The best bars in Edgewater
In summer, this beer garden is one of the best in Chicago, but only if you can deal with ass-to-elbow crowds. We prefer this beer-and-burger haven in winter, when we can snag a table by the fireplace and get cozy with our date. Just remember to bring a flashlight to read the menu; the place is dark enough that you could carry on an affair while your spouse was sitting across the room.
Andersonville’s neighborhood tavern is a cozy sports bar and a popular spot for the lesbian community. The crowd is composed of well-acquainted regulars, and there’s an undeniably welcoming feeling of midwestern warmth and camaraderie among the group and bartenders. With a pool table, darts and jukebox to keep you amused and cheap drinks to keep you tipsy, it’s easy to sit back, relax and totally lose track of time.
Thought this was just a bar to belly up to with a Belgian brew in hand? One bite and you’ll know there’s much more. Our perfect night involves sampling the drafts at the bar while slurping down the famous ale-steamed mussels, but you could also class it up, grab a proper table and dig into seasonal rotations such as wood-roasted spring chicken with morels and favas, available in the spring. Beer geeks know this is the place in town to school their palate on craft brews, and they do come in droves, but the addition of an adjacent space helps keep the place from feeling like a sardine tin.
The restaurant and bar took over the old Burger Philosophy space, and while it's a totally different environment, one thing remains the same: there's a good burger, a couple actually, though the Bad Burger, with two patties, American cheese, pickles and mayo is our pick. Otherwise, this spot is all new—there's a bar vibe, so you'll want to try the solid lineup of local draft beers or housemade cocktails, like the charred negroni. The rest of the menu is fleshed out with dishes like bao, steak frites and fried shrimp, which you can't find elsewhere in Andersonville.
The latest sign of the emergence of Clark and Devon, this storefront bar offers a wide array of craft beers (12 on tap, many at just $5) for Edgewater folks who want to avoid the crowds (and the attitude) of Hopleaf. There’s no food, but there’s plenty of Wii. Why “Norse”? When co-owners Ben Buhr and Ian Andrusyk moved from Bucktown, friends suggested “Norse” for their trek north. But when we asked our supremely laid-back bartender about it, he shrugged: “We needed a name.”
Plenty of bars can pour you an Old Style draft beer for $3. But only this divey spot, hidden in plain sight near the Berwyn Red Line stop, has its namesake Ollie Latiker pouring it for you. Patron saint of every Edgewater drinker, Miss Ollie slings drinks with palpable joy, even after 35 years behind the bar. Open at 10am most days, the bar looks imposing from the outside but sparkles inside like a vinyl-padded, wood paneled midcentury rec room.
Fritzy's is a laid back, reliable neighborhood dive bar in the northern corner of Edgewater. Think: pool table, darts, a bowling machine, neon Budweiser signs and a whole bunch of locals posted up at the bar. Right across from the Raven Theatre, Fritzy's is a perfect post-show drinking spot.