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Our Favorite Dive Bars
The Matchbox. In West Town near Wicker Park, the Matchbox isn't much bigger than a you-know-what, but the hodgepodge of regulars don't seem to mind. In fact, many claim it's the dark, cramped quarters (we're talking 3 feet wide at its narrowest) that keep them coming back. The crowd spills outside in summer, when wrought-iron tables dot the sidewalk. 770 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park, Chicago, IL, 60622. 312/666–9292.
Old Town Ale House. Old Town Ale House, just a stone's throw from Second City, has attracted a diverse cast of characters since it opened in 1958, including comedy legends John Belushi and Bill Murray. With eclectic artwork, a mural of bar denizens painted in the '70s, and a lending library on-site, it's a dingy neighborhood bar unlike any other in the city—perhaps the country. 219 W. North Ave., Near North, Chicago, IL, 60657. 312/944–7020. www.theoldtownalehouse.com.
Rainbo Club. Rainbo Club is the unofficial meeting place for Chicago hipsters and indie rockers. Apart from the working photo booth wedged into a corner, the stripped-down hangout is pretty barren, but drinks are dirt cheap and the bartenders are upbeat—and willing—conversationalists. 1150 N. Damen Ave., Wicker Park, Chicago, IL, 60622. 773/489–5999.
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