Standing outside and gazing at this spot's candy-striped awning, it's difficult to tell whether you're in for hardcore carousing or a night at Santa's North Pole workshop. And after a few cheap drinks—like $1 PBR if you're there on a Friday—elves may start dancing in your head, and you'll be in for both.
This one-stop spot is a drunken daydream, where after a long night of stiff cocktails at the u-shaped bar and spirited jokes from longtime bartender George Spiratos, you can sidle up to the greasy spoon counter for a hangover cure in the form of Chicago's best late-night gyro. (The best daytime gyro distinction is reserved for Parthenon across the street.) If lamb's not your thing, chow down on the charcoal-smoked, freshly grilled pork tenderloin souvlaki marinated in lemon and spice.
Since the bar's open until 5 a.m. on Saturday, you'll be done drinking just in time for its lumberjack-sized breakfast platters and fluffy omelets. You can spend your bleary-eyed recovery time scanning the diner's walls, contemplating the posters of hundreds of different craft American beers or jars of international mustards.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant