Thanks to great museums, diverse neighborhoods, and great shopping, a day in Chicago is full of great activities. But when the sun goes down and the lights turn on, the city becomes home to a vibrant nightlife. Whether you're looking for a late-night dance club or a place to let loose at an LGBTQ-friendly bar, here are some of our picks for the best dance clubs in Chicago.
Too many times DJs get complacent playing the same top 40 hits, making each club indiscernible. Beauty Bar solves that problem with their countless theme nights. The club knows how to set a party vibe, whether it’s their Do the Right Thing night, filled with old school hip-hop; their Another ‘90s Party night, where you encouraged get in your best grunge gear; or, my favorite, The Prince and Michael Experience, where they play the best from the King of Pop and The Purple One. The cover is usually around $5. If you get there early, take advantage of the martini and manicure station.
Many of the best dance clubs in the city are the LGBTQ clubs in Boystown and Lakeview. Berlin is the premier example: more than just an LGBTQ bar, it's also an outright sweaty, beat-filled experience where you’ll find all kinds of people enjoying a Madonna and Robyn theme night or a spectacular drag show. Several outlets have named Berlin as one of Chicago's best gay bars, with Travel + Leisure the best LGBTQ bar for the alternative scene. Before you go, remember: you'll have to bring cash (no credit cards), and you better be ready to let loose with an open mind. Trust us: it's a blast.
Hubbard Street is always a party no matter the day of the week. With so many bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and reunions going on, sometimes it’s impossible to get into any place without waiting in a long line. One place that usually doesn’t have a line but always has a great dance party going on, sometimes better than other places on Hubbard Street, is Theory. An upscale sports bar by day, Theory turns into a dance club at night bumping some of the best hip-hop and R&B from old school classics like “Scenario” from Tribe Called Quest to “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa. They also know the best time to drop “Real Love” by Mary J. Blige, which is really any time.
Nestled above Celeste in River North, Disco lives up to its name in every sense. There’s a gigantic lighted dance floor, mirror balls aplenty, and the throwback jams include plenty of disco (obviously), funk, soul, and house music cuts that are sure to get you moving.
A newcomer to Chicago’s nightlife, TAO is housed in a historic 1892 landmark building that was once home to the Chicago Historic Society. Late-night guests enter the club through 100-year-old, massive Chinese doors and down a lantern-lit exterior alley. Inside, club-goers can enjoy cocktails, bottle service and a spectacular scene within the intimate front nightclub space or upstairs — where dancing happens under a massive 10-foot disco ball.
This sultry nightclub and bar is tucked away beneath the bustling streets of the River North. With an ever-changing line-up of DJs and themed events, The Underground is frequented by everyone from athletes to movie stars. You’ll find DJs spinning electronic beats, bottle service, and maybe even a famous face to take a selfie with.
By Amber Holst of Concierge Preferred
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