This blog post was updated on October 5, 2018.
The Chicago bar scene is plentiful, and for travellers visiting the Windy City, trying to choose a place to spend a good night out can be overwhelming.
Luckily, smartphone apps just keep getting better and better.
Yes, you can now use a phone to help you pick a new watering hole in the Windy City, or choose a new hot spot and get a discount at the same time! Are you as amazed as I am?
Well…just keep reading.
Drink Deck – Chicago: Drink Deck is like a deck of 52 playing cards on your iPhone or Android. Each card has a bar and a discount of anywhere between $10 and 30% off your food, drink or both. Choose from a list of nearby bars pinpointed on a map or from genres, such as wine bars, dive bars, beer bars or gastropubs. Price: $29.99
SceneTap – Chicago: SceneTap helps you figure out which bar you’d like to hang out with on a given night in Chicago. It does this by providing real time numbers on how many people are there, the male-female ratio, and the average ages. Is there anything worse than wanting a quiet night at a pub only to find your favourite spot packed to the brim with college kids? In addition to real-time numbers, the app provides deals and discounts at certain establishments, and with social media integration, you can definitely share where you’ll be with your friends. Price: Free
Findmytap: If you’re craving a certain sort of brew while in the Windy City, all you have to do is bust out the Findmytap app to track down establishments that can quench your thirst. Get directions to the bars you find (using geolocation search), leave reviews, update the app with new bars you find, and create a favourites list. So, if your day is feeling like a Guinness day or perhaps a Blue Moon kind of evening, then hop on the app and see where you’ll end up in the future. Price: Free
Of course travelers boarding flights to Chicago should never rely solely on technology to plan their Windy City itinerary. You should always leave a little room for spontaneity – hopping into bars and restaurants that call to you on the spot. Who knows — maybe the establishment is new or just so underground that the apps don’t have it listed yet. Only one way to find out!
CC Flickr photo credit: Seth Anderson