The Best Pubs for a Casual Night Out in Chicago, IL

Discover the best pubs in Chicago, IL for a casual night out from an expert's perspective. From traditional Irish pubs to historic jazz clubs, these four spots offer great drinks, food, and atmosphere.

The Best Pubs for a Casual Night Out in Chicago, IL

When it comes to a night out in Chicago, there is no shortage of options. From trendy rooftop bars to upscale lounges, the Windy City has it all. But sometimes, all you want is a good old-fashioned pub where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy a cold beer with friends. And luckily, Chicago has plenty of those too.

The Pub Culture in Chicago

Chicago has a rich history when it comes to pubs.

In the early 1900s, the city was home to a large number of Irish immigrants who brought with them their love for pubs and beer. Today, Chicago's pub scene is a melting pot of different cultures and influences, making it one of the most diverse and vibrant in the country. But what makes a pub stand out from the rest? Is it the atmosphere? The food? The drinks? As an expert on Chicago's nightlife, I have explored countless pubs in the city and have come up with a list of the best ones for a casual night out.

The Grafton Pub

Pubs in Chicago IL don't get more authentic than The Grafton Pub. Located in Lincoln Square, this Irish pub has been serving up traditional Irish fare and drinks since 2004. The interior is cozy and inviting, with dark wood accents and dim lighting. The bar is always stocked with a wide selection of Irish whiskeys and beers, making it the perfect spot for a casual night out. But what sets The Grafton Pub apart from other Irish pubs in the city is its food.

The menu features classic Irish dishes like shepherd's pie and fish and chips, as well as modern twists on traditional favorites. And if you're feeling adventurous, try their famous Irish breakfast, complete with black and white pudding. But the real highlight of The Grafton Pub is their live music. Every Friday and Saturday night, the pub hosts local musicians playing traditional Irish tunes, creating a lively and authentic atmosphere that will transport you straight to the Emerald Isle.

The Map Room

If you're looking for a more laid-back pub experience, then The Map Room is the place to be. Located in Bucktown, this pub has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened in 1992. The interior is eclectic and cozy, with walls adorned with maps from all over the world.

The bar boasts an impressive selection of over 200 beers from around the globe, making it a beer lover's paradise. But what makes The Map Room truly special is its outdoor patio. In the warmer months, the patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer and people watch. And in the colder months, the patio is heated, making it a cozy spot to escape the winter chill. The Map Room also hosts regular events like trivia nights and live music, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

The Green Mill

The Green Mill is not your typical pub. Located in Uptown, this historic jazz club has been around since 1907 and has hosted some of the biggest names in jazz, including Al Capone's favorite singer, Joe E.

Lewis. But don't let its history fool you, The Green Mill is still a popular spot for a casual night out. The interior of The Green Mill is like stepping back in time with its vintage decor and dim lighting. The bar serves up classic cocktails and an impressive selection of craft beers. And if you're feeling peckish, their menu features delicious bar bites like truffle fries and charcuterie boards. But the real draw of The Green Mill is its live jazz music.

Every night, the club hosts some of the best jazz musicians in the city, making it a must-visit for any music lover.

The Billy Goat Tavern

No list of the best pubs in Chicago would be complete without The Billy Goat Tavern. This iconic pub has been a staple in the city since 1934 and has gained fame for being the inspiration behind the "Cheezborger, Cheezborger" sketch on Saturday Night Live. The interior of The Billy Goat Tavern is no-frills, with a long bar and plenty of tables for seating. The menu is simple, featuring classic pub food like burgers, hot dogs, and fries. But what makes this pub stand out is its lively atmosphere and friendly staff.

It's the perfect spot to grab a beer and watch a game with friends.

In Conclusion

Chicago's pub scene is as diverse as the city itself. From traditional Irish pubs to historic jazz clubs, there is something for everyone. But when it comes to a casual night out, these four pubs stand out from the rest. So next time you're in Chicago, be sure to check them out for an authentic and memorable pub experience.

Erica Salas
Erica Salas

Amateur music aficionado. Total tv enthusiast. Typical zombie practitioner. Devoted twitter fanatic. Amateur music buff. Avid bacon buff.