Chicago is BIG. Granted it is not as big as New York or LA, but when you ask Chicagoans where are the places to check out, they start giving you a million different places in neighborhoods you have never heard of. “Check out The Green Mill in Uptown” or “You have to go to Bottled Blonde in River North”. What they don’t tell you is where these places really are, how to get there, or how much it is going to cost you.
Don’t get me wrong The Green Mill is one of my favorite places in the city. I would go there every weekend if I lived close by or if I had the cash to support the habit. The cover to get in the door varies. I have walked into a $25 cover and let’s just say the drinks ain’t cheap.
So, what are some alternatives that are easy to get to, affordable, and guaranteed to have a good time? Let me help you out 🙂
Not only is Headquarters in a great location that is rather easy to get to, but also is a fun and poplar place for both townies and tourists. Us 90’s kids love it, as it has rows and rows of arcade games that you loved as a kid: Terminator Pinball, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Crus’in the USA (My fav), Skiball. I could go on and on, but I haven’t told you the best part. All the games are FREE and there is NO COVER! Say what?!
There are three bars throughout the two floor River North location. They all carry top shelf options along with your go to, Blue Ribbon. As for food, you can make a reservation and enjoy your meal at a hip industrial themed high top or just order from the bar. Finally, we come to the bill. Well, let me just say the last time I went in it was me and my guy. Together, we had a total of 2 top shelf cocktails, 3 stout beers, a burger with fries and pizza bits. Grand total $50 bucks! (Not including tip) Not too bad for a fun date night in the city, if you ask me.
Clark Street Ale House
Also located in the River North neighborhood, Clark Street Ale House has a welcoming and homey vibe. Lined with brick walls and wooden bar stools, this is the perfect place to get a cold one with friends.
With over two-dozen beers on tap you can’t really go wrong, if you ask me. Did I mention, they have 300 different kinds of whiskey? Yep, you read that right, 300. Not to mention all the folks who work there, know their stuff. If you are overwhelmed with all the awesome choices, ask your server. I assure you, they won’t do you wrong.
If you are not impressed with the selection and the excellent service, well I have not gotten to the best part. This homey little pub welcomes not only people like you and me, but furry friends as well! Puppy Pub, Yay! There is a back patio, where you can bring your furry friends to hang. If you don’t have a little guy or gal to bring along, no worries pretty much everyone will let you take a crack at a tummy rub.
So, grab the pup and pick up a pint at 742 N. Clark Street. I assure you, you won’t regret it.
Located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, is where you can find the delightful, kitsch’ pub Happy Camper. This shabby, yet modern pub has outdoor picnic style seating as well as indoor comforts. Indoor, you are accompanied by not only a DJ, rustic neon signs for the Midwest, but also a camper. Yep! There it is, literally, right in the middle of the room. Totally fun, trendy, and perfect for any newbee visiting Chicago.
Happy Camper is not only a great spot for visitors, but is popular among Chicagoans. There is always a crowd, so don’t expect to arrive at 7:30pm on a Friday and get a table. Go there for happy hour on a Wednesday can even be a hit or miss. I would arrive before the dinner crowd to ensure you get a table. Also, if you want to check out the tire swing barstool in the camper, well so does everyone else. Another reason to go off peak hours.
All and all, it a great place, full of fun. I would say, it’s your one stop shop when it comes to brews and pizza. Check it out at 1209 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610