Everybody knows that day drinking is the best kind of drinking, mainly because the odds are better you won’t be hungover the next day. When you eat a bunch of pizza or an Italian beef at 9pm and go to sleep, you’re golden. It’s one of those important lessons you learn as you get old and wise.
Here are 26 excellent places that are great for day drinking throughout the city, both indoor and outdoor.
On the inside, Park & Field has retro vibes, enough TVs to be a legit sports bar, and plenty of room. But its greatness comes from the objectively awesome, humongous outdoor section. To call it a patio would be like calling the Cubs World Series parade a get together. It’s massive, with bocce courts, big chairs, fire pits, and a repurposed van used as a bar. You can stay all day - a theory we’ve tested and proven true.
Maria’s has been the neighborhood favorite liquor store/tavern hybrid in Bridgeport for a long time. And in 2016, the owners decided to buy out the space next door and turn it into Kimski, an industrial-looking Korean-Polish restaurant and bar with a nice little patio out back. Sound like a lot going on? It is. But trust us when we say this is the perfect place to hang all day for some cheap eats and drinks. Try the poutine with kimchi gravy.
Saint Lou’s is a 1950’s style meat & three restaurant but there’s nothing outdated about the back patio. It’s an awesome space with a covered area with picnic tables, another section with round tables and umbrellas, a bocce ball court, and a back bar so you never have to go all the way inside. And since it’s also very reasonably priced, Saint Lou’s is ideal for any casual group hang, especially one that involves drinks.
Gene’s is an old school Polish deli that serves traditional sausages and other specialty Polish items. The food is good, but the best part about Gene’s is the rooftop beer garden that opens in the summer. Grab some grilled sausages and cold drinks and hang out on the picnic benches for an excellent afternoon.
If you’ve ever been stuck between deciding whether to eat tacos or get all up in the club with your crew, Federales is for you. It’s basically spring break in restaurant form, which means day drinking is the name of the game. You’ll drink too many margarita pitchers and have one or six ill-advised tequila shots, but it’ll seem like a smart idea because you can throw shot glasses made of ice at a bell. (It’s a thing here, just go with it.) You’ll also spend too much money and be disappointed in yourself the next day, but that’s the price of a good time.
Parlor Pizza is a party all weekend long and these days there are two locations - one in the West Loop and another in Wicker Park. Both spots have outdoor patios that are some of the best in the city, with A+ real estate for a nice day. Round up your friends, order a bunch of pizzas, and spend the afternoon doing what you do best - eating pizza and drinking beer.
Resi’s is a classic German tavern in North Center that’s been around since 1973. That means you should be drinking weiss beers here, and it’s acceptable to have as many as you’d like. Grab a bratwurst to go with it.
Fremont is pretty much begging you to day drink. On top of the Vegas vibes and second floor with a retractable roof, there’s a brunch buffet that includes brisket, omelette and waffle bars, a seafood tower, and Doughnut Vault donuts for good measure. Add in a reasonable champagne package and hi we’re here to party.
A great beer selection, a great taco selection, a great bao selection, and some good looking burgers are the draw to Little Bad Wolf in Andersonville. Steamed Asian buns and IPAs will keep you chugging all day long.
Walking into Happy Village feels like you’re breaking into someone’s house. Nope, that’s just Happy Village. There’s a ping pong space inside that gets real serious at times, and a backyard that your six-year-old self would have loved (and your adult self currently will). You won’t be breaking and entering, but it still feels more like a house than a bar.
Chief O’Neill’s is an Irish bar with the best of both worlds. It has that classic Irish bar feel inside if you want to post up and not see the light of day, but also a really nice garden area for outdoor seating.
Jack and Ginger’s is your average neighborhood sports bar that comes with a not so average patio. Even if you hate sports, you won’t mind watching something with a drink in your hand on Jack & Ginger’s patio.
If you need us to remind you Sheffield’s is a great place for day drinking, you either just moved here or don’t like social settings. Don’t plan a day drinking session at Sheffield’s - it’s the kind of thing that just happens.
Kaiser Tiger has one of the largest patios in the city and the words “sausage, bacon & beer” are painted on the side of the building in huge lettering. If that doesn’t sound like a day drinking extravaganza, then we don’t know what does.
The only reasons we ever go to Zella’s are for day drinking and Halloween parties. You may or may not feel too old for their Halloween party, but you can still go for the day drinking.
Pizza, beer, funky lights, and cool signs are why everybody in Lincoln Park wants to spend the day at Homeslice. Will it be crowded on a nice day? Yes. Will you regret going early to claim some space? Not at all.
Do you like sports, beer, big crowds, and live country music? Head to Joe’s on Weed Street. It’s like one big college party, but more fun because you can bet on horses. Good luck to all you degenerate gamblers out there.
Parson’s has the best patio in town. That’s a bold statement, but we can back it up. Nowhere else has the combination of food, fun, and a sense of civility that doesn’t feel like a ridiculous spring break. Add in the fact the food is all about fried chicken and they serve negroni slushies, and you have the makings of a great place to day drink all summer long.
Fountainhead is one of those places that you’re either a huge fan of, or have never heard of. If it’s the latter, we want to change that. Located at the corner of Damen and Montrose, Fountainhead has excellent beer, whiskey, and scotch selections, plus solid food to back it up. There’s also a low key rooftop that’s scientifically proven to make a good beer taste better.
Happy Camper is the twin sibling to Homeslice. Both are all about pizza and beer in a casual setting, and both attract similar crowds in Lincoln Park and Old Town.
When a place has as many beers on tap as Hopleaf, any time of day is a good time to be drinking there.
There are a lot of places in Wrigleyville specifically associated with drinking and baseball, but you can check our Wrigleyville guide for that. Old Crow Smokehouse is a great place to day drink whether baseball is involved or not, and whether it’s nice out or not. Chalk that up to a lot of space, solid bbq, and a retractable rooftop.
Vegetarians are people too, so we know they like to day drink. Hit up Handlebar if you want some excellent vegetarian food and drinks. The fried avocado taco is delicious, plus there are some really good non-vegetarian fish items on the menu too.
Unless you’re a Hoosier fan, avoid Kirkwood’s if there’s an Indiana basketball game on a Saturday afternoon. But any other time works well, and particularly football season because nobody is watching Indiana play anyway. The indoor-outdoor combo at Kirkwood’s is ideal for day drinking, and their tasty chicken wings and cheeseburger mini’s with Merkt’s cheddar don’t hurt either.
The motto at Sportsman’s Club is “drinking & gathering.” Grab a bar seat if it’s gloomy out, or sit in the backyard if it’s a nice day. That’s all you need to know.