The Ultimate Guide To Chicago Nightlife

When the sun goes down a lot of cities change completely. Chicago is one of these, a city with a completely different character in the night when compared to the day. If you’re planning a trip to the city, it will always be worth doing your research, but you should be careful not to overlook the nighttime attractions. It would be the worst thing in the world to have a great day around town, and then be lost for things to do after sunset.

Well, to make sure that you aren’t marooned when the sun goes down, we’ve assembled the ultimate guide to the nightlife. From gay clubs in Chicago to after-hours screenings of the best horror movies, the city has it all. And we’re here to make sure that you can get the most of it.


The chances are that if you’re visiting the city, you’re in town for something a bit special. This means that you might be willing to spend a bit more on the whole experience of going out for a drink. Cocktails are a great novelty that can let you get a sense of the city, especially with its reputation for booziness during the time of prohibition.

You should be looking for local hotspots, like George’s Cocktail Lounge. This is a great little place that heats up late at night/early in the morning. It is both a bar and cocktail lounge, as well as a liquor store. This has given it a great local reputation, and it endows it with a lot of character.


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Of course, once you’ve partaken in some fine dining and classy cocktails you might want to move onto something a bit more energetic. And luckily for you, Chicago is home to a number of great clubs with a national reputation. Berlin is a great example, with a fascinating history that dates back to the new-wave music movement. They have a strong focus on the retro and the classic, but it remains a completely accessible place. The costs are also significantly lower than any other club in town, making it a great option for a relaxed night on the town.


At sunset, you probably indulged in something fancy and expensive. But if you’ve been up for the whole night then you’ll be looking for something cheap and filling. Chicago has a reputation for great comfort food (think “deep dish” pizza), so you have nothing to worry about in this regard.

Clarke’s Diner is amongst the best. You won’t be looking for a pizza on their menu, as it’s the breakfast that truly entrances the senses. Maybe you’re just looking for a cup of coffee as you are on comedown from your night on the town. Or maybe you’re looking for a big breakfast to soak up all of the cocktails from earlier on. Either way, this is the place for you. Modestly priced and centrally located, it’s hard to beat the menu of Clarke’s, and it’s well worth making a pilgrimage there.


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