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From legendary blues clubs and jazz venues to sleek martini bars and cutting-edge alternative music joints, the after-dark options in Chicago will satisfy any visiting night owl. Less style-conscious than New York or Los Angeles, the Chicago club scene has a friendly and welcoming reputation. Most bars close at 2am but can stay open an extra hour on Saturdays.

Chicago Nightlife

Debonair Social Club

Hipsters and yuppies collide at this intimate video club where a color-changing lightbox and thematic videos set the mood.

1575 N. Milwaukee Ave., IL, 773-227-7990,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | dancing | nightclub


Dazzling light shows and progressive DJs lure clubby crowds to this meatpacking district up-and-comer.

839 W. Fulton Market, IL, 312-733-2222,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | dancing | nightclub

Pops for Champagne

Great jazz exists city-wide in Chicago, but Pops tops them all when it comes to atmosphere. The elegant champagne bar (over 100 varieties on offer) lures thirty- and forty-somethings with fizzy libations and primo people watching in a simultaneously modern and classic space with cool blue accents and state-of-the-art sound complementing the building’s original stone walls and low ceiling.

601 N. State St., IL, 312-266-7677,
Tags: nightlife | smart splurge | lounge


This perennial gay favorite is a sprawling video bar with one of the best rooftop decks in town. Don’t miss Monday’s raucous showtunes night.

3349 N. Halsted St., IL, 773-477-9189,
Tags: nightlife | patio | gay | video bar

The Green Mill

Al Capone is among the legendary patrons to have climbed into one of the giant curvy booths at this legendary jazz joint and speakeasy.

4802 N. Broadway, IL, 773-878-5552
Tags: nightlife | editor pick | historic | great value | things to do | jazz

Zebra Lounge

The ubiquitous zebra theme is the only distraction at this laid-back piano bar where unpretentious Gold Coasters cobble together for conversation and live music.

1220 N. State Pkwy., IL, 312-642-5140
Tags: nightlife | lounge | bar

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