Downtown Chicago Nightlife . . . Bars, Blues and
When the sun sets on the Windy City, Chicago nightlife heats up – from blistering blues to boogie nights. Chicago boasts a daring and diverse nightlife scene, with hundreds of bars, lounges, music venues, concert halls, dance clubs and legendary blues and jazz haunts. Chill with a cosmo at the Funky Buddha Lounge, dance the night away at Vision or Berlin, groove to smoky jazz at Andy’s Jazz Club, catch true Chicago blues at Buddy Guy’s Legends, and sing along to Sinatra tunes at the famous Zebra Lounge. Whatever your pleasure, passion or fashion, Chicago nightlife will free your spirit!
Chicago Bars & Clubs
- 411 S Wells St – This fun sports bar has an Olympic-themed deck, karaoke, nightly drink specials and pool tables.
Billy Goat Tavern
- 430 N Michigan Ave. – This legendary Magnificent Mile tavern boasts cold beer and great cheeseburgers!
- 1050 N State St – This popular Mexican restaurant and bar serves savory food and h2 tequilas that keep locals happy. Wash down burritos, enchiladas, and tacos with the numerous Mexican beers offered.
Blue Frog Bar & Grill
- 676 N La Salle Dr – This neighborhood bar offers great eats, board games and karaoke. Dig into burgers, soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as 21 bottled beers and a selection of wines.
-420 N Clark St – Named for Chicago’s former "boss," Mayor Richard J. Daley, this laid-back bar with a garage door that’s opened when it’s nice outside – has an awesome jukebox and a menu of pizzas, burgers, and bar food
- 164 E Grand Ave – Head to Boston Blackie’s for a thick burger, potato skins, onion rings and cold beer.
- 1447 N Wells St – Burton Place attracts yuppies and night owls that fill up this three level bar. The kitchen is open late, Sit by the fireplace, shoot some pool and enjoy late night grub from the kitchen
- 404 S Wells St – This Tex-Mex style bar features unique drinks – from the lizard lemonade to the swamp water – or a funky martini like the lemon drop or tootsie roll. Games and TVs entertain the young professional crowd.
- 170 W Washington St – Sporting a basement location near City Hall, Cardozo’s Pub is a watering hole for the city’s movers and shakers. Relax with a drink and tasty bar food like burgers, salads, and sandwiches.
- 140 E Walton Pl, Drake Hotel – A Chicago landmark, this bar sports Prohibition-era decor and low mood lighting. Sip a signature martini, enjoy cabaret-style pianists and singers, or play sports games. The menu includes dishes from the Drake’s Cape Cod Room like Bookbinder Soup or a fresh salad.
Coyote Ugly Saloon
- 316 W Erie St – This popular hole-in-the-wall is hot on a Friday or Saturday night. Join the rowdy neighborhood crowd for cheap beer, video games, and the classic jukebox.
Dragonfly Mandarin Restaurant & Lounge
- 832 W Randolph St – This after-work spot draws trendy yuppies looking to sip martinis and munch on Chinese appetizers. Start off with a Dragonfly Martini and a plate of crab puffs.
Funky Buddha Lounge
- 728 W Grand Ave – Local artist Suhail’s giant steel Buddha marks the entrance to this cool spot. Chill on leather and faux-leopard seating in the Moroccan/Middle Eastern-inspired den. Try the house Cosmo from the two bars, chill in the cozy VIP lounge, or boogie on the dance floor to the best DJs in town.
- 937 N Rush St – Enter through the alley and descend the stairs to a subterranean speakeasy of the new millennium. Le Passage’s funky decor and talented DJs spin you from dance floor to two great bars. Beautiful, hip patrons enjoy live music, fashion shows, and a late-night appetizer menu.
- 770 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 312-666-9292 – A narrow little bar with bar stools, Matchbox packs em’ in with a large variety of drinks, bottled beers and wines. Try the outstanding tequilas, single-malt bourbons, and small-batch whiskeys.
Old Town Ale House
- 219 W North Ave – This eclectic, offbeat bar has one of the best jukeboxes in town, with a wide collection of blues, jazz and rock, a lending library, and lots of world beers.
Rockit Bar and Grill
- 22 W Hubbard St – This trendy and happening bar, lounge, and restaurant is the place to be seen. Sample a specialty cocktail, like the Rockit Root Beer, or dive into gourmet bar food like Kobe burgers and fries in truffle oil. Relax in the upstairs lounge with pool tables, couches, and plasma TVs.
Signature Lounge at the 96th
- 875 N Michigan Ave, John Hancock Bldg – This spot offers amazing views of the city and lake. The dark lounge offers live jazz on the weekends and a great selection of cocktails and champagnes. Spoon
- 1240 N Wells St – One of Old Town’s hippest nightspots, Spoon attracts stylish, beautiful people every night! Swing by this trendy restaurant and lounge for international cuisine and a night of dancing. DJs spin the hottest grooves until the wee hours.
Twin Anchors, Inc
. – 1655 N Sedgwick – Twin Anchors is a Chicago tradition that locals love. Located in a historic building, the bar has been open since 1932. Sit at rounded leather booths and red tables and enjoy the beer and famous BBQ. The baby back ribs are to die for!
Chicago Dance Clubs
- 2020 N Halsted St – Dance the night away to ’80′s, New Wave, Hip-Hop, and R&B at this trendy, energetic dance club.
- 954 W Belmont Ave – Named Best Dance Club" in Chicago by Rolling Stone magazine, this intimate joint has two bars, a dance floor with a tiny stage, video screens, and bass cabinets that double as platforms for drag queens, exotic dancers, and fetish shows. Music varies from new wave to house, and the last Wednesday of the month is disco night. Not for the closed-minded!
- 1824 W Augusta St – This eclectic and kitchy bar and dance spot attracts punks and the fringe element. DJs keep things pumping with rock tunes and arcade games, pinball, and pool tables provide entertainment.
- 1637 N Clybourn Ave – This club’s futuristic interior sports bright colors and chrome offset by mirrors, leather booths, and glowing candles on the tables. Dance to talented DJ’s that spin everything from funk and soul to rap and hip-hop. The bar serves cocktails and a lengthy list of beers.
- 1951 W Dickens Ave – DJs keep things happening at this Bucktown bar with the sounds of reggae, funk, techno and soul. Set in an old house that’s been transformed into a laid-back bar and dance club, Danny’s gets crowded and livelier as the night wears on.
- 3458 N Halsted St – An energetic club with DJs and two bars, Hydrate is a mixed scene until the later hours which is packed with gay men. Spin on the dance floor, where house and hip-hop rule and enjoy drink specials. Tuesday’s $10 margarita pitchers and Wednesday’s half-price martinis will hydrate your spirit!
- 2548 N Halsted St – This lively blues joint is the spot to hear music and drink booze. With two stages and the only 4am-liquor license among Chicago’s blues clubs, Kingston Mines is packed nightly. Local blues and jazz artists often stop by after their sets at other clubs. The club has a late-night kitchen.
- 642 N Clark St – Designed to evoke a lavish English estate, Manor is the place to go for indulgence. It’s a VIP-lounge for VIPs. Order bottle service and you are attended to by your own butler. Manor rocks with talented DJs.
- 325 W Huron St – One of the hippest clubs in town, National 27 offers a menu of Latin American favorites – from chimichurri to chicken Cubano. After hours, this hip restaurant turns into a nightclub that emanates the spicy grooves of salsa, merengue, and quebradita.
Rednofive / The Fifth Floor
- 440 N Halsted Ave – DJs spin everything from hip-hop to techno in these sister clubs. Rednofive is a smoky subterranean den that emulates an ’80s rock club. The upscale Fifth Floor has a great sound system, dance floor, and light show. Dress to impress.
- 3730 N Clark St – Known as a punk-style dance club, this bar gets rocking when DJs start spinning techno, rave, funk, acid jazz, rock, and house tunes to the alternative and goth crowd. They also have pool tables.
- 226 W Ontario St – The ultra-hip Sound-Bar is the place for a wild night. Resident DJs jam fresh bass lines throughout the sprawling club, and the scantily clad dancers boogie all night. Laser lights, projectors, and flat-screen monitors enhance eight bars, two dance floors and cool lounges. Don’t expect to leave before morning!
- 1543 N Kingsbury St – This enormous warehouse is packed almost every night. Local DJs share space with spinners from New York, Los Angeles, and London. The dance floor and raised platforms are highlighted by incredible sound and light systems. The club has four bars and swanky, candlelit VIP area.
- 1431 W Lake St – This hip, luxurious nightclub has hot DJs spinning progressive music through a stellar sound system. The Oval, room has a large oak dance floor and bar. The mezzanine offers a tangerine VIP lounge with leather, dark wood, and Oriental carpets overlooking the dance floor. The funky Light Bar and Blue Room, with its stunning chandeliers are exceptional.
- 632 N Dearborn St, Chicago – Dance on the lower level to house and trance or lounge with a cocktail on the upper floors. Vision is night owl utopia where international DJs spin a fierce mix of house, trance, techno, and hip-hop. Sublime sound and light systems and a whimsical waterfall keep things fun!
Chicago Music Venues & Clubs
Andy’s Jazz Club
- 11 E Hubbard St – Catch true Chicago jazz – from bebop to swing at noon, five, and nine. The menu serves tasty bar food.
- 2519 N Halsted St – This tiny, smoky, and crowded bar is the perfect place to see live blues. The club features both obscure and well-known local artists. Shows are highly interactive, and CDs of nightly and past performers are for sale.
Blue Chicago on Clark
- 536 N Clark St – Blue Chicago on Clark mainly showcases female vocalists who really know how to sing the blues. The mellow and soulful sounds that emanate from this spot are legendary. A small dance floor is located near the stage for those who can’t resist.
Buddy Guy’s Legends
- 754 S Wabash Ave – This mellow Chicago blues joint is popular with younger crowds. The Chicago blues club offers local blues acts Sunday through Thursday, national artists on Friday and Saturday and jam sessions on Monday nights. Cool memorabilia, pool tables and a Southern kitchen make this blues club a blast.
- 5201 S Harper Ave – Students, tourists, locals, and die-hard fans make the pilgrimage to this Southside blues venue offering live blues nightly. Established in 1972, Junior Wells calls the lounge home.
Close Up 2
- 416 S Clark St – Blue lights and a small stage make an intimate jazz experience. The only live smooth jazz club in Chicago, Close Up 2 features the best local and nationally recognized musicians. VIP memberships are available for jazz aficionados.
Fadó Irish Pub
- 100 W Grand Ave – This River North hotspot offers authentic Irish pub atmosphere with food, drink, and entertainment. The dark-wood pub and patio gets packed after the sun goes down. Fadó features live music, dancing and special events to celebrate soccer matches.
Green Door Tavern
-678 N Orleans St – Sporting a weird collection of antiques and memorabilia, the Green Door features live music on Friday nights. The menu features sandwiches, pastas, burgers, and a dozen beers on tap.
House of Blues
- 329 N Dearborn St – HOB features live blues at 10pm, and a line-up of national, international, and local bands of all musical genres. A blend of funky juke joint meets opera house, this intimate concert hall has perfect acoustics and opera boxes with great views of the stage. Hear live blues, gritty guitar sounds and slurp down spicy gumbo at the Back Porch.
Nick’s Beer Garden
- 1516 N Milwaukee Ave – Live R&B, blues, jazz, soul, and funk make this a favorite late-night haunt. Throw back beers on tap and more than 15 bottled varieties, or hit the pool tables, pinball machines, and jukebox. The festive, tropical interior has flamingos, pineapples, and island-style décor.
- 322 W Armitage Ave – This intimate theater and music venue has tiered seating surrounding the stage. Concerts feature big-name national and international acts of all musical styles, like pop, folk, Latin, classical, jazz, and swing. The venue has a bar and dance floor, and hosts theatrical revues and private events.
Pop’s for Champagne
- 601 N State St – This long-lived music club and champagne bar offers 125 champagnes in an ethereal room. The sunken bar offers live jazz seven days a week at 9pm. An outdoor garden, domed ceilings, and a roaring fireplace make this place a romantic classic. Light appetizers, desserts, and a full bar are offered.
Redhead Piano Bar
- 16 W Ontario St – This sultry piano bar offers jazz, swing, pop, rock, and blues music every night in a room stylishly decorated with sheet music. The bar serves single malt scotches, wines, cognacs, and ports, along with a signature chocolate martini.
- Chicago’s favorite dive bar, The Hideout is the place to catch Chicago’s local musicians and an awesome alternative music festival with a hot lineup on multiple stages on the block surrounding the bar.
The Underground Wonder Bar
- 10 E Walton St -Founded by Lonie Walker, who still plays three nights a week, this classic, eclectic venue offers nightly live music – mostly blues, jazz, and acoustic guitar and piano music. Ordering or bringing in food is acceptable.
The Zebra Lounge
- 1220 N State Pkwy – Located on the first floor of a vintage apartment building, this hip lounge – around for 65 years – plays piano music – from Sinatra to torch songs and sing-a-longs. Zebra wallpaper, leather booths, and outlandish memorabilia give it a funky vibe. There are only 10 tables and a handful of bar stools, so come early!