Are you looking for the best live music bars in Chicago? Look no further because we’ve got you covered! Chicago is known for its diverse music scene and there are countless bars that offer live performances every night. However, not all of them offer the same experience. We’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best live music bars in Chicago that you need to visit.
By reading this article, you can expect to discover the ultimate guide to the live music bars in Chicago. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this article will give you an in-depth understanding of each bar’s unique vibe and the type of music they offer. You might even discover a hidden gem that you haven’t heard of before. We guarantee that after reading this article, you’ll have an unforgettable night out in Chicago’s music scene.
If you’re tired of trying different bars every night and not finding the right one for you, this article is the solution. We’ve done the groundwork for you so that you can enjoy a stress-free night out with your friends or family. Our recommendations are based on personal experience, customer reviews, and industry recognition. We’ve also made sure to include a variety of genres to fit everyone’s taste. Get ready to dance the night away at the best live music bars in Chicago!
Experience the Best of Chicago Music Scene at These Live Music Bars
Chicago is widely known as the birthplace of blues and home to a thriving music scene that has produced some of the world’s most famous musicians, including Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and Otis Rush. The city’s music culture is diverse, with a wide variety of venues and genres, ranging from jazz and blues to rock and hip hop. If you’re looking for the ultimate Chicago music experience, then you must check out its live music bars. Here are the top live music hotspots in Chicago that offer top-notch performances, great drinks, and a unique ambiance that you won’t find anywhere else.
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is an iconic Chicago music venue that has been around since 1907. Located in the Uptown neighborhood, the bar is known for its authentic jazz performances that still attract some of the city’s best musicians, including Pat Mallinger and Chris Foreman, who regularly perform here. The Green Mill’s interior is a throwback to the roaring ’20s, complete with vintage decor and dim lighting, which adds to its unique ambiance.
- The Green Mill is known as the “Uptown Poetry Slam” venue, which features poetry slams, stand-up comedy, and performances by established poets and new faces.
- The bar has a strict dress code, so leave your casual wear at home and dress to impress.
- Al Capone, the notorious gangster, loved the Green Mill and had a secret booth that allowed him to see the entrance and the entire club.
If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago jazz experience and a unique night out, then the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a must-visit.
The Kingston Mines
The Kingston Mines is a renowned blues club that has been around since 1968. Located in Lincoln Park, the bar features two stages that host live blues music every night of the week. Some of the city’s most famous blues musicians, including Buddy Scott, Junior Wells, and Magic Slim, have played here, and the venue has become a staple of the Chicago blues scene.
- The Kingston Mines has two stages, the North Stage and the South Stage, that host back-to-back performances every night of the week.
- The bar has a full menu that features classic American dishes, such as ribs, burgers, and fried chicken, so you can enjoy great music and great food in one place.
- The club has an outdoor patio that allows visitors to enjoy their drinks and music under the stars during the summer months.
If you’re a fan of blues or just want to experience authentic Chicago music, then you can’t miss the Kingston Mines.
The Hideout is a tiny dive bar located in the industrial district of Chicago’s North Branch. Despite its small size, the bar has become a beloved venue among locals and has attracted musicians from all over the city. The Hideout is known for its indie rock and folk performances, and its intimate setting allows visitors to enjoy the music up close and personal.
|The Hideout has an intimate setting that allows visitors to enjoy the music up close and personal.||The bar can get crowded quickly, and visitors may have to wait in line to enter.||The Hideout offers a unique experience where visitors can enjoy great music in a cozy environment, but they may have to be patient to get in.|
|The bar is located in the industrial district, which adds to its unique ambiance.||The Hideout has limited seating and may not be suitable for large groups.||The bar’s location is a double-edged sword, where visitors can enjoy a unique setting, but its size may be a constraint.|
|The Hideout features an outdoor patio where visitors can enjoy their drinks and music under the stars during the summer months.||The bar does not have a full menu and only serves snacks, so visitors looking for a full meal should plan accordingly.||The outdoor patio is a bonus for visitors who want to enjoy their music and drinks in the fresh air, but visitors should be aware of the bar’s limited food options.|
If you’re looking for an intimate music experience in a cozy environment, then the Hideout is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy great music.
The House of Blues
The House of Blues is a legendary music venue that has become a staple of the Chicago music scene. Located in the River North neighborhood, the bar features a massive stage that has hosted thousands of concerts and performers over the years, including Eric Clapton, Green Day, and Ray Charles. The venue’s interior is a sight to behold, with colorful murals and a unique decor that adds to its captivating ambiance.
- The House of Blues has a full menu that features classic American dishes, such as jambalaya, gumbo, and fried chicken, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- The bar has a VIP section that offers private seating and bottle service, as well as access to a private balcony that provides a bird’s eye view of the stage.
- The House of Blues is committed to promoting emerging talent and has a “Foundation Room” program that offers local artists the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience.
If you’re looking for a legendary music venue that has hosted some of the world’s most famous musicians, as well as emerging local talent, then the House of Blues is a must-visit.
Savor The Tunes: Best Jazz Music Bars In Illinois
Chicago is known for its rich history of jazz music, and it is no secret that the Windy City has produced some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. The city is filled with a myriad of bars that provide the perfect environment for jazz enthusiasts to indulge in the sweet sounds of smooth jazz. Below are some of the best jazz music bars in Illinois that provide an unforgettable experience for all those who love this musical genre.
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is by far one of the most famous jazz clubs in the city of Chicago. It was opened in 1907 and has been a hotspot for jazz musicians since the 1930s. During the Al Capone era, the bar served as a speakeasy, and its history is evident in its decor. The club still has its original bar, which is made entirely of marble, ornately carved wood paneling, stained glass, and brass railing.
The club features live performances several times a week, including jazz, swing, and blues. They offer a wide array of libations, including signature cocktails like the Copenhagen, which features Akvavit and Cointreau. They also serve pizzas, nachos, and an extensive selection of craft beers. The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the ambiance of a classic Chicago jazz club.
The Jazz Showcase
The Jazz Showcase is another legendary jazz club that has been around for over 70 years. The club has a long history of hosting some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, including Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, and Sonny Rollins. The club has an intimate atmosphere that is perfect for jazz lovers who want to experience live music up close and personal.
The Jazz Showcase features live performances six nights a week, with two shows per night. They also offer jazz classes for those who want to learn more about the genre. The club has a full-service bar that serves a range of drinks, including beer, wine, and cocktails. They also have a small menu that includes items like burgers, fries, and sandwiches. The Jazz Showcase is the perfect place to enjoy an evening full of world-class jazz performances.
The Andy’s Jazz Club
The Andy’s Jazz Club has been around since the 1950s and is known for its Chicago-style jazz. The club features live jazz performances seven nights a week, with two shows per night. They attract some of the biggest names in jazz music, including Harry Connick Jr. and Tony Bennett.
The club has a full-service bar that serves a range of drinks, including beer, wine, and cocktails. They also offer an extensive menu that includes items like filet mignon, lobster bisque, and chicken piccata. The Andy’s Jazz Club is the perfect place to enjoy a night out with friends or to celebrate a special occasion.
|Bar Name||History||Food and Drink||Live Performances|
|The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge||Opened in 1907; served as speakeasy during Al Capone era||Wide array of cocktails and craft beers; pizza, nachos||Several times a week; jazz, swing, blues|
|The Jazz Showcase||Over 70 years of hosting legendary jazz musicians||Beer, wine, cocktails; burgers, fries, sandwiches||Six nights a week; two shows per night|
|The Andy’s Jazz Club||Established in the 1950s||Beer, wine, cocktails; filet mignon, lobster bisque, chicken piccata||Seven nights a week; two shows per night|
- The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is known for its ornate decor and history as a speakeasy during the Al Capone era.
- The Jazz Showcase has a long history of hosting some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
- The Andy’s Jazz Club is known for its Chicago-style jazz and attracts some of the biggest names in jazz music.
- All three bars offer live jazz performances several nights a week, with two shows per night.
- Each bar has a full-service bar that serves a range of drinks, including beer, wine, and cocktails.
- The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and The Andy’s Jazz Club both offer an extensive menu.
- The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and The Jazz Showcase both have an intimate atmosphere that is perfect for jazz lovers who want to experience live music up close and personal.
In conclusion, Illinois is home to some of the best jazz music bars in the country. The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, The Jazz Showcase, and The Andy’s Jazz Club are all legendary bars that offer an unforgettable experience for jazz enthusiasts. Whether you want to revel in the history of a classic Chicago jazz club or enjoy a night of world-class jazz performances, these bars are the perfect place to do so.
Best Sports Bars in Chicago with Live Music Shows
If you’re an avid sports fan who also loves live music, Chicago is the perfect city for you. The Windy City is not only home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the world, but it also has an impressive music scene that caters to a wide range of tastes. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best sports bars in Chicago that offer live music shows to help you experience the ultimate Chicago nightlife.
The World Famous Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse
Located in the heart of River North, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse is a Chicago institution that’s been in business since 1987. Named after the famous Chicago Cubs announcer, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse is not just a restaurant, it’s also a sports bar and live music venue. Here are some of the key highlights of this iconic sports bar:
- Great Food and Drinks: Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse boasts an extensive menu of classic Italian dishes and signature cocktails that are perfect for pre-game or post-game celebrations. The bar has a wide selection of beer on tap and serves some of the best handcrafted cocktails in town.
- Live Music Shows: Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse combines sports and live music to create a unique entertainment experience that can’t be found anywhere else in Chicago. The bar hosts live music performances on Fridays and Saturdays, featuring some of the most talented local bands and musicians in the city.
- Legendary Atmosphere: The bar’s walls are adorned with sports memorabilia and photographs of Harry Caray and other sports legends, creating an authentic sports atmosphere that’s perfect for sports enthusiasts.
- Convenient Location: Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse is conveniently located near some of the city’s best sports venues, including Wrigley Field, the United Center, and Soldier Field.
If you’re looking for a sports bar that offers great food, drinks, live music, and a legendary sports atmosphere, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse is the perfect choice for you.
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub is a popular sports bar that’s known for its lively atmosphere, great food, and live music. Here are some of the key highlights of this beloved Chicago institution:
- Friendly Atmosphere: Timothy O’Toole’s Pub has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that’s perfect for sports fans who want to catch the game in a fun and lively environment.
- Delicious Food: The bar’s menu features a wide range of classic pub fare, such as burgers, wings, and nachos, as well as some unique dishes like the “Bacon Mac & Cheese” and the “Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich”.
- Live Music Shows: Timothy O’Toole’s Pub hosts live music shows on the weekends, featuring some of the best local bands and musicians in town. The bar also features weekly trivia nights, which are a great way to test your sports knowledge and win some prizes.
- Sports Viewing Experience: With over 75 TVs and multiple projectors, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub is the perfect place to catch all the big games and sporting events. The bar also offers private event spaces, which can be reserved for large groups and parties.
If you’re looking for a great sports bar that serves delicious food, hosts live music shows, and has a friendly atmosphere, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub is the perfect spot for you.
Located in Ukrainian Village, The Fifty/50 is a popular sports bar that’s known for its great food, drinks, and live music. Here are some of the key highlights of this beloved Chicago landmark:
- Delicious Food and Drinks: The Fifty/50 boasts a menu of classic pub fare that’s perfect for sharing with friends, such as the “Half & Half Nachos” and the “Bang Bang Shrimp”. The bar also has an impressive selection of craft beers and signature cocktails that are perfect for pre-game or post-game celebrations.
- Live Music Shows: The Fifty/50 hosts live music shows on the weekends, featuring some of the best local bands and musicians in town. The bar’s outdoor patio is also a great spot to catch some live music while enjoying a drink or two.
- Sports Viewing Experience: With over 20 flat-screen TVs and two private event spaces, The Fifty/50 is the perfect place to catch all the big games and sporting events. The bar also offers a “Super Fan” package, which includes reserved seating, a bucket of beer, and a platter of wings or nachos.
- Vibrant Atmosphere: The bar’s vibrant and lively atmosphere is perfect for sports fans who want to catch the game in a fun and energetic environment. The bar also offers a variety of board games and other activities, which can be enjoyed while waiting for the game to start.
If you’re looking for a sports bar that combines great food, drinks, live music, and a lively atmosphere, The Fifty/50 is the perfect choice for you.
|Bar Name||Location||Live Music Shows||Food & Drinks||Sports Viewing Experience||Vibrant Atmosphere|
|Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse||River North||Yes (Fridays, Saturdays)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Timothy O’Toole’s Pub||Downtown||Yes (Weekends)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Fifty/50||Ukrainian Village||Yes (Weekends)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In conclusion, these are the best sports bars in Chicago that offer live music shows. These bars are perfect for sports enthusiasts who also love live music and great food. From the legendary Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse to the fun and vibrant Fifty/50, these bars are sure to provide you with an unforgettable nightlife experience in Chicago.
Classic Blues Bars in The Windy City: Best Places To Jam Out
Chicago is a city that’s famous for its contributions to music. Known for its deep roots in jazz, blues, and gospel, the city has no shortage of live music venues. For those looking for the perfect place to enjoy the sounds of classic blues music, Chicago certainly doesn’t disappoint. In no particular order, here are some of the city’s best classic blues bars where you can jam out to live performances.
1. Kingston Mines
Kingston Mines is a world-famous Chicago blues nightclub located in the heart of Lincoln Park. A Chicago institution since 1968, it features live music every night of the week with two stages and two bands performing simultaneously. The 35,000-square-foot venue also boasts a menu of Southern comfort foods and a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.
- Kingston Mines features live performances every night of the week with two stages and two bands playing simultaneously.
- It has been a Chicago institution since 1968.
- The venue serves Southern comfort foods and a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.
If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago blues experience, Kingston Mines is the place to be. The energy and atmosphere are unmatched, and the music will have you dancing all night long.
2. Buddy Guy’s Legends
Owned by legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy, Buddy Guy’s Legends is one of the most renowned blues clubs in the country. It’s located in the South Loop, and it features live blues music from local, national, and international acts. The venue also boasts a Southern-style menu and an extensive collection of blues memorabilia, including guitars signed by famous blues musicians.
- Buddy Guy’s Legends is owned by legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy.
- The club hosts live blues music from local, national, and international acts.
- The venue features Southern-style food and an extensive collection of blues memorabilia.
Buddy Guy’s Legends is the perfect spot to indulge in some of the best blues music that Chicago has to offer. The club has a reputation for bringing in top-notch musicians, from legends to up-and-comers, and the atmosphere is always electric.
3. Rosa’s Lounge
Rosa’s Lounge is a family-owned blues club located in Logan Square. The club was founded in 1984 and has been a fixture of the Chicago blues scene ever since. The venue is cozy and intimate, and the live music is typically performed by local blues musicians. Rosa’s Lounge also has a great menu of Italian-inspired cuisine and an impressive collection of whiskey.
- Rosa’s Lounge is a family-owned blues club that has been a fixture of the Chicago blues scene since 1984.
- The club hosts live music from local blues musicians.
- The venue has a menu of Italian-inspired cuisine and an impressive whiskey collection.
Rosa’s Lounge is a fantastic place to catch some live blues music in an intimate setting. The atmosphere is laid-back and welcoming, and the music is always top-notch.
B.L.U.E.S. is a classic Chicago blues bar located in the heart of the city’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. The club has been hosting live blues since 1979 and is known for its no-frills atmosphere and authentic blues performances. The venue typically features local blues acts, as well as renowned touring acts.
- B.L.U.E.S. is a classic Chicago blues bar that has been hosting live blues since 1979.
- The venue features local blues acts and renowned touring acts.
- The club is known for its no-frills atmosphere and authentic blues performances.
B.L.U.E.S. is a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Chicago’s iconic blues scene. The venue’s no-frills atmosphere and emphasis on authentic performances make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
|Buddy Guy’s Legends||
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of Chicago’s blues scene or simply looking to explore the city’s musical roots, these iconic blues bars are not to be missed. From Buddy Guy’s Legends to Kingston Mines, each of these venues offers a unique experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. So grab a drink, hit the dance floor, and let yourself be transported by the sounds of Chicago’s classic blues music.
The Best Live Music Bars in Wicker Park
Wicker Park is one of Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods, and it’s home to a thriving live music scene. From jazz clubs to indie rock venues, there’s something for every music lover here. In this subsection, we’ll explore the best live music bars in Wicker Park.
The Double Door
The Double Door is one of the most iconic music venues in Chicago, and it’s been a staple of the Wicker Park community for over 20 years. This intimate, 500-person capacity venue has hosted everyone from The Rolling Stones to The Smashing Pumpkins, and it’s known for its gritty, no-frills atmosphere. Here are some key facts about The Double Door:
- The venue was originally opened as a jazz club in 1994, but it quickly transitioned to rock music and became one of the most popular spots in Chicago.
- The Double Door is located in a historic building that dates back to the early 1900s.
- The venue has a fully stocked bar and a small menu of food options, including nachos and pizza.
Despite its popularity and reputation, The Double Door has had its share of controversy over the years. In 2017, it was forced to close its doors due to a dispute with its landlord, but it has since reopened under new ownership.
The Empty Bottle
The Empty Bottle is another iconic music venue in Wicker Park. This 400-person capacity venue has been around since 1992 and has hosted some of the biggest names in indie rock, including Arcade Fire and Animal Collective. Here are some interesting facts about The Empty Bottle:
- The venue is known for its eclectic lineup, which includes everything from indie rock to experimental jazz to electronic music.
- The Empty Bottle has a reputation for supporting up-and-coming artists and giving them a platform to showcase their talent.
- The venue has a cozy, dive bar atmosphere and a small outdoor patio where patrons can hang out and enjoy a drink.
The Empty Bottle has also faced its share of challenges over the years. In 2004, it was forced to close for a few months due to financial difficulties, but it was able to reopen with the help of donations from the local community.
The Whistler is a unique addition to Wicker Park’s live music scene. This cocktail bar doubles as a music venue, and it’s known for its intimate, laid-back atmosphere. Here are some interesting facts about The Whistler:
- The venue is named after the novel “The Whistler” by John Grisham.
- The Whistler has a focus on jazz and experimental music, with live performances every night of the week.
- The venue has a rotating selection of craft cocktails and a small menu of bar snacks.
One of the unique features of The Whistler is its commitment to giving back to the community. The venue hosts a weekly event called “The Whistler Jazz Jam,” where local musicians can showcase their talent and collaborate with each other. The Whistler also partners with local charities to donate a portion of their proceeds to good causes.
Here’s a comparison table to illustrate the key differences between The Double Door, The Empty Bottle, and The Whistler:
|Music Genre||Capacity||Atmosphere||Food/Drink Options||Unique Features|
|The Double Door||500||Gritty and no-frills||Fully stocked bar, small menu||Iconic venue with a storied history|
|The Empty Bottle||400||Eclectic and laid-back||Beer and wine, small menu||Commitment to supporting up-and-coming artists|
|The Whistler||50||Intimate and cozy||Craft cocktails and bar snacks||Cocktail bar that doubles as a music venue, commitment to giving back to the community|
Whether you’re a fan of indie rock, jazz, or experimental music, Wicker Park has plenty of live music options to choose from. The Double Door, The Empty Bottle, and The Whistler are just a few of the many venues that you can explore in this vibrant neighborhood.
FAQs for Best Live Music Bars Chicago
What are the best live music bars in Chicago?
Chicago is home to some of the best live music scenes in the country. Some of the best live music bars in Chicago include The Green Mill, Kingston Mines, Double Door, The Hideout, and Martyrs’. Each of these bars have their own unique vibe and style of music to fit everyone’s taste.
What are some of the most popular music genres offered in Chicago bars?
Chicago is known for its Jazz, Blues, and House music scenes, but there are live music bars in Chicago that cater to other genres- including Rock, Hip Hop, Folk and Country music. These bars offer some of the best live music performances and have music for everyone’s taste.
Are live music bars in Chicago expensive?
The prices of drinks and admission to live music bars in Chicago vary depending on the location and day of the week. However, entry fees are usually affordable and for some bars, admission is sometimes free. Overall, you can enjoy some amazing live music in Chicago without breaking the bank.
Are live music bars in Chicago family-friendly?
Most live music bars in Chicago have age restrictions and require patrons to be 21 and older to enter. However, some may have specific days or times when they are open for kids or allow minors to come to certain shows. It’s best to check with the bar before bringing your family or younger friends.
What’s the best time to visit live music bars in Chicago?
Live music bars in Chicago are typically open every day of the week, but the best nights to visit are usually the weekends when there are more performances and events. However, some bars also offer great music on weeknights, so it’s worth checking their schedules to find out what nights work best for you.
Can I book tickets for live music events at bars in Chicago?
Most of the bars in Chicago do not require you to book tickets to attend their live music events, but some bars have an option to purchase tickets online or at their box office for their more popular events. However, it’s best to check with the bar in advance to confirm their booking policies.
What’s the dress code for live music bars in Chicago?
There’s no general dress code for live music bars in Chicago. Some bars may require you to dress up a bit if you’re attending their more formal events or if they have parties, while others have more casual dress codes for everyday events. It’s always best to check ahead before getting ready to attend.
What’s the crowd like at live music bars in Chicago?
Live music bars in Chicago have a mix of locals and tourists who come to enjoy the music and the atmosphere. The crowds are usually friendly, lively and passionate about music. It’s a great place to meet new people and create long-lasting memories with friends.
What’s the food and drinks scene like at live music bars in Chicago?
Chicago has a fantastic food and drinks scene and this culture spills over to live music bars in the city. Some of the bars have their own unique cocktail list, draft beer options, and gourmet food menus. You can enjoy some of the best food and drinks while enjoying live music performances.
What makes live music bars in Chicago unique?
The live music bars in Chicago are unique because of their rich culture and history. Besides, the city has some of the most diverse and talented musicians in the world. The music scenes are dynamic and range from Jazz, Blues, House to Rock and Hip-Hop. It has everything for music enthusiasts and culture explorers to enjoy.
Chicago is home to some of the best live music bars in the country. With its diverse music scene and unique bar culture, it’s no wonder why people from all over the world visit to experience it. Whether you’re an avid music lover or someone who’s just looking for a good time, Chicago’s live music bars offer amazing entertainment and great food and drinks. After reading this article, grab your friends, put on your dancing shoes and head over to one of Chicago’s famous live music bars. Enjoy the music, the atmosphere and the company!
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