Nightlife & the Arts in Chicago

Advertisement

Nightlife Overview
Name Category Location
 
3rd Coast Cafe & Wine Bar
Third Coast Café, the oldest coffeehouse in the...
Cafes Near North and River North
 
404 Wine Bar
Enter through rowdy Jack's Bar & Grill to find...
Wine Bars Near North and River North
 
The Abbey Pub
The Abbey Pub, about 15 minutes northwest of...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
About Face Theatre
The city's best-known gay, lesbian, bisexual, and...
Theater Chicago
 
Andy's Jazz Club
Andy's Jazz Club, a favorite after-work watering...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
The Annoyance Theatre & Bar
The Annoyance Theatre is home base for Annoyance...
Comedy Clubs Near North and River North
 
Apollo Chorus of Chicago
Apollo Chorus of Chicago, formed in 1872, is...
Concerts Chicago
 
Athenaeum Theatre
The 1,000-seat Athenaeum Theatre adjacent to St....
Theater Chicago
 
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Designed by notable architects Louis Sullivan and...
Theater Chicago
 
The Aviary
Chef Grant Achatz applies his cutting-edge...
Bars The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
B.L.U.E.S
The best part about B.L.U.E.S. is that there...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Bailiwick Chicago
Bailiwick Chicago stages new and classical...
Theater Chicago
 
Bank of America Theatre
After its 1906 debut as the Majestic Theatre, the...
Theater Chicago
 
Baton Show Lounge
At Baton Show Lounge, boys will be girls. The...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Beat Kitchen
North Side stalwart Beat Kitchen brings in the...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Bella Voce
Bella Voce —"beautiful voices," indeed....
Concerts Chicago
 
Berlin Nightclub
Berlin, a multicultural, pansexual dance club...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Big Chicks
In the Uptown area of the Far North Side, Big...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Black Ensemble Theater
Black Ensemble Theater has a penchant for...
Theater Chicago
 
Blokes & Birds
A departure from the typical Wrigleyville sports...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Blue Chicago
In an upscale part of downtown, Blue Chicago has...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Blues Heaven Foundation
For a walk into history, stop by the Blues Heaven...
Music Clubs The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Brew and View
The rowdy crowd at Brew and View comes for cheap...
Film Chicago
 
Briar Street Theatre
Originally built as a horse stable for Marshall...
Theater Chicago
 
Bridge House Tavern
With an enormous patio overlooking the Chicago...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
Formerly known as Drury Lane, this 550-seat...
Theater Chicago
 
Buddy Guy's Legends
Relocated from its original location a few doors...
Music Clubs The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Bull & Bear
Bull & Bear amps up the testosterone, with a dual...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Cadillac Palace Theatre
Designed by famed theater architects the Rapp...
Theater Chicago
 
The California Clipper Lounge
In Humboldt Park, just to the west of Wicker...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Carol's Pub
Carol's Pub, in the Uptown area of the Far North...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Castle
Castle won't win any prizes for breaking new...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Charlie's
A country-and-western dance club, Charlie's lets...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Chicago Blues Festival
The Chicago Blues Festival leaves no doubt about...
Music Clubs Chicago
 
Chicago Children's Choir
A performance by the Chicago Children's Choir is...
Concerts Chicago
 
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center is a block-long landmark...
Theater Chicago
 
Chicago Improv Festival
The springtime Chicago Improv Festival, the...
Comedy Clubs Chicago
 
Chicago Opera Theater
Chicago Opera Theater shrugs off esoteric...
Opera Chicago
 
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Chicago Shakespeare Theater devotes its...
Theater Chicago
 
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with internationally...
Music Chicago
 
The Chicago Theatre
Since 1921, visitors to the Chicago Theatre,...
Theater Chicago
 
Circuit
The biggest dance club in Boystown, Circuit is a...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Citizen Bar
Everyone's welcome at Citizen Bar, a sleek space...
Bars Near North and River North
 
City Lit Theatre
City Lit Theatre produces notable staged readings...
Theater Chicago
 
The Closet
The Closet is a basic dive bar with a gay twist....
Bars Near North and River North
 
Collaboraction
Collaboraction lets actors, artists, and...
Theater Chicago
 
ComedySportz
ComedySportz specializes in "competitive...
Comedy Clubs Near North and River North
 
Coq d'Or
A dark, wood-paneled room in the Drake Hotel, Coq...
Piano Bars / Lounges Near North and River North
 
Crimson Lounge
Crimson Lounge, in the Hotel Sax, delivers on its...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago
Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents...
Dance Chicago
 
Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret
Davenport's, a sophisticated cabaret booking both...
Piano Bars / Lounges Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Debonair Social Club
Debonair Social Club, in the historic Flat Iron...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Delilah's
Delilah's is a rare dive bar amid Lincoln Park's...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Division Street
For the vestiges of the old Rush Street, continue...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Double Door
Double Door is a hotbed for music in hip Wicker...
Music Clubs Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
The Drawing Room
Adjacent to private lounge Privet (only guests...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Elbo Room
Elbo Room, a multilevel space in an elbow-shaped...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
The Empty Bottle
Empty Bottle, in the Ukrainian Village near...
Music Clubs Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Enclave
Enclave has a loftlike feel and three bars spread...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Encore
Encore is a jazzed-up hotel lounge sandwiched...
Bars The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
ETA Creative Arts Foundation
ETA Creative Arts Foundation, a South Side...
Theater Chicago
 
Facets
Facets Cinematheque shows independent and art...
Film Chicago
 
Fado
Fado uses imported wood, stone, and glass to...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Faith & Whiskey
Faith & Whiskey stands out among Lincoln Park bars...
Bars Near North and River North
 
FitzGerald's Nightclub
FitzGerald's, though a 30-minute schlep west of...
Music Clubs Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre
Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental...
Theater Chicago
 
Funky Buddha Lounge
Funky is the operative word for the Funky Buddha...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Gamekeepers
Gamekeepers is full of sports fans and former...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Gene Siskel Film Center
Gene Siskel Film Center screens new releases from...
Film Chicago
 
Gilt Bar
Cocktails like the Bee's Knees (gin, lemon, and...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Gingerman Tavern
Up the street from Wrigley Field, Gingerman...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Goodman Theatre
Goodman Theatre presents an exceptional...
Theater Chicago
 
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
Green Mill, a Chicago institution off the beaten...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Hi-Tops
Hi-Tops, relocated a bit south of its original...
Bars Near North and River North
 
The Hideout
The Hideout, which is literally hidden away in a...
Music Clubs Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Holiday Club
Holiday Club bills itself as the "Swinger's...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Hopleaf
Hopleaf, an anchor in the Andersonville corridor,...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Horseshoe
Horseshoe brings a slice of Texas to the Midwest,...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
House of Blues
House of Blues, though its name implies...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Howl at the Moon
The dueling pianists at Howl at the Moon...
Piano Bars / Lounges Near North and River North
 
Hub 51
Hub 51 features a vaulted, loftlike industrial...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Hubbard Inn
Billing itself as a "Continental tavern," this...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Chicago's most notable success story in dance,...
Dance Chicago
 
Hydrate
Hydrate combines a relaxed front lounge with a...
Bars Near North and River North
 
I.O.
Formerly called ImprovOlympic, I.O. is the city's...
Comedy Clubs Near North and River North
 
IMAX and OMNIMAX Theaters
For IMAX and OMNIMAX theaters, go to Navy Pier or...
Film Chicago
 
Intelligentsia
Intelligentsia was named to invoke the pre-chain...
Cafes Near North and River North
 
Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance
Located on the northwest corner of Millennium...
Theater Chicago
 
Joel Oppenheimer, Inc.
Established in 1969, this gallery in the Wrigley...
Art Galleries Near North
 
Joffrey Ballet
Joffrey Ballet's fine-tuned performances, such as...
Dance Chicago
 
John Barleycorn
A historic pub with a long wooden bar, John...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Joie de Vine
Joie de Vine started as a wine bar catering to a...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Kincade's
This spot packs 'em in on two levels with a...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Kingston Mines
In 1968, Kingston Mines went down in Chicago...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Kitty O'Shea's
Kitty O'Shea's, a handsome room in the Chicago...
Bars The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Kopi, a Traveler's Cafe
Kopi, a Traveler's Cafe is a study in opposites,...
Cafes Near North and River North
 
Lee's Unleaded Blues
Lee's Unleaded Blues has been a South Side...
Music Clubs The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Light Opera Works
Light Opera Works favors the satirical tones of...
Opera Chicago
 
Lincoln Hall
The owners of Lincoln Hall transformed a former...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Logan Square Auditorium
The second-floor ballroom hosts all-ages rock...
Music Clubs Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Lookingglass Theatre Company
At the Lookingglass Theatre Company, marvel at...
Dance Chicago
 
Lumen
Lumen is worth the difficulty getting...
Bars The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Luna Negra Dance Theater
Luna Negra Dance Theater has rapidly become...
Dance Chicago
 
Lyric Opera of Chicago
At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the big voices of...
Opera Chicago
 
Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago
Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago hosts an...
Music Chicago
 
The Map Room
The Map Room might help you find your way around...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Martyrs'
Martyrs' brings local and major-label rock...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Metro
Metro brings in progressive, nationally known...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
The Motel Bar
The Motel Bar has all the comforts of a real,...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Movies in the Parks
For a change of scenery, watch current and...
Film Chicago
 
Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago
Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago showcases dynamic...
Dance Chicago
 
Music Box Theatre
If you love old theaters, old movies, and ghosts...
Film Chicago
 
Music of the Baroque
Take a step back in time with Music of the...
Music Chicago
 
Neo-Futurists
Neo-Futurists perform their long-running,...
Theater Chicago
 
The Newberry Library
Head to the stately Newberry Library for...
Music Chicago
 
Nick's Beer Garden
Nick's Beer Garden is a neighborhood favorite,...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
North End
A gay sports bar, the North End is a favorite...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Northside Bar & Grill
Northside Bar & Grill was one of the first anchors...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Old Town School of Folk Music
Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago's first...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Oriana Singers
The small but mighty Oriana Singers are an...
Concerts Chicago
 
Original Mother's
Since the 1960s, Original Mother's has been a...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Pick Me Up Café
The Pick Me Up Café combines the charm of a...
Cafes Near North and River North
 
Pops for Champagne
Pops for Champagne can be found in trendy River...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Pump Room
Ian Schrager revamped the historic Ambassador...
Piano Bars / Lounges Near North and River North
 
Red Kiva
Red Kiva serves up cocktails, martinis, and draft...
Piano Bars / Lounges The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Redmoon Theater
Redmoon Theater tells imaginative, almost magical...
Theater Chicago
 
Rockit Bar & Grill
Designer Nate Berkus assembled Rockit's...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Rodan
The highly stylized Rodan is a restaurant and...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
ROOF on theWit
One of the city's hottest perches, ROOF occupies...
Bars The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Rosa's Lounge
On a given night at Rosa's Lounge, near Bucktown,...
Music Clubs Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Roscoe's Tavern and Cafe
Roscoe's Tavern, in the heart of Boystown, is a...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Royal George Theatre Center
Royal George Theatre Center is actually a...
Theater Chicago
 
Rush Street
The famous Chicago bar scene known as Rush Street...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Schubas Tavern
Schubas Tavern favors local and national power...
Music Clubs Near North and River North
 
Second City
Second City, an institution since 1959, has...
Comedy Clubs Near North and River North
 
Sheffield's
Sheffield's spans the seasons with a shaded beer...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Sidetrack
The video bar Sidetrack is tuned into a different...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Silver Cloud Bar & Grill
Silver Cloud Bar & Grill might be the only place...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Sluggers
Sluggers is packed after Cubs games in the nearby...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Sound-Bar
Sound-Bar is a labyrinth of nine bars, each...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Spy Bar
Spy Bar pulls some smooth moves. Image is...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Stage 773
Formerly the Theatre Building, Stage 773...
Theater Chicago
 
Steppenwolf
Steppenwolf's alumni roster speaks for itself:...
Theater Chicago
 
Storefront Theater
This storefront theater, operated by the Chicago...
Theater Chicago
 
The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room makes the short list of...
Wine Bars The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Theatre on the Lake
Each summer a rotating roster of local off-Loop...
Theater Chicago
 
Ticketmaster
You can charge full-price tickets over the...
Tickets Chicago
 
Transit
Transit, despite being hidden away underneath...
Dance Clubs The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
 
Trinity Academy of Irish Dance
Trinity Irish Dance Co., founded long before...
Dance Chicago
 
Uncommon Ground
The original location of Uncommon Ground is roomy...
Cafes Near North and River North
 
The Underground
Unmarked entrances, military outfit–clad...
Dance Clubs Near North and River North
 
Vertigo Sky Lounge
Trendsetters hit the scene on the 26th floor of...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Victory Gardens Theater
Victory Gardens Theater is known for its workshop...
Theater Chicago
 
The Violet Hour
The Violet Hour channels a Prohibition-era...
Bars Wicker Park and Bucktown
 
Webster's Wine Bar
A romantic place for a date, Webster's stocks...
Bars Near North and River North
 
Zanies Comedy Night Club
Zanies books outstanding national talent and is...
Comedy Clubs Near North and River North
 
Zebra Lounge
Zebra Lounge, small and funky with zebra-stripe...
Piano Bars / Lounges Near North and River North

Advertisement

News & Features
Trip Finder
Store
Guidebooks

Fodor's Chicago 2014

View Details
Mobile Apps

Fodor's City Guides

Download Now
Travel Deals
Forums