Dance, Jazz and Comedy Clubs among the Best in Chicago Nightlife

Megy Karydes

By , Local Expert, Chicago
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Nightlife isn’t narrowly defined in Chicago as just a dance club or bar. While that scene might appeal to some, there is also a host of other after hour options for both locals and visitors including comedy clubs, live musical performances and even theatrical acts.

We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore Chicago nightlife on your own. Closer to downtown Chicago are Studio Paris Nightclub in the River North neighborhood where you can dine on classic French cuisine at Paris Club before the club opens its doors at 10 pm on the rooftop. Not far is The Underground Chicago, one of the city’s hottest dance...  Read more »

  • 1

    Violet Hour

    The Violet Hour is classy, romantic and sexy. Once you make it past the heavy velvet curtains, enjoy your cocktail and each other's company.

    Local Expert Tip: "Expect a line to get in."

  • 2

    Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

    Green Mill is perfect for those who appreciate live jazz in a very cool, speakeasy atmosphere.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you want a table, get there early and enjoy some cocktails or whiskey before the bands go on."

  • 3

    The Underground Chicago

    Underground has two spaces to entertain: The Club offers a higher-energy, more modern club vibe while The...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "See some of the best EDM DJ's in the nation."

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    Most tickets for shows start as a reasonable $7 and sometimes you can find shows without a charge (read: free).

    Local Expert Tip: "If you like Cape Codders (cranberry vodkas), order one here as they are generous in size."

  • 5

    Paris Club

    The only place in the city that is a French bistro by day and nightclub by night.

    Local Expert Tip: "Come before midnight for dessert."

  • 6

    Rosa's Lounge

    Rosa's Lounge is an unusual northside haven for Blues where one can hear local greats like Melvin Taylor...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "The owner, Tony, will call you a cab if you need one."

  • 7

    Second City

    The Second City has launched some of the biggest names in the business including Tina Fey and Dan Aykroyd.

    Local Expert Tip: "Make reservations to eat at a nearby restaurant before hitting the 11pm show."

  • 8

    Old Town School of Folk Music

    Old Town School of Folk Music lets you enjoy live music in an intimate concert hall setting.

    Local Expert Tip: "While it offers beer, wine and snacks for decent prices, venue only accepts cash and the building does not have a cash station. Head to nearby The Grafton for The Daley for a drink before or after the show if you're short on cash."

  • 9

    Abbey Pub & Restaurant

    Abbey's is a neighborhood favorite for its Irish cuisine and beer selection and draws a crowd from all over the city for its live music.

    Local Expert Tip: "Features specials every day of the week including beers and pub food."

  • 10

    Smart Bar

    The DJ spins a mix of techno, rave, funk, house and well, anything you can dance to. Expect an alternative mix of clientele.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take the Red Line to Addison or #22 Clark Street bus for easy access."



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