Over the years, I've had my fair share of wild nights and memorable experiences at various bars around town. From dive bars to upscale clubs, I've visited them all.
After extensive research (and plenty of beer), I've narrowed down the top 12 college bars in Chicago. So, whether you're a student looking for a night out or just someone in search of some great drinks and music, follow me as I guide you through the best that Chicago has to offer. Cheers!
|Large outdoor seating|
First and foremost, I was impressed by the cozy ambiance of this bar. The dim lighting and wooden decor made me feel like I was in a cabin up north, instead of in the middle of a bustling city. It's the perfect atmosphere to unwind after a long day of classes.
I also appreciated the large outdoor seating area at Streeter's. It's always enjoyable to sit outside with friends and enjoy a cold beverage while people watching on the streets of Chicago.
But what really stood out to me were the employees. They were incredibly friendly and welcoming, making me feel like I was part of their family. They even took time to recommend some of their favorite drinks from their extensive menu.
Overall, if you're looking for a chill spot to meet up with friends or just have a relaxed night out, Streeter's Tavern is definitely worth checking out. Their cozy ambiance, spacious outdoor seating area, and friendly employees make it one of my top picks for college bars in Chicago.
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O'Leary's Public House
|Cool Irish vibe|
First, let me tell you about the cool Irish vibe that O'Leary's has. From the decor to the music, this place screams Ireland! I felt like I was transported to a pub in Dublin.
The service was fantastic and my drink was always full thanks to the attentive staff. They were also very accommodating and friendly towards my fellow Packers fans!
Now, let's talk about the food. One of O'Leary's highlights is their use of fresh ingredients which made all the difference in taste. My burger was cooked to perfection and tasted amazing with their homemade ketchup. The prices were reasonable too, so it didn't hurt my wallet as a college student.
Overall, O'Leary's Public House exceeded my expectations for a college bar. It had everything from great service to affordable prices with a cool Irish vibe. If you're looking for a fun night out or just some good comfort food, definitely check out O'Leary's!
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George Street Pub
|Great food menu|
|Variety of beers|
First of all, I have to say that the food menu at George Street Pub is a real winner. They offer a variety of options that go beyond your typical bar food. I recommend trying their loaded fries, they are absolutely delicious.
Another highlight of this place is their dog-friendly patio. It's rare to find a bar in the city that welcomes our furry friends, but George Street Pub goes above and beyond in this aspect.
In terms of drinks, they have a great selection of beers, both local and international. Whether you're into IPAs or stouts, they have something for everyone.
The interior is also quite spacious with plenty of seating options. You won't feel cramped or claustrophobic like in some other bars in the area.
Finally, I must mention their friendly staff who are always willing to help you out with whatever you need. They'll make sure you're having a great time and enjoying everything that George Street Pub has to offer.
Overall, I highly recommend checking out George Street Pub if you're looking for a fun night out with friends or just want to grab a bite to eat and drink after class.
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Toons Bar & Grill
|Great beer selection|
|Generous food portions|
|Diverse and welcoming environment|
|Yearly crawfish/crawdad extravaganza|
|Live music for special occasions|
The first thing that caught my eye was the great beer selection. With so many options, even the most discerning beer connoisseurs will find something they like. But it's not just about the drinks at Toons; the generous food portions are perfect for sharing with friends or taking home as leftovers.
What I loved most about Toons was their diverse and welcoming environment. Everyone there seemed to be having a good time, no matter what their background or interests were. And let's not forget about the yearly crawfish/crawdad extravaganza! It's an event that draws in people from all over Chicago.
Toons also offers live music for special occasions which is a great way to unwind after a long day of studying. The atmosphere is lively and fun, but not too wild. It's a perfect balance for college students who want to have a good time without getting too crazy.
Overall, I highly recommend Toons Bar & Grill to anyone looking for a great college bar experience in Chicago. With its fantastic beer selection, generous food portions, diverse and welcoming environment, annual crawfish/crawdad extravaganza, and live music events – it's definitely worth checking out!
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|Great food selection|
|Availability of NFL games|
|Friendly owner and staff|
First off, let me start by saying that Theory is definitely a top contender for the best college bars in Chicago. I was immediately impressed with their wide range of food options, including some absolutely delicious desserts. If you're looking for a place to satisfy your sweet tooth after class or before heading out on a Friday night, Theory has got you covered.
But it's not just about the food here. As a sports fan, I was thrilled to see that they have availability of NFL games. It's perfect for those Sunday fundays when you need to catch up on your favorite team.
But what really sets Theory apart is the friendly owner and staff. They go above and beyond to make sure that every customer feels welcome and comfortable. Whether you're grabbing a quick bite or settling in for a longer stay with friends, they'll make sure that you have everything you need.
Overall, I highly recommend Theory as one of the best college bars in Chicago. With great food selection, availability of NFL games, and an amazing staff - this place truly has it all!
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The Other Side Bar
First and foremost, I was impressed by the diverse menu. Whether you're in the mood for a classic burger or something a bit more adventurous like their buffalo chicken wrap, there's something for everyone. It's also worth mentioning that they use fresh ingredients, which really elevated the taste of the food.
Now let's talk about prices. As a broke college student myself, I appreciate reasonable prices and The Other Side Bar definitely delivers. You won't have to break the bank to enjoy a night out here.
But what really stood out to me was the service. The staff were friendly, attentive, and made sure my friends and I had everything we needed throughout our visit.
Overall, The Other Side Bar is definitely one of the best college bars in Chicago that I've visited so far. If you're looking for good food, reasonable prices, and great service then this is the place to be!
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Gracie O' Malley's- Wicker Park
|Great dart prices & selection|
|Amazing drinks and bartender|
|Best mashed potatoes ever|
|Fun atmosphere for parties and holidays|
First off, this place has some of the best drinks I've ever had. The bartender was a true artist in mixing cocktails and their selection of beers was impressive. But what truly made my night was their mashed potatoes. Yes, you heard that right! Their mashed potatoes were out of this world! I would highly recommend them to anyone who visits.
Not only is the food and drink great, but the atmosphere is perfect for a college bar. It's fun and lively but not too rowdy. They even have cheap dart prices so you can shoot some rounds with your friends without breaking the bank.
I also appreciated the memorable service we received from our bartender. She remembered our names throughout the night and made us feel like regulars even though it was our first time there.
Overall, if you're looking for a great college bar experience in Chicago, Gracie O' Malley's- Wicker Park is definitely worth checking out. It's perfect for parties or holidays and has everything you need for a good time with friends.
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Firstly, the staff at O'Callaghan's was incredibly friendly and welcoming. They had a personable approach that made me feel right at home. The comfortable atmosphere added to the overall relaxing vibe of the place.
Now let's talk about the drinks. Oh boy, were they amazing! From classic cocktails to unique concoctions, O'Callaghan's is sure to impress even the pickiest of drinkers. I tried their signature drink - the Irish Mule - and it was absolutely delicious. The perfect blend of ginger beer and whiskey gave me a warm feeling inside.
But wait, there's more! The food at O'Callaghan's was equally impressive. They have a wide selection of dishes that cater to everyone's taste buds. I particularly enjoyed their chicken wings; they were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Lastly, I must mention their personable service which really made my experience memorable. The staff took time to chat with me about my day and recommended some other places in Chicago for me to visit.
Overall, if you're looking for a cozy college bar with great drinks, yummy food, and friendly service - then O'Callaghan's in Chicago is definitely worth checking out!
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|Great beer selection|
|Fun and welcoming atmosphere|
First off, I have to say that the bartenders at Rossi's are some of the friendliest people I've ever met. They were quick to strike up a conversation with me and made me feel right at home. And let's be honest, when you're in college and away from family, it's nice to feel like you have a little home away from home.
But let's get to what really matters: the drinks. Rossi's has an impressive beer selection that any college student would appreciate. From local craft brews to classic domestics, they've got something for everyone. Plus, their prices won't break your already depleted bank account.
The atmosphere at Rossi's is just plain fun. The crowd was diverse and welcoming - I didn't feel out of place even though I'm not a regular there (yet). It was clear that this bar is a popular spot for college students in the area, but it didn't feel overcrowded or overwhelming.
Overall, if you're looking for a laid-back spot with great drinks and friendly people, Rossi's is definitely worth checking out. Trust me, I know my stuff when it comes to college bars - this one is a winner.
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|Good food options|
|Popular spot for small gatherings|
First off, the authentic atmosphere at Kasey's is unmatched. From the vintage posters on the walls to the classic wooden bar, it feels like stepping back in time to a simpler era. The bartenders are also incredibly attentive, always making sure my glass was full and my needs were met.
But let's talk about what really matters - the prices. As a college student, I'm always looking for a good deal, and Kasey's delivers with their affordable drink specials. Plus, they have some tasty food options that won't break the bank.
Kasey's is also a great spot for small gatherings with friends. Whether it's celebrating after a big exam or just hanging out on a Friday night, this bar has got you covered.
Overall, if you're looking for an authentic atmosphere, attentive bartenders, affordable prices, and good food options in Chicago, then Kasey's Tavern is definitely worth checking out. It might just become your new favorite spot!
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|Large food portions|
Firstly, let me just say that if you're not a fan of cash-only systems, this might not be the place for you. But if you can look past that minor inconvenience, you'll find yourself in one of the coziest bars in Chicago.
The food portions here are absolutely massive. I ordered a burger and it was so big, I had to take half of it home with me (which made for a great midnight snack). The staff is also incredibly friendly and welcoming. They made me feel right at home, as if I've been a regular there for years.
What sets Woodlawn Tap apart from other college bars is its chill vibes. The dim lighting, wooden furnishings and classic rock music playing in the background all contribute to the laid-back atmosphere.
One thing to note is that this bar doesn't have any fancy gimmicks or flashy decorations - but it doesn't need them. Its simplicity is what makes it stand out from the rest.
Overall, if you're looking for a comfortable spot to grab some grub and drinks without breaking the bank, Woodlawn Tap should definitely be on your list of places to check out.
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Cleos Bar and Grill
|Cozy neighborhood bar|
|Variety of beer|
|Big on sports|
|Supports Ukrainian community|
As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by the cozy neighborhood feel of the place. The dim lighting and rustic decor made me feel like I was hanging out in a friend's basement. But let's be honest, the real reason we go to bars is for the food and drinks.
I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of beer they had on tap, and even more impressed with their delicious food menu. From juicy burgers to savory wings, everything tasted fresh and homemade. It's definitely a spot where you can come with your friends to watch sports and grab some grub.
But Cleos isn't just another sports bar. The owners proudly support the Ukrainian community by hosting fundraisers and events throughout the year. So not only are you supporting a local business when you visit, but also a good cause.
Overall, Cleos Bar and Grill is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a laid-back atmosphere with great food and drinks. Plus, it's always nice to support businesses that give back to their community.
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