Chicago Nightlife Recommendations

Still in Progress. More Info/Pics to Come. Stay Tuned.


 Ordered by Region

*** = MUST GO

** = Highly recommended

* = Pretty good if you have the time

All Others are good as well if you have an extended amount of time




1) ***Hancock Tower Signature Room

Drink here at night, nice view of the city lit up
Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Tower gives you an amazing view of the city at night. If you can find a good seat and are willing to pay for expensive drinks, it’s good. Although it’s quite touristy so if you want the local stuff, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Signature Room at the 95th – John Hancock Center

Lunch buffet (Monday-Saturday) for only $20/person. Small selection of good food, and amazing view of the city! You will get a better view of Chicago here, than from the Sears tower. Make reservations in advance. (312) 787-9596

Signature Lounge on top of the 95th floor amazing view and I recommend you go at night and you must must must go to the restroom there,…you will find out when you go the best view in the house is in the ladies restroom!!!!!

It’s at 95th floor of the Hancock tower

2) **Green Mill Jazz

Old speakeasy where Al Capone and his buddies hung out. Also has a poetry slam on Sunday evening. This is where poetry slams started. A bar that’s been in Chicago for a long time and has a lot of history. It’s known for having great swing music!

3) *B.L.U.E.S Bar

(Kingston Mines generally gets more attention, but I prefer this joint because it’s more intimate and has a better local feel)

4) **State and Rush

Where all the bars and clubs are, it’s hard to say which ones are good because it’s more of what you like

***State Bar

5) **Kingston Mines

Watch out for cover even if the wee hours of the morning around 3am!



Near North/West


6) The Berghoff

First restaurant to get liquor license after prohibition ended.



Bars in Downtown

7) *Purple Pig


8) *Xoco

9) Andy’s Jazz Bar

10) Redheaded Piano Bar

11) Bull and Bear

12) Hubbard Inn

13) Public House





14) **ROOF at the Wit

15) C-View at Affinia Hotel

16) Vertigo at Dana Hotel

17) NoMi at Hyatt



Bars in Outer Neighborhoods


***Wicker Park/Bucktown

Hipster, trendy scene, laid back, artsy, good for a night outing.

 18) Piece Bar

19) *The Crocodile

and any bars near pizza with a drink!


bands, dance, chill, fun! =)

21) Debonair Social Club Dive Bar

Red lights, great for silhouette pics, typical bar, but no cover and you can dance.

22) ***Blue Bird

23) ***Club Lucky




24) Hopleaf

Hop Leaf (bar with lots of amazing beers on tap and really really good pub food)



The neighborhoods
Wrigleyville and Clark Street


My former neighborhood, and where the stadium is. If there’s a Cubs game, GO. It’s always a good time and there are a strip of bars along here to go to as well. laid back..lots of bars!


25) Mullen’s

26) Redmonds

27) Casey Moran’s

28) Bernie’s Tavern

Free shuffleboard! sports pub


Lincoln Park


Definitely a cool place to grab dinner and a drink


29) ***Lion Head

30) ***The Apartment


31) *John Barleycorn



Other Beer/Pub options:

one of Chicago’s best beer bars: The Map Room (beermapping link) at 1949 N. Hoyne Ave. The Map Room is phenomenal, the taplist consists of 25-ish taps always rotating and a very large list of bottles. Map Room does not have food on any consistent basis, but at 5pm you’re just getting started so you can settle into a fairly comfortable table near a window and enjoy a couple of great beers.

7:30 pm Friday: a half mile stroll south down Damen Ave would put you right in the middle of the trendy neighborhood of Wicker Park. We’re not here to look for “black frame” glasses stores or starbucks though. We’re headed to Piece Pizza (beermapping link), one of Chicago’s best brewpubs. Piece is well known for their award winning wheat styles and over the past few years they have started blasting palates with really hoppy beers with rather dirty names (Camel Toe IPA, Moose Knuckle Barleywine…). If you’re getting hungry, you may want to order a New Haven style pizza with bacon, mashed potatos and a white sauce. Or you may want to hold off on eating a bit longer until our next stop.

9:30 pm Friday: another short half mile stroll south brings you to East/West running Division Avenue. There are two bars down here that we will be checking out. If you neglected to grab some pizza at Piece, you will probably be in need of some food, so we’ll go east a few storefronts to Jerry’s Sandwiches (beermapping link). Jerry’s only has 100 sandwiches to choose from, but hopefully that will be enough. The tap selection here is usually very solid, and if there is nothing available there to please you, there are lots of bottles too.

Further to the west down Division, you will find Small Bar (beermapping link). Small Bar also has food so you could hold off for some fried cheese curds with honey mustard dipping sauce or an Awesome Bacon Jam Burger! The taps at Small Bar are often somewhat similar to Jerry’s Sandwiches, but there should be a few differences. They both focus on craft American beer with a few imports sprinkled in. Small Bar and Jerry’s both have nice patios, so if you are here with someone who doesn’t like sitting at the bar, you might find yourself enjoying some Chicago weather. You can easily kill 2 or 3 hours between Small Bar and Jerry’s, so this is where we will end our night and catch a cab back to our Hotel/Motel/Hostel. We’ll need our energy for Saturday!

16. Blue Chicago536 N. Clark St.North Michigan  | Nightclubs/Bars1940’s style bar with live blues music nightly. Featuring Chicago’s best blues musicians and vocalists. Warm, friendly atmosphere. Low admission charge seven nights a week.  Hours:  8pm-2am; Sat. 8pm-3am;  Ha, AE, V, MC, JCB.


Add20. Chi Bar301 E. North Water St.North Michigan  | Nightclubs/Bars

Chi Bar is located within the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in the heart of downtown Chicago. Designed by renowned architect, Jeffrey Beers, Chi Bar’s d?cor boasts contemporary shades of cobalt blue and amber, deep mahogany wood paneling, plush lea…


Add21. Le Bar20 E. Chestnut St.Loop  | Nightclubs/Bars

Fashionistas mingle with the professional crowd late night, and energetic music plays in the background.  Modern lighting, a sweeping wood floor, and stainless steel bar create drama. The approachable yet contemporary seating complements the vi…


Add22. Back Room1007 N. Rush St.Near North  | Nightclubs/Bars

In the heart of the Gold Coast, one of the oldest and most recognized night spots for live music. Intimate, upscale atmosphere. Live jazz, blues, Motown, etc. Seven nights a week Sun.-Fri. 8pm-2am; Sat. 8pm-3am. AE, V, MC.

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