Chicago is Illinois’ top city; it is full of vibrant attractions both during the day and night. You can experience a variety of fun-filled activities when it comes to Chicago nightlife. Chicago is one of the most varied cities globally, and has something for all fun-seekers. Do check out our expansive sampling of Chicago nightlife guide.
Chicago Nightlife Guide: Delightful Attractions
Chicago nightlife is not your regular nightlife. It is full of unique attractions such as jazz, blues, comedy, and much more! This isn’t to say that it doesn’t have your regular nightclubs, booze, and dance venues; it sure does. But it has a lot more to explore! So find out everything you want to know about things to do at night in Chicago.
If you want to quickly unearth the hidden gems of Chicago nightlife, check out the slides below:
1. Blues, Jazz, & More Live Music
If you are a jazz, blues, or general music lover, then you have arrived in the right city. Chicago nightlife is brimming with abundant live music avenues. Two genres that have gained decades of popularity in the town are blues and jazz. These are so popular that there are individual jazz and blues festivals held in June and July at the Millennium Park.
If you want to visit the shrine of Jazz, you have got to go to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. It is a very old speakeasy but is renowned for its jazz shows held each night. It is situated close to the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom so that you can have a complete evening with cocktails, jazz, and dancing.
There are so many popular venues worth mentioning that a whole post could be dedicated to the famous Chicago-style jazz. However, if you really have to pick, then give Jazz Showcase a try. It brings to you some of the best local talents and has been a launchpad for several jazz greats. These jazz venues are close to a century old, as some started in the early 1900s.
We then come to the second genre, only in order, not in popularity – blues. Blue Chicago is the legendary venue for authentic Chicago-style electrified blues. Apart from that, you will find a lot of variations of the genre, and you can sit here till as late as you please.
If you are a blues lover, you can’t be unaware of Buddy Guy. This several-time Grammy winner has his own club in Chicago known as Buddy Guy’s Legends. If you are traveling in January, then you will catch the man in flesh and blood singing his bluesy heart out. At other times, you can enjoy many other artists and be a part of the free acoustic workshops.
Chicago nightlife is full of music just like San Diego’s nightlife. In fact, there are whole neighborhoods filled with venues, pubs, and restaurants.
2. Best Nightclubs In Chicago
Chicago nightlife or, as a matter of fact, any nightlife (like Las Vegas nightlife) is incomplete without the mention of nightclubs. So if you are in Chicago, do check out some of the most awesome nightclubs that you can imagine.
If you want a unique experience, try Tao Chicago. It is not your usual nightclub; it has a distinctive Japanese décor. It hosts the top DJs in the industry, and you will have a fabulous night full of enjoyment. Further, you can even taste the delicious Asian cuisine at the restaurant on the first floor. So it could be your complete night outing with dinner, dancing, and unique experiences.
3. Local Brew & Wine Selections
Whether your favorite drink is cocktail, whiskey, or beer, you get the best of it all in Chicago. Chicago nightlife treats you well when it comes to brews. There are so many breweries and distilleries in the city that you might lose count after visiting the first few. It is a perfect city for bar-hopping or pub-crawling.
Secret Sound is one of the best places to be if you love tropical cocktails. This place will make your rum taste like you could have never imagined. The cocktails here also taste divine and will give you a new experience altogether.
Apart from the bars and pubs, Chicago also has a lot of retro speakeasies from the prohibition time of the early 1900s. One such place we had mentioned earlier was the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. Not only does it have a classic selection of jazz, but it also has a classic selection of brews as well. You won’t find anything fancy, but if you stick to your whiskey, you will love the place.
4. Theater, Plays, Comedy Events & More
If you love art and culture or like to have a good laugh, then there is no shortage of events in Chicago. You can check out Broadway in Chicago for the best Broadway musicals. You might even get some last-minute discounts.
Chicago has several historic theaters hosting amazing plays and performances every night. The best way to enjoy these is to check the events sections of these theaters. You may start by looking at the website of Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Another form of entertainment in which Chicago excels is comedy. There are a number of comedy clubs. The most famous one being Second City. It started in 1959 and has never looked back since then. Many of the top performers of Saturday Night Live have performed here. If you prefer improv performances, then try the UP Comedy Club or the iO Theater (Improv Olympic).
5. Best Dinner Places In Chicago
Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious dinner? Chicago is known for its secret food spots sprinkled all over the city. There is a variety of nutritious and healthy foods available here. If you take a food tour, you will find out about unique and undisclosed places that will knock your socks off.
If you love your pita with hummus, check out Galit in Lincoln Park. It serves one of the best Lebanese cuisine experiences you have ever tasted. Lincoln Park is also home to many entertainment attractions in Chicago, so team the platter with red wine, and you are good to go for a night of fun.
Not having a deep-dish pizza in Chicago is a sin. If you really love pizza, never miss a chance to go to Paulie Gee’s Logan Square or Pequod’s Pizza. You can’t find a more comprehensive selection of pizza anywhere in the world. They even serve vegan options, so no matter what your food preferences are, you will find the right pizza for you.
Wrapping Up Chicago Nightlife Attractions
Chicago nightlife guide is full of surprises. It has everything in it from brews to food to events to everything. But if you had to describe it in one word, it would be rightfully called musical! The jazz and blues will pull you to Chicago, and you can’t leave without sinking your teeth into a deep-dish pie. So pack your bags now and head to Chicago to party!
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