3159 N. Southport Ave. 773-525-2508
The beautiful wood-accented back room of this hundred-year-old building is one of the city’s best places to catch touring and local acts before they get big, while the front bar area serves up a mean mac ’n’ cheese.
The Gingerman Tavern
3740 N. Clark St. 773-549-2050
Refreshingly unpretentious, this beat-up bar is the perfect place to escape from—or mentally prepare for— the insanity of Wrigleyville with a game of a pool.
2871 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-549-5549
A small club featuring mostly local and regional acts, this noted venue stood at the center of Chicago’s emerging acid jazz movement in the ’90s, helping to launch groups like Liquid Soul.
1300 W. Addison St. 773-477-2900
Behind the distinctive ivy-covered facade of this neighborhood institution, regulars can partake in board games and beers in one of Lakeview’s coziest settings.
Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport Ave. 773-871-6604
This historic theater, which first opened in 1929, features an unbeatable lineup of independent and foreign films in addition to frequently hosting one-of-a-kind talks and screenings.
Metro & Smart Bar
3730 N. Clark St. 773-549-4140
There may be no prouder accomplishment for a Chicago band than headlining at this legendary theater, which has hosted countless famous acts in its 30-year history. Downstairs, DJ-fueled Smart Bar caters to the city’s house and electronic scene.
1059 W. Addison St. 773-327-1662
With its location steps from Wrigley Field, this iconic bar is mostly known as a place for sports fans, but it regularly books local and touring acts, offering fans the chance to see major bands in a small room.
Vic Theatre/Brew & View
3145 N. Sheffield Ave. 773-929-6713
Alternately a music venue and a movie theater, this celebrated locale is the perfect place to catch prominent touring artists or enjoy a few beers during rowdy screenings of second-run and classic movies.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.Copyright © 2015, RedEye