Location: 1024 N Western Avenue, Chicago P: 773-451-5625 Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight
Best burgers in the city…hands down…the end…Seriously though, the burgers at this place could speak for themselves. Located on Western Ave in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, Lockdown is far from your average bar. For starters they strictly play heavy metal and the theme is half jail cell half dungeon; their beer menu is chalk full of craft brews, and they have down right awesome food. Take “The Death Sentence” for instance, 20 oz of beef, double stacked with bacon and yellow cheddar; topped with carmalized onions on a pretzel roll. They offer a wide variety of cheeses as well including Brie, Chevre, Gorgonzola and Merkts Cheddar to name a few. Top 5 burger spots dead or alive, that means EVER in Chicago, if you don’t believe go check out Lockdown yourself.
Location: 3258 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight
The bar scene in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood is known for being rowdy, a little pretentious, and at times, feeling like the bro capital of the world. Most of the bars on the Clark Street strip will be packed to capacity on Friday and Saturday nights and if there’s a game, you can count on 2-3 times the crowd on the streets. Sheffield’s is like an oasis. In the midst of so much drunken debauchery, lies a cool, laid back bar with great food and an even better beer menu. They have what feels like 4 separate bars, each of which is fitted with multiple big screen TVs; and a huge outdoor area with it’s own bar. This place can get pretty wild from time to time, but the bros and yuppies tend to stay away; leaving an atmosphere filled with peace and girls that aren’t being harassed at every turn.
Location: 501 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis Hours: Mon-Fri: 4PM-2AM, Sat-Sun: 8AM-2AM
In recent years, Minneapolis’ West Bank has begun the transformation from a place often overlooked, into a bustling, multi-cultural strip with plenty of cool bars, good restaurants and venues to enjoy live music. One such bar/venue is the Nomad World Pub, which is located just across from Palmer’s; a couple of blocks from the Triple Rock. In addition to a constant rotation of live acts, the Nomad offers bocce ball, pinball (brand new) and even curling in the winter, along with a separate patio complete with a fire pit. Drink specials like 2 for 1s and the good ole’ prefix (PBR & shot) are offered pretty much every night and the music is always on point whether it’s rock, hip hop, soul or a DJ spinning. The Nomad is often at that perfect capacity, not too packed, but far from empty, however; there always seems to be a random influx or two throughout any night, probably due to it’s location between so many other bars. If you’re into futbol, the Nomad is one of the best places in town to catch a match in peace, and game days are usually accompanied with extra specials. All in all, the Nomad World Pub is a great bar to kick back a few brews and enjoy some good local music, they always have good beers on tap and they consistently book quality bands/artists. If you’re ever on the West Bank in search of a place to drink, stop by the Nomad and check out what they have to offer.
Bauhaus Brew Labs. Aesthetically pleasing, tasty brews, all tucked neatly in the heart of the Brew District (NE Minneapolis). If you were to ask me what my favorite brewery is to attend, it is now Bauhaus Brew Labs. With open space, a large covered outdoor area with lights hanging overhead; it is the perfect place to go with larger groups.
Bauhaus also has an outdoor/indoor stage for live music, board games, bag toss, and a kid play area. These are all things that make this brewery unique to the scene around it. Just a block down from 612 Brew, placed alongside the railroad tracks, Bauhaus Brew Labs is just the new brewery we needed to liven up the brewery scene yet again.
The bar scene in Minneapolis is currently undergoing a huge transformation. Chic rooftops and trendy lounges have began popping up everywhere leaving a stark contrast in many of the city’s neighborhoods. Take Mortimer’s for example, a sleepy, game filled “Dive” with 3 separate bars and TV’s everywhere vs. Moto I; a swanky Japanese style sake brewery and lounge (yes it has a rooftop). Both of these places are awesome in their own way and for separate occasions, but if I’m just trying to knock back a couple of brews, I’m taking Mortimer’s all day. Serving up some damn good burgers, cheese curds and 2 for 1 drinks just about all day; Mortimer’s is a great place to kick back and watch the Vikes or simply get wasted for the low (Pregame!!). All in all this place is a cool bar with crazy drink specials and awesome games, if you’re looking for a chill place to have a brew in Uptown; look no further.
(P.S: This place attracts patrons of all types, beware some are less than cordial)
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
The corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street has gone through quite the transformation over the last few years. The new Country Bar, Iron Door Pub, and Lyn-Lake Brewery have breathed life into what was beginning to look like one of the southside’s biggest question marks. If you remember Rusty Quarters, 1Up, or any of the other failed attempts at arcade bars, you know that the people over at the newly established Up-Down are definitely on to something.
The bar feels like an arcade first which is a great thing, they offer a wide array of games including pineball, jumbo jenga and ski-ball. You’ll see plenty of your favorites like The Simpsons, Off-Road, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and NBA JAM, but there are also plenty of gems in their collection. If you came for the booze you wont be disappointed, Up-Down offers around 60 taps as well as a full bar. Food? They have a small kitchen that serves up pizza by the slice, not mind blowing but definitely a good filler between pints. Pinball aficionados might scoff at the limited selection, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better one in the cities. Be aware that this place can get packed during evening hours and over the weekend, if you’re there to play you should aim for week days or earlier hours.
Up-Down is by far the best “barcade” I’ve ever been to in the Twin Cities, there is plenty of room for improvement, but there really isn’t much to complain about either. If you follow our advice on when to attend you should be good, click the link below for their official website.
As craft beer becomes more and more of a “thing” in commercial America, states like Minnesota, Portland, California, Michigan, and Texas continue to push the bar. Minnesota’s 2nd craft brewery, Surly, has now graduated into it’s $30 million dollar behemoth in Prospect Park, if you’ve never been, I’ll be the first to tell you it’s fucking insane. A brewer, beer drinker and food connoisseur will all find themselves at home at Surly. Their tap list usually consists of their classics (Furious, Hell, Bender) as well as a few rare brews ( #10, #4, Hell Chili Pepper). If you came for more than beer, you’ll be glad to know that they offer 2 world class menus, one of which is among America’s top 10. The Brewer’s table is reservation by group only, but the organizing and money is WELL worth it, at $70 a pop (6 guest minimum) we promise every dollar is well spent. The entire facility beckons the word “haven,” as if the gods bestowed us Minnesotans with this specific Eden of beer drinking, if you live in the state and haven’t visited; make sure to check it out next time you’re in the cities. Click the link below for their official website.
As Minneapolis’ bar scene becomes more and more introverted, the old diamonds in the rough are beginning to reclaim their old shine. Dive bars like Liquor Lyle’s, Mortimer’s, Gringo’s & C.C Club are busier than ever proving that it’s not all about the trendy spots. Situated on 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake neighborhood, the C.C Club maintains a staple, statue like presence in the area. Popular for it’s happy hour specials (2 for 1s) the corner bar also serves up some damn good “dive” food (cheese curds, burgers etc). Pool tables, dart boards, and video games complete the scene; along with plenty of thirsty locals looking to have a good time. A perfect place to pregame or grab a last call, don’t be surprised if you bump into someone you know after a few visits. If you’re ever near 28th & Lyndale and in need of a drink, stop on into the C.C Club.
Location: Located in the Historic NE Bank Building.
1300 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
One of the better breweries in MPLS is Dangerous Man. Once you walk in you will notice the place is full of life, and full of good beer. Dangerous Man offers a variety of beers, which are all reasonably priced from $3-5. The slightly modern place, with its towering columns, provides a rather aesthetically pleasing place to drink as well. The guys at DMB encourage anyone to bring in their own food, claiming to be a BYOF establishment (since they do not offer food). Most importantly, the guys at DMB will only sell their beer at their establishment – so there is literally no other way to find these brews unless you step foot into the micro-brewery. As long as it is not a Monday, make your way down to Dangerous Man Brewing Company for some tasty brews for an affordable price.