Have you ever found yourself sitting through a “Wandering Uterus” or “Spun Out of Butter” seminar (yes, these are real classes) at SAIC and just thought, “Man, I really need a drink right now.” For us here at F this happens at least once a day, so we have made it our job to scope out all of the best places to get a drink within walking distance of campus. We are like walking encyclopedias of happy hour schedules and that does not just pertain to drinks, but food as well! So, if you are a grad student who just needs a drink every now and then to keep from self-destructing or punching someone in the face, or if you are just someone living on a low budget who wants to meet up with friends in the evening, this is the list for you. If you have any other suggestions that are not mentioned here, make sure to write us on Facebook or Twitter (@fnewsmagazine) to let us know what your favorite spots close to school are.
0.3 miles from School
71 W. Monroe St.
This is by far the weirdest place I’ve been in Chicago thus far. That includes strange art galleries out in industrial Pilsen and a random Airstream (camper) put on top of a building in Ravenswood. Despite its weirdness, you should not be deterred from visiting this Epcot-like version of a small, northern Italian village. Walk upstairs and take a look around, but you should aim to sit in the bar area located to the left when you walk in because that is where the magic is. On weekdays from 4-6 p.m., as long as you sit at the bar and have an alcoholic beverage, you can enjoy ALL YOU CAN EAT pizza for free. That’s right, FREE. It’s insane. You have to check it out.
Plymouth Pub, Restaurant, and Rooftop Bar
0.4 miles from School
327 S. Plymouth Ct.
Plymouth Pub is the second closest location to school with by far the best deals. The atmosphere is far from fancy and presents a chill place to relax with friends in the afternoon. This bar has so many happy hour deals for food and drink that it might be hard deciphering what is actually offered. The good news is that no matter what you order, it is probably discounted somehow during happy hour, which is Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m. Every day there is a different food special for $4, but select appetizers and beers are half price every day. If you are really in the mood, or have a group of six who all want the same beer, a beer tower is definitely the way to go.
0.8 miles from School
725 S. Dearborn St.
Flaco’s Tacos is a special favorite of the F staff because there’s really no going wrong with this tiny Mexican joint. The food is normally cheap, but the drink deals are really where it’s at. There’s a different drink special every day, all day, but our favorites have to be Monday ($3 margaritas), Tuesday ($3 sangria), Wednesday ($8 coronarita, a Corona turned upside down in a huge margarita), and Saturday ($4 Sangritas). Needless to say, we come here a lot. If you want to eat for REALLY cheap, come on Tuesday for $1 special tacos.
1.0 miles from School
445 N. Dearborn St.
If you are into oysters, this might just be the best deal you can find close to campus or maybe even Chicago. While having $1 oysters every day (even the weekends) from 3-7 p.m. is not particularly special in Chicago, having a delicious $5 Sauvignon Blanc to pair them with is. Treat yourself and enjoy these extremely delicious oysters (you can pick which specific town on the East and West coasts you want to order from), while snickering about how much all the well-dressed people around you are paying for their non-oyster meals. If you are trying to pre-game for a night out with a group of about eight friends or are just in the mood to drink a nice cocktail out of a super fancy punch bowl, try one of Joe Fish’s delicious punch bowl options. It ends up being around $10 per person if you are a group of about eight with each person refilling their glass twice. Trust me, you will leave ready for a night of dancing.
1.2 miles from School
230 W. Kinzie St.
This location is a little bit farther away and somewhat fancier, but totally worth the trip. Located inside of Gilt Bar, the secret speakeasy-like atmosphere of The Library will make you feel like Al Capone in the 1920s. The interior is beautiful and the wait staff is excellent. Simply approach the hostess stand and let them know that you would like to sit in The Library. Here’s the kicker: While this bar has pretty steep prices on food and drink, their house wines are $5 a glass and come in very sizable portions. I would recommend stopping by for just a glass of wine and to soak up the classy atmosphere. Try to sit in one of the round, velvet booths. If you feel like venturing into more expensive territory, the cocktails are some of the best I’ve had in Chicago, and I’ve tried plenty.
1.4 miles from School
739 N. Clark St.
Two weeks ago, Zed451 started its $4.51 happy hour deal. Monday-Friday from 4:30-
7 p.m. you can enjoy a specific food item or category of drink that changes every day for $4.51. What they have on special is pretty amazing. If you’re hungry, on Mondays you can order any of their pretty delicious flatbreads for $4.51. The best days to come if you want to drink are Wednesday (all wine by the glass), Thursday (all beers), and Friday (Grey Goose mixed drinks and martinis). The atmosphere is modern, chic, but the clientele consists mostly of businessmen wanting to let loose. That said, be prepared for it to get pretty rowdy.