An Illinois Happy Hour Law may not allow drink specials confined to a particular set of hours, but there’s still some great ‘happy hours’ to be had around the city that include great food and drink. That’s because, for one, the law does allow free food to be included in a happy hour. So when you’ve just gotten off work and you’re looking to let loose, check out these five restaurants/bars around the city that can serve you some great cocktail specials (just not a ‘happy hour’ discount).

(Photo Credit: bridgetmcneills.com)

(Photo Credit: bridgetmcneills.com)

Bridget McNeil’s
420 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 248-6654
www.bridgetmcneills.com

There are a lot of reasons to check out this Lakeview pub. The fish and chips is one reason, and its drink specials are another. On Mondays, enjoy $5 glasses of wine, along with $12 large pizzas. Then on Thursdays, pick from your choice of $5 you-call-its while dining on $8 pub burgers. Even Friday “happy hours” have a great deal: $5 martinis! All other nights feature specials as well.

Blue Line Lounge & Grill
1548 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 395-3700
www.bluelineclubcar.com

Conveniently located under the Damen blue line el stop, people come to Blue Line Lounge for the drinks, although its gourmet pub food (pot roast nachos, anyone?) is worth a trip too. Wednesday is, perhaps, Blue Line’s best night as it offers $5 specialty martinis (choice of 32). But Thursday is also a rocking night, what with $5 specialty mojitos (choice of 11 flavors). Blue Line features other drink specials on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as well.

(Photo Credit: cleosbar.com)

(Photo Credit: cleosbar.com)

Cleo’s Bar & Grill
1935 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 243-5600
www.cleosbar.com

Watch an array of international soccer games at this Ukrainian Village restaurant, and enjoy some daily specials. If it’s a cocktail happy hour you’re looking for, be sure to swing by on Fridays (when Cleo’s features $4 well drinks) as well as Saturdays and Sundays ($4 well bloody Marys and mimosas). To go with all those drink specials, Cleo’s also features some great food specials.

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Grand Bar
1600 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 733-1661
www.grandbarchicago.com

While this West Town neighborhood bar is known as a late-night spot, it opens its doors at 4 p.m. every day of the week, making it a great go-to spot right after work. Even better? On Mondays it offers half off on all drinks. But this same deal doesn’t apply to food because this place doesn’t have a kitchen. Fortunately, ordering food in is encouraged. Thursday “happy hours” and beyond also feature $4 drink specials.

Irish Eyes
2519 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 348-9548
www.irisheyeschicago.com

This Lincoln Park bar may be pretty simple, and some may even call it a “dive bar,” but it’s quintessentially a neighborhood bar where the bartenders will remember your name if you frequent here enough. And with daily drink specials, you’ll be wanting to come back again and again. But perhaps the best deal is on Tuesdays when Irish Eyes features $2 domestic pints as well as $2 well cocktails. Wednesday is another day to stop on by for a free comedy open mic night and also $3 well cocktails from happy hour on.

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Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at Examiner.com.