The Best Happy Hour Deals in Every Chicago Neighborhood

From oysters deals to beer-and-shot specials, these are your best bets for happy hour.

Sure, gas prices might be staggering and airfare practically unattainable, but at least there’s happy hour. And since the cost of travel is sky-high right now, it looks like you’ll be spending a fair amount of time drinking in your home city, so you might as well get some bang for your buck. Across Chicago, in neighborhoods far and wide, budget-friendly happy hours abound, offering discounted sips and snacks in a variety of settings. Whether your idea of after-work bliss is a cozy speakeasy-esque watering hole, a swanky Gold Coast drinking den, or simply a place where you can school your friends in ping-pong whilst slurping vodka cocktails as cheap as Gatorade, rest assured that there’s a happy hour bar out there with your name on it. Here’s where to save a buck during happy hour at one of the best bars in Chicago.

AceBounce Chicago
AceBounce Chicago

Loop
When: Monday - Friday, 4 - 7 pm
This “ping-pong bar” (yes, there is such a thing) keeps your mid-week stress levels to a minimum with $5 Ketel One cocktails and $5 Lagunitas brews every weekday afternoon, along with deviled egg flights ($18) and pretzel charcuterie boards ($24), which sounds like the fuel you need to beat your friends at ping-pong.

University Village
When: Monday - Friday, 4 - 7 pm
The University Village location of this low-key neighborhood pub chain offers a pretty tantalizing happy hour with half-priced select bar bites—and all flatbreads— paired with $4 select domestic drafts, $6 signature martinis, and other rotating specials.

Bernie's Chicago
Bernie's Chicago

River North
When: Monday - Friday, 4:30 - 6:30 pm
From $10 Moscow Mules and $11 sangrias to $15 turkey burger sliders, Bernie’s provides a diverse smattering of happy hour enticements.

Loop
When: Monday - Wednesday, 4 - 6 pm
$4 draft Krombacher, $5 mini black & tans, and $6 glasses of bubbly rose help put this stylish downtown American tavern on the happy hour map.

Earls Restaurants
Earls Restaurants

Lincoln Park
When: Monday - Friday, 2 - 5 pm; Monday - Friday, 9 pm - close (food only)
This Canadian export believes that happy hour is so nice, they’re giving it to you twice. A three-hour drinks and eats bonanza kicks off at 2 pm with beer, cocktails, and wine specials followed by a second evening happy hour of food-only specials like $7.50 Street Chicken Tacos and $12.50 Chipotle Calamari (also available during the afternoon happy hour).

River North
When: Tuesday - Friday, 5 - 7 pm
Taco Tuesday is really more of a weekday spree thanks to the tortilla-tastic happy hour featuring $3 tacos (crispy veggie, green chile pork, and chicken tinga options, $6 Queso Fundido, and $7 Macho Nachos, with plenty of discounted draft Mexican beers ($4), well cocktails ($5), and house margaritas ($6) to wash it down.

River North
When: Tuesday - Friday, 5 - 7 pm
This mainstay Irish pub gets you hankering for the Emerald Isle with $7 Harp-battered Fish Tacos and Stuffed Cheese Puffs, $8 Irish coffees and whiskey sours, and $6 beer and wine by the glass.

Quality Crab & Oyster Bah
Quality Crab & Oyster Bah

Lincoln Park
When: Monday - Friday, 4 - 6 pm
This Lettuce Entertain You joint from the team behind Shaw’s Crab House features everyone’s favorite happy hour item: oysters. Order them by the bivalve for $2.50 (normally $3.75 apiece), or as a decadent oyster and French fry tower for half price, along with 50% off all beverages.

Surge Billiards - Albany Park
Surge Billiards - Albany Park

Albany Park & Logan Square
When: Monday - Friday, 4 - 7 pm
For a slightly different happy hour experience that leans less Office Space and more Color of Money, hit up this hip coffee and billiards bar for $4 bottles, $5 drafts, and $8 featured cocktails on weekday afternoons.

Loop
When: Monday - Friday, 3 - 6 pm
This swanky yet unpretentious downtown wine bar keeps things simple with a “lucky six” happy hour collection of $6 draft beers, $6 house spirits, and $6 house wines. Why complicate life?

Old Town
When: Monday - Friday, 4 - 6 pm
If your happy hour excursion calls for sports on flatscreens and over 90 beers on draft, point your GPS toward this sprawling booze emporium for $2 off local drafts, well drinks, seltzers, and wine by the glass, plus half-priced bar bites including Cheese Curds and Kung Pao Cauliflower.

Brando's Speakeasy
Brando's Speakeasy

South Loop
When: Daily, 5 - 7 pm
This dimly lit, saloon-looking karaoke lounge provides the perfect escape from another interchangeable work week with $5 Old Fashioneds, Revolution brews, White Claws, Palomas, and more.

Wrigleyville
When: Monday - Friday, 3 - 6 pm
One of the few actually not-terrible bars in Wrigleyville offers this not-terrible happy hour special: $1 off draft beer, well drinks, and freezer shots, plus $3 shots of the polarizing local gasoline-styled charmer that is Malort.

Sparrow
Sparrow

Gold Coast
When: Wednesday - Friday, 4 - 7 pm
This cool little spot from the crew behind Bangers & Lace and Spilt Milk offers $5 select drafts and $10 wines by the glass to spice up your post-hump day work week.

Lakeview
When: Daily, 4 - 6 pm
Kickstart your after-work routine at this affable neighborhood hang with $5 Champagne followed by $6 well drinks, $5 wine by the glass, and $6 drafts plus half-off select starters.

Logan Square
When: Monday - Friday, 5 - 8 pm
If you’re looking to end your day with a fancy craft cocktail that won’t break the bank, hit up this loungey spot connected to Red Star Liquor store via a walk-in cooler door for expertly mixed $6 creations including Old Fashioneds, Gimlets, and more.

Loop
When: Monday - Friday, 3:30 - 6:30 pm
This popular downtown happy hour go-to offers a large menu of selections in its bar and patio areas (we highly recommend the patio area) including $4 Chowder Fries and $8 Cobia Tacos in addition to $7 select drafts and wine by the glass—all available with a minimum beverage purchase of a very random $3.40.

Frontier Chicago
Frontier Chicago

Noble Square
When: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 5 - 6 pm; Saturday - Sunday, 3 - 5 pm
Who doesn't like $1 oysters? No one, and Frontier has them, along with $3 Beam shots, $5 house wine by the glass, and $6 draft cocktails.

Ukrainian Village
When: Monday - Saturday, 5 - 7 pm; Sunday, 3 - 6 pm
For a more unique happy hour, this one-of-a-kind German-inspired spot offers $2 to $3 off select dishes like Pretzels and Shrimp plus $6 Belton Pilsners and Rib Tips.

Fat Cat Chicago
Fat Cat Chicago

Uptown
When: Monday, 4 - 7 pm; Wednesday - Friday, 4 - 7 pm
Four days a week, this happy hour has your basics covered with $7 build-your-own burger nights on Mondays, $7 whiskey cocktails on Wednesdays, $7 martinis on Thursdays, and a $16 Friday night Fish Fry featuring beer-battered cod and Champagne slaw, which is perhaps the ritziest fish fry side dish we’ve ever seen.

Various locations
When: Daily specials
Pound for pound, these four neighborhood classics from 4 Entertainment Group offer some of the easiest-drinking happy hours in Chicago. Nice and simple, enjoy half of ALL DRINKS for two hours each day, seven nights a week at Easy Bar and AliveOne, or for three hours every weekday at Estelle’s and Remedy. You’re welcome.

Split-Rail
Split-Rail

Ukrainian Village
When: Monday - Friday, 4 - 6 pm; Saturday - Sunday, 2 - 4 pm
For some of the low-key greatest happy hour snacks in town, venture into the cozy neighborhood confines of Ukrainian Village, where chef Zoe Schor is blessing customers with $5 Crispy Chicken Skins, $8 “Better” Wings with Dr. Pepper Glaze, and $14 Truffle Fries with Chile Ketchup. To drink? Look for $9 dealer’s choice cocktails, $8 house martinis and proper daiquiris, and $4 shots of bourbon or tequila.

The Press Room Chicago
The Press Room Chicago

West Loop
When: Tuesday - Thursday, 4 - 6 pm
In a neighborhood as budget-crushing as the restaurant-saturated West Loop, it helps to find a bargain now and again. Enter: The Press Room, the kind of subterranean wine and cocktail bar you want to cozy up to and linger. Which is easy to do thanks to $1 oysters and $7 martinis and Old Fashioneds.

El Che Steakhouse & Bar
El Che Steakhouse & Bar

West Loop
When: Tuesday - Friday, 5 - 6 pm (at the bar only)
You’ll find a whole slew of singular specials at this dark and alluring South American-angled steakhouse, where you can taste food—empanadas, grilled oysters, bone marrow among them—from acclaimed chef John Manion at shockingly low rates. Happy hour drinks include $6 house wines, $5 Brazilian black lagers, and $11 cocktails, including an exemplary caramelized rum old fashioned.

Virtue Restaurant
Virtue Restaurant

Hyde Park
When: Wednesday - Friday, 4 - 5:30 pm (at the bar only)
Thanks to chef Erick Williams’ recent win at the James Beard Awards, that means you can snag award-winning Southern-inspired snacks at a price that feels too good to be true. This include $7 gumbo, $6 pimento cheese and crackers, $7 buffalo mac & cheese croquettes, and catfish sliders. All this plus $8 wines and $9 cocktails.

Simone's
Simone's

Pilsen
When: Monday - Thursday, 4 - 7 pm; Friday, 3 - 6 pm; Sunday, all day
The deals are seemingly endless at this colorful, neon-lit 18th Street watering hole, where daily deals run the gamut from $8 pizzas on Monday and discounted nachos on Tuesday, to $6 bramble cocktails on Wednesday and $6 peach spritzes on Friday. On Sunday, it’s $1 off any draft from 11:30 am until 9 pm, and then it’s $1 off Modelos until closing time.

Andersonville
When: Monday - Friday, 5 - 6:30 pm
Come for the fried-to-order chicharrones and the $9 smashburgers with black garlic comeback sauce, then stay for the sheer abundance of discounted drinking choices at this eclectic Andersonville haunt. Potables include $5 draft beers, $6 vodka cocktails, and discounted red, white, and sparkling bottles as low as $20 a pop.

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Matt is a recent transplant to Oklahoma City after two and a half years of RV living, Matt Kirouac is a travel writer
working on a memoir about the epic ups and downs from life on the road as a gay couple—and the lessons learned along the way. Follow him on IG @mattkirouacofficial.
Raf Miastkowski is a contributor for Thrillist.