Some believe that Chicago has one of the coldest and most unpredictable climates in the country, but guess what? The nightlife scene in this energetic city is always the same -- hot, hot, hot! With more than 6,000 bars and nightclubs throughout the city, Chicagoans never have to worry about finding a place to warm up with a cocktail or dance into the wee hours of the morning.
Some of the hottest dance clubs in Chicago are located in the River North area of the city and others are located just a few minutes west near the Randolph Street warehouse district. Some of the poshest and most upscale lounges can be found overlooking Lake Michigan on the city’s most scenic drive -- Lake Shore Drive.
Located at 644 N. Lake Shore Drive, Whiskey Sky is one of Chicago’s premier roof-top lounges. This posh and popular lounge is famous for breathtaking views of the city, the skyline. and gorgeous Lake Michigan. Whiskey Sky is located on the 33rd floor of the swank W Lakeshore hotel where DJs spin dance, funk, hip-hop, and house nightly. This trendy lounge attracts hipsters, suits, yuppies, suburbanites, and touristy types alike. Expect to pay up to $10 per drink, but most people agree -- the price tag is well worth the view. All major credit cards are accepted and depending on the night, cover charges may range from $15-$25.
If you’re done with lounging and ready to dance, flag a cab and head to River North. Clubs in the Gold Coast and River North areas as well as the Randolph Street Warehouse District are never more than a five minute cab ride apart, so don’t worry -- you’ll have the opportunity to sample a handful of clubs in one night, no problem!
Located at 632 N. Dearborn, Vision Nightclub features four club environments including: the dome, vision sky, underground, and the penthouse. The nine-level design offers enough space for 2000+ guests whose main focus is to mingle with fellow partygoers and dance to the beat of world-class house, techno, and dance music. Torches, waterfalls, lights, and lasers make this mega-club a feast for the senses and well worth the $20 cover charge. Vision Nightclub is open Monday and Friday until 4 a.m. and Saturday until 5 a.m. Doors open at 10 p.m.
If you’re still in the mood to dance, head over to 226 W. Ontario and follow the crowd through the alley and to the entrance of Sound Bar, a 20,000 sq. ft multi-dance floor, multi-level club decked out in sleek stainless steel, frosted floor-to-ceiling walls and eye-catching orange and red shades. Local, International and veteran DJs such as John Curley spin funk, house, dance, techno, R&B and soul nightly for a crowded dance floor of hipsters from all over the city. Sound Bar definitely has a permanent spot on the list of “biggest and best” Chicago mega clubs. Sound Bar is open 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday-Friday and 9 p.m-5 a.m. on Saturday. All major credit cards are accepted and cover charges vary.
If you want to wander off-the-beaten path a bit, head over to Transit Nightclub, 1431 W. Lake Street. And remember -- they don’t call it Transit for nothing! This 10,000 sq. ft. dance club is located under the Chicago “L” tracks and features some of the city’s best DJs spinning everything from hip-hop and dance to house music. The interior features a 1500 sq. ft dance floor, a mezzanine overlooking the dance floor and a lounge area called the “Blue Room” which features plush, deep blue couches and upholstered walls creating a cozy and inviting environment. Transit is open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and 5 a.m. on Saturdays. The cover charge ranges from $15-$20.
Other must-see Chicago nightclubs include:
Crobar: One of Chicago’s older mega clubs with locations in New York, Miami and Buenos Aires, located at 1543 N. Kingsbury Street.
Zentra: Chicago’s only Hindi Themed 10,000 sq. ft. venue located at 923 W. Weed Street, near Crobar.
Rednofive: 10,000 sq. ft. Sexy warehouse district dance club located at 440 N. Halsted Street.
Below is a list of websites to help you plan your night out on the town:
This is Chicago’s oldest, and one of its most reliable, online entertainment guides.
The Chicago Reader is Chicago’s number one alternative newspaper -- and it is considered THE source for everything Chicago.
Metromix is one of the most used searches in the city -- just enter where you want to go and what you want to do and Metromix will find it for you.
Find out what’s happening in Chicago’s nightlife scene. The search function will come in handy.