Chicago at night is just as full of culture, sights and exciting activity as the daytime. If you can think of a way you’d like to spend an evening, chances are the venue exists and is already a top thing to do in Chicago. From the best bars and clubs in the windy city to hidden gems only the Chicagoan’s know about, and a few unique experiences thrown in for good measure.
Here’s our in-depth guide to Chicago nightlife…
ANDY'S JAZZ BAR
Great for listening to jazz music every night of the week, Andy’s is one of the best jazz clubs in Chicago. First opening its doors in 1951 and catering to the Chicago workforce, before transforming into the iconic jazz bar it is today in 1977, Andy’s is known to the locals as a landmark of downtown Chicago. Go here if you’re looking for a trendy hub of live music, history and culture.
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Open until 4am every night except Saturday where is stays open for an extra hour, PRYSM is the best club in Chicago to go to if you want to dance until day breaks. Hosting after-parties for musicians such as Ludacris, Migos and Dzeko, the venue attracts a diverse crowd of partygoers looking to have a good time until the early hours of the morning. There is a strict dress code in operation, so we suggest leaving sneakers, baggy clothes, hats and chains at home.
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Arguably one of the best hip-hop clubs in Chicago, Sound Bar is the place to go if you want to spend an evening listening to the latest rap, RnB and trap music. The club consists of 9 bars, 4 lounges, a dancefloor, and is split over 2 levels. Expect laser lights, floor to ceiling video projection and an unbeatable sound system.
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Would you believe us if we told you this bar offers martinis with manicures? Far from your average night out, guests can take a short break from partying to pamper themselves before returning to the dancefloor. With a real focus on making sure everyone has a good time and enjoys the music, this is an ideal location if you’re in the mood for something a little quirky.
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ROOF ON THEWIT
Rated one of the top 3 rooftop bars in the world, you can believe us when we say Roof on TheWit is a must-visit for anyone that wants to experience the best of downtown Chicago’s party scene. Expect sets from world-renowned DJs, intimate acoustic sets and exclusive live runway events. Dress to impress… you’ll want to take a selfie in front of the iconic view of the skyline.
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THE GREEN MILL
Attracting big names and local talent alike, The Green Mill is a must for anyone wanting to experience the best of Chicago’s jazz clubs. Come here for a late-night jam session guaranteed to get you up and swinging. Rumoured to be the hangout of Al Capone in his heyday, you can still catch glimpses of the notorious gangster woven into the wall memorabilia.
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If Blues music is more your thing, look no further than Kingston Mines. There are 2 stages here where musicians perform live sets way into the early hours of the morning. Entertaining crowds since 1968, the venue has enough awards to prove it’s one of the best Blues clubs in Chicago. Get comfortable and when you’re done appreciating the talent, order some food from Kingston Mine’s delicious barbeque menu.
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Twenty six floors up a Virgin hotel and overlooking the windy city, this is the perfect place to fall in love with the Chicago skyline at night. Cerise is unpretentious and cosy, so much so you can easily spend an entire night here drinking cocktails, dining on their culinary creations and mingling with those around you. With a variety of events on offer each week there’s never a dull moment to be had.
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CHICAGO MAGIC LOUNGE
The windy city has its own unique style of magic best known as bar magic. Think card tricks and cocktails. All curious minds wanting to spend an evening immersed in a theatrical and entertaining experience like no other should head to Chicago Magic Lounge. Family friendly, innocent and funny, this is a cool activity to do with kids in Chicago at night. It’s also a great option for anyone looking for an interesting alternative to the standard bars and clubs in Chicago. Book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
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Combining a restaurant, bar and entertainment activity all in one, AceBounce is one of the best places to go in downtown Chicago. Known for being the home of ping-pong, you can work on your serve as you sip on one of their many tantalising cocktails. Chicago entertainment at its finest, go with a big group and try not to lose your cool when things start to get competitive!
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Keep these bar and club recommendations in your repertoire and you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Chicago at night. When the party comes to an end, be sure to stop for some food at one of the Best Places to Eat in Chicago…