Known for drink specials and a lively vibe, “college bars” are just as prominent a factor in a college town like Chicago as the school itself. Whether shooting pool or darts, dancing, or cheering for your favorite college or pro team, the college bar has become a fundamental part of community for the typical college student. In case you haven’t stumbled upon yours yet, here is a list of some of the best college bars in the Chicago area.

(Photo Credit: John Barleycorn - Wrigleyville's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: John Barleycorn – Wrigleyville’s Facebook)

John Barleycorn
3524 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL. 60657
(773) 348-8899

Some may think that the biggest party of all of Wrigleyville is the one and only Wrigley Field, but they obviously haven’t been to John Barleycorn yet. Just a little over a mile away from DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus, John Barleycorn is a favorite among the college crowd as well as general party people. Massive in size and always sporting a fun atmosphere, whether a game is playing or a DJ is, John Barleycorn’s Wrigleyville location is known for their Thursday through Saturday happy hour from 8 to 10 p.m. offering 50 percent off all draft beers and small plates, as well as $4 wells.

The Drum And Monkey
1435 W Taylor St.
Chicago, Il. 60607

A favorite among students of University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, Drum & Monkey is Little Italy’s only Irish pub. Although “taco Tuesday” is a thing, it’s “taco Thursday” at The Drum & Monkey offering $2 tacos all day. Less than a mile from UIC’s main campus, The Drum & Monkey features everyday specials like $3 PBR, $5 Fireball and more, as well as daily food and craft beer specials too. A friendly, small-town vibe in a big city bar, the bar’s merry atmosphere is infectious.

(Photo Credit: Woodlawn Tap's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Woodlawn Tap’s Facebook)

Woodlawn Tap
1172 E 55th St.
Chicago, IL. 60637
(773) 643-5516

Literally steps from the University of Chicago’s main campus, the Woodlawn Tap is a favorite haunt among university students as well as music lovers. Offering live blues every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. followed by live jazz at 9 p.m., the music alone is worth a visit to the Woodlawn Tap. The extensive craft beer selection and delicious cheap eats are just another two attractive factors about this animated neighborhood establishment. Open until 2 a.m. nightly and 3 a.m. on Saturday nights, the Woodlawn Tap can get pretty crowded despite the three separate rooms, but for the college crowd that just makes things more fun.

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Red Line Tap
7006 N Glenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60626
(773) 274-5463

Tucked away on a little street in Rogers Park is the Red Line Tap. A favorite among both Loyola University students as well as music lovers and locals in general, this intimate spot has a little something for everyone. Offering an array of both local and national live music selections spanning the genres, the drink preferences are just as just as diverse. Craft beer lovers will be in heaven, as will partiers who simply want $1 Bud drafts (on Wednesday nights), $4 Fireball on Saturdays, or a whole slew more specials and happy hour options.

Lion Head Pub
2251 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60614
(773) 348-5100

Another favorite haunt of DePaul University students is the Lion Head Pub, and it’s close to Loyola and Kendall College as well. Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, the Lion Head Pub always has the game on — regardless of sport and including both college and pro. With daily food specials that appeal to both the college crowd and anyone wanting to watch their pennies, try the $1 burgers on Wednesday. Lions Head Pub also offers a phenomenal Wednesday night to all with $1 off craft beer options, $1 PBR cans, $2.50 domestic bottles, half off house bottles of wine, and $10 whiskey flights.

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Soon after earning her BA in journalism, Melanie Falina began writing about one of the loves of her life – music. Since then, she’s covered some of the biggest names in music, in addition to writing on an array of other topics as well. She has written for Black Belt magazine, KISS: The Official Authorized Quarterly Magazine, Examiner,, Yahoo Voices, and more, and was editor for Don Lemmon’s KNOW HOW Book Three, Refuse To Fail. Melanie is also a poet with five published collections of poetry available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and various establishments.