Live on stage: Don't miss these 15 mighty independent music venues in Chicago

by Carrie Bradon | Jul. 11, 2018, 10:06pm |

The Hideout is an affordable place to listen to some lively tunes.

Maybe it's that something special about watching musicians perform live without a filter, the interaction that they have with the audience or the acoustics of the venue that change the quality of the notes, but whatever it is, enjoying live musical performances makes for an unforgettable evening. 

If you're excited about trying out the many live music venues that Chicago has to offer, we've narrowed the list down to the best 15 mighty independent ones. 

What makes an independent business "mighty"? Click here to find out more.

Blue Chicago

536 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 661-0100
You'll fall in love with this jazz and blues bar, and the live music that is always available.


2519 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 528-1012
Very divey, this is a great spot for a casual night out with friends.

The Whistler

2421 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-3530
The Whistler combines live music and cocktails, both presented beautifully.

The Hideout

1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-4433
The Hideout is an affordable place to listen to some lively tunes.

Kingston Mines

2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 477-4647
Kingston Mines features lives music and American food, which are great to wash down with a beer.

Bandera Restaurant

535 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 644-3524
Bandera Restaurant has a fun vibe and menu that you will love.

The Empty Bottle

1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-3600
The Empty Bottle is always inviting interesting local artists who are great for keeping you entertained.

The Gallery Cabaret

2020 N. Oakley Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-5471
Comedy club and music venue come together at The Gallery Cabaret.

Buddy Guy's Legends

700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 427-1190
Buddy Guy's Legends is ideal if you are in the mood for some Creole or Cajun food along with your music.

2Twenty2 Tavern

222 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 878-9994
Cocktails are crafted with expertise and class at 2Twenty2.


2683 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 348-9800
aliveONE has a great deal of diversity, so you can have a laid back or more classy time.

The California Clipper

1002 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 384-2547
If you haven't been to The California Clipper yet, then you're missing out on a great experience.

Lincoln Hall

2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 525-2501
Lincoln Hall is best known for the live music, which is always amazing in this intimate venue.

Green Mill

4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-5552
Music is always fresh here and it's a great place to strike up a conversation, too.


2338 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-5802
Cole's is a grungy bar that makes music super fun.

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