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Carol's Pub, Chrissy Slaton
Photograph: Chrissy Slaton

The 17 best karaoke bars in Chicago

Pick a song and show off your pipes at the best karaoke spots in Chicago, where enthusiasm nearly always trumps talent.

Zach Long
Jeffy Mai
Written by
Zach Long
&
Jeffy Mai
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You may not have hit it big yet but don’t stop believin’, your path to music stardom is out there. Everyone gets their start somewhere and for aspiring singers, the best place to show off those vocal skills is at Chicago’s various karaoke bars and lounges. These following spots offer everything you’ll need to shine: thousands of tunes to choose from, plenty of liquid courage and a captive audience to impress. For those who aren’t afraid of the bright lights, head to Carol’s Pub to perform on stage. If you prefer a little more privacy for your theatrics, though, book a room at Lincoln Karaoke. These places also double as some of our favorite dive bars and late-night haunts. So the next time you feel like channeling your inner Mariah Carey or Jon Bon Jovi, pick up the microphone at one the best karaoke bars and lounges in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the best bars in Chicago

Best karaoke bars in Chicago

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

The name Alice is synonymous with raucous late-night karaoke in Chicago. Don't come expecting to sing more than one song on a busy night—the regulars rule the mic here, but the majority of them are pretty entertaining to watch. Plus, after a few beers (and a shot) you'll be yelling along to most of the lyrics anyways.

Karaoke: Wed-Fri 11pm–3:30am, Sat 11pm–4:30am

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 2 of 4

If you're looking for a place to sing Cardi B tracks while trying to replicate her dance moves with a group of friends, this private-room karaoke bar allows you to do it behind closed doors. Each of the 18 rooms is equipped with a flat-screen TV, sofas and access to a menu of snacks (including baskets of crisp bacon) that can be delivered to you while you're singing.

Karaoke rooms: Sun–Fri 7pm–2am, Sat 7pm–3am. Weekdays $30-$40/hour, weekends $30-$50/hour.

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Armour Square
  • price 1 of 4

Descend into this subterranean Chinatown karaoke lounge to rent a private room and sing your way through a catalog of more than 100,000 tunes, which includes pop hits from China, Korea and Japan. If you don't feel like springing for a room, there's a stage in the main lounge where you can show off your pipes in front of a crowd—you'll just need to pay the $32 cover charge (which includes two drinks at the bar).

Karaoke rooms: Sun-Fri 6pm-2am, Sat 6pm-3am. Sun-Thu $40-$135/hour, Fri-Sat $50-$150/hour.

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

You can sing karaoke every night of the year (except for Christmas) at Trader Todd's, a Lakeview staple that's usually filled with birthday parties, coworkers and improv troupes taking turns on the mic. Order a tiki cocktail from the bar and feel free to shout along to every single rendition of "Sweet Caroline."

Karaoke: Mon–Sun 7:30pm

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  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

The karaoke at Hidden Cove is the bar's main attraction, taking place every night of the week on a large dance floor, offering plenty of room for your friends to show off their moves or join you to belt out a chorus. You'll find a mixture of young and old guests sipping cheap drinks into the wee hours of the night, because this place always stays open until 4am.

Karaoke: Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun 8pm-4am; Sat 8pm-5am

  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Loop
  • price 1 of 4

Brando's Speakeasy is dressed up like a vintage cocktail lounge, but the seven-nights-a-week karaoke doesn't exactly make it ideal for a first date (unless you're trying to show off your amazing pipes). You'll have no trouble finding the song you're looking for among the bar's catalog of more than 300,000 tracks, and daily drink specials make it easy to get some affordable liquid courage before you test out your rendition of Blondie's "Call Me" for the crowd.

Karaoke: Mon–Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 5pm-3am

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  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Uptown
  • price 1 of 4

Chicago lost beloved honky tonk dive bar Carol’s in 2016, but it was fortunately revived two years later by new ownership. The new iteration still offers plenty of live country music, late-night debauchery and surprisingly solid eats. Karaoke is also a regular thing here and thanks to the stage, you’ll feel like Johnny Cash as you work those vocal cords.

Karaoke: Every other Tuesday at 7:30pm

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • West Ridge
  • price 2 of 4

Korean bar fare followed by karaoke sounds like an ideal Saturday night to us. At Green Light Pub, fill your stomach with seafood pancakes, kimchi fried rice, tteokbokki and copious amounts of soju before showing off your vocal skills. The venue offers private rooms that can accommodate up to 20 people and if you’re celebrating a birthday, they’ll even provide a discount on alcohol.

Karaoke rooms: Thu 6pm-1am, Fri-Sat 6pm-2am. Thu $15-$30/hour, Fri $25-$45/hour, Sat $30-$55/hour.

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Irving Park
  • price 1 of 4

The wood paneling, neon signs and kitschy decorations at this karaoke and darts bar probably haven't changed much since the ’80s—and neither has the catalog of songs. Grab a cheap drink from the bar, give your request to the DJ and get ready to watch some entertaining takes on Metallica, Barry Manilow and more.

Karaoke: Mon–Sun 8pm

  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

This Wicker Park karaoke pub has the ambiance of a dorm room: Posters of predictable rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan line the walls while drunk bros belt ironic renditions of "Who Let the Dogs Out." Thankfully, there's free popcorn to munch on while you wait your turn.

Karaoke: Tue–Sun 8pm

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

By day, this Logan Square coffee shop is a great place to put on your headphones and get some work done. But on weekends, the adjacent bar hosts a noisy karaoke party that attracts lots of industry workers (at least the ones who don't have to get up early on Monday) and an assortment of Cafe Mustache regulars. Expect to hear some interesting renditions, fueled by cheap beer and shots.

Karaoke: Sat-Sun 8pm–1:30am

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Avondale

Even with a German name and a sign for a Polish brewery hanging over its door, there's not very much that's European about this Avondale dive, aside from a few imported beers. Edelweiss Tavern is a fairly standard neighborhood haunt, outfitted with a couple of TVs, a Touchtunes jukebox, a pool table in the back of the bar and lively karaokes parties on Friday and Saturday nights.

Karaoke: Fri 9pm, Sat 10pm

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Streeterville
  • price 3 of 4

Some people come to this Gold Coast lounge for the Japanese whiskey and traditional Japanese small plates (think pork dumplings and cold wheat noodles served with bonito and soy broth). Others show up to sing songs in Murasaki's single private karaoke room, which boasts 10,000 English songs and 130,000 Japanese songs. If you must have a bowl of ramen while you sing, this is the place to go.

Karaoke room: Sun-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri 6pm-2am, Sat 6pm-3am. Sun-Thu $40/hour, Fri-Sat $50/hour.

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Avondale
  • price 1 of 4

Opened in 2014, this kitschy Avondale dive retains the spirit of its predecessor, Wally’s Lounge. Gather your crew on Tuesdays or Saturdays for a round of drinks and some karaoke. If you need liquid courage, the daily special—a can of Hamm’s plus a shot of Old Crow for $4—will help calm nerves. Those who aren’t down to perform can entertain themselves with board games and bubble hockey.

Karaoke: Tue, Sat 10pm

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

The doors don’t close ‘til 4am at this popular Wicker Park watering hole, meaning it’s often the last stop for many folks. Live music, a robust beer list and a back patio are the main attractions most nights, but on Thursdays, from 10pm-1am, amateur singers pack the house to let loose.

Karaoke: Thu 10pm-1am

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • West Ridge
  • price 2 of 4

We get it, karaoking in front of strangers can be an intimidating experience. Avoid stage fright by reserving a private room for you and your buddies at U-Star Karaoke in West Rogers Park. You’ll probably work up an appetite while singing your lungs out, so order some kimchi fries or popcorn chicken to bring over from the bar next door, Yeowoosai.

Karaoke: Thu 8pm-2am, Fri-Sat 8pm-3am, Sun 8pm-1am

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Jeffy Mai
Assistant Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Loop

This sprawling West Loop entertainment complex includes two small karaoke rooms among its bowling alleys, arcade games and dining areas. The rooms are private, so the folks bowling or chowing down nearby won't have to enjoy and/or endure your rendition of "Purple Rain."

Karaoke: Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri 11am-2am, Sat 10am-2am, Sun 10am-midnight. 1–4 people $35/hour, 5–10 people $45/hour

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