Where To Pick Up Men in Chicago

i know women think it's harder to meet men once you're out of college, but i really don't think that's the case.  i've been having a lot of fun these last 3 months and not just pick up a random guy at a trashy bar at 2 am type fun, but actual dating.  so i thought i'd take a minute to share my top locations for finding cute men in chicago:

sluggers (a bar in wrigleyville).  particularly, the area upstairs with the batting cages.  as tara said "walking in there, just us 3 girls?  it's like ringing a dinner bell."  anywhere with testosterone fueled games like batting cages, rock climbing walls, and driving ranges is guaranteed to be mostly men.  especially sluggers, because they have to wait in a decently long line and the batting cages are surrounded by carnival games so you actually look like you're doing something instead of just scoping out guys.

wrigley field/united center/soldier field.  guys and sports, what can i say?  but going to the stadium is generally better than going to just a sports bar.  sports bars can be hit or miss.  at the actual game, you can chat with guys near you about horrible calls or ask them to explain a play - but only during a break, i cannot stress that enough.  no chatting during the actual playing time.  you can also bond over the horrible long lines to get beer, how frickin cold it is if you're outdoors (because it always is in chicago), how much you hate whatever team the chicago team is playing against.

houndstooth bar on country night.  i can't even explain why this is such man magnet, but it is.  thursday nights at houndstooth are packed and if you have a table and a deck of cards, i guarantee a group of guys at your table within 20 minutes.  card games always attract guys, because it's an easy in for them to start talking to you.  if i had a nickel for every time i've heard "soooo what're you playing?" i'd have enough to afford all the $6 pitchers tara and i consume in one night there.  they don't care what you're playing, they just want to talk to you.  really.

happy hour in the loop.  let's be honest, women like men who have jobs.  so i highly recommend happy hours in the loop, especially fridays.  grab a girl friend and head to: salseria in the sears tower, ceres in the board of trade building, brando's near the federal building, and meet all the men who work in said locations.  i've probably had the best luck with my friend julie at south branch.  i also recommend monk's on lake street for being guy friendly because you can throw your (free) peanut shells on the floor and this makes everyone really happy when they're drinking.

and from some of my favorite guys, who i surveyed via gchat before i posted this, on where they go to meet women (thanks guys):

"argo tea, especially during finals time, near a college campus like depaul or a law school campus like northwestern." - brandon

"dog parks, parks in general.  my dog is a chick magnet, she's got great game." - eric

"we did used to always go to target when we were in college.  or whole foods/trader joe's, those have younger women.  you don't pick up a steady girl when she's stoned at a concert." - bill

"summer time is definitely the beach, cause you are getting a preview beforehand." - kiernan (yes, kiernan my gay friend.)  i would also add, there is lots of potential to meet people at the oak street beachstro and castaways, the little bars on two major beaches downtown.  so he is right!

now you know.  you're welcome.  and happy hunting.


  1. Love this post. I think these are really good suggestions...

  2. I love the comment about the dog being a chick magnet! Too funny!

  3. now if you could just post some dallas places for me... haha

  4. hahah great tips!! This kinda reminds me of 2 SATC episodes where Carrie has to give that lecture called "Bright Lights, Date City" and when Charlotte gets a book on picking up guys and she says, "I'm going to be spending more time with my Married friends because the husbands are the greatest untapped resource for guys" because she said to get set up with a friend of the husband and it turned out the husband wanted her....sorry random hahaha

  5. man sometimes I really miss being single...and by sometimes I mean most of the time! I think the first few dates with a cute boy is the ultimate natural high.

  6. I enjoy Bill & Eric's tips. Although I would probably crack up if someone tried to talk to me at Target or Trader Joes!

  7. this is perfect. i wish someone would write one like this for my city! (or i should just move to chi-town and we can pick up guys together woot woot)

  8. Haha... I picked up my man in a bikini bar. No fucken lie! And we are still together :) almost 4 years later! It makes a good conversation starter! "How did you guys meet??" Bill and I look at each other.... and let the words flow! LOL

  9. This is completely unhelpful for those of us who are not in Chicago! But I will definitely be going to some more Yankee games and spending a lot more time a target and trader joes. Note to self: actually get dressed when you go food shopping!

  10. ummmmmmmm you can pick up men on my lake when you come and visit.

  11. Dogs are total magnets.

    You did a great service to the Chicago single ladies today.

  12. Seriously, this is an amazing source for girls in Chicago!

    And dogs, i swoon when I see a guy with a dog (a real dog...not a lap dog, fellas, please).

  13. All 100% accurate for Chicago! I especially agree with Ceres, Houndstooth, and the happy hour ideas. Now I miss Chicago and those boozy Ceres-style bevvies! Consider me your newest follower :)


  14. Just sent this to my sister. She's been living in the city for about a year? Some of these places sound familiar She's moving again next week to Wicker Park I think. Any suggestions there?

    1. Yes! Tell her to try The Boundary, Fatpour, and the Bedford!!