• The thrill of happy hour: Five Chicago spots with good food and ambience

    by Maggie Hennessy / WBEZ Chicago / January 16, 2024

    It’s that wonderful time of year when you suddenly have free nights again — and are looking to break up the dark monotony of January while getting a headstart on that New Year’s Resolution you made to be more social.

    In the bleary aftermath of December’s extravagance, January’s feeling is more about mellower, back-pocket places to meet for a drink and a snack. Think of these casual hangouts as ideal destinations after work and before the late dinner reservation, or on a random Wednesday to escape the winter doldrums — when the group requires something more substantial foodwise than a bag of Lay’s from the back bar, or a plastic bowl of cheeseballs with each Miller High Life order (available on request at excellent Humboldt Park dive Archie’s Iowa & Rockwell Tavern, if you must know).

    These five watering holes offer a lively rendezvous any day of the week to cure the winter blues, plus one-of-a-kind shareables that run the gamut from Baja-style tostadas to fried clams and Korean BBQ chicken smothered in cheese. Want other ideas for going out? Try our lists of solid mocktail spots for sober people in 12 neighborhoods and destination bars for elevated entertaining.


    Lincoln Square

    Open Wednesday-Monday; no reservations

    Dancen is a gloriously confounding little joint — Is it a bar? Is it a restaurant? — Read more HERE




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