City Cast

The Best Concert Venues

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on February 21   |   Updated on May 28
St. Paul & The Broken Bones performing at Thalia Hall in PIlsen

St. Paul & The Broken Bones at Thalia Hall in PIlsen in 2015. (Erika Goldring / Getty)

From Beyonce to Metallica to Blink-182, big artists are flocking to Chicago’s biggest venues this year. But don’t forget to support artists at smaller spots, too. City Cast’s growth director Caroline Patton, who pens Chicago Show Calendar, shared some of her fav venues.

Best bang for your buck
: Empty Bottle in Ukrainian Village.

“What other venue can get you a slice of pizza, a beer–shot combo, and a show for $20ish? Plus, there are free concerts on Mondays!”

Best dancing
: The Promontory in Hyde Park, Carol’s Pub in Uptown

“The Promontory has great DJs and dance parties. Be sure to reserve a table ahead of time. Carol’s has the best honky-tonk space, weekly karaoke, and Nashville’s up-and-coming artists.”

Best sound
: Auditorium Theatre in the Loop

“This venue was designed for the opera, so the acoustics don’t compare to any other in the city.”

Best bathrooms
: Thalia Hall in Pilsen

"Many of their bathrooms are gender-neutral. Pro-tip: Head downstairs during the show to the Punch House where there is never a bathroom line, and come up to enjoy the show with a fresh drink.”

Best bar
: Bottom Lounge in West Loop, Sleeping Village in Avondale

“Bottom Lounge is huge, and right off the Green Line and Ashland bus. Sleeping Village opens its dog-friendly patio in the summer, and has occasional food trucks and one of the city’s most eclectic beer lists.”

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