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Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap | © D.L./Flickr
Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap | © D.L./Flickr
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The Best Student Bars In Chicago

Picture of Elizabeth Newhart
Updated: 10 November 2016
Chicago nightlife has a place for everyone, and that includes its college students. If you’re a current student, recent alum or just someone who lives close to campus, check out the best local places for a drink near Chicago’s major universities.

Bar 63

Bar, American, Contemporary, $$$
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Nearest University: Loyola University Chicago

The infamous Loyola University dive Hamilton’s (affectionately known as Hammy’s) served the campus community for an impressive 80 years. After it officially closed its doors in October 2012, Bar 63 swooped in to take its place. It doesn’t have the tradition or lengthy rap sheet of Hammy’s, but current students have barely taken notice. It’s still the top spot for bar eats, sports, and late-night binge drinking with classmates.

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Mon - Fri:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
Sat:
11:00 am - 3:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 2:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Late Night, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Traditional, Casual

Oasis

Bar, American, $$$
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Rogers Park, home to LUC, Bar 63 and Oasis
Rogers Park, home to LUC, Bar 63 and Oasis | © Gerald FarinasWikiCommons

Nearest University: Loyola University Chicago

Oasis is almost the opposite of Bar 63’s loud, fratty, and energetic crowd. Here, you’ll find the same no-nonsense bar patron every night of the week, authentic (not plastic) dart boards, cheap beer pitchers, and at least one senior citizen slumped over the bar. It’s less popular with students but gets credit for being the only local 4 am bar.

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Mon - Fri:
3:00 pm - 4:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 5:00 am
Sun:
12:00 pm - 4:00 am

Meal service:

Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Relaxed

Streeter's Tavern

Bar, American, $$$
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Nearest University: Loyola University Chicago

This one is for the campus commuters. Loyola’s second campus in downtown Streeterville is home to the communication, business, and law schools and gets a ton of academic action daily. Streeter’s is the area’s favorite local dive that’s always full of students killing time before night class. It’s just around the corner and is an underground college kid haven. Expect discounted drinks, foosball, pool, beer pong, giant Jenga, and great music.

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Mon - Fri:
11:00 am - 4:00 am
Sat:
11:00 am - 5:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 4:00 am

Meal service:

Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Secret

Kelly's Pub

Bar, Irish, Contemporary, $$$
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Nearest University: DePaul University

Every college has one classic joint that comes to mind when pressed for student bars, and Kelly’s belongs to DePaul. It’s been a reliable Irish pub since 1933, and it still faithfully broadcasts Notre Dame football games every fall. But you will rarely find it without a pack of students blowing off steam on the weekends.

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Sun - Fri:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
Sat - None:
11:00 am - 3:00 am

Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual

McGee's

Bar, Irish, American, $$$
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Nearest University: DePaul University

McGee’s doesn’t stray too far from the mold of Kelly’s. Indeed, it’s just across the street. But this is your place if you’re looking for cheap food to go with your cheap beer and sports. On Thursdays, enjoy $1 beer and $1 pizza slices, and try the hangover brunch on the weekends.

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Mon - Fri:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
Sat:
10:00 am - 3:00 am
Sun:
10:00 am - 2:00 am

Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual

Irish Eyes

Bar, Irish, American, $$$
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Nearest University: DePaul University

If you’re sensing a theme among the DePaul spots, know that Lincoln Park is notoriously full of Irish bars. Check out Irish Eyes for live music on the weekends and comedy open mics on Wednesdays. It’s popular for its cheap shots of the week and its stance against cover charges.

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Mon - Fri:
3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sat:
11:00 am - 3:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual

Roscoe's

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, $$$
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Roscoe's bar float in annual Pride Parade in Boystown
Roscoe's bar float in annual Pride Parade in Boystown | © puroticorico/WikiCommons

Nearest University: DePaul University

Travel a little outside of the DePaul bubble for Roscoe’s, one of Chicago’s most well-known gay bars. It’s in the center of Boystown and welcomes people from every walk of life to its multifaceted bar, restaurant, and nightclub space. But it has a special relationship with DePaul’s queer community and is a great location to meet some fun new friends.

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Mon - Fri:
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sat:
2:00 pm - 3:00 am
Sun:
2:00 pm - 2:00 am

Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Stylish, Unusual

Jaks Tap

Bar, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, $$$
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Nearest University: University of Illinois at Chicago

Jaks Tap has been a reliable sports bar catering to the West Loop for 20 years now, and it attracts a lot of regulars along with crowds of college students. They’re constantly praised for their quality food, so it’s a great place to come for a sit-down dinner or a quick drink in between classes.

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Mon - Wed:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Thu:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
Fri:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 3:00 am
Sun:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Relaxed

Ph.D Pub

Bar, American, $$$
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University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago | © Vikingstad/WikiCommons

Nearest University: University of Illinois at Chicago

Ph.D Pub has plenty of comfortable seating where you can watch any local game and sip on one of their academic-themed cocktails. Try the Twisted Professor and feel like you’re truly back in class. Also, check out their video game couches and put together a six-pack of beer to take on the go.

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Mon - Thu:
2:00 pm - 2:00 am
Fri:
12:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sat:
11:00 am - 3:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 2:00 am

Meal service:

Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Unusual

The Pub

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, $$$
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Nearest University: University of Chicago

The Pub is located in the basement of a campus building, and you need to be affiliated with the university to get in (student, faculty, staff, etc.). So if you have a UofC ID, and you haven’t visited yet, make your way over to The Pub. It’s the best local place for drinks with old-school college vibes.

More Info
Mon:
4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Tue - Wed:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu - Fri:
4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Late Night

Atmosphere:

Cosy, Secret, Traditional

Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap

Bar, American, $$$
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Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap | © D.L./Flickr
Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap | © D.L./Flickr

Nearest University: University of Chicago

Not to be confused with Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, Woodlawn Tap is another UofC institution. It’s the diviest of dives, often driving away visitors expecting trendy cocktails and craft beer. But if you need a place for greasy food and late-night drinks, it has you covered. Also, come for live jazz music on Sundays.

More Info
Mon - Fri:
10:30 am - 2:00 am
Sat:
11:00 am - 3:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 2:00 am

Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Relaxed, Cosy