There’s a lot of build-up to one’s 21st birthday, and a lot of pressure to celebrate in a way that is, in one way or another, memorable. Whether that means just having a couple of beers around the corner or partying hard until 4 a.m., you should celebrate this milestone in whatever way makes you happy. Check out the 10 best Chicago bars to find the right spot for your 21st birthday night.
1444 W Chicago Ave, Chicago IL 60642
With actual salon-style chairs and martini-and-manicure specials, Beauty Bar lives up to its name. Probably the best part of this night club, though, is its DJ’d theme nights that get everyone out on the dance floor; Emo vs Pop Punk, GRRRL Power, and The Grind R&B Dance Party have been regular favorites on the Beauty Bar calendar.
1970 W Montrose Ave, Chicago IL 60613
A haven for the beer lovers, Fountainhead has a delightful roof deck garden and is always perfect for gathering your friends and going to town on some fries and brews.
2363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647 | 1366 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60622 | 839 W Fulton Market, Chicago IL 60607
Arcades: great. Bars: also great. Arcade bars: the greatest. Who doesn’t want to play air hockey in between birthday shots?
435 N Clark St, Chicago IL 60654
For those who haven’t tired of more novel drinking experiences (I’m talking about the youths here), a tiki bar that also happens to be a speakeasy is probably the perfect combination. All the beverages are, of course, dangerously delicious, and you have to be in the know just to find the entrance to the bar.
6920 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago IL 60626
This cozy spot very much has the feel of a friendly neighborhood bar and has a wide selection of craft beers and cocktails. It’s easy to post up here with your friends for a solid couple of hours and lose track of time over drinks.
2105 S State St, Chicago IL 60616
Aside from being a well-loved music venue, Reggie’s also has a well-loved rooftop space. You can get appetizers, burgers, and other selections to go with any number of cocktails and great beers.
1818 W Foster Ave, Chicago IL 60640
Self-described as a ‘neighborhood bar,’ Big Joe’s should be on your 21st-birthday-itinerary if you prefer a laid-back atmosphere, big pitchers of beer to share, and, most importantly, if you’ve longed to see a bunch of turtles racing. Every Friday at 10 pm, anyone can look on in wonder and admiration as these noble reptiles compete for glory.
2101 N California Ave, Chicago IL 60647
If you’re looking for great Mexican-inspired food and delicious margaritas (and maybe less of the wild, into-the-wee-hours 21st birthday), this Logan Square spot may be the place for you. You can balance out your tequila shots and margaritas with fish tacos, street corn, and more.
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3556 W Belmont Ave, Chicago IL 60618
This is, at first glance, just a no-frills dive bar with cheap drinks and a jukebox; at second glance, however, you might realize that Alice’s hosts wildly popular karaoke nights Wednesday through Saturday every week. Devoted regulars frequently appear at Alice’s karaoke and throw themselves into their performances with great gusto.
5148 N Clark St, Chicago IL 60640
If your greatest wish for your 21st birthday is a giant beer menu, amazing mac and cheese, and top-notch fries (among other tasty food items), Hopleaf should be your destination. This Andersonville pub is the perfect place to be getting together and drinking with your pals.
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