My recommended route goes north through the Lincoln park neighborhood and into Wrigleyville. It has some long sobering walks in between pubs so make sure your feet are prepared. Start at River Shannon and ease into it. An old firemen's hangout, this place has the obligatory fire-related memorablia hanging around and a beautiful old bar. Head up Lincoln to Halligan, another firefighter-related pub (named after a firemen's tool). You can take the option to cross the street to John Barleycorn to visit a classic Chicago bar and a great collection of model sailing ships. Also a good choice for lunch to fortify yourself for the long journey north. If you started this route at night, you better start moving if want to make closing time at Cullen's.
Head up Lincoln, then north on Halsted, unless you elect to take the Irish Eyes option but I recommend heading straight north to the gaggle of Irish bars on Diversey and Halsted.
On this route, we'll avoid most of the gaggle and head straight to Harrigan's, the most authentic in the area, for a much needed pint after the 8 or 9 block walk.
Then head west on a side street to Sheffield, then north on Sheffield to Vaughan's where you'll know you're in an Irish pub by the brogues.
A worthy excursion at this point would be to grab a cab or to hop on a westbound Belmont bus out to Gunther Murphy's, a real favorite of the real Irish. But we'll head north again to Roscoe where you'll turn east to find O'Hagan's on the corner of Clark. O'Hagan's is a fairly new pub, but they brought real Irishmen craftsmen over to refinish the place. Complete with fireplace and good pub food.
We'll head north, skipping The Blarney Stone (because if you haven't cheated, you've done 5 pints so far and need to save room for a couple more) and head into the Irish Oak. By now you should know what a real Irish pub is.
One more. Head north on Clark, past Wrigley, west on Waveland and north on Southport to Cullen's to end the night. If the friendly Irish at Cullen's don't keep you 'til closing, Ginger's Ale House isn't too far away a bit west and north on Ashland.
It's now time to go home. Or as they say, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.
See my comments on some of the other bars in the area.
This site is in no way an endorsement of drinking, eating chips and gravy, or cheese and onion crisps. The establishments mentioned on these pages have not endorsed or sponsored this site. The creator of this site holds no responsibilty for anyone using this map with stupidity. Drink according to your limits and take CTA.
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