The Green Mill
The 5 Best Bars For Music
Option 1: Get close enough to practically shred the guitar yourself. Option 2: Linger by the bar or pool table. Either way, the vastness of this nightly alt music venue makes for a surprisingly accommodating outing for all. The cheap beer doesn’t hurt.
Find it: 1035 N. Western Ave., 773-276-3600, emptybottle.com
The Green Mill
This history-laden jazz lounge (the small booth just past the bar was Al Capone’s favorite) specializes in intimacy—especially since loud conversation is a no-no. Cozy up in a booth, order a dirty martini, and pretend that it’s Dizzy Gillespie on the stage.
Find it: 4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552, greenmilljazz.com
Go for the extensive beer list and stay for the show: Jack White, Billy Corgan, and Wild Belle have all played—and imbibed—in these sacred halls.
Find it: 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 773-227-4433, hideoutchicago.com
Honky Tonk BBQ
A veritable grab bag of live sets—from a Patsy Cline cover band to a bluegrass trio—and Old Style served with a slab of candied bacon keep this joint of Food Network fame buzzing.
Find it: 1800 S. Racine Ave., 312-226-7427, honkytonkbbqchicago.com
The acoustic-set-loving regulars hear indie on the weekends and jazz on Sundays. The offbeat decor and mismatched furniture might be a bit perplexing, but that’s what gives this eclectic spot its charm. An excellently stocked jukebox and a nice craft beer list add to the allure.
Find it: 2319 W. Belmont Ave., 773-709-1401
Photograph: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune