Whatever you’re looking for when it comes to nightlife, you’ll find it in Chicago. The Windy City is home to some of the top restaurants, endless bars and a diverse comedy and theater scene. Visitors and newcomers to the city who recently purchased one of the Chicago homes for sale will discover a wealth of options for going out after dark – so many that a guide to the nightlife here is really a must just to figure out where to start.

The Best Bars

Green Mill

Conde Nast Traveler named the Green Mill among its list of the very best bars in Chicago, noting it as a “legendary spot on the nightlife circuit” and “old-school Chicago at its finest.” In business here for over a century, the cash only establishment is a rare treat for jazz lovers who will want to arrive early to get a good seat as shows are all seated on a first-come, first-served, while the Sunday poetry slams are ideal for enjoying some of the local flavor. If you’re craving the tropics, head to Lost Lake, a tiki bar that’s been named on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list based on “drink experts” from across the globe. It goes well-beyond banana dolphins, pushing the boundary on what rum and fruit juice can taste like.

Top Nightclubs

slippery slope chicago

The Slippery Slope is renowned as the place for dancing in Logan Square – and, heading to its address will get you a 2-for-1, with the downstairs Slippery Slope promising a night of DJs, dancing, Skee-Ball and wild times. Drinks, from the extensive beer selection to cocktails in bottles are cheap. Upstairs at Heavy Feather you’ll find a more laid-back atmosphere with craft cocktails, gold mirrors, dark wood, Tiffany-style glass lamps and booths with tufted cushions for enjoying quiet conversations.

Beauty Bar in West Town features glitter paint and salon furniture with Martinis & Manicures hosted nightly until about midnight. Sip salon-themed cocktails like the Deep Condition or Bed Head, and then dance the night away at riotous theme parties or to live DJs.

Music Venues

From intimate spots to establishments hosting big-name artists, Chicago is home to plenty of venues that host live music. Rosa’s Lounge is known for great live blues and a diverse crowd, offering a full-service bar for drinking while listening to the sounds of bands like Billy Branch & the SOB. The Old Town School of Folk Music is an intimate concert hall without a bad seat in the house. It offers a whole lot more than folk too, with everything from Cuban salsa to African tunes and cutting-edge artists.

Thalia Hall

Thalia Hall is a landmark venue that was initially designed as an opera house. Around since 1892, today it hosts concerts by renowned musical acts in an ornate concert hall with old-world charm. It also happens to adjoin what was called the city’s “Best New Restaurant” by multiple publications, including Thrillist and Chicago magazine, the Michelin-starred gastropub Dusek’s Board & Beer.

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