Courtesy of Bub City
Courtesy of Neil Burger
Courtesy of Three Dots and a Dash
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1. Bub City 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Nashville comes to River North through the doors at Lettuce Entertain You’s Bub City, whose award-winning barbecue, 100-plus whiskey labels, and live music can make you forget about that deep Chicago chill. The all-American bar brings the heat from down South with dishes like barbecued brisket (get the burnt ends), fried chicken sandwiches (the Original 8 Buck Cluck is best served with a side of those aforementioned burnt ends), spoonbread, and baby back mac & cheese. To drink, you can sip on anything from a can of Bud to a pour of Pappy Van Winkle himself. Enjoy live country music multiple nights a week, and be prepared for a rowdy dance party.

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2. Headquarters Beercade 213 W. Institute Place, Chicago, IL 60610

The River North location of Headquarters Beercade features pinball and classic arcade games, as well as an extensive craft beer menu and specialty cocktails.

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3. Howl at the Moon 26 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

Energetic vibe? Check. Dueling pianos playing danceable beats? Yup. Plastic buckets overflowing with neon-hued sharable cocktails? You betcha’.

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4. Howells & Hood 435 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

From the folks behind Old Town Pour House and Sweetwater, Howells & Hood is an epic beer hall in the Trib Tower, equipped with 114 beers on tap springing from 360 draft faucets spread across the 23,000sqft venue. With copper-topped bars and inscriptions on the travertine-tiled walls, the restaurant replicates the epic neo-Gothic design of the landmark space credited to John Howells and Raymond Hood, who thankfully weren't name Lipschitz and McDingleberry.

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5. The Kerryman 661 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Effortlessly dancing the line between raucous sports bar and casually elegant eatery, The Kerryman will suit you whether you’ve come for a Notre Dame game or just a fish and chips and cold beer fix out on the lush, jungle-like patio.

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6. Bottlefork 441 N Clark, Chicago, IL 60654

Bottlefork has hands down the best bar food in River North. Chef Kevin Hickey and the Rockit Ranch Productions gang’s fancy snacks -- like braised beef cheek poutine -- complement head barkeep Brandon Phillips’ inventive cocktails beautifully. So if you’ve never thought to yourself, “The only thing that would make this cocktail even better is a side of popcorn sweetbreads,” now you should.

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7. The Terrace at Trump 521 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611

Another special occasion spot with out-of-this-world unobstructed views, the Terrace at Trump is pretty spectacular when it comes to looking points of Chicago. The unrestrained views of the river, lake, and city peer through the skyscrapers and over the bridges, creating an awe-inspiring feeling of depth in a city oasis. Note: you’re paying for the view and the venue, not the drinks, so opt for wine over cocktails. Also, having a Lobster Maitake Roll and the K-Chick Steam Bun can't hurt.

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8. Sable 505 N State, Chicago, IL 60654

Sable's a 153-seat dark-hued, brightly lit, open-kitchened dining room and lounge whose haute cuisine-meets-comfort menu is designed to marry with a cocktail program crafted by a Violet Hour alum, who can in turn help you graduate beyond your usual schnapps and soda.

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9. Three Dots and a Dash 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Three Dots and a Dash is a tiki-themed speakeasy in the back of Bub City that's pouring out crazy tropical cocktails in vessels like glass skulls and treasure chests.

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10. Pops for Champagne 601 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654

If you can’t decide which you prefer -- poppin’ bottles or poppin’ $1 oysters -- why not decide on BOTH at this happy hour favorite? Hit them up on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-7pm. Throw in some live music and you experience some Gatsby-style decadence.