Best Chicago Budget Bars

August 11, 2011 6:00 AM

(credit: Old Town Ale House)

Summer is officially here, but I feel a bit disheartened when I look at my bank statement. Finding affordable, fun watering holes in the city can be difficult. But not to fear! Here are a few of my recommendations for budget-minded bars that satisfy your thirst and don’t drain your pocketbook.

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(credit: Halligan)


2274 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 472-7940
Monday 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
Tuesday-Thursday 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Friday noon-2 a.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.-3 a.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Halligan, located in Lincoln Park just off of the Fullerton red line stop, is a great bar to visit when you’re on a budget. With ample seating and flat screens galore, it’s a great place to catch a game and a cheap drink. While there’s no outdoor seating, the front windows swing open and provide a great breeze. With daily drink specials as low as $1.50 for domestic bottles and $3 call drinks, what’s not to love?

logo Best Chicago Budget Bars

(credit: Four Moon Tavern)

Four Moon Tavern

1847 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 929-6666
Open Weekdays 5pm-2am
Sat 10am-3am

Four Moon Tavern, a favorite for locals in Roscoe Village, is a unique little bar with a warm ambiance. It has an impressive selection of beers, reasonably priced drinks, and great service. Craving some comfort food? This is the place for you. Try the delicious Four Moon nachos and you’ll be hooked.

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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Woodlawn Tap

1172 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 643-5516
Open Weekdays 10:30am-2am
Sat 11am-3am
Sun 11am-2am
CBS Directory

Located in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago, Woodlawn Tap is a no-frills bar with serious character. Always full of regulars, this bar serves up a mean cheeseburger with a very attractive price tag ($2.50). Woodlawn Tap is full of life, laughs, and achieves the elusive everybody-knows-each other vibe.

Schoolyard Tavern

3258 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 528-8226
Open Weekdays 5pm-2am
Sat 11am-3am
Sun 11am-2am

Schoolyard Tavern, just off Southport, is a great place to grab a bite, catch a game, and chat with friends. Daily specials are as low as $5 for a meal and $3 for drafts. My favorite special for this time of year? Tuesday’s $12 pitcher of Sam Adams Summertime. Swing by and check out it out! Don’t forget to save some time to explore the neighborhood.

sharon022 Best Chicago Budget Bars

(credit: Old Town Ale House)

Old Town Ale House

219 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 944-7020
Open Weekdays 8am-4am
Sat 8am-5am
Sun 11am-4am

Old Town Ale House is a fixture in the Old Town neighborhood. The bar itself remains literally unchanged from the day it opened its doors in 1958. Take a seat on one of its vintage church pews or mismatched chairs and you will feel right at home. With art covering the walls and familiar tunes pumping from the jukebox, Old Town Ale House is a shoe-in for one of your new go-to bars.

Interested in getting more of a feel for the bars listed here? Check out our picture gallery to see what they’re like!
Amanda Look lives in Chicago and works for an academic association doing event coordination. She blogs about city living and never gets tired of exploring its neighborhoods and events.
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