Chicago is a magical city. Somehow in the Midwest, it is able to combine all things beautiful about life. You are able to do everything from yoga on the beach to a replica of Spain’s infamous tomato festival. No matter what your hobbies or passions are, the one thing everyone can always do is stay buzzed.
Chicago loves BYOB. You can do almost anything you want, from going out to a nice sushi restaurant or getting a manicure, and bring a bottle of vino with you. When you live in a city as expensive as Chicago, being able to bring your own alcohol doesn’t only save you a lot of money, it allows you to get your buzz on a little more efficiently. A tip for your dining adventure—offer your server or the manager a glass of your beverage. I’m not allowed to say if this happened, but they appreciate the generosity and may even offer you some of their hidden tequila stash.
Take Public Transportation
When we’re going out, my friends and I take the train virtually everywhere, and we always bring our red Solo cups with us. I’m not sure if it’s because the train attendants are usually too busy sleeping to notice, but I’ve never had any problems continuing a pregame on the Harrison red line. Most of our trips to the bar take about 20-30 minutes, so I’ve found this perk to be extremely beneficial and time efficient.
Do Free Stuff
One of the magical and amazing things about Chicago is that there is always something to do. There are events going on every night, and there is just no way to do it all. I’ve been in Chicago the entire summer, and have been trying to accomplish it all to the degree that I still haven’t even had a chance to visit the infamous Willis Tower. The best part about how much Chicago has to offer is that there is a lot you can find for free. During the summer, there are many beaches to bring your cooler to, and minus the waves, you really feel like you are oceanside. My friends and I have made it tradition to see (free) music in the park on Monday nights. One night, the Dawes even showed up! Alcohol technically isn’t allowed in Grant Park, but we always bring our own bottle. Everyone else seems to do the same!
Do the Not-Free Stuff
Alongside all the free events Chicago has to offer, it has a lot of events that aren’t so free, but are worth every penny. You could attend the Goose Island Brewery Tour, and sample multiple delicious beers. There are festivals going on nearly every weekend, from Lollapalooza and Greek Fest to craft beer festivals for those who want a wider selection in their brew. All of the festivals have booths to supply your beverage while you immerse yourself in some culture, although they may be a bit on the pricier side. Each is different, but festivals like Lollapalooza allow re-entry, so you can leave for half an hour if you really don’t want to spend eight dollars on another beer. Just don’t leave so many times that you miss the experience!
Of course, there is no way to talk about staying buzzed in Chicago without mentioning the bar scene. While this could be inferred as just nightlife, it doesn’t have to be. Many places open at 10 a.m., offering unlimited mimosas or bloody Marys for just $10-15, and the waiters are not stingy when it comes to alcohol. A personal favorite for me has been 25 Degrees downtown, where bottle(s) of champagne are brought to your table so you can make your mimosa as strongy as you please. If you’d like to save your buzz for the night, then you have a long trek ahead of you. Late night bars are open until 5 or 6 a.m., and you can watch the sun rise while you cab home.
However you like to achieve your buzz, Chicago offers countless options and opportunities. You can start your day off at brunch without the drinks ever ending, or just run your daily errands red Solo cup in hand. Whether you live in Chicago or are just passing through, take advantage of the countless opportunities the city gives you to explore and enjoy. Not every city is so eager for you to have a good time. Stay buzzed, Chicago!