Best Chicago, IL Nightlife

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    10. Smart Bar

    A dance club with less posh, more punk. If you want a place that gets you dancing, look no further. The DJ spins a mix of techno, rave, funk, house and well, anything you can dance to. Expect an alternative mix of...

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    7. Second City

    The world's premier comedy troupe, The Second City has launched some of the biggest names in the business. You may have heard of them: Gilda Ratner, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen...

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    6. Rosa's Lounge

    Remember those places where the musicians just want to play to people who love to hear their music? Rosa's Lounge is that kind of place. No frills, just a classic joint to hear great live blues without the...

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    5. Paris Club

    It's French bistro by day, nightclub after dark. On weekdays the kitchen serves classic French dishes in the warmly decorated restaurant until midnight. The rooftop of lounge Paris Club turns into a glossy nightclub...

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    4. Martyrs'

    Martyrs' features a musical lineup that is all over the board: a broad mix of genres from traditional bluegrass bands to improvised hip-hop, reggae funk and jazz. Equally impressive is the diverse and fun crowd. You...

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    1. Violet Hour

    Don't let the outdoor décor fool you. It's boarded up and one friend wondered if anything was even inside. Once you (after a long wait in a line outside, most likely), you enter through heavy velvet curtains and...

    Photo courtesy of Violet Hour

Local Expert Nightlife Recommendations

About Chicago, IL Nightlife

Chicago’s perpetual energy proves there is no shortage of nighttime entertainment. River North is a catalogue of lively bars for young professionals. Along with a selection of swanky clubs, line down the block. Watch some amateurs as their flip-flops are denied entrance. Choose from a variety of live musical stylings, from catchy jazz to double-base punk. Like all Chicago business, nightlife is an enterprising market. Tequila is taking over the modern bar scene. Opt for a low-key at a late-night dive bar. The city lashes out once again, reviving the speakeasy. The entrance at Wicker Park's Violet Hour gives little hint to its identity, unless the yellow light bulb catches your eye. Cocktail hour is progressing with the times as bars and clubs introduce original, signature drinks.

About Emma Watters

Hi, my name is Emma!  I live in Chicago!  It's in Illinois.  Chicago is the Windy City.  It's really windy here, and that's probably why they call it that.

Read more about Emma here.

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New & Notable Chicago Nightlife

Hot, New & Notable nightlife . . . and why you should go there now!