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20 places to get a beer while you're working

Sometimes coffee just won't cut it—here's where to grab a beer while you answer emails and work on spreadsheets

Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki
The Map Room boasts a fantastic beer list.

If you're lucky enough to work from home or need to tackle a few tasks away from the office, we have good news: There are plenty of spots that open well before 5pm where you can score free Wi-Fi and grab a drink. Work can (sort of) be fun when you have a beer, glass of wine or a cocktail in your hand, right?

RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Chicago



Think coffee shop plus beer–a really really good selection of beer. The always helpful staff can point you in the right direction for a drink while you plug in and work for the afternoon. Hungry? Grab something from a nearby eatery and bring it in.

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Lake View

The Book Cellar

The Lincoln Square bookstore is an ideal spot to browse books or sit down at a table to tackle some work while sipping beer, wine or freshly brewed coffee. Bonus: There are cupcakes from Southport Grocery to snack on.

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Lincoln Square

Christina’s Place

The windowless front door isn’t exactly a welcome mat, but once inside Christina’s compact, cozy digs (and after an insanely cheap Guinness), you’ll feel right at home.

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Irving Park

The Coffee Studio

It offers great coffee, but the Andersonville coffee shop also sells craft beer and wines—perfect for winding down from your morning coffee while you work.

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The Rogers Park bar opens at noon, is strictly cash-only, has free Wi-Fi and longneck PBR's are always $3. Who needs coffee?

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Rogers Park

DryHop Brewers

Get there early or keep your eyes peeled for bar seats—DryHop gets crowded and waits for tables only make it feel more like the place to be. The killer French fries, great burgers and steady drafts solidify your decision, and the patio makes a great spot to hang out.

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Lake View

The Globe Pub

It can be hard to snag seats at the pub on game days (the Globe is a hotspot for watching soccer and rugby matches from across the pond), so sneak in on an off-day and hunker down to work. They have a solid selection of craft beer and events like trivia at night; you could stay all day if you wanted.

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North Center

Half Acre Brewery

The taproom has free Wi-Fi, so settle in for the afternoon over a tasting flight. They also have regular tappings of limited releases, so try something new while you're at it.

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North Center

Harmony Grill

The restaurant attached to Schubas is open for lunch, so stop by and grab a snack. Hang out for a while, ’cause there's Wi-Fi, wines and draft beers.

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Lake View

Howells & Hood

This sprawling restaurant/bar features a shocking number of beers on tap and just the kind of food you want to have while sampling beers. The menu includes classics like fried cheese curds, mac and cheese and a terrific kimchi-topped burger—perfect for Loop workers to drop in and grab a cold one before heading back to the office. Come summer, grab a spot on the big outdoor patio for prime people-watching and city views.

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