Restaurant Reco: Happy Camper

Lucky for me, I have the delight of having two dear college friends here in Chicago with me- Gabby and Emily. We were long overdue for catching up, and decided to make the most of what was a very rainy Wednesday here in the Windy City. When it’s raining, I’m rarely motivated to leave my apartment. I typically would want to curl up with a big cup of tea and watch my latest Netflix obsession, American Vandal. But meeting up with Emily and Gabby to watch my New York Yankees take on the Indians in an elimination game was all the motivation I needed to head to Happy Camper in Old Town, for delicious cocktails and pizza.


This is one of my all time favorite spots for a fun group get together, and in the summer to have drinks outside while people-watching on Wells. The atmosphere is, well, happy, and loud, and they sometimes have a live DJ as the night goes on (oh, and it’s 21 and over). Happy Camper is mostly famous for it’s neon signage, cool ambiance, and great pizza. They have tire swing seats at one of the bars, and an actual camper inside the restaurant. P.S. This is not Chicago-style pizza or New York-style pizza. It’s more so it’s own style. Really unique flavor combinations with a great crispy-yet-fluffy crust.


I enjoyed one of their house cocktails, The Hooch, which I have had at their sister restaurant in Lincoln Park, Homeslice (also famous for their pizza and outdoor courtyard underneath the L). I highly recommend The Hooch (white rum, St. Germain, mint, & lemon). I was warned by the waitress though- it’s one of their strongest drinks on the menu, but it doesn’t taste like there is a drop of alcohol in it! Gabby, Emily and I shared two small pizzas which was more than enough for all of us.

Top: The “Tony” | Bottom: Spinach, Mozzerella, Pepperoni, Pepperoncini

Our two pizzas were delicious. The top pizza in the picture above, the “Tony,” is my favorite pizza at Happy Camper. It’s topped with prosciutto, spinach, caramelized onion, sun-dried tomato, goat cheese & cream cheese, drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze. The sweet sun-dried tomatoes are off set by the tangy goat cheese and the savory balsamic. The salty prosciutto ties everything together.

A much-needed night with great friends, and watching my all-time favorite sports team advance to the ALCS. What’s your favorite place to grab pizza and drinks with friends?




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