Are you tired of going to the same old restaurants and hearing the same old music? Why not spice things up and check out some restaurants with live music in Chicago? With so many great options in the city, you’re sure to find a spot that will make your night out unforgettable. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the best restaurants with live music in Chicago, so you can experience the perfect blend of great food and entertainment.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a list of top-notch restaurants to check out for your next night out. We’ll introduce you to a range of styles, from jazz to blues and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening or a wild night out with friends, we’ve got you covered. And the best part? You won’t have to sacrifice delicious food to enjoy incredible live entertainment.
Join us as we explore the best restaurants with live music in Chicago. We’ll show you how to elevate your dining experience by pairing great food with even better tunes. With our insider knowledge and expert recommendations, you’ll be able to plan the perfect night out, whether you’re a local or just visiting the city. Get ready to tap your feet, sing along, and savor some of the best food and music the Windy City has to offer.
Best Bars in Chicago for Live Music
Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, has always been at the forefront of the music scene. Its vibrant nightlife and thriving music culture attract music lovers from all over the world. As a result, the city has a plethora of bars and restaurants that offer live music performances. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best bars in Chicago for live music.
1. The Green Mill
The Green Mill is a historic jazz club located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The club has been in operation since 1907 and has a rich history of hosting some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, including Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. The Green Mill boasts an intimate atmosphere, original Art Deco decor, and a wide range of live music performances, including jazz, blues, and swing.
- Location: 4802 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
- Capacity: 100 guests
- Hours: Mon-Thurs 4 PM-4 AM, Fri 4 PM-5 AM, Sat 11 AM-5 AM, Sun 11 AM-4AM
- Reservation: Recommended
The Green Mill is a historic landmark that has maintained its original decor and atmosphere. Patrons can enjoy live music performances from local and international musicians while sipping on cocktails from the bar. The club also hosts poetry slams and comedy shows, making it an excellent venue for those who enjoy a variety of entertainment.
The intimate atmosphere of The Green Mill is perfect for those who want to catch a live music performance up close and personal. The club’s rich history and legacy make it a must-visit venue for music lovers. While the cocktails are excellent, the lack of a food menu may be a drawback for some. Additionally, the club’s small capacity means that getting a spot can be challenging, especially on weekends. Finally, certain performances come with a cover charge that can be expensive.
Real World Example:
The Green Mill is a top-rated music venue on Yelp, with many positive reviews from patrons. One patron, Emily B., writes: “The Green Mill is a Chicago gem. The atmosphere is incredible, the drinks are delicious, and the staff is friendly. But the real draw is the live music. I’ve seen some of the best jazz and blues musicians of my life here, and I always leave feeling like I’ve experienced something truly special.”
Overall, The Green Mill is an excellent bar for those who want to experience a piece of Chicago’s jazz history while enjoying live music performances. Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, The Green Mill is a must-visit destination for music lovers.
The Second Top Restaurant with Live Music in Downtown Chicago: House of Blues
For a unique dining experience, one restaurant stands out in downtown Chicago – the House of Blues. It is the go-to place for music lovers because of its lively atmosphere, rich heritage, and first-class cuisine. Celebrating over 25 years of soulful entertainment, House of Blues is a venue that combines live music, storytelling, and world-class cuisine under one roof. Established by Dan Aykroyd and Isaac Tigret, the restaurant features a diverse lineup of musical talents, including jazz, blues, rock and roll, soul, and country music.
A Brief History of House of Blues
House of Blues is a nationwide chain of nightclubs and restaurants that have been around since 1992. At its inception, the House of Blues was aimed at showcasing authentic blues and curating a space for both established and emerging artists to share their music with an appreciative audience. The Chicago location opened soon after, and quickly becoming the hub of music culture in downtown Chicago.
The founders, Dan Aykroyd and Isaac Tigrett, wanted to pay homage to the African American musical heritage, which is why the venue is adorned with eclectic artwork, murals of blues legends, folk art, and other blues-inspired decor. The main dining room is ornately decorated with folk art, primitive art, paintings, and sculptures that celebrate blues culture.
The Music and the Performances
The House of Blues is a venue with a rich musical history. It has played host to countless legendary musicians like B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Ray Charles. The venue boasts an impressive stage with state-of-the-art technology to deliver the best sound and lighting, making it the go-to spot for music lovers. Performances range from a variety of genres, including rock, blues, gospel, and jazz.
The House of Blues is known for its annual Music Forward Foundation which provides support and outreach to musician communities, fostering dialogues and creating opportunities for local artists.
The exceptional menu at House of Blues features American classic dishes with an updated twist. It includes grilled jumbo shrimp, chicken and sausage jambalaya, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, and New York Strip steak. Moreover, the House of Blues offers an essential blues menu that provides a taste of the distinctive cuisine from the Mississippi Delta like fried catfish, voodoo shrimp, and Louisiana gumbo.
The restaurant also has a vast selection of cocktails, wines, spirits, and beers from both local and international breweries. The House of Blues prides itself on providing delicious food that pairs well with its live performances.
The Pros and Cons of House of Blues
As with any establishment, House of Blues has both its pros and cons. Here are some things to consider:
- The music: One of the best things about House of Blues is the live music. From local bands to international performers, the House of Blues provides a unique experience for music lovers.
- The food: The restaurant offers American classics with a twist, and the blues menu provides a taste of traditional cuisines and a blend of flavors from Louisiana and the Delta region.
- The ambiance: The restaurant is adorned with eclectic art, murals of blues legends, and primitive art, making the experience aesthetically pleasing and entertaining.
- Price: Being a premium venue, House of Blues can be quite expensive. Prices for the food menu range from $15 to $45, and it does not include taxes or gratuities.
- The space: While the House of Blues is spacious enough to accommodate a large crowd, it can become crowded and noisy during peak hours.
- Accessibility: Due to its popularity, the House of Blues can be challenging to get into. It is always best to make a reservation in advance, especially during the peak season.
The Comparison with the Other Restaurants with Live Music
How does House of Blues stack up against the other top restaurants with live music in downtown Chicago? Here is a quick comparison:
|House of Blues||Park Grill||Andy’s Jazz Club|
|Music Genre||Rock, Blues, Gospel, Jazz||Jazz, Acoustic, Blues, R&B||Jazz|
|Food Options||American cuisine, Blues-inspired cuisine||American Cuisine with Locally Sourced Ingredients||Jazz Club Menu|
|Location||329 N. Dearborn Street||11 N. Michigan Avenue||11 E. Hubbard Street|
While each restaurant has its unique traits, the House of Blues stands out with its eclectic ambiance, diverse musical performances, and its Blues-inspired cuisine menu.
In conclusion, the House of Blues is more than just a restaurant, it’s an experience. From the moment you step into the establishment, you are greeted with a wealth of history and culture. The lively music, delicious cuisine, and exceptional ambiance make House of Blues one of the top restaurants with live music in downtown Chicago.
Live Music Hotspots in Chicago
Chicago is well-known for its rich music history, from jazz to blues and everything in between. The city has a vibrant live music scene that draws music lovers from around the world. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best live music hotspots in Chicago where you can experience the city’s music culture firsthand.
1. Kingston Mines
Kingston Mines is a legendary blues club located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. It was founded in 1968 and has since become a staple of the city’s live music scene. The club has two stages, both featuring live blues performances seven nights a week.
Here are some key facts about Kingston Mines:
- It has been featured in movies such as “Return to Me” and “The Blues Brothers.”
- The club has hosted some of the biggest names in blues, including Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, and Junior Wells.
- Kingston Mines offers a full menu of Southern-style comfort food and has a wide selection of drinks to choose from.
If you’re looking for an authentic blues experience, Kingston Mines is a must-visit.
2. Buddy Guy’s Legends
Buddy Guy’s Legends is another iconic blues club located in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. The club is owned and operated by Grammy-winning blues guitarist Buddy Guy and showcases local and national blues acts.
Here are some interesting facts about Buddy Guy’s Legends:
- The club was opened in 1989 and has since become a popular destination for blues enthusiasts.
- Buddy Guy has performed at the club himself numerous times.
- The club features a menu inspired by Buddy Guy’s southern roots, including dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and fried catfish.
If you want to see some of the best blues acts in the world, Buddy Guy’s Legends is the place to be.
3. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is one of the oldest jazz clubs in Chicago, dating back to the early 1900s. The club is a Chicago institution and has hosted various jazz legends such as Billie Holiday and Al Capone.
Here are some interesting things to note about Green Mill Cocktail Lounge:
- The club has a rich history, having been opened during the Prohibition era and used as a speakeasy during that time.
- The interior of the club has hardly changed since it was first opened, giving it a unique vintage atmosphere.
- The club offers live jazz performances seven nights a week, with a special focus on swing and bebop.
If you’re looking for a classic jazz club experience, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is the place to go.
Chicago is a city that is steeped in musical history and culture, and there’s no shortage of live music venues where you can experience this firsthand. From blues to jazz, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City. Whether you’re a lifelong music lover or are just looking for a fun night out, make sure to check out these hotspots and experience the best of Chicago’s live music scene.
|Kingston Mines||Buddy Guy’s Legends||Green Mill Cocktail Lounge|
|Genre of Music||Blues||Blues||Jazz|
|Location||Lincoln Park||South Loop||Uptown|
|Food and Drink||Southern-style comfort food and drinks||Menu inspired by Buddy Guy’s southern roots, including gumbo, jambalaya, and fried catfish||Drinks, but no food available|
|Notable Acts||Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells||Buddy Guy himself has performed numerous times||Billie Holiday, Al Capone|
Live Music Restaurants in Chicago: Balancing Food and Music
Chicago has long been known as a melting pot of various cultures with a vibrant music scene to boot. As such, it comes as no surprise that the city has its fair share of live music restaurants that provide visitors with a unique dining experience. However, not all live music restaurants are created equal. While music lovers may love the ambiance, foodies may find the food wanting. In this section, we’ll explore the delicate balance between food and music in live music restaurants.
The Importance of Food in Live Music Restaurants
While the music is the main draw in live music restaurants, it’s essential to remember that it’s still a restaurant. Food should always be the number one priority, and the music should complement the dining experience.
- Quality of Food
- Menu Variety
- Food Presentation
The quality of food should always be the top priority in live music restaurants, no matter how good the music is. The kitchen staff should be able to provide patrons with fresh, well-made food that will make them want to come back for more. The focus should be on delicious dishes that speak for themselves, with music as an added bonus.
A good live music restaurant should have a diverse menu that caters to different tastes and preferences. Whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or kid-friendly options, a comprehensive menu ensures that everyone can enjoy the food while also enjoying the music.
Great food not only tastes good, but it should also look good. A restaurant that puts effort into food presentation shows that they care about their food and the dining experience. A visually-appealing dish will not only whet appetites but also make for a great photo-op for social media enthusiasts.
The Role of Music in Live Music Restaurants
While food is crucial in a live music restaurant, music is what sets it apart from conventional restaurants. The right music can elevate a dining experience and keep patrons coming back for more.
- Appropriate Music Selection
- Live Music vs. Recorded Music
- Musician Pay and Equity
The music played in live music restaurants should complement the dining experience, not detract from it. It should be neither too loud nor too soft to allow patrons to dine comfortably while still enjoying the music. The right music selection depends on the theme and atmosphere of the restaurant, but it should always be appropriate and tasteful.
Some live music restaurants hire live bands to perform, while others play recorded music. Live music has the added benefit of providing guests with a unique and authentic experience. However, live music can also be unpredictable, and bands may not always be available. Conversely, recorded music allows restaurants to have more control over the music selection, but it doesn’t offer the same experience as a live performance.
It is also essential to acknowledge the efforts of musicians in live music restaurants. Musicians should be compensated fairly for their time and talent, and live music restaurants should ensure that equity is maintained in their payment policies. This not only promotes fair payment for musicians but also shows that the restaurant values the musician’s skills and contributions to the dining experience.
Pros and Cons of Live Music Restaurants
Like any experience, live music restaurants have both pros and cons that can affect a patron’s decision to visit.
In conclusion, a great live music restaurant strikes a delicate balance between offering quality food and providing excellent live music. Patrons should leave the restaurant feeling satisfied, both in terms of their dining and musical experience. By ensuring that restaurants prioritize both food and music, they can attract a broad range of patrons who will keep coming back for more.
The Must-See Live Music Venues in Chicago
Music has always been an integral part of Chicago’s cultural identity. From jazz to blues, the city has a rich musical heritage that has contributed to its status as a music capital of the world. Chicago’s live music scene is thriving, and visitors to the city will be spoilt for choice when it comes to live music venues. In this article, we will highlight the top live music venues in Chicago that should not be missed.
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
Opening its doors in 1907 as a dancehall, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge quickly became known as one of the city’s premier jazz clubs. Today, it is a landmark on the Chicago jazz scene and welcomes visitors from across the globe. The Green Mill boasts an original mahogany bar, Art Nouveau details, and a vintage neon marquee that will transport you back to another era.
- The Ambiance of The Green Mill
- The Jazz Performances
- The Drinks
The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a truly unique venue that oozes history and charm straight out of the roaring 20s. With its Art Deco decor, it is undeniably one of the most nostalgic bars in Chicago, paying homage to a bygone era.
At the Green Mill, you can experience some of the best jazz musicians in the world. You’ll be mesmerized by the music that is played within the lounge’s walls. Some of the well-known musicians who performed at the Green Mill include Von Freeman, Wilbur Campbell, and Patricia Barber.
A visit to the Green Mill wouldn’t be complete without indulging in a delicious cocktail or two. Their signature cocktail “The Green Mill Cocktail” is a must-try, made with gin, lime juice, and honey syrup.
|Historic atmosphere and ambiance||Tighter than average seating arrangement||The Green Mill is a fantastic venue to experience live jazz music in Chicago. With its incredible history and signature cocktails, it should be included in any music lover’s itinerary.|
Established in 1968, Kingston Mines is one of the largest and longest-running blues clubs in Chicago. It has two stages that alternate between live blues musicians so that the music never stops. It is also the only blues club in the city that is open until 4 a.m. every morning. With its lively atmosphere and friendly staff, Kingston Mines is a great place to spend an evening in Chicago.
- The Blues Performances
- The Drinks and Food
- The Decor and Atmosphere
With a vast roster of blues musicians, Kingston Mines is the go-to destination for fans of the genre. Live music here never ceases, and the two stages at Kingston Mines host a non-stop night of blues splits from multiple bands. Some of the featured musicians include Linsey Alexander, Joanna Connor, and Vance Kelly.
Kingston Mines is one of the few live music venues in Chicago that serves food. The menu is varied and includes typical bar food such as wings and pizza, as well as Cajun and Creole dishes such as jambalaya and gumbo. Their selection of drinks will leave no one disappointed, with a wide range that includes beer, wine, and cocktails.
The neon signage and red brick facade of Kingston Mines is hard to miss when in Lincoln Park. Once inside, the neon continues, and the atmosphere is casual, with patrons sitting at long bar tables and enjoying the music. The staff is friendly and always happy to help.
|Non-stop blues split between two stages||Food is expensive in comparison to other venues||Kingston Mines is the perfect place for blues lovers to immerse themselves in music while enjoying a drink and a late-night meal.|
Buddy Guy’s Legends
Buddy Guy’s Legends is a world-renowned blues club that has been serving the city for more than three decades. It was founded by the legendary blues musician himself, Buddy Guy. The club has a rustic yet modern feel and is an iconic destination for live blues music in Chicago.
- The Blues Performances
- The Decor and Atmosphere
- The Food and Drinks
Playing host to both famous and up-and-coming blues musicians, Buddy Guy’s Legends attracts people from all over the world. The club also has a Blues Hall of Fame dedicated to presenting the history of blues music in Chicago, making it the perfect venue for people looking to learn more about the genre.
Buddy Guy’s Legends has an indoor and outdoor stage, the latter being the perfect spot to listen to live music on a warm evening. The club has a rustic feel with wooden chairs and walls adorned with photographs of blues legends. The walls are also covered in all kinds of memorabilia that will give visitors an idea of the club’s rich history.
The restaurant’s menu has a range of Cajun, Creole and Southern-inspired dishes, and the drink menu boasts a wide selection of cocktails, beer, and wine.
|Outdoor stage adds an extra level of excitement||Expensive food and drinks||Buddy Guy’s Legends is an unforgettable blues experience that will leave its visitors with lasting memories. The venue’s rich history and authentic blues music are a must-see in Chicago.|
The Chicago Theatre
The Chicago Theatre is a legendary live music venue known for hosting performances by some of the most prominent musicians in history. The theatre was built in 1921 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The venue has undergone several renovations throughout the years to modernize it, and it remains one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.
- The Performances
- The Decor and Atmosphere
- Accessibility and Amenities
The Chicago Theatre has hosted an impressive array of performers, from Frank Sinatra to David Bowie. The theatre’s acoustics are first-rate, and its stage has seen its fair share of musical legends perform on it.
The theatre’s decor is stunning, making it an awe-inspiring experience for anyone who walks through its doors. Its massive marquee and iconic vertical sign are easily recognizable throughout the city, making for a great photo opportunity.
The theatre is conveniently located on State Street, making it easy to access using public transportation. The venue has numerous amenities, including a bar and a selection of drinks and snacks available for purchase.
|Iconic venue with a rich history||Not exclusively a live music venue||The Chicago Theatre is an ideal destination for anyone looking to experience a musical act in an iconic and architectural landmark venue.|
The Hideout is a small yet iconic venue that has been hosting live music performances since 1934. The venue is a favorite among locals and has become a destination for those looking for an intimate show.
- The Performances
- The Atmosphere
- The Amenities
The Hideout hosts a range of live music events, from rock and roll to country to jazz. The venue favors local independent musicians, but also welcomes national artists. It hosts a popular live bluegrass jam session every Monday, where musicians and fans can come together to play and listen to great music.
The Hideout has a dive bar feel, with stone walls and an outdoor patio that adds to the relaxed atmosphere. The venue is also home to tiki Bar, which serves up exotic and fruity drinks in a Polynesian-inspired setting.
Unpretentious drinks and snacks are available for purchase, and the venue is cash-only. The venue’s small size also ensures that patrons enjoy an intimate and personal experience with the musicians.
|Intimate and inclusive environment||Smaller and less diverse venue||The Hideout is for anyone looking for a relaxed evening with friends and amazing live music. Its relaxed atmosphere and cozy setting make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.|
Chicago is a city with a thriving live music scene that caters to all genres and preferences. The venues listed above are just some of the must-see live music venues that contribute to the city’s vibrant musical identity. Whether you’re looking to listen to big-band jazz or hard-hitting rock, Chicago’s live music scene has something to offer for everyone.
FAQs: Restaurants with Live Music in Chicago
What are the best restaurants with live music in Chicago?
There are several good options to choose from when it comes to restaurants with live music in Chicago. Some of the best ones include Andy’s Jazz Club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, The Green Mill, The Jazz Showcase, and Kingston Mines.
Is there a dress code for restaurants with live music?
It depends on the restaurant. Some have a dress code, while others don’t. It’s best to check with the restaurant beforehand to determine what their dress code policy is.
What type of music can be found in restaurants in Chicago?
There is a wide range of music played in restaurants in Chicago, ranging from jazz, blues, rock, country, and more. It largely depends on the restaurant and the performers they feature.
What time do restaurants with live music in Chicago usually start?
Typically, restaurants with live music in Chicago start their performances in the evening, around 7 or 8 pm. Some may have earlier performances during the weekend or for special events.
Do restaurants with live music in Chicago require reservations?
It varies depending on the restaurant and the time of day/week. It’s best to check with the restaurant beforehand to determine if reservations are necessary.
Can children attend restaurants with live music?
It depends on the restaurant. Some have age restrictions, while others do not. It’s best to check with the restaurant beforehand to determine their policy on children.
What is the average price range for restaurants with live music in Chicago?
The price range varies depending on the restaurant and the menu items. Some restaurants may have a higher price range due to the live music aspect, while others may be more affordable. It’s best to check their menu beforehand to determine the price range.
Are there any outdoor restaurants with live music in Chicago?
Yes, there are several outdoor restaurants with live music in Chicago. Some of them include City Winery on the Riverwalk, Shore Club, and Cafe Brauer.
What are some good restaurants with live music for a date night in Chicago?
Some good options for date night restaurants with live music in Chicago include Andy’s Jazz Club, The Green Mill, and Untitled Supper Club.
What other types of entertainment can be found in restaurants with live music in Chicago?
Aside from live music, some restaurants in Chicago feature other types of entertainment such as comedy shows, karaoke nights, and poetry readings. It’s best to check with the restaurant beforehand to determine what other types of entertainment they offer.
Chicago offers a wide range of restaurants with live music, ranging from jazz clubs to blues lounges and outdoor venues. Whether you want to enjoy a date night or a night out with friends, there is something for everyone. Keep in mind, it’s always best to check the restaurant beforehand for their menu items, dress code, age restrictions, reservations, and other types of entertainment they offer. After a night of dining and music, Chicago has many other attractions to offer, such as shopping, sightseeing, and museums. We hope you enjoyed this article and invite you to check out other interesting articles on Chicago’s offerings.