Chicago Nightlife

Chicago's entertainment varies from loud and loose to sophisticated and sedate. You'll find classic Chicago corner bars in most neighborhoods, along with trendier alternatives like wine bars and lounges. The strains of blues and jazz provide much of the backbeat to the city's groove, and an alternative country scene is flourishing. As far as dancing is concerned, take your pick from cavernous clubs

to smaller spots with DJs spinning dance tunes; there's everything from hip-hop to swing. Wicker Park/Bucktown and River North have the hottest nightlife, but prime spots are spread throughout the city.

Shows usually begin at 9 pm; cover charges generally range from $3 to $20, depending on the day of the week (Friday and Saturday nights are the most expensive). The list of blues and jazz clubs includes several South Side locations: be cautious about transportation here late at night, because some of these neighborhoods can be unsafe. Drive your own car or ask the bartender to call you a cab.

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Near North and River North 49

Lakeview and the Far North Side 36

Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown 33

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Lincoln Park 9

The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop 13

Pilsen, Little Italy, and Chinatown 1

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Pilsen 1

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 69

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 1

Cafes–Nightlife 5

Comedy Clubs 7

Dance Clubs 10

Music Clubs 36

Piano Bars/ Lounges 6

Wine Bars–Nightlife 2

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Best For

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Gay and Lesbian 8

Trendy 2

Chicago Nightlife

Showing 69 out of 69 Results

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Big Chicks

  • Bars/Pubs

In the Uptown area of the Far North Side, Big Chicks is a striking alternative to the Halsted strip, with a funky crowd that appreciates...

Blokes & Birds

  • Bars/Pubs

A departure from the typical Wrigleyville sports bar, this modern public house draws Anglophiles thirsty for a well-poured pint and contemporary...

Bridge House Tavern

  • Bars/Pubs

With an enormous patio overlooking the Chicago River, this bar attracts both the after-work crowd and tourists searching for the quintessential...

Bull & Bear

  • Bars/Pubs

Bull & Bear amps up the testosterone, with a dual focus on sports—the bar's name references two Chicago sports teams—and the...

Castaways

  • Bars/Pubs

This breezy, casual bar and grill puts you so close to Lake Michigan that you might consider wearing a swimsuit. Perched atop the North...

Charlie's

  • Bars/Pubs

A country-and-western dance spot, Charlie's lets you two-step nightly to achy-breaky tunes (club music takes over after midnight). It's...

Circuit

  • Bars/Pubs

The biggest dance club in Boystown is a stripped-down hall energized by flashing lights, booming sounds, and a partying crowd. Take a...

Citizen Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Everyone's welcome at Citizen Bar, a sleek space with exposed brick walls and traditional bar fare. But the real draw is the huge, multilevel...

Debonair Social Club

  • Bars/Pubs

In the historic Flat Iron Building, the Debonair Social Club combines visual arts, music, and late-night dining. Upstairs, curated video...

Delilah's

  • Bars/Pubs

A rare dive bar amid Lincoln Park's tonier establishments, Delilah's is dark and a bit grungy. But the bar has a friendly, unpretentious...

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