Best for Beating the Crowd

Lost Lake

WHEN:Monday to Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
WHAT:Head to this tiki escape for its four-day-a-week staycation menu and you’ll find $8 cocktail specials and zero lines. Snack on crinkle-cut fries dunked in sambal aïoli ($5) and coconut shrimp toast ($8), perfect for pairing with a tart daiquiri.
WHERE:3154 W. Diversey Ave., Logan Square

Best for a Saturday Bar Crawl Kickoff

Neon Wilderness

WHEN:Daily from 5 to 7 p.m.
WHAT:In keeping with its neighborhood’s pleasure-seeking vibe, Neon Wilderness’s happy hour is available every day — even on weekends. Get your night started with $8 cocktails and $5 beers and shots.
WHERE:1270 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park

Best for Drinking Ballast


WHEN:Monday to Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
WHAT:For just a single Hamilton, Scofflaw will serve you a Gin & It, a riff on a martini, plus a burger with onions and special sauce to keep you level.
WHERE:3201 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square

Best for Bringing a Group and Ordering One of Everything

The Duck Inn

WHEN:Tuesday to Friday from 5 to 6 p.m.
WHAT:You’ll need to book to Bridgeport after work, but the promise of half-off beer, wine, and cocktails should light a fire under you. Grab a table and order up snacks, like cheese curds with Bloody Mary ketchup and duck wings, since the deal extends to those too.
WHERE:2701 S. Eleanor St., Bridgeport

Best For Playing Hooky on Fridays

Twisted Hippo Taproom and Eatery

WHEN:Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHAT:Consider this craft brewery’s $12 flights and $3 tasters an invitation to burn a personal day — or just half of one — and get your weekend off on the right foot.
WHERE:2925 W. Montrose Ave., Albany Park