You can do a Google search and find most of Chicago's hidden speakeasies, but can you actually get in? How easy is it?
From romantic cocktail hangouts to Irish dive bars, here's how to access top secret bars all over Chicago when you are coming to Chicago for your Airbnb experience.
Local Airbnb Travel Experiences in Chicago
The Library at Gilt Bar
If you’re looking to get intimate somewhere dark and cozy for the evening, try to find the Library in River North. The sexy subterranean bar is located just below Gilt Bar, but chances are you’ll need some serious help finding the hidden doorway.
Before you go, here are a few things to know: The space is only open Thursday to Saturday starting at 6pm. They take reservations. When you arrive at Gilt Bar, let the host or hostess know that you’re heading down to the Library and they will show you the way. Once you’ve made it inside, you’ll be rewarded with plush red banquettes, candlelight, classic cocktails and Gilt Bar’s full menu.
Green Door Tavern is one of the oldest bars in the city, and in River North. The bar’s basement speakeasy, the Drifter, is a cocktail haven that only requires a little patience to find.
Here's what you'll do: Walk into Green Door, head to the back of the bar and hang a left to go down the stairs as if you were going to the bathroom. At this point, you may encounter a line for the Drifter. If not, look for a knickknack-adorned door at the bottom of the stairs. Once inside, you’ll be handed a few tarot cards, which double as the cocktail menu. It’s all luck of the draw.
The West Loop is full of industrial-masked, hidden surprises. From the outside, you wouldn’t guess that Sushi Dokku in West Loop has something to hide, but insiders know it is a special treat.
You’ll feel like a covert spy for boozy cocktails and quality hip-hop music once you land inside Booze Box. Head to the alley just behind Sushi Dokku and look for the red light above a door—you've successfully found Booze Box. If you can’t find it, the staff will be happy to escort you downstairs.
Fifth Province Pub
Irving Park’s Irish American Heritage Center houses a library, a museum, an art gallery, an auditorium and a banquet hall, but you can also stop by for a drink at its authentic Irish pub. It’s easy to get into—just walk in through the building’s main entrance take a left and you’ll soon find yourself in a bar called the Fifth Province. You can order a pint of Guinness, sip on some whiskey or dig into a giant basket of steak fries.
It’s a popular destination for Irish tourists and musicians playing traditional Irish music—if you’re lucky, you’ll overhear someone speaking with a genuine brogue.
The Pub at U of Chicago
If you're up for a challenge and an adventure, the members-only Pub at the University of Chicago is perfect for you. To get there, walk into Ida Noyes Hall, turn left and go down the stairs. You'll be deposited in a nondescript hallway, to the right is the Pub.
The bar itself has a tiny entrance, so "sneaking" in is truly impossible. Instead, stand outside and wait for members to arrive and politely ask a friendly face to be your escort in. It'll cost you a $3 cover and a peek at your ID. Just be sure to buy your host a beer once inside as a token of your gratitude. But believe us, the beer selection and the nachos are worth it.
For a true Chicago Airbnb nightlife experience, try these hidden bars and tell us what you think!