by Jennifer Olvera - 3381 Reviews - 45 List
Historically a quiet, sleepy neighborhood of Swedish immigrants, Andersonville is now a bustling north side haunt with a bar and club scene that matches the thriving population of families and a large gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. This diverse mix coexists in harmony amid longtime bakeries and delicatessens, along with cultural institutions. As for the nightlife, it's become legendary. See why. (Photo: Hopleaf)
Updated: July 26, 2010
This longtime neighborhood watering hole features an original wood bar dating back to the 1930s. The bulletproof booth where its former owner--a Prohibition-era bootlegger--cashed patrons? paychecks still stands. Not surprisingly, a speakeasy vibe pervades, and low-key patrons kick back appropriately over brews and congenial chitchat.
Oenophiles who lack pretension frequent this chill cellar, an affordable, friendly stop for fruits of the vine. Whether you settle at the long, comfortable bar or snag a patio seat, the creative small plates and cocktail, wine and beer menus will have you coming back--regularly. Discovery-oriented wine series and tastings further elevate the experience.
Come as you are to this inviting, brick-walled spot to sip vino while jazz, which is kept at a conversational volume, emanates throughout the luminous space. Wine, cheese and truffle flights--and a large selection of by-the-glass pours--complete the pleasant experience.
Calling all beer lovers: This tavern is for you. Around 200 beers, along with a killer selection of hops-friendly nibbles, await. Among the most talked-about is the dish of Wittekerke white ale-steeped mussels, which is studded with shallots, celery and thyme and flavored with aromatic bay leaf.
Barely attired go-go boys keep things bumping in lighthearted fashion at this gay and lesbian bar with an elevated area that affords a vantage point to view the shimmying below. A lounge in back exudes another, well, atmosphere entirely, while offering a quieter place to unwind.
Located above Hamburger Mary's, Mary's Attic is a festive hangout that runs a regular roster of cabaret shows and theater productions, which are augmented by ?gong show? karaoke and DJ-spun beats on Fridays. Count on drink specials most days of the week. Though not a formal dance club, Mary's Attic often sees tail feathers shaking.