Firkin earns its billing as one of the best bars in the state thanks to its 30-strong tap list, casks of Crystal Lake Brewing Lakesider, and standout pub fare including grass-fed burgers, duck nachos, and lobster tacos. The décor changes depending on the season but the scene inside is always lively, especially for beer geeks and those who aspire towards eventual beer geekdom.
The oldest bar in Illinois (established in 1847) showcases live music six nights a week, a classic 35ft mahogany bar (which yes, smells of rich mahogany), and classic pub fare like the homemade tavern stew with top sirloin and fresh-cut potatoes. Stop in on Fridays for the all-you-can-eat fish fry and, while you’re at it, see how much Breckenridge Vanilla Porter and Belfast Bay Oatmeal Stout you can drink as well.
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Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor who totally missed his nephew’s birthday party in the suburbs because he was out doing “research.” Follow him: @innerviewmag.