Best Bar Crawls Ever

The bar crawl is not just a means of ensuring group intoxication; it is a social instrument born from an overflowing supply of great bars in one area. I have partaken in bar crawls that have stretched 30 blocks; I have partaken in bar crawls that are contained within only a few. If you’d like to introduce yourself to a new hood I can think of no better way to start than by organizing a crawl amongst a few good friends. Each memory of that evening, each conversation, becomes distinguished by the bar, stool, booth or chair you currently occupied. The order of bars and time of the evening or day you arrived will also influence that memory. The crawl should not be confused with the “bar hop”, for the hop is conducted when one is not satisfied with their surroundings (often as a reflection of the “bar hopper” and not the bar itself). The crawl is meant to be picky, bypassing bars of mediocre ilk for the sake of the truly special spots. It is a noble institution and one receives an award of hazy pride and tipsy accomplishment should they finish. We at UPchicago can think of no better way of featuring our favorite bars than by doing a deeper exploration of each neighborhood, assembling as a team of writers and taking down our neighborhoods one crawl at a time.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Old Town

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Old Town

We are on a mission to perfect the art of the neighborhood bar crawl… and I’m not gonna lie, I think we may have accomplished our goal with this one. Good beer, good pub food, so-bad-it’s-good karaoke, and one member mysteriously disappearing mid-crawl? Yep, we’ve officially done it.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Humboldt Park

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Humboldt Park

A great place to have a bar crawl, the gentrifying neighborhood of Humboldt Park had lots of places for us to explore.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Edison Park

If you venture to Chicago’s far northwest side you’ll find the cozy neighborhood of Edison Park, home to various types of bars and restaurants all with something different to offer.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: West Division Street

UPchicago Bar Crawl: West Division Street

Bar Crawl #8 straddled the borders of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village, as we hopped to different spots along West Division Street.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Roscoe Village

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Roscoe Village

This time, we took on the sleepy neighborhood of Roscoe Village, delving into some of the city’s best dives and greatest neighborhood bars. Come crawl with us…!

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Wicker Park

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Wicker Park

Neighborhood bar crawls are becoming second nature to us. This time we set out without even having an exact plan, knowing that Wicker Park has a plethora of nightlife spots just waiting for us to explore.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: River West

UPchicago Bar Crawl: River West

River West hosts an eclectic mix of classic Chicago and the new and chic. Both are included in our crawl.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Edgewater & Andersonville

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Edgewater & Andersonville

Bar Crawl #4 was approached with an air of expertise and formula — which was great, because, logistics handled, we could concentrate on the drinks… er, fellowship and staff bonding. This time, we bonded all over Edgewater and Andersonville, on the far north side.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Ukrainian Village

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Ukrainian Village

We might be having too much fun with our “neighborhood research.” But who is going to complain when your job includes pounding beers while competing in a ping pong tournament and reminiscing about great early 90’s TV shows.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Logan Square

UPchicago Bar Crawl: Logan Square

Five writers. Five bars. One neighborhood. Many beers.

UPchicago Bar Crawl: North Center & Lincoln Square

UPchicago Bar Crawl: North Center & Lincoln Square

For this project we assembled six writers who would each choose a destination, collectively drink there and then individually share their impressions. This is our story.