Are you a hipster or do you just want to hang out with the hipster set in Chicago? To find the best hipster bars in Chicago, head to the artsy neighborhoods in the Windy City. From Pilsen to Wicker Park and in just about every artsy enclave in between, you’re sure to find just the right bars to see some local artwork or hear a band from the 773 or 312 area codes. For an additional list of hipster bars in Chicago, check out this article.
2311 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Named one of the top hipster neighborhoods by Forbes, Wicker Park features a wide and varied assortment of bars, including Handlebar. Established in 2003, Handlebar’s menu offers vegan and vegetarian dishes, including fried avocado tacos and black bean maduro, and fish and seafood dishes. It’s also open for breakfast and serves local produce. Handlebar has a full bar for cocktails and has eight drafts that are rotated, and has served beer from Off Color Brewing and Daisy Cutter from Half Acre Beer Company. A rotating display of local artwork is also onsite. So, what’s up with the Handlebar name? The bar is focused on the biking community, and has evolved to a neighborhood spot where you can park your bike onsite.
The Blind Robin
853 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
When you want to grab a beer in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, check out The Blind Robin. The Blind Robin features an assortment of beer on tap, including selections from Pabst Blue Ribbon, Fat Tire, Goose Island and Stevens Point Brewery. The Blind Robin can also mix your favorite craft cocktail. While you’re enjoying your drink, make sure to take in the bar’s artwork. The bar features a rotating display of works from local artists, and if you’re an artist who wants to show your latest work, then leave a sample at the bar or send an email to the bar’s management team.
Emporium Arcade Bar
1366 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
For those looking for a bar where they can try craft beers while also playing a game of Mortal Kombat or Q*Bert, consider heading to Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. The bar features an extensive selection of arcade games and pinball machines that include both classics and newer titles; just remember to purchase tokens to play. Snacks are available for sale, and you’re invited to bring in outside food as well. What about the drinks? Emporium features a rotating list of 24 different types of beer, and has served Brooklyn Brown Ale, Greenbush Ursus, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Surly Abrasive Ale. The bar also offers an extensive selection of whiskey and other drinks.
960 W. 18th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
If you’re headed to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood for the Second Fridays gallery night or just want to check out the area’s galleries, plan to stop in Simone’s Bar later for a drink or a bite to eat. Locally and nationally known musicians play at the bar, and you can relax and grab a drink while admiring the bar’s upcycled decor. Simone’s has solar panels and herbs that are grown right on its roof, and is a three-star certified Green Restaurant. Don’t forget the food and drinks, either. Simone’s offers a selection of wine, beer and cocktails, and its food menu includes empanadas, grilled portobello sandwiches and six different specialty pizzas.
3224 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
After a day of checking out the galleries and concerts in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, stop in at the family-owned Whirlaway Lounge for a drink. The bar is a landmark in Logan Square, and was purchased by the Jaimes family in 1980, well before the neighborhood became known as a hipster hangout. An assortment of beer is available at Whirlaway Lounge, including beer by Fat Tire, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Goose Island, Newcastle, Coors and Budweiser. Whirlaway Lounge is also easy to get to, and is less than one-half of a mile from the Logan Square stop on the El’s Blue Line.
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Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.