The best nightclubs in Chicago are exciting places to spend a memorable evening out in the “Windy City”. From the legendary blues era to the modern-day house and techno craze, Chicago is always on the party map. Trendsetting clubs continue to pop up across the city, and mainstays haven’t missed a beat for decades.

    If you’re looking for the hottest party in Chicago, make preparations in advance. While many of the city’s nightclubs have spacious dance floors, crowds file quickly at the door. To ensure you have the best clubbing experience in the city, learn more about where to party at night in Chicago below.

    1

    TAO Chicago

    Asian-influenced cuisine and pulsating DJ parties

    TAO Chicago is a nightclub that’s a luxurious restaurant serving upscale Asian cuisine in the early evenings. Head up to the 2nd floor on Friday and Saturday nights, and it hosts one of Chicago’s most glamorous clubbing scenes. A 10-ft Japanese bell with attached disco ball, posh décor, and Asian-influenced murals highlight the modern take to this River North landmark.

    The world’s hottest DJs waltz into the limelight as the exclusive guest list often includes celebrities. Expect a lengthy wait at the door without V.I.P. reservations and a hefty cover charge to gain access. Dancers sport eccentric costumes as pulsing soundtracks energize partygoers. If you need space from crowds, a chill lounge and private booths change the pace.

    Location: 632 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Friday from 10 pm to 4 am, Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am (closed Sunday–Thursday)

    Phone: +1 224-888-0388

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    2

    Sound Bar

    Multiple dance floors with state-of-the-art sound systems

    Sound Bar has loads of space to bust a move, with its 4,000-sq-ft dance floor. The electric River North club combines luxury and advanced technology to transform the Chicago party experience. Laser lights beam across the dance floor, and a crisp sound system reverberates tunes from world-renowned DJs. The minimalist design incorporates more room for enormous video projections and the newest sound equipment to rock your senses.

    You won’t go thirsty on either of the 2 levels with 9 full-service bars serving spirits and cocktails. Cool off inside the 4 boutique lounges or make a V.I.P. reservation for your crew. If you’re throwing a bash, rent an entire room for a private shindig.

    Location: 226 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Friday and Sunday from 10 pm to 4 am, Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am (closed Monday–Thursday)

    Phone: +1 312-787-4480

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    3

    PRYSM Chicago

    A high-tech partying spot

    PRYSM Chicago is a late-night Windy City staple that entertains patrons with live music acts, special events, and throbbing soundtracks. The hybrid Lincoln Park space has 3 separate rooms with a distinct appeal for partygoers. Hear pounding EDM music in the Main Room or watch DJs work their magic in the Champagne Lounge, nicknamed No. 9.

    PRYSM’s state-of-the-art sound and lighting system enhance your experience when the world’s hottest DJs take the stage. The 10,000-sq-ft venue includes 3 full-service bars, a V.I.P. suite, and table reservations for patrons. And the 20x20-ft LED wall makes an eye-popping touch to boost your party experience.

    Location: 1543 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642, USA

    Open: Friday from 10 pm to 4 am, Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am, Sunday from 8 pm to 1 am (closed Monday–Thursday)

    Phone: +1 312-546-4141

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    4

    Debonair Social Club

    A high-class meeting point for socialites

    Debonair Social Club in Wicker Park’s famous Flat Iron Building draws a young, hipster clientele through its doors. But all styles are welcome in this laid-back haunt that’s a veteran on the Chi-town party scene. Debonair remains a nightlife frontrunner with energetic dance parties, artistic flair, stellar food, and theme nights.

    The club has DJ booths, full-service bars and comfy lounges on both floors, and a raucous downstairs dance hall. Head upstairs to the stage to watch the live bands in town that evening. And Debonair’s DJ lineup keeps the flow moving regardless of what genre takes the spotlight. Whether the speakers blast hip hop, house, techno, New Wave, or ‘80s synth beats, it feels like a free-spirited celebration. 

    Location: 1575 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA

    Open: Monday and Thursday–Friday from 9 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 9 pm to 3 am, Sunday from 10 pm to 2 am (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    Phone: +1 773-227-7990

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    5

    DISCO

    A cool spot to immerse in the glamor of the 1970s

    DISCO pays tribute to the debauchery and high-fashion of the glamourous 1970s. The retro River North outfit has a lineup of tunes filled with disco, funk, soul, deep house, and Latin jellies to energize the dance floor. Guests waltz through the door with flamboyant outfits to feel free and sexy inside the throwback space.

    Step onto the wall-to-wall LED dance floor and feel like a disco star beneath the bright lights. It wouldn’t feel like the decadent ‘70s without a beaming disco ball, fur sofas, mirrored ceilings, and glitzy chandeliers adorning the club. And with an exclusive roster of DJs and a weekly champagne service, the energy pulsates deep into the night.

    Location: 111 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Thursday–Friday from 10 pm to 4 am, Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am (closed Sunday–Wednesday)

    Phone: +1 312-828-9000

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    6

    Primary NightClub

    Parties with among the best sound systems in Chicago

    Primary NightClub flaunts a VOID sound system and entices world-famous DJs to Chicago’s Gold Coast. The boutique nightclub holds 250 guests but expands the dance floor to give you ample space to boogie. Whenever you’re thirsty, 2 enormous cocktail bars serve your beverages lightning fast to get you back to the party.

    Primary NightClub’s highly selective artist roster ensures a wild scene every night. Special effects like the giant LED wall to complement the sound system for an otherworldly multimedia experience. The tunes range from EDM, hip hop, disco, Latin, and house for an unpredictable night of dancing. And with an energy level that imitates rave parties, it’s no surprise Primary NightClub earned marks as one of Chicago’s best electro clubs.

    Location: +1 312-888-2471

    Open: 5 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60610, USA

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    7

    Howl at the Moon Chicago

    Cocktails and duelling piano shows

    Howl at the Moon Chicago is the place to book your wildest birthday bashes, corporate events, and other shenanigans. The River North party venue hypes the crowd with live musicians who interact with spectators. That high-octane energy hits the climax when the duelling piano battles enter the spotlight. If you have any requests, the talented entertainers can play that song you’re itching to hear.

    To ease your throat from singing along, head to the bar for craft cocktails, beers, and shots. For thirsty parties, order a signature bucket drink to pass around your crew. And if you’re organizing a private event, Howl at the Moon specializes in custom entertainment packages.

    Location: 26 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Thursday–Friday from 7 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 7 pm to 3 am (closed for private events from Sunday–Wednesday)

    Phone: +1 312-863-7427

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    8

    Beauty Bar

    Manicures and martinis in a boozy salon

    The Beauty Bar chain hit Chicago in 2010 to bring manicures and big hair to the local party scene. Ladies can make their nails fabulous before sipping a dry martini or joining their partner on the dance floor. Retro furniture, glittery walls, and checker floors imitate a hair salon straight from the ‘60s.

    DJs energize the crowd with tunes ranging from pop, hip hop, techno, and funk. Make your best Prince and Michael Jackson impersonations or throwback to the ‘90s at themed dance parties. Come on Thursdays for a night of laughs featuring local comedians before getting your mani-martini specials.

    Location: 1444 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 7 pm to 3 am, Sunday from 9 pm to 2 am

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    photo by Amy Guth (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Spybar

    A cozy underground club playing house and techno

    Spybar dives into the River North underground and entertains patrons with world-class DJs. The 4,500-sq-ft venue features an intense dance floor and chill lounge to suit your party style. With its minimalist, industrial design, you’ll get close to the stage where resident DJs mix tunes. Their high-profile DJ lineup brings a combo of techno, house, and hip hop to the basement club.

    Despite the small capacity of around 300, Spybar earns a global reputation and attracts international artists. The underground spot was dubbed a “River North party paradise” and one of the United States’ premier dance clubs. Expect long lines at the door or reserve a table to ensure your place inside.

    Location: 646 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 10 pm to 4 am, Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am (closed Sunday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 312-337-2191

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    10

    The Empty Bottle

    A grungy hole-in-the-wall in Chicago

    The Empty Bottle started as a dirty, carefree dive in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. But things changed in 1993 when the indie music venue moved a couple of blocks over to a slightly bigger space. Since then, the club has thrived as a mainstay to watch rising local artists ready for stardom.

    Sticking to its roots, The Empty Bottle remains a hot spot for cheap booze, good music, billiards, and fun-loving patrons. The club has a list of regulars who keep coming back for good vibes and rockin’ tunes. Check the calendar for a packed lineup of grunge, honky-tonk, indie rock, and alternate artists.

    Location: 1035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 773-276-3600

    Map

    photo by fifthdisc (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    11

    Untitled Supper Club

    Enjoy a cocktail and a show at a Prohibition-era club

    Untitled Supper Club features a variety of live shows in a Prohibition-era setting and offers a gourmet menu and an extensive list of whiskeys. The club can be found on West Kinzie Street, just west of North Clark Street in River North. As you explore the club, you'll be taken back in time with the art-deco design and details of the Prohibition period. Entertainment includes burlesque shows, blues performances, and much more. If you're looking for an award-winning meal, they offer a prix-fixe menu that highlights Chicago Italian food from the '20s and '30s.

    Location: 111 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Friday–Sunday and Wednesday from 4 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays)

    Phone: +1 312-880-1511

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    12

    Joy District

    Visit a local club featuring a restaurant, dancing, and rooftop bar

    Joy District is a multilevel venue that features a nightclub, restaurant, and rooftop patio. You can find Joy District located in the River North neighborhood, near the intersection of West Hubbard Street and North Clark Street. If you're looking for a hip dance spot, you can head to the second-floor dance club, which features top-notch Chicago DJs and a full bar with bottle service. Be sure to check the schedule, as you may catch a celebrity performance. Past performances have included Ludacris, Demi Lovato, and Louis the Child. For a more laid-back vibe, the rooftop is a great spot to enjoy a drink while taking in the panoramic views of the city.

    Location: 112 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

    Open: Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 11 pm, Tuesday–Friday from 5 pm to 11 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 312-651-3979

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    Daniel Grenier | Contributing Writer

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