Brought to you by the owners of Stanleys and Melvin B's, Mickey's Snack Bar is hot when it is warm out. This is due to the fact that they have a large front outside eating area on Clark where you can watch the people go by. They recently renovated the inside dining area to make it more comfortable (even put in plasma tvs).
The food is good for bar grub. The mini cheeseburgers and the wings are good standbys. My favorite drink is cranberry vodka with fresca. I cannot remember what they call it on the menu but they go down very easily.
Dress Code: The crowd is typically young (20s) so you see a lot of skin, belly rings and such. However, they get a lot of after the Cubs game crowd so you will see everything from shorts to Cubs shirts.
Located between the Chicago River and the Theater district, this has a happy hour atmosphere well past the designated happy hour times.
Beer is the beverage of choice but mixed drinks and cocktails are available.
The atmosphere is mostly after-work types there for a couple of rounds of beers. Televisions are set up throughout the bar and tuned into what else but sports games.
Dress Code: Come as you are
While part country pub and part London city bar, the Red Lion offers a laid-back environment that is very conducive to having a good conversation and sampling the fine English fare. The Red Lion also offers a forum for comedy, literary readings and ghost stories. In fact, the Red Lion is one of Chicago's most notable haunted establishments stemming from a turbulent history dating back to the 19th Century. All that, plus one of the city's best beer gardens, makes the Red Lion one of my favorites.
Dress Code: Although the Red Lion is widely known for its English atmosphere and spanking-good ales, it is more widely known for its apparitions. It has been reported that several male and female ghosts, thought to be past patrons or workers who have died in the building itself or nearby, call the Red Lion Pub home.
Dick's Last Resort is a chain of resteraunts where they give you a lot of attitude while dining there. The Dick's in Chicago is right in downtown and is accessable by boat.
I've been there a couple of times late night and had a great time. It was packed full of people and they allow you to throw dry napkins at people, so it became a huge paper fight. Lots of fun. There was a good cover band, a good mix of people, and 36 oz beers. Good times.
Dress Code: Very Casual
The Chicago Brauhaus has a long neighbrohood tradition in an old German neighborhood. The food is German-American rather than pure German but you can find places like this all through Central Europe. This one happens to have an American slant. The beer is imported from Germany and when you spend a night there, expect to lock elbows and sway to German drinking songs. They have live music and dancing on most nights. It varies from swing to polka to American to German to German-American. When you listento the entertainers and bartenders and waitetresses, expect it to be aout 70% English and 30% German. Both are understood and credit cards are welcome. In short, this is a great place if you want to experience German-America. Kassler rippchen is especially good, just like Oma used to make.
This is a little place for local Romanians that I don't know if it has a name and has no sign except a battered old broken Old Style neon. Its the door under there in the run down building. The inside is immaculate with crystal chandeliers, elegantly dressed staff etc. They have cabaret singers on weekends. You can have Romanian food for cheap. Two things to remember, this is a small community, you will be watched with interest as you enter. Not all the staff speak English and not all who do speak it well. I got along in Italian OK, but not consistently. No credit cards. This one isn't for everyone.
Dress Code: Although you CAN go in just about anything. I would stongly suggest men wear a tie and ladies dress to impress.