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Where to find bars & restaurants with free food in Chicago

Fill up on everything from popcorn and peanuts to pizza and wings—all for zero dollars at these Chicago bars and restaurants

Quenchers Saloon
Photo: Martha Williams Quenchers Saloon

We've all been there–you're hungry, but you mostly want something to snack on while you drink. A warm cookie, perhaps, or maybe some pretzels. OK, maybe you want a meal too. Whatever the case, some Chicago restaurants, cocktail bars, beer bars and other spots offer free eats while you imbibe.

Where to find free snacks

The Burwood Tap
Photograph: Martha Williams
Bars, Dive bars

Wings at Burwood Tap

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park

Monday through Thursday at 8:30pm, hunker on down to Burwood Tap for a game of pool over free wings. You can head over earlier to grab free popcorn too, if you're extra hungry.

Bars, Breweries

Peanuts and pretzels at Lagunitas Taproom

icon-location-pin North Lawndale

Sit down at the large brewery or drop by for a tour and have a beer. You'll be greeted with free peanuts and pretzels as you drink, and the taproom also has a robust menu if you need more than that.

Photograph: Bfull24/Foodspotting
Restaurants, Cafés

Doughnut holes and Milk Duds at Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant

icon-location-pin West Loop

Thinking of spending your Sunday morning at this classic Chicago diner? Better check the weather: The line snakes out the door and onto Lou Mitchell Way well into the afternoon. But hey, customers are treated to fresh, sugar-dusted doughnut holes (and, if you’re a woman, Milk Duds) while they wait.

Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki
Bars, Beer bars

Pretzel sticks at the Map Room

icon-location-pin Bucktown

Stop by to hang out and relax in the cozy tavern over a nice selection of craft beer and everyone's favorite beer snack–pretzel sticks.

Photograph: Mark Wright
Bars, Pubs

Peanuts at Monk’s Pub

icon-location-pin Loop

Nestled right inside the Loop, grab a pint at Monk's to find a crowd of post-work imbibers. They'll give you peanuts to go with your beer, and you'll feel liberated as you throw the shells on the floor.

Bars, Pubs

Bacon at Paddy Long's

icon-location-pin Lake View

With a hefty list of craft beer on tap, come by the pub late at night when you can't quite sleep and receive free bacon after midnight Sunday through Thursday.

Photograph: Erica Gannett
Bars, Lounges

Cookies at Scofflaw

icon-location-pin Logan Square

Cocktails reign supreme at Scofflaw. While the line can get long on the weekends, it's worth standing in to sip one of the restaurant's top concoctions. But make sure you stay around until midnight, when the staff serves freshly made chocolate chip cookies.

Bars, Beer bars

Popcorn at Quenchers Saloon

icon-location-pin Bucktown

This Bucktown/Logan Square mainstay with almost 300 choices of beer serves free popcorn with your drink, offering a laid-back atmosphere for beer nerds and night owls alike.

Restaurants, Mediterranean

Bar snacks at Travelle

icon-location-pin River North

The elegant hotel bar serves constantly replenished dishes of snacks, including olives and puffed corn, to munch on while you sip.

More to explore