Meet People Chicago Blog

Best of Chicago: Best Bars in Old Town

So we get asked all the time, what’s the best fill-in-the-blank (burger joint, pizza place, dive bar, etc.). It happens so often, that we’ve decided to make a series out of it. We’re rolling it out with the best bars in Old Town because that’s what the majority of you have asked, and we give you what you want. As you know, I’m still a relative newbie (but I roll with a solid crew of natives), so if you think this list is missing something tell us in the comments!

 

The Original (a.k.a. The One You Already Know): Old Town Ale House – 219 West North Avenue – http://www.theoldtownalehouse.com

Old Town Ale House

 So, yes, this is not news to anyone, but any place that gets a hat tip from Anthony Bourdain and Roger Ebert and has naked portraits of politicians obviously has to be included. In fact, I don’t think anyone could make a list of the best bars in Old Town without including the Old Town Ale House. The Old Town Ale House has been around for almost 60 years and is keeping it real by bringing back the old school feel of original Old Town. But back to those naked portraits, owner, Bruce Elliot paints them himself. If you’re a policy wonk who loves a good jaw wag he’ll bend your ear for as long as you’ll let him. This place is the real deal. Don’t miss it.

 

Something Classy:The Vig – 1527 N. Wells St. – http://www.thevigchicago.com

The Vi

OMG the food! Don’t get me wrong, I love their cocktails (and their punny names—Doin’ Thyme, Go Fig or Go Home). I mean seriously, where else can you get a PB&J inspired cocktail, or a “Boozy Slushie”? Nowhere, that’s where. But let’s get back to the food. I’m literally salivating as I write this thinking about their charcuterie plate, and that’s just an appetizer. The brunch menu is unparalleled, including the larger than typical selection of brunch booze. Do yourself a favor and make this a first stop on a night out. This isn’t drunk food; this is legit foodgasm fodder. The 1950’s inspired atmosphere makes it a great place for a date night too, especially on warm evenings when the front windows are wide open!

 

Something Campy:Happy Camper – 1209 N. Wells St.– http://www.happycamperchicago.com

Happy Camper Great Lakes

What’s not to love about the Happy Camper? They’ve got an actual airstream camper with twinkly lights on the ceiling (a la the out-of-doors), a neon sign of the Great Lakes, tire swings, and PIZZA! Not just any pizza either, their pizza is seriously delicious! Beer and pizza go together like Beyonce and Jay-Z. Oh, and the best part is you can order on their website and have your pizza ready before you can stumble your drunk @$$ in there to wolf it down!

 

 

 

Can’t Go Wrong: Corcoran’s Grill and Pub – 1615 N. Wells St.– http://corcoransoldtown.com/

Corcoran's Patio

A Yelp reviewer said, “Whether you want to people watch on Wells or simply enjoy a sunny Chicago day, their front and back patios are great!”. I couldn’t agree more. Their patios, alone, make Corcoran’s a great spot to hang out day or night. At night, it’s lively with locals and some out of towners looking for a good time. And good times will be had here; I've never had a bad night at Corcoran’s. It also doesn’t hurt they have good food and daily happy hour specials that won’t break your bank. Bring your friends, date or family, and you'll have a good time at Corcoran's.

 

 

Your Home Away From Home: Woodie’s Flat – 1535 N. Wells Rd. - http://www.woodieschicago.com

Woodie's Flat

They call themselves a dive bar, but I’d call it a feel-good bar. It’s got the familiar feel and lack of pretension of a dive bar, but without the “will I catch something from the toilet?” skeeziness.  The name comes from their 1954 wood-burning grill, so you can bet the food is top-notch. The wood-grilled burgers are a must! Oh, and the mac n’ cheese. (I’m salivating on my keyboard again, BTW.) Add to that a wall of old vinyls and hunting & fishing trophies above the bar and this is the bar that will make you ask “where have you been all my life?”.

 

 

Do you have a favorite bar in Old Town that I didn't include? Tell me in the comment section below!

 

  • No comments found
Add comment

  • "I had a blast! Great group, great people. I have to definitely come out to more events."

    Taylor // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "Come to these events. You won't be disappointed. The organizer is SUPER friendly and a great host. "

    Tabia // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "I met my best friend from the first event I went to. Thanks Peter! "

    Jessica // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "Thank you Meet People Chicago. I met my love of my life, my good friends, all because of your amazing, fun events!"

    Jill // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "After attending several different groups, Meet People Chicago is the hands down the best! There are a variety of young fun people in their 20's and 30's with a good balance between men and women. The venues are also awesome. Thanks for organizing it Peter! "

    Trent // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "So much fun! The people were great and the music was totally fun! It was my first event and I was amazed at how great it was. I look forward to going to many more and meeting many more wonderful friends!"

    Jen // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "Best events I have been to! Fun group, nice people and the organizers are awesome!"

    Lisa // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "Out of control and I like it like that!"

    Kirill // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "I had an amazing time! I can't wait for the next events!"

    Tiffini // Meet People Chicago Member

  • "Meet People is a fantastic social group. I was brand new to Chicago in June (knowing all of 2-3 people), and decided to give it a try after being here for five days. The people are friendly, fun and it's pretty easy to just bounce around meeting new people. I HIGHLY recommend you give this group a try if you're on the fence. Peter does a fantastic job organizing, and it's always good to get out and explore/drink in new areas of Chicago with people just looking to have a good time."

    Jeremy // Meet People Chicago Member