Beer and the Chicago blues – that’s probably the best kind of match, especially after a tough day at the office. It doesn’t get any better than enjoying both in Chicago itself, where you can choose among the coolest and hippest clubs for your chillout session.
Blues bar hopping is definitely among the top things to do in Chicago if you’re on a quest to unwind and be swept away by the music. So if you’re in the Windy City, be sure to check out the 6 best blues bars in the area:
- Buddy Guy’s Legends
700 S. Wabash Street
Owned by legendary blues star Buddy Guy, Legends is the place for listening to the who’s who of blues in the flesh. Chicago blues giants like Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, and Willie Dixon have all given unforgettable performances here. The best up-and-coming artists also play here regularly. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch Buddy Guy himself performing onstage.
While you enjoy the heavy rolling bass of Chicago blues, you can also order some of Legends’ delicious Louisiana-style Cajun and soul food. Recommendations include gumbo, chicken and ribs, and their signature blackened blues burger.
Sunday to Thursday: $10
Friday and Saturday: $20
*Prices are subject to change
- Blue Chicago
536 N. Clark Street
Blue Chicago has been showcasing the best talents of this music genre since 1985. With walls adorned with art capturing the spirit and history of Chicago blues, it’s hard to match the authentic blues bar vibe of this local favorite. It also stands out by having more female-led blues acts than any other bar in the city. We’re talking about the likes of Shirley Johnson, Peaches Staten, and Laretha Weathersby. So if you’re around the River North Entertainment District, be sure to stop by this must-visit blues club.
Sunday to Thursday: $10
Friday and Saturday: $12
- Kingston Mines
2548 N. Halsted Street
This venue is the largest and oldest blues club in Chicago, having opened in 1968 in Lincoln Park., It has two stages that have been graced by many blues legends from famed electric blues guitarist, Magic Slim to the Queen of the Blue Rock Guitar, Joanna Connor. Today, you’ll find the spirit of blues alive and well here with several up-and-coming and established bands giving electric live performances every night. And if the music wasn’t enough, their hot-off-the-grill barbecues and ice-cold beer are sure to keep you coming back for more.
Sunday to Thursday: $12
Friday and Saturday: $15
*Discounts available for students, seniors, US Military, and more.
- Rosa’s Lounge
3420 W. Armitage Avenue
Nicknamed “Chicago’s Friendliest Blue Lounge,” Rosa’s is sure to make you feel right at home. Since opening in 1984, this family-owned blues bar has been serving up good food and warm hospitality to go with the music. Rosa’s has featured many blues legends like David “Honeyboy” Edwards and Homesick James. They have also put the spotlight on several modern blues musicians such as Billy Branch and Melvin Taylor.
Even if you aren’t a blues fan, the delicious food here at Rosa’s is a crowd drawer. Everyone raves about their specialty, Pasta Nonna (baked pasta with eggplants), so be sure to give it a try.
$15-$20, depending on the artist
- River Roast
315 N. LaSalle Street
Enjoy a tasty meal by the Chicago River at River Roast, owned by award-winning chef Tony Mantuano. This New American restaurant highlights the
“art of roasting” with meticulously-prepared meals like prime rib, whole fish, and roasted acorn squash. If you’re there for brunch, you won’t regret ordering their chicken & waffles or signature brunch burger. You don’t have to wait until night to catch live blues music here, too. Blues bands perform the best tunes every day from 12 noon to 3 PM for a knee-slapping great time while enjoying the riverfront views.
Free with brunch, lunch, or dinner
- House of Blues Chicago
329 N. Dearborn Street
Great company, delicious food, and rocking blues music await at House of Blues. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, you can head to this family-friendly place for a hearty serving of pulled pork sliders, buttermilk fried chicken, and shrimp & grits. Live music is mostly blues but can change to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, as well.
Free with a minimum of two drinks or dinner
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