Finding the Best Nests for Night Owls

Are you notorious for using the phrase, "The night is still young," even when it's already 5am? Does your morning routine usually start around 1 pm? For those of us who don't have a bedtime Olio City has a list of the best late night venues to keep you going until the sun come sup.

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    Originally posted at Olio City

    It’s 2 a.m. The dreaded words “last call” have been shouted, and the blinding lights that remind you of a dentist visit have been turned on. But you want more. After all, why go home when the night’s just about to get weird? Fortunately, here’s Olio City’s Insider Guide to just-one-more-beer bars and early morning greasy spoons that are sure to make your late night a great night.

    Smart Bar

    COME FOR: The dance floor. Walking into Smart Bar later in the night is like getting a second or third wind of energy. The bright, flashing lights and the propulsive music of this historic club have a tendency to extend nights out, and may that's why it was a favorite hangout of the Guns N' Roses and house DJ Frankie Knuckles. Smart Bar is ready to keep the night going and going and going--at least until 4 or 5 a.m.--so dance 'til you’re delirious, then get ready for an early-morning food fix.


    Diner Grill

    THE GO-TO: The Slinger. Whether you’re in need of a certificate to prove you had a great night out or just need to balance out the liquid-to-solids ratio in your stomach, Diner Grill has you covered. A staple of Wrigleyville's post-2 a.m. crowd, Diner Grill is the perfect place to refuel while recapping the night's shenanigans. As for the Slinger, it's a gut-busting plate consisting of two hamburger patties, cheese, two eggs, hash browns, onions, and chili. And that's why you get a certificate when you polish off one of these bad boys.



    COME FOR: Dancing at one of the craziest bars in town. The extravagant line of people dressed to their truest selves is just a preview of the intoxicating vibe you’ll find within the walls of the anyhting-goes Berlin. (Seriously though, you could probably perform gymnastics in the bathroom and no one would care.) This LGBTQ bar that is famous for its late-night dance parties and glammed-up crowd--just make sure you bring cash to order the next round.


    Pick Me Up Cafe

    THE GO-TO: Anything seitan What may initially look like a low-budget circus is actually the hippest late-night spot on the North Side. Pick Me Up Cafe welcomes hungry patrons in the early hours of the morning with comfy booths and funky decorations. It’s the perfect place to stumble in and enjoy a surprisingly vast, vegan-friendly menu. The atmosphere is lovely, and the staff makes sure you are taken care of. Heads up, though: it might be a cafe, but there is no Wi-Fi to be found.


    Old Town Ale House

    COME FOR: The political nudes Walking into this late-night jaunt, one can instantly feel the history. Maybe it’s the simple dive aesthetic, or maybe it’s the twenty-or-so nude paintings of politicians that cover the walls. Either way, the Old Town Ale House is the perfect late-night place to grab a whiskey ginger--the strength of which will be determined by how sober you can convince the bartender you are. Bring cash, grab a seat, and enjoy the people watching. You may spot a celebrity--Michael Shannon and Bill Murray are big fans of the joint--or at least a table of improv comedians who have just finished up a show at the Second City.


    Elly's Pancake House

    THE GO-TO: Spartan Omelette with spinach, tomato, mushroom, and feta. Elly's Pancake House is the kind of 24-hour diner you wish was located downstairs from your apartment. Whether you choose a sweet or savory dish, know that it is house-made and pretty much tailored to smashing your hangover like it's a little kid's sand castle. Oven-baked apple pancakes, scrambled eggs, a specialty burger--you can't go wrong with any of them.


    Posted with permission from our friends at Olio City