Chicago’s South Side is not only home to the Sox and unrivaled views of Lake Michigan, but also dozens of vibrant neighborhood bars. Finding the right watering hole to settle into can be a daunting task. So that you can stop wasting your time searching for a place to drink (and redirect all that energy towards actually drinking), use this roster of 12 go-to bars that has a little something for everyone -- even your friend who insists on a round of Connect 4 alongside his craft beer.
 

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Falcon Inn

Venue Node ID

4116888

Falcon Inn

The moment you set foot inside Falcon Inn you can feel how deep the dive bar's roots run within Hyde Park. Everyone seems to know everyone, yet, there's room for one more: you. The charm of Falcon Inn is this indescribable feeling that this place is "your" bar. If you're looking for a bar to cheer on the Bears like you would at home or shoot the breeze with the bartender then you've come to the right place. Plus, Falcon Inn is next door to Cholie's Pizza.

M Lounge

The M Lounge is mainly reserved for the chic, sophisticated bar patron. Whether you're interested in a "grown and sexy" happy hour spot, small-scale live music venue, or weekend party place, you'll be covered. M Lounge is also a great, sneaky place for people-watching because of the open layout and eye-popping atmosphere.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Ja' Grill

Venue Node ID

4116933

Ja' Grill

Ja' Grill is a no-brainer for mature socialites seeking authentic Jamaican cuisine complemented with satisfying drinks. On any given night, prospective patrons can expect a fun, sophisticated, beehive-like atmosphere great for a date night or meeting new people. Reservations are highly suggested on Thursday through Sunday evenings to dodge wait times, though there may be seating at the community table or bar if you're lucky.

Buffalo Wings & Rings

Buffalo Wings & Rings brings a slice of the Wrigleyville aura to the South Side within walking distance of U.S. Cellular Field. The wing chain provides wall-to-wall sports coverage and wings with an impressive balance of spiciness and sauce flavors at a favorable price. Wings and Rings' bar area is perfect if you're in need of a muted sports bar experience while still enjoying your game.

Flickr/TheeErin

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Jokes and Notes

Venue Node ID

4117003

Jokes and Notes

Wednesday through Sunday evenings, Jokes and Notes creates an ideal climate for great comedic performances offering gut-busting laughs and nightly drink specials. The venue is much bigger on the inside than it appears, yet, make no mistake, tickets can be scarce at the door so call in advance to ensure entry. There’s no better showcase of up-and-comers and local veteran comics from the area.

The Cove Lounge

The Cove is the perfect one-size-fits-all community bar with a few wrinkles that you can't help but love. For starters, The Cove mashes a traditional bar set-up on one half with complementary long, wooden park-style benches and tables on the other half which makes for very close quarters with your fellow bar goers. Another funky wrinkle is the wide spectrum of patrons who frequent The Cove, from college students to old bar flies to casual visitors.

Jim Vondruska/Thrillist

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Reggies Rock Club

Venue Node ID

4069836

Reggies Rock Club

This combo music venue/record store/bar/restaurant/rooftop deck has something for everyone. Playing host to a cavalcade of different bands blowing through the Windy City for a gig or two, there is always live music on tap. There’s also a curbside patio, shuttles to Hawks games and Dark Lord Day, and a rooftop deck with a full-sized basketball hoop for a proper game of Pop-A-Shot.

Jeffery Pub

One of the best late-night bars/clubs on the South Side, this LGBT-friendly spot is well known for its drag shows and special events. The dance floor size is more than serviceable and the bar is fully loaded which make for the perfect party combo. On nights when the Pub is not on Level 10, it transforms into a chic, relaxed neighborhood bar perfect for a drink on a side of town not necessarily known for its bar scene.

Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Chant

Venue Node ID

4117063

Chant

Chant successfully combines elements of a coffee shop, an art gallery, a neighborhood bar, and a live music venue all into a picturesque Hyde Park getaway. Its "Quiet Storm" music playlist sets the tone for engaging in a conversation with your group or for an enjoyable night flying solo. Weekends bring live music and Chant's patio offers the sights and sounds of 53rd St during the warmer months.

Family Den Lounge & Restaurant

If you are looking for a great time before you jump on the Bishop Ford Expressway off of Stony Island Ave, stop in Family Den Lounge & Restaurant. Beyond its commuter friendly location, Family Den has a fun community atmosphere on the weekdays and really turns up on the weekends. The Family Den has all the essentials: a full bar, capacity for big crowds, live music, freshly prepared meals, DJ booths, a dance floor, etc.

Flickr/Bing

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar

Venue Node ID

3483350

Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar

Maria's formula of old-school board games and a massive beer selection sounds like music to the ears of 20-somethings looking to hang out in a stylish, fun space. In the front of the house, Maria's is a quaint storefront where visitors can purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages but the real fun is in the back. Have you ever asserted your Connect 4 dominance over your friends while a Bruce Lee film plays in the background? At Maria's you can check that off the bucket list. If games aren't your fancy there's enough space to sit and talk to friends. Good luck with the bathrooms, the stalls are tight and can only service one person at a time.

Lemelle's Luxury Lounge

Lemelle's Luxury Lounge has all the ambiance of a neighborhood watering hole with the flair of Downtown Chicago. Lemelle's uses lighting, strategically placed seating near the dance floor, a large backyard patio area, and a live DJ to establish a fun atmosphere. Parking is made easy with a lot adjacent to the building and free street parking on side streets. Lemelle's is the perfect oasis for fun seekers looking to stay on the South Side.  

Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Lee Edwards is a general assignment reporter based in Chicago.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Falcon Inn 1601 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

If you're looking for a dive bar to cheer on the Bears like you would at home or shoot the breeze with the bartender, you've come to the right place. This spot serves up buds, pinball, and loud music, and you'll find it packed even on a Sunday afternoon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. M Lounge 1520 S. Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

The M Lounge is mainly reserved for the chic, sophisticated bar patron. Whether your interest is a "grown and sexy" happy hour spot, small scale live music venue, or weekend party place you'll be satisfied here. M Lounge is also configured perfectly for people-watching because of the open layout and visually pleasing atmosphere.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Ja' Grill 1510 E Harper Ct, Chicago, IL 60615

On any given night, prospective patrons can expect a fun, sophisticated beehive-like atmosphere at this caribbean spot. Reservations are highly suggested on Thursday through Sunday evenings to dodge wait times, and any patient diners will be rewarded with signature cocktails like the Jamaican sunrise, and varied island drinks.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Buffalo Wings & Rings 3434 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60608

This wing chain provides wall-to-wall sports coverage and wings with an impressive balance of spiciness and sauce flavors at favorable price. Wings and Rings' bar area is perfect if you want to enjoy the game with none of the rowdiness of a sports bar.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Jokes And Notes 4651 S Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Chicago, IL 60653

Wednesday through Sunday evenings, Jokes and Notes on Chicago's Southside offers great comedic performances from a variety of performers and nightly drink specials. This lively, raucous, and feel-good space is perfect for date nights or casual night outs, offering gut-busting laughs and nightly drink specials. Be forewarned that this popular venue gets packed, and there's a two drink minimum. (Oh, twist my arm.)

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Cove Lounge 1750 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

This casual bar offers a generous beer selection, affordable cocktails, and a fun, laid-back atmosphere with trivia nights and games on TV.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Reggies Rock Club 2109 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616 (South Loop)

This combo music venue/record store/bar/restaurant/rooftop deck has something for everyone. The restaurant serves a long list of beers and bar food, and the music venue brings in up & coming artists for frequent live shows.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Jeffery Pub 7041 S Jeffery Blvd, Chicago, IL 60649

One of the best late night bar/clubs on the South Side, this LGBT-friendly spot is well known for its drag shows and special events. The dance floor size is more than serviceable and the bar is fully stocked, so you'll want to stay when the performance is over.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Chant 1509 E. 53rd St., Chicago, IL 60615

Chant successfully combines elements of a coffee shop, an art gallery, a neighborhood bar, and a live music venue all into a single picturesque getaway. Their menu of late night bites includes coconut shrimp and turkey basil rolls.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Family Den Lounge & Restaurant 8942 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60617

Beyond its commuter friendly location, Family Den has a fun, community atmosphere and all the essentials: a full bar, capacity for big crowds, live music, and an excellent bar menu.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar 960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Bridgeport Sox)

Maria's has the soul of a dive bar combined with modern -- dare we say hipster -- design details like chandeliers made out of beer bottles and butcher block tabletops. It has some 400-plus beers (many of which are rare craft brews) to choose from, owed in part to its adjoining liquor shop. The selection is always changing, and the shop receives up to 40 new beers a week and expires just as many. Maria's also has a wine program that features small family vineyards from all over the world and it serves a variety of ginger beer cocktails made with beer brewed specially for the bar.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Lemelle's Luxury Lounge 1801 W 87th St, Chicago, IL 60620

Lemelle's Luxury Lounge has all the ambiance of a neighborhood watering hole with the flair of downtown Chicago. The space hosts a large backyard patio area, a live DJ to establish a fun atmosphere, and strategically placed lighting to ensure the charming atmosphere.

Clickbait