Chicago's Best Dance Clubs: Places to Get Up and Get Down

Megy Karydes

By , Local Expert, Chicago
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House music was born in Chicago when a new club called The Warehouse gave it its name. The Warehouse is no longer but the beats continue at a number of dance clubs around town. Chicago’s nightlife is hot ~ if you know where to go and sometimes it’s in the basement.


Smart Bar in Wrigleyville has been a destination for dance-partiers since 1982 and still holds its own with its rocking DJs while Lakeview’s Berlin harkens back to Belmont Ave’s longtime punk scene and simultaneously connects to the future. You may encounter drag queens, exotic dancers, and other controversial icons on the dance floor at this gay (super)...  Read more »

  • 1

    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."

  • 2

    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."

  • 3


    Conveniently located just around the corner from Halsted Street and Chicago's Boystown neighborhood, this...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Almost every night has a theme, and it's bound to be good whether it's 80's, 90's or Madonna-rama."

  • 4

    The Hideout

    The Hideout is more of a bar and hangout joint on regular nights but come Saturday when it hosts one of the best dance parties.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't go on Wednesdays unless you're up for Veggie Bingo."

  • 5

    Empty Bottle

    Head to the monthly Windy City Soul Club at The Empty Bottle in the Ukrainian Village for a sweaty, soul-soaked party you'll never want to leave.

    Local Expert Tip: "It's cash only."

  • 6

    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're not a seasoned swing or blues dancer, stay to the periphery. The dancers here are the real deal. "

  • 7

    Castle Chicago

    Get on the guest list; you can get free admission on some nights if you arrive before 11:30 p.m.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you're in the River North area and want to get into a clubby scene, Castle is for you."

  • 8

    Matilda - Baby Atlas

    A hidden gem located in the basement of Matilda's, Baby Atlas serves us an intimate dance party scene.

    Local Expert Tip: "Eat upstairs at Matilda's."

  • 9


    It's named Sound-Bar for a reason: you can literally feel the bass pulsating through every part of your body.

    Local Expert Tip: "Your best bet here is to order bottle service and reserve a table. Once you're in, you'll have a good time."

  • 10


    Hangge-Uppe is a great late-night place to be casual and have fun. Grab a beer and hit the dance floor!

    Local Expert Tip: "Best for later in the evening."



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