Happy Hour in Chicago

Happy Hour Chicago

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Did you know Chicago has a law against happy hour? It's true. It is illegal to have a happy hour in Chicago. It is perfectly legal, however, to offer daily specials, according to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. When I learned this interesting fact, I became oddly excited by the idea that just because I have to work late and can't make it for the "happiest" hour doesn't mean I can't take advantage of specials all day long. With countless spots to grab drinks with friends in the city (and the outskirts of the city), how do you find the best happy hour in Chicago? Here are a few of my favorite hot spots with some fantastic deals.

Sidebar Grille
221 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60601

Sidebar is one of my favorite weeknight happy hour restaurants in Chicago. The happy hour specials are great - make sure to check out half-priced bottles of wine on Tuesday nights and $5 martinis on Wednesday nights. And you can't beat the buy one appetizer, get one free special on Monday and Friday nights (after 3PM and 7PM, respectively). Tuesday at Sidebar means free pizza after 3PM. Yep, I said it. Free. Pizza. Team trivia on Monday nights is highlighted by all sorts of drink specials. Sidebar has a great atmosphere with a friendly staff, and I've never felt uncomfortable showing up for an after-work drink on my own.

McCormick & Schmick's
1 E. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601

Seafood, cocktails, and Chicago: three of my favorite things. The bonus? Ridiculous happy hour specials that leave you well-fed and maybe a little buzzed. The bar menu at McCormick & Schmick's features items starting at $1.95, including oyster shooters, blackened chicken quesadillas and more. Steamed black mussels, pulled pork sliders and peel-and-eat shrimp start at $4.95. And let's not forget about the McCormick's Champagne and Oyster Bar with $1.50 oysters, king crab legs, jumbo shrimp cocktails and $6 glasses of champagne. Also on the menu are featured wines starting at just $5.95. Don't miss out on live jazz on Wednesdays!

Joe's Bar
940 West Weed Street
Chicago, IL 60642

Sports, concerts, bags tournaments, and happy hour specials – Chicago has all the reasons in the world to love Joe's Bar! Oh, did I mention the sweet beer garden? It's impossible for me to list all of the great specials Joe's has to offer, but a few come to mind: $2 pitchers, 25 cent drafts, and half-off pizzas on Tuesdays, plus $3 mixers and martinis on Wednesdays. Head right back on Thursdays for $1 longnecks and $2 Jägerbombs! Other daily specials are available as well, and I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention the Doggy Happy Hours. If you're like me and have furry friends but no backyard to sit, sip cocktails, and enjoy the Chicago evening, do not miss the Doggy Happy Hours on Wednesdays. Bring the pooch, sip the fabulous drink specials and enjoy a dog-related movie on the 20-foot projector screen on the patio.

Moretti's Ristorante & Pizzeria
6727 North Olmsted Avenue
Chicago, IL 60631

So you live in the city but don't work downtown – or vice versa. Need a great way to kill some time while traffic on the Kennedy dies down? Check out the happy hour specials at Moretti's in Edison Park. It is cheaper than most downtown bars, has the best barbecue chicken pizza I've ever had, plus great drink specials. The huge patio is perfect to sit and hang out while waiting for the Kennedy parking lot to clear or the Metra train to arrive (Edison Park station is directly across the street). Daily specials include Sunday Bloody Marys and White Trash Mimosas. Thursdays offer $3 shots and $4 U-Call-Its. Make sure to check out karaoke Wednesdays with $16.95 6-bottle buckets, $3 Skyy shots and $4 Skyy U-Call-Its. What better way to get over hump day than to round up your friends, hit up Moretti's and sing some bad Journey cover songs?

The Kerryman
661 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654

I've lost track of the number of times I've been to this bar. I can say that each and every time I have been more than impressed with the food and the happy hour specials. Mondays feature four sliders for $4 and beers like Matilda, Fat Tire, Cane & Ebel and more for just $4 each. Tuesdays offer half-priced bottles of wine, followed by Wednesday's $2 Stella, $4 Kettle cocktails and $3 Jameson shots. Don't even get me started on Thirsty Thursday specials. This is also one of the few local bars in Chicago that I like at all times. Whether it's a weekday happy hour or a weekend night out with friends, The Kerryman always delivers exceptional food and strong drinks. Do not miss out on the Blackened Chicken sandwich. Secret is out. This is a great place to be.

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