5 W. Division St., 312-888-2471,
Electronica: The year-old basement club offers chest-vibrating escape from the usual Gold Coast obnoxiousness. With its curated calendar of top-notch music artists, friendly barkeeps, and come-as-you-are vibe, this is a downtown electronica lounge you can love.


2011 W. North Ave., 773-278-6600,
Reggae: Purists might scoff at Beyoncé’s “Baby Boy” blasting, but for everyone else, DJ Papa G’s pop-influenced reggae on Thursday nights (11 p.m., $5 cover for men) is just the kind of booty-shaking, foot-stomping ambiance necessary to start the weekend off early. Dress to sweat.

The Cubby Bear

1059 W. Addison St., 773-327-1662,
Salsa: On Sundays, the Wrigleyville bro bar transforms into a salsa-only extravaganza. Get a tutorial at 7 p.m., then groove the night away with a live band at 9 and 11. Bonus points for the low cover charge ($10) and cavernous dance floor.

Danny’s Tavern

1951 W. Dickens Ave., 773-489-6457
Soul/Funk: The lines can be long at this Bucktown favorite. And, yes, the room can get unbearably hot. But for uninhibited, freewheeling wilding out to Mos Def, James Brown, and the Beastie Boys all in one night (on Fridays and Saturdays), this free shindig can’t be beat.