Chicago is a city that's known for its vibrant music scene. From blues to jazz to rock and roll, there's always something happening in the Windy City.
One of the best ways to experience the music scene in Chicago is by checking out the local bars with live music.
There are so many great bars in Chicago that offer live music, but not all of them are created equal. That's why we've put together a list of the best bars with live music in the city.
Whether you're a local or just visiting, these bars are sure to provide you with an unforgettable night of music and entertainment.
From intimate jazz clubs to rowdy rock venues, there's something for everyone on this list. And the best part?
Many of these bars offer music every night of the week, so you can always find something to do no matter what day it is.
So grab a drink, sit back, and get ready to discover the best bars with live music in Chicago.
You never know, you might just find your new favorite spot for a night out.
1. Buddy Guy's Legends
Buddy Guy's Legends is a classic blues club that features up-and-coming and famous acts every night of the week.
The venue offers New-Orleans-inspired grub and a great selection of drinks.
The staff is friendly and the service is excellent. The ambiance is relaxed and the music is incredible.
If you're looking for a must-see place to hear the blues, Buddy Guy's Legends is definitely worth checking out.
2. Blue Chicago
Blue Chicago is a popular blues club in the heart of the city that offers live music and a great atmosphere.
It's a cash-only establishment with reasonably priced drinks and a cover charge that's worth it for the quality of music.
The club attracts both tourists and locals, and the musicians who perform are top-notch. The venue is small and fills up quickly, so it's best to arrive early to secure seating.
The intimate setting creates an authentic blues experience that's perfect for any music lover.
3. The Empty Bottle
The Empty Bottle is an iconic music house that offers a unique and intimate live music experience. This small venue is perfect for discovering new local bands and enjoying a more casual atmosphere.
The rotating taps and craft beers, combined with the affordable drink options and great atmosphere, make this bar a must-visit spot in the city.
The staff is friendly and courteous, and the concert hall is clean and well-maintained. The only downside is that the speakers are close and loud, so ear protection is recommended.
Despite this, The Empty Bottle remains one of the best alternative clubs in town, hosting national acts as well as local bands.
4. Schubas Tavern
Schubas Tavern is a must-visit live music venue in Chicago. The traditional tavern in the front and music venue in the back offer a nice atmosphere and friendly service.
The bar has a good selection of drinks and snacks, and the sound quality is mostly solid.
The venue showcases a diverse lineup of bands, from indie to jazz, and it's a great place to catch up-and-coming musicians before they make it big.
The intimate setting and reasonable prices make Schubas Tavern a neighborhood staple and a place worth visiting.
5. Reggies Chicago
Reggies Chicago is a no-frills live music venue that offers a wide variety of pub fare and drinks.
The establishment is perfect for those who want to hear up-and-coming acts in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
The bar is decorated with classic concert posters, and the space is cozy and comfortable. The staff is attentive and friendly, and the prices for food and drinks are reasonable.
If you're looking for a unique and enjoyable night out, Reggies Chicago is definitely worth checking out.
6. The Whistler
The Whistler is a trendy bar that offers nightly live music, making it a great spot for music lovers.
The bar has a speakeasy vibe and serves quality drinks, including well-crafted cocktails.
The bartenders are attentive and respectful, adding to the overall relaxed atmosphere.
While it can get loud during live music performances, it's the perfect place to enjoy a night out with friends or a date. The venue also doubles as an art gallery and recording studio.
7. The Hideout
The Hideout is a legendary bar with live music that has been around for years. Despite its small size, the venue packs a punch with its top-notch staff, service, and offerings.
The bar is bifurcated from the stage, allowing for uninterrupted musical enjoyment.
The Hideout supports the local music scene, hosting events that spotlight other local businesses and artists. The atmosphere is cozy and fun, making for a great night out with friends.
The prices are reasonable, and the staff is friendly. If you're looking for a unique music experience in the city, The Hideout is definitely worth checking out.
AliveOne is a must-visit bar for live music lovers. The atmosphere is chill and laid back, perfect for a night out with friends or a date night.
The back room hosts live performances and jam bands, while the bar area is separated, making it easy to have a conversation without being drowned out by the music.
The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, and the beer selection is impressive. The pool table in the back adds to the dive-y feel of the place, making it a great spot to chill and feel the vibes.
The happy hour specials are a steal, making it an affordable night out. Don't miss out on this hidden gem.
9. Hungry Brain
Hungry Brain is a must-visit bar for live music lovers. With a cozy and intimate setting, it's a great spot to catch some talented local musicians in action.
The retro rec-room furnishings and arcade games add to the laid-back vibe.
The bar boasts a great selection of beer and spirits, and the friendly bartender is always willing to chat. Keep in mind that it's cash only, but there's an ATM available.
If you're looking for a unique and offbeat live music venue, Hungry Brain is definitely worth checking out.
10. Bernice's Tavern
Bernice's Tavern is a no-frills cash-only bar with live music and a relaxed atmosphere. The bar is a neighborhood staple and a favorite hangout spot for locals.
The bartenders are friendly, and the drinks are reasonably priced. The jukebox is free, and there is often live entertainment on several nights of the week.
The bar also hosts a weekly bingo night called "Stingo." The vibe is laid-back and welcoming, making it a great place to chill with friends or catch some live music.
If you're looking for a classic Chicago dive bar experience, Bernice's Tavern is definitely worth checking out.
11. Gallery Cabaret
Gallery Cabaret is a lively bar with live music and comedy shows. They have a great selection of beer and cocktails, and the bartenders are friendly and attentive.
The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, making it a great spot to relax with friends or enjoy a night out.
They host open mic nights for music and stand-up comedy, and the performers are always entertaining. The sound system is top-notch, ensuring a great listening experience.
Whether you're looking for a fun night out or just want to hear some great live music, Gallery Cabaret is definitely worth a visit.
12. Cole's Bar
Cole's Bar is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great night out. With live music, comedy, and open-mic nights, this unassuming neighborhood watering hole has something for everyone.
The friendly staff and cool patrons create a welcoming atmosphere that makes it easy to strike up a conversation and make new friends.
The cheap drinks and pool table add to the laid-back vibe.
The bar is separated from the stage area, so during a show you can chat, get drinks, and take a short break from the sound system. Cole's Bar is a gem that should not be missed.
13. Foundation Room Chicago
Foundation Room Chicago is an upscale lounge with an intimate atmosphere and plush decor.
It offers live music and regular DJ sets, making it a great spot for after-show drinks and socializing.
The staff is friendly, the drinks are excellent, and the food is good. Reservations are required, so plan ahead.
If you're looking for a unique and enjoyable experience, Foundation Room is definitely worth checking out.
14. Untitled Supper Club
Untitled Supper Club is a speakeasy-style American restaurant that doubles as a live music venue.
The bar features a creative menu of American food and craft cocktails, making it an ideal spot for a night out. The atmosphere is sexy and jazzy, perfect for a date night or a night out with friends.
The extensive whiskey list is sure to excite any whiskey lover. The live music and cabaret shows are a must-see, and the performers are incredibly talented.
The attentive staff ensures that guests have a phenomenal experience. If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable night out, Untitled Supper Club is the place to be.
15. Cobra Lounge
Cobra Lounge is a must-visit for lovers of live music. This intimate lounge showcases emerging and underground rock acts in a laid-back atmosphere.
The upscale bar menu offers tasty options, including the Braised Shitake Mushroom Grilled Cheese and house-made barbeque sauce.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the beer selection is on point.
The venue is perfect for those who want to feel closer to the bands and enjoy a great night out.
16. Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro
Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro is a lively bar with great live music. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the extensive selection of beer.
The happy hour specials are a great value, and the bartenders are always in a good mood. The venue is cozy and has a comfortable atmosphere.
The food is delicious, and the drinks are well-made. The bar has a nice selection of Irish whiskey and scotch.
The live music is never too loud or annoying, and the artists who perform are very talented. The building is classy and inviting, making it perfect for meeting friends or having a night out.
17. Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret
Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret is an intimate venue that packs a big punch with its live music performances.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is inviting, making it a great spot for a night out. The piano bar encourages audience participation, adding to the fun and lively vibe.
The quality of the music is consistently high and the cocktails are delicious.
If you're looking for a unique and entertaining experience, Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret is definitely worth checking out.
18. Tack Room
Tack Room is an intimate bar with live music that's perfect for a night out with friends. The bartenders are friendly and the cocktails are some of the best in the city.
The piano bar is a great feature and the pianist takes requests, making for a fun and interactive experience.
The decor is surreal and unique, adding to the ambiance of the place. While the sound system may need improvement, it doesn't take away from the overall experience.
The diverse entertainment, including local artists, adds to the charm of Tack Room. It's a great place to chill with a significant other or a small group of friends.