Chicago Nightlife

Chicago nightlife has a long and colorful history, and when visiting this vibrant city, experiencing the nightlife should be at the top of your list of things to do in Chicago. Whether you are looking for a dance club with high-energy hip-hop music, a sophisticated atmosphere with specialty cocktails and smooth jazz, wine-tasting venues, sports bars, or a night of laughter at a comedy show, the variety of Chicago clubs to choose from will easily keep you busy.

Chicago nightclubs represent just one segment of where visitors can go for a taste of Chicago nightlife. In the city, nightlife venues are extensive and located throughout popular neighborhoods including the North Side and Magnificent Mile area, Lincoln Park, River North, Lakeview, North Side, and Division Street. An assortment of entertainment and high-energy atmospheres can be found at local Chicago clubs as well as at the many bars in Chicago.


On the lighter side, Chicago's comedy clubs feature headliners to new comedians just starting out. At the Chicago Underground Comedy Club, new talent entering the arena of stand-up comedy is featured weekly. Zanies Comedy club in Old Town is another example of Chicago nightlife that extends beyond the standard bars and clubs. Featuring a long list of established comedy stars that have appeared on their stage, they have some of the best stand-up comedy acts each week.

404 Wine Bar and Jack's Bar and Grill, located in Lakeview, comprise one of the unique bars in Chicago because the two are connected. The Jack's Grill side features a full bar and food menu and the 404 Wine Bar serves a long list of excellent wine selections and food. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is another example of combining delicious food in the restaurant or sampling selections from over 100 wines with Wine Flight tasting in the bar.

Chicago dance clubs are popular among locals and visitors alike, and there are many in the city. Crobar, a popular dance club on North Avenue, is upbeat with superior music and special events. Ontourage dance club features an impressive sound system, upbeat atmosphere, and large dance floor. Located in River North, Avila's is the place for Latin music and dancing, and if rock and roll is your scene, one of the live music Chicago dance clubs worth checking out is the original Mothers, which was established in 1968.

Buddy Guy's Blues Legends
Buddy Guy's Blues Legends

The city's nightclubs cover a wide range of venues and are popular among the crowd looking for something different than the bars in Chicago. Enclave is a popular spot and a prime example of an upscale night spot with its classy décor, live music, and extensive drink menu. At Transit, located on the West Side, live music from hip-hop and salsa to classic rock is combined with an impressive drink menu on Friday and Saturday nights.

Chicago clubs offer a night of socializing, dancing, and opportunities to see and be seen in locations ranging from casual to elegant. Vision, located in North Side, is described as a mega-club, a crown jewel of nightclubs with its visual appeal coupled with a lively party atmosphere. Club Moda in the River North district is popular due to its interesting theme that focuses on the fashion industry. Everything at the club is all about fashion, making the mood and music upscale, upbeat, and stylish.

Chicago nightlife covers the spectrum from casual to elegant, jazz to hard rock, sports bars to wine clubs and everything in between, which provides visitors with an opportunity to enjoy what they like or experience new venues during their Chicago vacation.

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