2548 N. Halsted St. 773-477-4646
This blues club has earned its reputation not just for its size (two stages in adjoining rooms), but also its endurance (open since in 1968) and late-night hours (listen until 4 a.m. most nights, 5 a.m. Saturdays).
2424 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-525-2501
Although slightly larger than its sister club Schubas, this music venue shares the intimacy, sound and musical reputation of its Lakeview sibling. Past indie and rock acts include Wilco, Mumford & Sons and Chicago’s own Smith Westerns.
322 W. Armitage Ave. 773-929-5959
Once hosting then-small acts U2 and R.E.M., Park West has grown into an eclectic music club. The midsize room is without a bad sight line. And the sound? Well, Ringo Starr once said it was the best venue in the world, second only to The Royal Albert Hall.
2519 N. Halsted St. 773-528-1012
In 1979, this small blues bar (the official name is B.L.U.E.S.) attracted Mississippi blues legends; today, it hosts Chicago favorites from 9:30 p.m. until late—and for cheap too.
The Second City
1616 N. Wells St. 312-337-3992
At this improv mecca, you can hit the box office for tickets for a future show or just revel in the collective comedic talent that’s performed here over the years, from Bill Murray to Tina Fey.
1548 N. Wells St. 312-337-4027
This legendary comedy club offers a jam-packed lineup of stand-up comics every night of the week, plus special showcases such as The Female Funnies, held once a month on Mondays.