Although this area initially seems like it's only for tourists, lost college kids, and Cubs fans before and after games, there are a handful of bars that are a destination in their own right, as well as spots for Cubs fans before and after games. But whatever your reason, here are the nine best places to drink in Lakeview.
Best dancing: Smart Bar
3730 N Clark St
In Metro's basement is by far the best dance club in the city. With renowned DJ’s and an uncontrived crowd, coming here isn’t a bad decision, but once here, all bets are off.
Best local spot: Redmond's Ale House
3358 N Sheffield Ave
It's a Missouri/Wisconsin bar, so there are plenty of screens for game-viewing, but the more-than-satisfactory beer list and weekly specials -- like $3 Burger Wednesdays and half off apps and drafts on Thursdays -- means non-Badger fans will still find something to like about this place.
Best dive: L & L Tavern
3207 N Clark St
Cheap drinks in Lakeview are hard to come by, but this little hideaway has ‘em, and a free jukebox to boot.
Best pub: Jake's Pub
2932 North Clark St
In the same location, under the same name, for 70 years, this dog-friendly corner classic doesn't have much when compared to the other, more party-equipped places in the area, but it does have a seriously extensive bottle collection and standard stuff on tap.
Best live music: Metro
3730 N Clark St
Easily one of the most famous venues in the city and one of the best in the US, this music institution has hosted everyone from The Rolling Stones to The Smashing Pumpkins to Echo & the Bunnymen.
Best outdoor seating: Deuces and the Diamond Club
3505 N Clark St
The bottom floor is Deuces, a gourmet beer and burger bar, and upstairs is the Diamond Club where you can sit on worn leather sectionals. But outside is where you actually want to be, because as appealing as sipping intimate evening libations on distressed couches is, cabanas and wading pools are always preferable.
Best late-night spot: Berlin Nightclub
954 W Belmont Ave
By virtue of being open until 4am, it’s already got a leg up on the late-night scene, but its all-inclusive, extra-freaky, gender-bending drag shows and dance parties bring in all types of people, and in droves.
Best beer: Sheffield's
3258 N Sheffield Ave
One of the original beer bars in the city, sprawling (if you count the ample outdoor area) Sheffield's has three bars, one of which, Beer School, offers up a special tap list. Altogether though, there's an impressive list of 45 drafts, 112 bottles, and 16 cans.
Best board games: Guthrie's Tavern
1300 W Addison St
This is THE bar for board games -- Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry! -- because such a thing exists. The microbrews aren't bad, either, though.