We’ve compiled the best of the best in Chicago - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Buddy Guy's Legends

    South Loop | Music Clubs

    Relocated from its original location a few doors down, Buddy Guy's Legends has a superb sound system, excellent sightlines, and more space to...Read More

  • 2. Chicago Blues Festival

    Music Clubs

    The Chicago Blues Festival leaves no doubt about it: Chicago still loves to sing the blues. Each June, the city pulses with sounds from the...Read More

  • 3. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

    Far North Side | Music Clubs

    A Chicago institution, the Green Mill in not-so-trendy Uptown has been around since 1907. Deep leather banquettes and ornate wood paneling line...Read More

  • 4. House of Blues

    River North | Music Clubs

    Though its name implies otherwise, House of Blues actually attracts big-name performers of all genres, including jazz, roots, gospel, alternative...Read More

  • 5. Old Town School of Folk Music

    Lincoln Square | Music Clubs

    Chicago's oldest folk-music school has served as folk central in the city since it opened in 1957. The welcoming spot in Lincoln Square hosts...Read More

  • 6. Rosa's Lounge

    Logan Square | Music Clubs

    On a given night at Rosa's Lounge, near Bucktown, you'll find Tony, the owner, working the crowd, and his mother, Rosa, behind the bar. What...Read More

  • 7. The Empty Bottle

    Wicker Park | Music Clubs

    This place, in the Ukrainian Village near Wicker Park, may have toys and knickknacks around the bar (including a case of macabre baby-doll heads...Read More

  • 8. The Hideout

    Bucktown | Music Clubs

    The Hideout, which is literally hidden away in a North Side industrial zone, has managed to make country music hip in Chicago. Players on the...Read More

  • 9. Andy's Jazz Club

    River North | Music Clubs

    A favorite after-work watering hole with a substantial bar menu, Andy's Jazz Club has live music ranging from swing jazz to bebop. The early...Read More

  • 10. B.L.U.E.S

    Lincoln Park | Music Clubs

    The best thing about B.L.U.E.S. is that there isn't a bad seat in the joint. The worst thing? The crowds—come early if you want to score a seat...Read More

  • 11. Baton Show Lounge

    River North | Music Clubs

    At Baton Show Lounge, boys will be girls. The lip-synching revues with female impersonators have catered to curious out-of-towners and bachelorette...Read More

  • 12. Beat Kitchen

    Lakeview | Music Clubs

    North Side stalwart Beat Kitchen brings in the crowds because of its good sound system and solid rock, alternative-rock, country, and rockabilly...Read More

  • 13. Blue Chicago

    River North | Music Clubs

    In an upscale part of downtown, Blue Chicago has none of the trademark grit or edginess of the older South Side blues clubs. What is does offer...Read More

  • 14. Blues Heaven Foundation

    South Loop | Music Clubs

    For a walk into history, stop by the Blues Heaven Foundation, which occupies the former home of the legendary Chess Records. Breathe the same...Read More

  • 15. Carol's Pub

    Far North Side | Music Clubs

    Located in the Uptown area of the Far North Side, Carol's Pub showcased country before it was ever cool. The house band at this urban honky...Read More

  • 16. Double Door

    Wicker Park | Music Clubs

    Double Door is a hotbed for music in Wicker Park. The large bar books up-and-coming local and national acts from rock to acid jazz. Unannounced...Read More

  • 17. Elbo Room

    Lakeview | Music Clubs

    Elbo Room, a multilevel space in an elbow-shape corner building, has a basement rec-room feel. Talented live bands add a strong dose of nu-jazz...Read More

  • 18. FitzGerald's Nightclub

    Music Clubs

    Although it's a 30-minute schlep west of Chicago, FitzGerald's draws crowds from all over the city and suburbs with its mix of folk, jazz, blues...Read More

  • 19. Kingston Mines

    Lincoln Park | Music Clubs

    In 1968, Kingston Mines went down in Chicago history as the first blues club to open on the North Side. Though it's since moved to bigger digs...Read More

  • 20. Lincoln Hall

    Lincoln Park | Music Clubs

    The owners of Lincoln Hall transformed a former movie theater into an intimate concert space with great sight lines, an excellent sound system...Read More

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