Step back in time with these Chicago haunts


Simpler times...where did they go? Times when being invited to the roller rink and holding hands with your middle school crush seemed like all you ever needed. Now life has become...well, quite lifey. It's time to hop in your Tardis (you have one, right?) and go back to nostalgic days of yore (or even just a few decades ago). You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll find great food! You'll never want to return.


Flickr/Senor Codo
Flickr/Senor Codo

Green Mill
It's the neon green flashing lights on Uptown that give it away that you're at the Green Mill. It looks like something out of Vegas but this establishment is 100 percent Chicago. If you aren't blinded by the lights then it's time to step back in time. You may not realize this but this 1907 established was once named Pop Morse's Roadhouse and this was the place to cry into a pint after visiting the Graceland and Saint Boniface cemeteries. It switched hands in 1910 and with it its name. Green Mill is a nod to Paris' Moulin Rouge. So get in there, pour some Absinthe and dance with the Green Fairy while taking in the crooning live jazz and blues music. You may even see Al Capone there (because you just drank Absinthe).


Flickr/Joselito Tagarao
Flickr/Joselita Tagarao

Asado Coffee
If you have to drag yourself to work you might as well get yourself an eye-opening espresso in what is believed to be one of the Chicago Loop's oldest buildings. You'll have to follow the brick alley (it might not be Diagon Alley but it is known as charming Pickwick Place). Down this alley you will think you're Alice in a European wonderland. The tiny 275-square-foot café has enough room to grab your bacon cheddar sconce and a steamy cappuccino to start, or end, your day just right. Of course, without indoor seating you are made to enjoy the few wonderful months of Chicago weather by sitting outside under a haze of twinkle lights. You'll feel like Owen Wilson in "Midnight in Paris" and chances are good you won't want to leave this European oasis.


Flickr/Scott Johnson
Flickr/Scott Johnson

Green Door Tavern
Built not long after the Great Chicago Fire, this grocery store and rental cottage was revamped into a restaurant and bar in 1921 (well hello there, Prohibition!). The green door was a beautiful Roaring 20's beacon that signified that you were about to enter a cocktail-slinging speakeasy sanctuary, because you never want to deprive Chicagoans of a thirst-quenching libation if you know what's good for you. While we certainly don't have to sneak around anymore to enjoy an adult beverage, the green door still beckons you in with its fun memorabilia, quality pub food and—what you've really come here for—a stiff drink.


Flickr/Aamer Javed
Flickr/Aamer Javed

Southport Lanes
Anyone from the Midwest can most likely spot the Schlitz sign from a mile away, but besides building brew houses throughout the Windy City it also lays claim to Southport Lanes. Built around 1900 and once called the Nook, if Southport Lanes' walls could talk they would tell you of entertaining 1920's debauchery that involves tales of salacious speakeasy gossip that even includes an upstairs brothel. Of course, what you'll find in this remodeled location won't be quite as salacious but you can still park your DeLorean out front, zip up your red puffer vest and tell people your name is Marty McFly. Come inside and enjoy some hearty bar fare, a great craft beer selection and your chance at becoming a bowling champion (at least among your friends).


Flickr/Mike Myers
Flickr/Mike Myers

Won Kow Restaurant
Playing along with the unplanned speakeasy theme (Al Capone did love to eat here, after all), Won Kow is a restaurant staple within Chinatown, having been around since around 1928. Revel in your ability to have a refreshing Mai Tai without the ramifications of Prohibition. Or, if you'd like the erase the memories of this week then feast your eyes on the Volcano: a drink that's triple the size of a typical cocktail, prepared in a festive ceramic fishbowl and set ablaze (as will you be if you drink the whole thing). You can order standards like chop suey or orange chicken, or you can chow down on their delectable dim sum in the afternoon.


Stephanie Andrews has called Chicago home for 10 years. When she's not eating...err, writing...you can find her stunt doubling for film/TV or making her own cocktail bitters.