Thursdays; $5 bombs, $3 well drinks, and $4 shots of Jameson on Fridays; $8 Bud Light pitchers and $4 Jameson shots on Saturdays; and $5 Blood Mary pints, $3 Malort shots, $4 Jameson shots, $3 domestic bottles of beer, and $4 imports on Sundays.
Gold Star Bar
1755 W Division St
The Deal: $5 for a can of Hamm’s and a shot of Kessler.
1840 W North Ave
The Deal: A variety of $3 shots and $3 beers, Mondays through Fridays.
The Flat Iron
1565 N Milwaukee Ave
The Deal: PBR and well whiskey for $5.
Nick's Beer Garden
1516 N Milwaukee Ave
The Deal: A rotating $5 beer + shot combo.
1531 N Damen
The Deal: A rotating $3 daily whiskey special and $2-$3 beers (Shlitz, High Life, Tecate, and Blatz).
Chris' Northland Tavern & Grill
1610 W North Ave
The Deal: $6.50 for PBR on tap + a well shot.
The Crocodile Lounge
1540 N Milwaukee Ave
The Deal: Bud Light and a shot of Jameson for $8, plus a free personal pizza.
Green Eye Lounge
2403 W Homer St
The Deal: $5 shot-and-beer combo, every day.
1415 N Wood St
The Deal: A can of Old Style Lite and a well shot for $6, plus a rotating list of $3 "Shots of the Day".
1725 W Division St
The Deal: $5 for a shot of bourbon and a beer.
Kailley Lindman is a contributing writer for Thrillist Chicago, as well as a food blogger, bacon enthusiast, and devout user of the Oxford comma. Follow her at @KailleysKitchen.
1. Simon's Tavern5210 N Clark St, Chicago
2. The Southern1840 W North Ave, Chicago
3. The Flat Iron1565 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
4. Big Star1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago
5. The Anthem1725 W DIvision St, Chicago
6. The Corner Bar2224 N Leavitt St, Chicago
7. Gallery Cabaret2020 N Oakley Ave, Chicago
8. Lottie's Pub1925 W Cortland St, Chicago
9. Bullhead Cantina1143 N California, Chicago
10. L&L Tavern3207 N Clark St, Chicago
11. Delilah's2771 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
12. The Drum and Monkey1435 W Taylor St, Chicago
13. The Boiler Room2210 N California, Chicago
14. The Owl2521 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
15. Longman & Eagle2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago
16. Gold Star Bar1755 W Division St, Chicago
17. Happy Village1059 N Wolcott Ave, Chicago
18. Paramount Room415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
19. Cork Lounge1822 W Addison St, Chicago
20. Rossi's Liquors412 N State St, Chicago
21. Empty Bottle1035 N Western Ave, Chicago
This Swedish-centric joint in Andersonville is decked in Viking swag and serves up warm winter drinks like Glögg, a hot mulled wine.
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.
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'
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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!
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.
Gold Star's got something for every dive-lover; they've got free popcorn, cheap booze, and a jukebox.
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.
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.
This completely-remodeled Irish speakeasy is sporting five plasmas and a 35ft mahogany bar loaded with 13 taps, from Guinness to Trumer Pils.
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.