I don’t think there’s a more quintessential dive bar than Side Street Saloon in Lakeview, Chicago. It’s one space that juxtaposes two very common Chicago spots; there’s a dive bar in the front and an Italian restaurant vibe in the back. Side Street Saloon, as its name implies, is a corner bar in a residential neighborhood. It’s oblong and houses a pool table, jukebox, bar stools, and booths to chow down on cheese curds, affordable thin-crust pizza (that may be my favorite pizza ever), or “beer buddies” aka stuffed potato skins.
This bar has no frills but draws in all kinds of people looking to relax after work or on the weekend. It’s a quirky space where you may find a pumpkin-flavored beer on the menu in July or a group of friends playing Connect Four at the table during the winter. At Side Street Saloon, you won’t find “Instagramable” moments, but rather it’s a great spot to unwind, put your phone away, and chat with locals or whoever you may be sitting with!
If you’re here in the fall, consider stopping by to watch a Bears game and order their consistently succulent pizzas that easily wash down with a cold pint.