I’m partial to a bit of drinks and parties. Lucky for me, I’ve partied in all corners of the world and drank my fair share of cocktails given my ties to the nightlife industry. No matter where I’ve been, something about Chicago and its night scene hits the spot. Given my expertise in the scene and being a traveler who likes to have fun in cities I visit, I built a Travel Guide To Nightlife In Chicago.
This guide gives travelers like myself a true representation of Chicago’s nightlife. From cocktail bars, local gems, live music spots and where to dance the night away, this carefully and constantly updated travel guide to nightlife in Chicago is for you.
Enjoy my city and cheers to you for visiting Chicago.
Read the full Chicago destination guide on how to visit Chicago like a local HERE.
In this Chicago destination guide I share the top places to see, my favorite hidden gems and tips to best navigate the iconic windy city.
Plan Your Chicago Party Visit
TABLE OF CONTENTS
nightlife In Chicago – Where To Go
For Cool Vibes
Penny Whistle – Friendly neighborhood bar that has several brews on tap and a dance floor in a laid–back atmosphere. Best part, it’s BYOF so bring on the food.
Punch House – Hidden basement bar serving up creative & classic punches. Just consider yourself warned that they go down quite smoothly but you’ll certainly feel it the next day if you aren’t too careful.
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar – Hybrid liquor store & neighborhood tavern supplying a large rotating menu of rare craft beers.
For Something Fancy
Chicago Athletic Association – Set in an 1890s Gothic building that once housed an exclusive sportsmen’s club, this chic hotel offers some amazing bars throughout the hotel offering a different taste and vibe so be sure to indulge in some pre-night out beverages here.
Cabana Club at The Robey Chicago – In an art deco–style former office building dating from 1929, this hotel’s rooftop terrace bar offers sweeping city views.
Green Mill – Swinging sounds are on tap nightly, from big-name artists to local late-night jam sessions. Shades of Al Capone’s heyday are found in the wall memorabilia as you enter and in the famous booth where he and his henchmen would keep a cautious eye on both doors.
Blind Barber – A funky, shave-&-a-haircut shop opens its back doors to reveal a ’70s-themed bar with dope DJ sets to match.
Hubbard Inn – Stylish multi-level club with a rooftop patio & live music or DJs.
The Darling – The Darling is a bar and restaurant in The West Loop that serves American food and is decorated like an old mansion.
For Crafted Cocktails
Longman and Eagle – Hipster spot with modern farm-to-table fare & whiskey & craft cocktails.
The Violet Hour – Rooted in pre-prohibition creative cocktails & small bites define this sophisticated, stylish bar.
Broken Shaker – Located inside of the Freehand hostel in downtown Chicago, this funky space offers mixologist craft cocktails in a hip environment.
Travel Guide To Nightlife In Chicago – What To Order
Malort Shot – Drinking a shot of Jeppson’s Malört is a Chicago tradition. It’s also a right of passage for any Chicagoan, wanna-be Chicagoan or tourist trying to step up in the Chicago ranks. Go ahead, join the Chicago Club!
Tequila or Vodka Soda with Lime – How do Chicagoans drink till early hours you ask. This cocktail is a popular order at any bar in the city. Certainly have to acquire the taste but saves you from the headaches the next day.
Old Fashion – Fun fact, this iconic cocktail was named in this city. It is only right to order a version in its naming city.
Best Resources To See What Is Happening Around The City
Tip: Also, follow @freddyphatz and @sazonsil on social media for the best night events happening in the city. When in town, their events are a must for me.
Drinking Tours In Chicago
- Combine bikes, brews and bites for an all in one tour. Book this tour HERE.
- Chicago is big for their craft beer. This tour has you enjoying the city in a barrel bus with a pint in hand. Check out this cool tour HERE.
See more Chicago activities provided by Viator below:
Travel Guide To Nightlife In Chicago – Final Note
There is more to Chicago than a good night out. Don’t forget you can find my full Chicago destination guide HERE.
Plan your visit from A to B with local recommendations from an expert traveler. It’s getting the best of both worlds for your ultimate trip.
My visiting Chicago like a local destination guide includes:
- What to see
- What to do
- Where to stay
- How to get around the city
- Where and what to eat
- Other nearby places to visit