No matter how many stupid coworkers you’ve offended at your annual holiday party or how many tapped-out gift cards you’ve re-gifted to your borrring family, rest assured that booze is always there for you during the holidays. Yes, even on December 25th, as long as you stop in at one of these 18 Chicago bars that are open on Christmas Day.
Open from 7pm to 2am on Christmas Day, Hopleaf has so many beers to offer that it’s entirely possible one of them tastes EXACTLY like Christmas. However, the kitchen is closed, so maybe stash some turkey in your pants' pockets.
Open from 9am to 3pm, AMK is hosting an ugly-sweater brunch complete with holiday décor, bottomless cranberry mimosas ($20), and a seasonal menu featuring Christmas dishes. No word on whether those crazy Doritos nachos count as “seasonal.”
According to a slightly confused bartender, Quenchers is open from “around 4pm” to 2am on Christmas, and you can give yourself the gift of eating an entire tater-tot pizza in one sitting. Santa won’t judge.
Lottie’s does not mess around on Christmas. Open from 6pm to 2am, Lottie’s offers holiday-rock jams, giveaways, a coat-and-toy drive, Rumplemintz hot chocolate ($5), and live reindeer. Actually, we lied about the reindeer. No reindeer.
According to science, Christmas cheer is indistinguishable from the burning sensation you feel after downing a shot of good whiskey. Luckily, Delilah’s has more than 400 varieties to choose from, and is open from 4pm to 2am. Order up $3 Labatt Blue cans and $3 Maker's Mark shots.
Not only is Liar’s Club open on Christmas Day, but it's throwing a party complete with an ice sculpture. Yes, that is correct: an ice sculpture.
Cheap beer, friendly folk, and darts to keep you busy. The joint stays open “from 6pm until it gets empty.”
The best thing about Longman & Eagle is that even if you attempt to sample many, many of the whiskeys it stocks, you can always drag yourself upstairs to a hotel room and call it a night. And it’s open 9am to 2am, so you may have to.
The Slope is open from 8pm to 2am, and the staff will be ordering in Chinese food early on. Just like Jesus would've wanted.
Near North Side
Butch McGuire’s is open from 11am to 4am on Christmas, which theoretically gives you 17 hours to drink beer. Pro tip: do not drink beer for 17 hours.
Near North Side
The cool thing about visiting Timothy O’Toole’s on Christmas (11am to 3am) is that you’ll also get to see how Downtown looks when it's completely and entirely empty.
Maybe Exit isn’t the cheeriest bar in town, but maybe Santa doesn’t even exist so whatever. Plus, it’s open until 4am 365 days a year.
O’Donovan’s kind of looks like Christmas year-round, so maybe on actual Christmas you’ll stumble into an inter-dimensional portal or something. Also: open from 6pm to 2am, and offering a full menu with a few chef specials.
Theoretically, could Santa even fit inside The Matchbox? Ponder this and life’s other mysteries while enjoying excellent cocktails from 6pm to 2am.
If you call Richard’s you’ll hear one of those dial-up modem noises on the line, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been to Richard’s. But several of our, ahem, “interesting” friends have stated that Richard’s is “definitely open” on Christmas.
Does a pinball machine count as Christmas lights? Yes, yes it does. Soak it all in with $2 pints of PBR in hand, from 8pm to 2am.
Nothing spreads Christmas cheer quite like honky-tonk vibes and one of the least-inviting bathrooms in the city. Drop by from 11am to 4am.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery opens at 5pm and is offering house pints for $1 until 2am. MIC DROP.
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1. Hopleaf5148 N Clark St, Chicago
2. AMK Kitchen Bar1954 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
3. Quenchers Saloon2401 N Western Ave, Chicago
4. Lottie's Pub1925 W Cortland St, Chicago
5. Delilah's2771 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
6. Liar's Club1665 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago
7. Ricochet's Tavern4644 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
8. Longman & Eagle2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago
9. Slippery Slope2357 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
10. Butch McGuire's20 W Division St, Chicago
11. Timothy O'Toole's622 N Fairbanks Ct, Chicago
12. Exit1315 W North Ave, Chicago
13. O'Donovan's2100 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago
14. The Matchbox770 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
15. Richard's Bar491 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
16. Rainbo Club1150 N Damen Ave, Chicago
17. Carol's Pub4659 N Clark St, Chicago
18. Haymarket Pub and Brewery737 W Randolph, Chicago
This Andersonville beer bar is known for its rotating selection of draft beers primarily from the Midwest and Belgium. More than just a bar that serves food, Hopleaf has an outstanding menu of Belgian-inspired food like mussels from Prince Edward Island, charcuterie, and steak frites. The place is casual and laid-back, just like a neighborhood bar should be.
Comfort food goes chic at this creative, casual diner in Bucktown. Their extensive menu promises plenty of options for all, but we recommend their "ultimate" grilled cheese, which lives up to its name with five cheeses, bacon, and tomato jam. Check out their happy hour deals, half price draft beers and $8 pizza, Monday through Friday, 5-7pm.
Opened in 1979, this laid-back corner bar on the Bucktown/Logan border was a craft beer bar way before people on the Internet were making lists of good craft beer bars. Because there was no Internet. And, there weren’t really other beer bars. They aren’t really the type to brag that they did it first, though (well, they do call themselves “Chicago’s Original Beer Bar,” but they don’t broadcast it too loudly). They’re too busy maintaining an unassailable tap list, throwing kickass rock shows in the back, and offering kickass-er specials all week. Just because you have great craft beer doesn’t mean people can’t appreciate $1 Blatz and $2 mystery shots.
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.
Delilah's is a neighborhood bar with over 400 whiskeys, located in Chicago's Lincoln Park.
This dive bar is great for cold beers, live music and dancing. A pinball machine and photo booth add to the fun. Be prepared, however, for a dark atmosphere and borderline uncomfortably loud music.
This old school hang's got everything you need for a good time: beer, darts, TVs playing the latest game, and a jukebox. Bring your friends and don't be surprised the friendly neighborhood barkeeps buy you a round.
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.
Skee-ball, tamales, and and an expansive, crimson-lit dance floor await at this two-story club made to replace what Bonny's once was. The beer is cheap, the wine is boxed, and we promise this will probably be one of the only times you'll hear "Mother-In-Law" (a tamale-chili combo) and not be filled with dread.
54 years later and Butch's remains one of the best spots for a good old fashioned night out on the town in Chicago. The scene is festive and friendly; the digs, cozy and well worn in the best way. Drinks are strong and flavorful; you'll need some of the house's Nachos McGuire to wash them down.
TOT has everything you could want in a dive bar and more: billiards, classic bar food, 48 beers on tap and over 70 HD televisions. The menu offers wings and burger staples as well as healthy options and a children’s menu. Stop in on the weekend for brunch, featuring a Build Your Own Mimosa and Bloody Mary drink bar. This neighborhood pub hosts events such as trivia, karaoke, and comedy nights.
This Goose Island establishment is a dive bar, through and through, with dim lighting, cheap drinks and live punk rock music.
O'Donovan's is packed with a great beer garden, cheap brews, and an awesome brunch menu.
"Chicago's most intimate bar" may be only 460 square feet, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in, well, drinks, from fresh lime juice gimlets to Manhattans garnished with tasty french cherries.
Richard's dive is a primely unique dive with an awesome jukebox.
Rainbo's got a hipster vibe with a photo booth and cheap brews to keep you satisfied.
Carol's is an old-country, Southern-esque dive bar that has swingin' live bands, line dancing (impromptu, with special appearances by Carol herself), and cheap brews.
Haymarket gives you no choice but to do your homework about how and where their brews are made -- you must be led through the brewhouse and fermentation room in order to get to the bar/dining area. Twenty-one tap handles, though, make the trip worth it.