Dive Bars in Chicago

Select Local Merchants

Having served as Wrigleyville’s preeminent dive bar since 1951, Nisei Lounge continues to harbor friendly vibes, cold brews, and a selection of hard liquor and wine. In between tossing darts, playing pool, or choosing a Dick Cheney lounge-jazz tune on the jukebox, bar-minglers can toss back a carefully concocted Bloody Mary ($5 on Saturdays and Sundays). A group of barley guzzlers can make a toast with a bucket of domestic beers ($15 on Wednesdays), while champagne sippers can daintily clasp their monocles while drinking a mimosa bucket of mini splits and orange juice ($15 on Saturdays and Sundays). Additionally, Nisei offers an array of quality wines and craft brews, so you can taste meticulously crafted libations.

3439 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

One of the oldest surviving businesses in Chicago, Schaller's Pump has been, well, pumping draft beers since 1881. The speakeasy enjoyed a heyday as a gathering place for the rich and powerful during Prohibition, and today it survives as a home away from Comiskey for White Sox fans.

3714 South Halsted Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Housed in a tavern that dates back to the 1880s, Shinnick’s Pub is the product of three generations of family history. There are no beers on tap, but plenty of bottled domestics. Located in the shadow of U.S. Cellular Field, this Irish mainstay is liveliest in the hours following a White Sox win.

3758 South Union Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

In 1934, a goat fell off a truck, wandered into a tavern, and came face-to-face with owner William Sianis. Mr. Sianis took this strange event as a cue to grow a goatee and give his business the name Billy Goat Tavern. Today, the tavern grills single, double, and triple cheeseburgers.

430 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

Windy City Inn's bartenders wet parched whistles with beer by the glass, bottle, and bucket, as well as cocktails and myriad libations, late into the night seven days a week. Wall-mounted televisions pour sporting events into fans’ thirsty eyes at this friendly North Center pub. Its atmosphere drew praise from the Chicago Bar Project, which wrote, "the camaraderie at Windy City Inn is amazing." Occasional music and open-mic nights accompany the melody of clinking ice cubes, and a brief menu of bar nibbles keeps stomachs from growling out sea chanteys.

2257 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago,
IL
US

Just around the corner from the famous Second City, Old Town Ale House endures as a popular hangout for improv comedians and other irreverent types. The tavern’s former regulars include Roger Ebert, Mike Royko, and Nelson Algren, and their creative spirits live on in the nude paintings of politicians on the walls.

219 West North Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US