From nondescript dive bars to neighborhood gems, there are tons of bars in Chicago that fly under the radar. Many of these spots are known only by locals, er, at least until today. So let's forget the pre-game and hop right into some of the must-visit (and especially unique) bars that you should visit this fall.
A Travelers Tavern in Chicago, as the Map Room defines it, is a neighborhood style bar where people from around the world come to share some stories and spirits. Displaying maps, flags, and artifacts from around the world, this quaint neighborhood bar will host any travelers, as long as they don't show up in a packed bar-crawl bus. The Map Room is a small bar, so they have to limit the amount of group parties that fill up the space. This keeps the crowed mellow and the feeling intimate.
Because of its size, The Map Room is a great place where locals and travelers can mingle and share stories of their travels around the world. A great bar features various beers from all over the globe as well as local beers from here in Chicago. Unlike most bars, The Map Room opens at 6:30 in the morning on weekdays, 7:30 on Saturday and 11:30 on Sunday to serve fresh brewed coffee from local roaster, Intelligentsia Coffee. So come in early for some coffee, or later for some beer, and have a great time with other travelers.
No, the door frame of The Green Mill is not a portal to the 1920's, but you might want ask a stranger what year it is, just in case. This hopping jazz club features great drinks, performances, and history. The famousness of The Green Mill comes from Chicago's Mob history as The Green Mill was one of Al Capone's favorite spots in Chicago, and was part-owned by some of Capone's Chicago Outfit. Capone's favorite booth can still be seen to the west of the short bar. If only walls could talk... Today, there is no need to worry about mob ties, as mob stories only remain in the past. Offering great jazz music every night, there's never a bad night to pop in, listen to some jazz, and pretend you're a bootlegger for a few hours.
Nothing brings people together like pinball and beer, and Headquarters Beercade has a whole lot of both. Paying homage to Chicago's pinball machine manufacturing history, HQ is filled from wall to wall with pinball machines, arcade games, and fully stocked bars. HQ is a truly fun and unique experience for any bar hopper. To make the experience even better, all of the games, every single one, is free. Yes, free. Play unlimited games of pinball, Packman, and Asteroids, all while you sip on some great craft beers on tap and HQ's signature cocktails. So let your inner-nerd shine for a night at Headquarters Beercade.
Located in the heart of Wicker Park, Big Star offers some of the best food, whisky, and vibe in the city of Chicago. It's tough to not like a place with $3 whisky de jour shots, and incredible pork belly tacos. Big Star is a great bar to visit in the summer and fall as it offers one of the best outdoor eating and drinking areas in the city of Chicago. Filled with some trendy patrons and servers, Big Star offers a small but well compiled menu of delicious Mexican eats. My surprise order is the Dulce De Leche Licuado or Dulce De Leche Milkshake. Blending ice cream and cookies, this milkshake will leave you scratching your head wondering why you haven't tried this delicious mix in your own blender.
Believe it or not, bars that play the same ten songs over and over again so loud that you can't talk to friends can get old to some bar-goers. This is where Delilah's comes in. Delilah's is the antihero, or antiheroine I should say, to those traditional bars. Located on the east side of Lincoln, Delilah's attracts a loyal crowd every night of the week, mainly consisting of metal-heads, punk-rockers, or anybody that wants to stand out from the crowd.
These tattooed bar patrons have some tough decisions as they can choose from over 400 types of whiskies! Head upstairs, past the metallic skull art eerily nailed to the wall, and play some pool while listening to great punk and rock'n'roll powerhouses like The Kinks to The Ramones. So if you want to get away from Miley Cyrus singing about twerking, or Justin Bieber singing about Usher-knows-what with Nicki Minaj, you may fall in love with punk-music at Delilah's and become a regular (if you aren't one already).
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