5 Chicago Happy Hours You Actually Want to Be At

What are you smiling about?

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Listen, we’re all for leaning in. But you can’t stay late at the office tonight. Not when bars--ones you actually want to be at--are upping their after-work menus in a major way (can you believe Illinois happy hours were illegal?).

So unless you like missing out on great drinks, food and deals, here are five happy hours you should be frequenting.


The Boarding House: 4:30 To 6:30 P.m. Weekdays

A grueling Monday calls for pizza. Luckily, your mozzarella fix just got cheaper. At the sommelier-owned hot spot, happy hour pies are now $10. Need a chaser? Wines by the glass are half off.

720 N. Wells St.; 312-280-0720 or


Fig & Olive: 4 To 7 P.m. Sunday Through Thursday

The Mediterranean restaurant doesn’t do happy hour. Oh, no. Here, it’s an Italian-style aperitivo hour. But, real talk: What could be happier than a less-than-$20 meal of Cava and dainty toasts topped with salmon and figs?

104 E. Oak St.; 312-445-0060 or


Bottlefork: 4:30 To 6:30 P.m. Monday Through Saturday

If you like the whole DIY thing, you can showcase your skills at Bottlefork’s special Gin & Tonic Happy Hour. Build your own cocktail from a menu of global gins, house-made tonics and botanicals.  

441 N. Clark St.; 312-955-1900 or

Cold Storage: 3 To 6 P.m. Weekdays

So, you can’t get a table at Swift & Sons. Would cheap oysters ease the blow? Cold Storage is a seafood restaurant within the famous steak joint. And its happy hour offers briny snacks for a dollar apiece and $3 beers.

1000 W. Fulton Market; 312-638-6280 or

The Library Bar At Public Chicago: 4 To 7 P.m. Weekdays

After work, get cozy in a soft chair by the Library’s fireplace. And if you happen to be there during “Sunset Hour” (a classier name for “happy hour”), sparkling wine is $7 and the herbed fries are $3. So basically, you have to spend $10. Don’t mind if we do.

1301 N. State Parkway; 312-229-6771 or