Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chicago Dives and Pizza

A couple weeks ago my husband, my sister-in-law and myself headed down for a Friday afternoon in Chicago.  It takes about 4ish hours to get there and with construction and what not, we were READY to walk and drink when we got there.  We've all been to Chicago before and we really didn't have many plans.  We knew we wanted to be around the Michigan Avenue shopping area, eat some deep dish pizza and enjoy some cold beverages.  By the time we had parked and driven by a few establishments we knew we wanted to start at Timothy O' Tooles and headed back a few blocks to check it out.

We decided our rules for the afternoon were:

1.)Use Yelp, find a dive bar within a short walking distance of current location.
2.)Drink one drink/possibly share an appetizer and move on to the next.
3.) End up at Giordano's slightly after 5pm for dinner.

Timothy O' Tooles was a perfect first stop.  It was nice and cool inside and it was refreshing to step out of the crazy sidewalks into the sports bar area.  I had a very yummy Woodchuck Amber and we split the sampler platter of appetizers because it was closing in on 1:30 local time and 2:30 our time and we hadn't eaten all day.

We were going to go to one place but when we stepped outside on the sidewalk the GPS changed the distance of the next place so we just kind of wandered out to Michigan Avenue to enjoy the people watching and try to decide our next plan.  A little while later we decided on Pippin's Tavern.  This was also a very small divey place where we each had one beer.  I can't remember what I had beyond that it was a New Holland beer.  My sister-in-law tried to get a Stella but the keg was being changed and we honestly felt like it was new bartender-who-doesn't-know-how-to-pour day.  So she switched to something else so we could just get moving ha.  It is next door to Downtown Dogs if you are in the mood for a hot dog ha. ;)

After that we headed out and turned the corner and headed to Streeter's Pub.  As we walked down the stairs into the bar I commented that it reminded me of How I Met Your Mother.  They had ping pong tables inside and a large wooden jenga game to play.  We sat at the bar and I got a McKenzie's Black Cherry Cider.  It was amazing.  I don't generally drink cider's but I was in a mood for them on that day and it helped switching it up between a beer and cider.

We did make one more stop but I cannot remember what it was called.  I had a red that was unremarkable and they did have rum punch special that my sister-in-law got and enjoyed.  It was SUPER close to Giordano's though, like right down the block.  I stink at remember names! Also, it was not so divey ha.

Giordano's was as good as I can remember.  The wait did suck but we were there on a Friday night right at dinner time, so I can't complain.  I liked being able to pre-order so that by the time we got to our table we only had to wait about 5 more minutes for our food.  And oddly enough, a table of older women next to us offered to let us try their thin crust pizza because they weren't taking it home with them and they had a ton left.  So since we were all starving and may have had a few beverages, we totally tried a strangers pizza.  The whole time we were like, umm I hope they didn't poison us! But all is good in the world, we survived.  I definitely preferred the deep dish to the thin! If only I could get that exact same pizza at home!

We had a great quick day visit into Chicago.  I'm glad we got to be carefree and just jump from place to place.  Our one complaint --- to us dive bars = cheap beer.  6 to 6.50 a beer didn't seem to cheap to us.  But the insides of the bars definitely = divey! ;)

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago? Do you like to bar hop in new cities? Deep dish or thin crust? New York or Chicago style pizza?

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