Corner Taps

Recommended Corner Taps

  • Archie's Iowa & Rockwell Tavern
    Corner Tap
    A quintessential midwestern watering hole tucked away on a quiet residential block off to the side of a burgeoning strip of bars on Western. The selection of beers and booze includes the dive standards you’d expect and a bunch of »
  • Barn & Company
    Barbecue/Ribs
    Barn & Company Lincoln Park
    This is no roadside shack, but an inoffensively furbished barbecue joint and bar with a full complement of sports-dominated wide-screen TVs; the enclosed patio is lovely, though the nearby el is a conversation killer, particularly around rush hour. I was »
  • Bernice's Tavern
    Music venue
    Bernice's Tavern Bridgeport  2
    Bernice's is a low-ceilinged little hangout that looks like it's been here about a hundred years and has the tchotchkes to prove it: an old CTA fare machine, for instance, and a Wurlitzer, on which the oldies are golden. The »
  • Bucktown Pub
    Music venue
    Bucktown Pub Wicker Park/Bucktown
    This neighborhood bar is comfortably middle-of-the-road, too upscale—with its polished wood, framed concert posters on the walls, and dozen craft beers on tap—to be a dive, but still mellow. Old-timers say that its character isn't what it once was, but »
  • Burlington
    Music venue
    Burlington Logan Square
    Removed from the well-populated bar village sitting just east on Milwaukee Avenue, the Burlington—which had a hefty stake in the neighborhood's realm of hip prior to the recent gold rush—reinvented itself by adding a well-booked, acoustically sound back-room music venue »
  • California Clipper
    Corner Tap
    California Clipper Humboldt Park
    This neighborhood landmark, complete with vintage neon sign out front, offers a uniquely appealing combination of dive bar affordability and art deco class—nowhere else in the city can you feel quite as Bogart-and-Bacall while kicking back cheap PBRs. Jeans and »
  • The Charleston
    Classic Bar
    The Charleston Wicker Park/Bucktown
    Some people still complain bitterly about the Charleston's remodeling a couple years ago: gone are the stuffed armadillo, the lamp made from a ram's head, the pool table, and some of the bar's signature quirkiness. But there's still a reel-to-reel »
  • Chipp Inn
    Dive Bar
    Chipp Inn West Town/Noble Square
    On a side street hidden from the rest of sleepy Noble Square, the Chipp Inn gives off a homey, Cheers-y vibe. The small, bright bar is the only neighborhood joint around, and there are always regulars of varied hipness hanging »
  • Cunneen's
    Classic Bar
    Cunneen's Rogers Park/West Rogers Park
    Old-time neighborhood bar with a wooden Indian, a Richard J. Daley clock above the bar, and hundreds of LPs lining the shelves beside a turntable. It's well preserved and comfortable, with seating in the windows and lots of (quiet) banter »
  • Delilah's
    Music Bar
    Delilah's Lincoln Park
    Imagine if every last bit of grit, street cred, authenticity, and tattooed flesh in all of Lincoln Park were forced into one delightfully creaky, dimly lit, two-story bar. Wait, that actually happened. And if that's not enough, the whiskey selection »
  • Edelweiss Tavern
    Corner Tap
    Edelweiss Tavern Avondale
    Formerly known as Wee Willy’s, this spacious but cozy watering hole updated its name to Edelweiss Tavern when it came under new ownership a while back. The scene remains pretty much untouched, though: drinks are cheap and strong, and the »
  • Edgewater Lounge
    Bar/Lounge
    Edgewater Lounge Edgewater  1
    The only problem with the Edgewater Lounge is that it's become the fallback date spot for my boyfriend and me: one wishes for more options, but there's really no place nearby that offers such an elevated combination of food, drink, »
  • GMan Tavern
    Craft Beer
    GMan Tavern Wrigleyville

    The back room at this friendly joint in a beautiful old wedge-shaped corner building has two lamp-lit pool tables, a black-and-white tile floor, a good jukebox, and eclectic vintage decor. The big front-room bar offers a huge selection of »

  • Happy Village
    Classic Bar
    Happy Village Ukrainian Village/East Village
    With board games and a Ping-Pong room, this is a place where you could easily pass a few hours reconnecting with your childhood, and maybe for this reason it attracts a younger crowd than some of the other neighborhood institutions. »
  • Helen's Two-Way Lounge
    Dive Bar
    Helen's Two-Way Lounge Logan Square
    An established dive that has loyally stayed put during the neighborhood’s gradual, for-better-or-worse makeover, Helen's Two-Way Lounge sits at the wedge of Milwaukee and Fullerton and takes its name from the facing doors that open onto each street—an easy way »
  • Huettenbar
    Corner Tap
    Huettenbar Lincoln Square
    The lederhosen have definitely been exchanged for business casual, but this alpine-lodge-inspired institution is an authentic alternative to the larger beer halls in the area. Proximity to the Brown Line and strong German beers like Spaten and Kutscher Alt on »
  • Hungry Brain
    Classic Bar
    Hungry Brain Roscoe Village  5
    Hungry Brain is one of the coziest spots in Chicago. You've probably passed this small bar over and over and never realized it was there. Its interior is comfortable and lit with the glow of beer signs and Christmas lights. »
  • J&M Tap
    Classic Bar
    J&M Tap Ukrainian Village/East Village
    Perhaps better known as the "Secret Squirrel" because of its blink-and-you'll-miss-it exterior, this corner dive does everything right: ice-cold PBR pitchers for seven bucks, mugs full of salty pretzel rods, a well-used pool table, and the sweetest bartender you’ll ever »
  • Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap
    Classic Bar
    Quintessentially Hyde Park, and frequented by an eclectic mix of locals, students, game watchers, and professors, Jimmy's is a dive with a dim, cavernous interior and a quirky soul. The businesslike bartenders make their martinis strong, and the burgers and »
  • J&R Cocktail Lounge
    Bar
    Factoring in the crimson color and the coziness, sitting at this bar is like being in some especially big birth canal—a bit more crowded, I suppose. (But to each their own natal experience.) You’ll further relax with drinks we adjudged »
  • Liberty Lounge
    Classic Bar
    Liberty Lounge Roscoe Village
    The bartender, who was so sweet that she greeted me with a handshake and an introduction upon my arrival, described Liberty Lounge perfectly: "It's a hillbilly bar by day, local bar by night." The patrons are clearly regulars who know »
  • Local Option
    Bar/Lounge
    Local Option Lincoln Park  1
    With a handwritten sign inside reading "Welcome Nerds (You Know Who You Are)," custom neon for Mikkeller and Evil Twin above the bar, and a huge skull-and-crossbones mural whose German motto translates to "Shit beer will kill you," Local Option »
  • Long Room
    Music venue
    Long Room Lakeview
    As the name would indicate, the Long Room is a shotgun-style bar, with tables along the facing wall allowing a thin walkway to a back room with a couple more tables and a few booths. It's always been a welcoming »
  • The Matchbox
    Corner Tap
    The Matchbox River West
    To say that the Matchbox is cozy would be an understatement. Wedge-shaped, it's 15 feet across at its widest point and about three and a half feet at its narrowest. It can be tricky to squeeze past seated patrons to »
  • Monti's
    American
    Monti's Lincoln Square
    Philly cheesesteaks aren't for barbarians—not these Philly cheesesteaks, anyway. But the cocktails here may be. The bar is stocked with a scant inventory of unsurprising spirits, some employed in a handful of disastrous concoctions. Better by far to stick to »
  • Montrose Saloon
    Bar/Lounge
    Montrose Saloon Albany Park
    An chummy, unprepossessing Old Style bar with a number of diversions to help evaluate your ability to drive home: board games, darts, pool, and a large beer garden where you can throw horseshoes and bags, and grill your own grub. »
  • Ollie's Lounge
    Corner Tap
    Ollie's Lounge Edgewater
    It’s hard to see into Ollie’s from the outside, but don’t be shy—what lies within is a friendly little neighborhood joint with a pool table, a good jukebox, and cheap drinks. The owner, Miss Ollie, is such a community fixture »
  • The Orbit Room
    Bar/Lounge
    The Orbit Room Avondale
    Friendly Avondale bar with tiki-themed outdoor dining.
  • Red Line Tap
    Corner Tap
    Red Line Tap Rogers Park/West Rogers Park  2
    There's not much to the Red Line Tap: bar on the left, stage on the right, a couple ancient arcade games, the requisite pool table. That's part of its charm, though—whatever it's doing, it's not trying too hard. There are »
  • Reese's Lounge
    Bar
    Reese's Lounge Other South
    With two blue bars on either side of a narrow room, and mirrored walls and blue bar stools and just the right amount of neon, Reese’s is embarrassingly comfortable. Beer was cheap; cocktails went unsampled but looked like they would »
  • Rite Liquors
    Classic Bar
    Rite Liquors Wicker Park/Bucktown
    Rite Liquors isn't just an old-man bar—it's a place to hang out while you're growing old, as many regulars already have in the 90 years this neighborhood slashie has been in business. It’s got an impressive liquor selection, from Woodford »
  • Schubas
    Music venue
    Schubas Lakeview  6
    A good (and historic!) escape from a less-than-stellar set at this music venue—you can't hear the music when the door to the concert space closes—the bar offers a good, if small, selection of beers on tap. Schubas has a special »
  • Small Bar
    Bar/Lounge
    Small Bar Avondale
    Around since 1907, this cozy corner spot with its brick walls and tin ceiling represents the most old-school and authentic hangout of the Small Bar brand. The beer list is extensive, featuring 60-odd international and craft brews—a chalkboard lists the »
  • The Sovereign
    DJ /Dance Bar
    The Sovereign Edgewater
    A sublimely unpretentious neighborhood joint just off the busy corner of Broadway and Granville, with friendly bartenders, a good crowd, and a killer jukebox. What else to say? Pours are cheap and generous, and six-packs are available for takeout.—Sam Worley
  • Sportsman's Club
    Craft Cocktails
    Sportsman's Club Humboldt Park
    Heisler Hospitality's revamp of an old Polish dive, featuring craft beers and "spirit-forward" cocktails from barmen Wade McElroy (Trenchermen, Barrelhouse Flat) and Jeff Donahue (Barrelhouse Flat, the Aviary). Sporting the occasional dead animal head, the bar is cash only, with »
  • Tac's Lounge
    Corner Tap
    Tac's Lounge Washington Park
    "Who you looking for?" I was asked upon stepping into this dimly lit Washington Park establishment, the first sign that it doesn't attract too many outsiders. But after I said I just wanted a beer, I was welcomed in, and »
  • Whirlaway Lounge
    Corner Tap
    Whirlaway Lounge Logan Square
    Forever one of Logan Square's best dives, the Whirlaway feels homey and pleasant, like you’re getting drunk in your parents’ basement. The decor is suspended in the early 90s—never mind the massive flat-screen TV sitting three feet behind the bar—and »

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