What can often be one of the busiest neighborhoods in Chicago (at least during Cubs season) turns into a quaint little getaway after stepping inside this local pub. Brogue-spewing servers, heaping portions of shepherd's pie and overflowing mugs of Guinness put this bar a notch above its Irish-themed counterparts. And it's not just the beer that's imported here; many of the staff members hail straight from the Emerald Isle, giving this place all the charm of a traditional Irish tavern.
The best part about the natives here? They've mastered the art of pouring a perfect pint of Guinness and they've got a hearty menu to go along with it. The food might seem a little pricey for bar fare (entrees run about $12), but before you shudder at spending that precious beer money on something a little more substantial, take a closer look. Cullen's skips the wings, sliders and expected baskets of fried things and instead, heads straight for that nostalgic pit in your stomach. Irish-inspired comfort food includes favorites like mac 'n' cheese (with aged Irish cheddar), mother Cullen's meat loaf (appropriately served with a mashed pile of potatoes and veggies) and of course the coveted shepherd's pie. The bar even claims to have a homemade soup that will "warm the heart."
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Stacy Warden