Dive Bars in North Side

Select Local Merchants

In the past, Timber Lanes was a stop on the Underground Railroad, a factory for WWII helmets, and a fallout shelter during the Cold War. Nowadays, though, the tiny alley sticks to its eight all-wood lanes, which have a history of their own—they were imported from a Japanese bowling center in the 70s.

1851 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago,
IL
US

Sunlight streams in through stained glass windows, dancing across the reclaimed pews that serve as seating in this cozy lounge. These unique décor elements, as well as the paintings that line the walls, give Edgewater Lounge a casual, eclectic vibe. But it’s not just the ambiance that attracts a loyal following—they’re also here for hearty bowls of housemade chili and savory sandwiches such as smoked pepper brisket dunked in au jus. The drink menu proves just as varied, with craft brews on tap from Rogue, Three Floyds, and Scrimshaw. During the warmer months, these suds can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio, festooned with vibrant red umbrellas and melodic wing chimes that perform Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony in reverse.

5600 N Ashland Ave
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

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