There’s something special about a really good happy hour. The feeling of a good deal is great, but when it’s paired with a great atmosphere and good friends, there are few things that match it for a casual weekday out. For a great happy hour, it needs to be reliable, nothing that changes every day or has funky hours. And, if it can be unusual on top of a good deal, even better. Here are the most essential happy hours in Chicago, the ones worth counting on to help abate the post-work blues.Read More
Chicago's Essential Happy Hours
The tried and true after work deals
1. Mini Mott
Chicago, IL 60647
If dinner’s up in the air and everyone’s in the mood for burgers, head to Mini Mott. There’s a $3 daily draft beer, like Hopewell First Lager and a $3 can of beer with a shot.
Tuesday – Sunday, 4 – 7 p.m.
For a fancier happy hour, head to Quiote. At-cost caviar service with tortilla chips, avocado, crema and lime plus a sparkling cocktail comes to $60 during happy hour. Or, go more casual and grab a Tecate and mezcal shot for $5 and $2 rock shrimp fritters.
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 5 – 7 p.m.
3. Parson's Chicken & Fish
For a longer happy hour to start the evening off right, both locations of Parson’s have excellent food and drink specials, like $4 hush puppies, popcorn chicken, and pimiento toast. Dollar PBRs, $2 whiskey and tequila shots, and $5 negroni slushies make the deal even sweeter.
Monday – Friday, 3 – 6 p.m.
4. Dos Urban Cantina
Five dollar margaritas and $2 beers make the happiest hours at Dos Urban Cantina. Bites during happy hour range from $3 to $8, and there’s a Taco Tuesday special with two lamb barbacoa and carnitas tacos for $10.
Tuesday – Friday, 5 – 7 p.m.
5. Estelle's Cafe & Lounge
Estelle’s and its sisters Remedy, the Owl, aliveOne, and Easy Bar make happy hour a breeze. Everything is half off, excluding shots and food. Yes, that includes cocktails, craft beer, and wine. Hours vary by location, but all end at 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday, 5 – 7 p.m.
Mondays are the biggest hit at Sparrow, where daiquiris are just $5 all day long. To stack on top of that, every weekday from 4 to 7 p.m., all wines and draft beer are half price for those looking to skip cocktails for the night.
Monday – Friday, 4 – 7 p.m.
Kolsch service is the main draw at Funkenhausen’s happy hour, which takes place in the bar area of the restaurant. Servers come by with seven ounce pours of cold Kolsch for $3 per glass and will rotate them out until asked to stop. Rib tips and chicken wings sweeten the deal, and a doner kebab is even available to turn the whole thing into dinner.
Monday – Thursday, 5 – 7 p.m.
8. Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago
For those who like to leave it up to chance, Broken Shaker’s $7 daily-changing cocktail and punch are the way to go. $5 drafts and house wines are also available during happy hour, and for those who make it a little late but still want to try today’s cocktail, it’s available all night for $10.
Monday – Friday, 4 – 6 p.m.
With a large wine by the glass selection, happy hours at ENO are a great way to wind down. Select glasses come 50% off during happy hour and a menu of snacks is available as well.
Sunday – Thursday, 4 – 6 p.m.
10. Il Porcellino
13 different cocktails on the negroni list (including a sbagliato and boulevardier) for $8 a piece make this happy hour special. Plus, $5 wines by the glass are available and $3 Italian sub sandwiches (choose from meatball, Italian, or vegetarian) make a great pre-dinner snack.
Daily 4 – 6 p.m.
On Mondays, Waydown has a special menu with $6 everything all day. It includes a burger, classic cocktails like a daiquiri or gimlet, and a beer and shot special. For the night owls, happy hour gets reversed the rest of the week, with $3 Old Styles, $6 rosé and $8 Old Fashioneds.
All day Monday, Reverse Happy Hour Sunday – Thursday, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
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12. Lone Wolf
Those on a budget can grab a $5 Chicago dog and fries, and a $5 rotating beer, wine, or cocktail at Lone Wolf for happy hour.
Monday – Wednesday, 4 – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
For the high brow set still looking to score a deal, Sepia’s “Greatest Hits” happy hour features the West Loop stalwart’s signature cocktails, select bites, wines, and beer all for $7 a piece. Pick from blistered shishito peppers or pork and rabbit pate, and if choosing one drink seems just too hard, grab a wine flight of three for $10.
Monday – Friday, 4 – 7 p.m.
14. El Che Steakhouse & Bar
Starting a night out with a cocktail is an easy yes at El Che, where happy hour happens every single day with $2 empanadas and other snacks, plus $7 cocktails like a classic martini and caramelized rum Old Fashioned.
Every night, 5 – 6 p.m.
15. Brando's Speakeasy
It doesn’t get much cheaper than $5 cocktails, but at Brando’s, happy hour comes with a $5 Old Fashioned and a $4 Moscow Mule. $4 Three Floyd’s bottles and $3 small pizzas are also available, along with more drinks and snacks.
Every night, 5 – 7 p.m.