Your Guide to the Art of Day Drinking

Diners chilling out on The Purple Pig’s patio. (Photo: The Purple Pig)


Not everyone can be a day drinker. Why? Simply because this type of talent takes skill and strategy. As the weather gets warmer, many offices observe “summer hours” and employees clock out around noon on Fridays. With all that idle time, there’s bound to be mischief. Plus, weekends are full of daytime activities focusing on boozing, from bridal showers and backyard BBQs to brunches and beach volleyball. The last thing you want to do is to conk out too early, so these tips should help you become the day drinker you were born to be:


  • Pace yourself. You’ve got hours ahead of you, so don’t be tempted to do shots, and definitely hold off on the more potent cocktails until later in the evening.
  • If you’re sitting outside, drink large amounts of water. Not to sound all preachy, but you should be doing this anyway! Drink as much water as booze.
  • Invite a large group of fun friends. The day-drinking experience is no fun when there’s only two or three of you. Get on the horn and invite more people, and you’re certain not to get bored. Just make sure the tab situation is discussed beforehand so there’s no confusion (or drink and dashers!).



Invite a fun group of friends to participate in your day-drinking experience. (Photo: Moonshine)


  • Create a day drinking pub crawl. If your friends get antsy about staying at one spot, pick a strip in a popular neighborhood (Bucktown/Wicker Park, Gold Coast, Old Town, River North, Roscoe Village, etc.) and visit a few bars and restaurants.
  • And, most important, go to relatively inexpensive places serving decent food to soak up all that alcohol: Load up on cheap tacos, pitchers of Palomas and more at Big Star as you settle into the absolute best and biggest patio in Wicker Park. River North’s Cantina Laredo serves as the perfect place when you’re observing “summer hours.” Outdoor seating along State Street allows you to watch all the busy bodies as you sip signature margaritas and indulge in tableside-prepared guac. Luxbar’s sliders of turkey burgers, buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches and blackened tilapia pair well with just about anything you’re slamming down. Plus, this is the cheapest food with flavor in the “Triangle.”


Luxbar offers the cheapest food with flavor in the “Triangle.” (Photo: Luxbar)


Many bars and restaurants line Wicker Park’s Division Street strip, but Moonshine attracts the liveliest crowd, who come for Latin-influenced brunch and stay until it’s dark outside. There’s an impressive list of sandwiches (shrimp Po’Boy, turkey Reuben, black bean burger) at Old Oak Tap, which also boasts an enviable beer menu. The outdoor patio is a slacker’s paradise, complete with cushy sofas you could live in.


Grab your power shopping buddies and settle into the sidewalk patio seats at The Purple Pig. You can order wine by the glass, carafe or bottle—which is a beautiful thing—and pair it with platters of charcuterie. Speaking of carafes of vino, you’ll get an ample selection of Italian varietals at Quartino in River North. The casual wine bar offers a number of delicious wood-fired pizzas as well as a nice selection of Italian dishes that are share-able.



For more about Steaks see: CHICAGO’S BEST STEAKS & STEAKHOUSES