Jul 12, 2022 - Things to Do

Readers guide to the best Chicago dive bars

Dive bar

Even if it wasn't mentioned in the list, The Hideout is a classic Chicago dive. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

We wrote about our favorite dive bars last week.

🍻 Of course, our readers pulled up a stool to tell us about many of their own favorites.

Chad G.: "We used to always go to Delilah's on Lincoln. Great music and whiskey selection!"

Roy C.: "My favorite dive bar is Rossi's in River North. It's a classic spot amidst the fancy-schmancyness of its surroundings. You know it's the real deal because they don’t even have a website, just a Facebook page."

  • Margaret V. agrees, saying, "Hands down, best dive is Rossi. If the power went out, no one would notice!"
  • Marcella G.: "Rossi's! It’s a black hole!"

Bob K.: "Never thought about it growing up as a dive bar, but the Nisei Lounge. Just thought of it as a place where Japanese Americans could get a drink without being hassled."

Mike D.: "Dugan's in Greektown is such a legendary staple. You'd miss it if you weren't looking for it, but this dog-friendly bar is a must-try late-night spot."

Paula M.: "Floyd's Pub on Oakley and Armitage. Great bartenders and food, changing beer selection, taco Tuesdays. Many a late night spent with the nephews here."

Chad M.: "Do you know about this gem of a dive, Ed & Jean's Tavern? I just stumbled on it a week ago."

Nathan M.: "Hello from Lincoln Park! My favorite dive bar is Side Street Saloon. In addition to being a great neighborhood tavern, it's got some of the best tavern-style pizza in the city."

Angela J.: "Lemming's is an awesome dive bar!"

William S.: "Simon's in Andersonville or Anvil on Granville."

Meghan P: "RIP Kenny at Gallery!! His stories were amazing of his Rat Pack days in Vegas. Apparently, all the great dives of my youth were in West Town … because I would add Rainbo Club as a West Town institution, and Phyllis' Musical Inn as another great spot for local live entertainment."

Chris A.: "I have no faves to suggest, but I had a surge of memories of the tavern on McLean and Oakley that Justin picked!"

  • "Back when I was a child, a million years ago, I lived on McLean across the street from Pulaski School."

Max S.: "A Chicago dive bar conversation is simply incomplete without including the Rainbo Club in the Ukrainian Village."

Jason Z.: "I miss the old Pippins (the new one is not a dive, but I guess it's ... fine?), but my true pick will always be Simon's in Andersonville."

Megan P.: "My favorite is the late, great Beachwood Inn in Wicker Park .... Cheap Pabst and Old Style bottles, CD jukebox with everything from James Brown to Madonna to The Clash, pool table, Formica tables, warm on cold winter nights, totally unpretentious … a dive bar dream."


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