Best bars in Humboldt Park
The novella-length menu at this cozy, low-key Humboldt Park alcove contains loving and helpful descriptions of an impressive selection of wines and beers. But if you still have no idea where to start, ask—everyone behind the bar is willing to let you taste through options until you find a wine you’ll love. To fuel a long night of drinking, the food menu includes an array of small plates served until 1am. This is the kind of warm, simple neighborhood place you’ll never want—or need—to leave.
Brendan Sodikoff took over the ’30s-era cocktail bar in 2014 , and it’s still wonderfully low-key with live music, a jukebox and glowing red lights—but now with better drinks. Try the elegant gin and raspberry Clover Club. The venue's robust live music schedule features jazz and country acts, with covers that are usually between $5-$10, depending on the show.
This inconspicuous bar is equal parts after-work dive and Antiques Roadshow. Amid dusty knickknacks and bric-a-brac, the family who runs the place will pour you a stiff drink and then try to sell you a Civil War–era revolver, a set of buffalo-themed shot glasses or anything else lying around—anything except for the patriarch’s wall-mounted marlin and the Hamm’s sign hanging out front.
A change in ownership dropped the “Black” before “Beetle” but kept the wood-paneled bar, antique taps and low-key vibe intact at this Humboldt Park watering hole. If DJs are spinning on weekends, music can be heard from the sidewalk tables when the weather’s nice. Drop by for trivia on Monday nights, cheap tacos every Tuesday or a boozy brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you want to watch any Chicago team (Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs, etc.) while enjoying a cold beverage and a plate of barbecue, you've come to the right place. Boulevard Sports Lounge lets you order brisket, rib tips and pulled pork by the pound while you take in the game on an array of screens covering the walls of this Humboldt Park bar. Even if you don't feel like cheering on the home team, you'll appreciate the nightly food and drink specials.
What would happen if you took the elements that have made a certain Wicker Park bar so oppressively popular—creative tacos, cheap beer, good music—and moved them a mile west? Bullhead Cantina tries to answer that question, offering a long list of tacos (including sweet potato and portobello options for vegetarians) as well as some Mexican-inspired burgers. Best of all, a taco, a PBR tallboy and a shot is always just $7.
This no-frills sandwich shop, appended to the corner liquor store that shares its name, is something of a hidden gem. Order a basic but tasty sub, featuring a range of meaty combos tucked into supremely crusty bread, and head across the street for lunch with a side of Humboldt Park loveliness, or stick around and wet your whistle with a selection from the 20-strong rotating draft list.
In its latest incarnation, this 100-year-old dive has transformed into a slick little enclave for the late-night crowd to enjoy last call to the tune of the DJ’s all-rock repertoire. Thanks to its 4am license, it's a popular spot for industry workers looking for a post-shift drink after all the 2am watering holes close up shop for the evening.
This neighborhood watering hole is a mainstay for locals. The bar boasts a pool table with room to spare and a few small two-tops for quiet conversation. With a long list of beer specials, stop by and grab a drink at the bar—you may meet an interesting character or two.