10 Best Blues Bars in Chicago

Here are the 10 best blues bars in Chicago. Chicago is known for its blues and its blues establishments, but there are so many to choose from that not many know the ten best blues bars in Chicago. These bars will satisfy your musical taste for great blues music as well as your taste buds for delicious comfort food.

  1. Shaw’s Crab House. True to its name, Shaw’s serves crab and other seafood. What you cannot tell from the name, however, is the live blues performed here every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  21 E. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL, 60611. Phone: (312) 527-2722.
  2. Blue Chicago. Unlike many blues bars in Chicago, Blue Chicago has a huge dance floor where you can dance the night away. Featuring mostly local talent (it is called Blues CHICAGO, after all), the combination of atmosphere, food, and awesome blues won’t leave you disappointed. 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 661-0100.
  3. Buddy Guy’s Legends. One of the most legendary blues bars in Chicago, Buddy Guy’s offers a smoky lounge vibe and southern soul food beyond equal. Buddy Guy himself makes occasional guest appearances and a celebrity or two has also been known to drop in. Cost is $10 during the week and $15 on the weekends. 754 S. Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. Phone: (312) 427-1190.
  4. Green Mill. The music is sweet and the placed is usually packed. Same goes for the dance floor, which is a tiny little square of hardwood in the middle of the club. But that doesn’t stop Green Mill from being one of the best blues bars in Chicago. It features a retro décor that harkens back to the days when Al Capone was a regular. 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640. Phone: (773) 878-5552. 
  5. B.L.U.E.S. B.L.U.E.S. provides the cramped atmosphere that often lends to memorable blues performances. Don’t let the crowded space deter you, however, as the cover here is one of the cheapest of the blues bars in Chicago, and they offer free parking from Sunday to Thursday. 2519 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614. Phone: (773) 528-1012.
  6. Harlem Avenue Lounge. Harlem Avenue Lounge isn’t technically within the limits of Chicago proper, but it is a wildly popular Chicagoland blues bar. Located in Berwyn, one of the standout features of Harlem is the wide variety of blues they showcase, from traditional to modern to acoustic to heavy-hitting. 3701 S. Harlem Ave., Berwyn, IL 60402. Phone: (708) 484-3610.
  7. House of Blues. What many people don’t know about the House of Blues is that, away from the main stage in the back of the club (called The Back Porch), blues reigns supreme. And it makes sense since HOB is the child of Dan Aykroyd, famous blues lover. Soul food is on the menu and admission is $12. 329 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60654. Phone: (312) 527-2583.
  8. Rosa’s Lounge. If you’re not the type who doesn’t like a steady diet of raw, gritty blues, then Rosa’s Lounge is calling your name. Their assortment of blues is wide open and the atmosphere is tailored to make even the non-blues lover comfortable. Cover is a cheap $5 during the week and doubles on the weekends. 3420 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60647. Phone: (773) 342-0452.
  9. Lee’s Unleaded Blues. When any blues bar in Chicago starts a jam session at noon and keeps it up all night, you know it’s a must-see. Admission's free, and while there’s no official dress code, regulars do dress in the manner of an old-time blues establishment, so don’t dress frumpy if you want to fit in. 7401 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60619. Phone: (773) 493-3477.
  10. Kingston Mines. Considered by many blues-loving Chicagoans to be at the top of the list of best blues bars in Chicago, Kingston has become a favorite by offering two stages of blues every night. Well-known musicians fill the marquee on the weekends, when the cover expands from $12 to $15, and that’s when this already-busy bar becomes THE hotspot for blues. But with your choice of old-fashioned blues and excellent ribs will make it one of your favorites, too. 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL, 60614. Phone: (773) 477-4646.
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