Sometimes the best way to blow off some steam after a long day is to pick one of your favorite songs, grab a microphone and belt out an ’80s power ballad in front of a room full of strangers. Karaoke bars in Chicago come in all shapes and sizes, from wood-paneled Chicago dive bars where regulars rule the mic to cozy private karaoke rooms that are among the best things to do in Chinatown. There are even some Chicago bars open till 4am that give you a couple extra hours to get your song in before last call. Psych yourself up, prepare for the inevitable rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" and try not to knock over the mic stand at the best karaoke bars in Chicago.
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Best karaoke bars in Chicago
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, Thu, Fri 11pm–3:30am; Sat 11pm–4:30am.
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 or 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, weekend $30–$50/hour.
By day, this Logan Square coffee shop is a great place to put on your headphones and get some work done, but on Sunday nights, the adjacent bar hosts a noisy karaoke party. This end-of-the-weekend bash 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: Sun 8–11pm.
There's a motorcycle hanging from the wall of this Lincoln Park bar, but don't feel like you need to belt our Motorhead or ZZ Top tunes here. Shoe's Pub draws all types to its weekly karaoke nights, from regulars singing country tunes to drunk DePaul bros trying to remember the words to Backstreet Boys songs. It all happens on a tiny stage at the front of the bar, making it nearly impossible to sing something with all of your friends.
Karaoke: Thu, Fri, Sat.
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 at 7:30pm.
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 bar, outfitted with a couple of TVs, a Touchtunes jukebox, a pool table in the back of a bar and lively karaokes parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
Karaoke: Fri at 9pm, Sat at 10pm.
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 bars catalog of more than 40,000 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–Sun at 7pm.
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 at 8pm.
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.
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 $25 cover charge (which includes two drinks at the bar).
Karaoke rooms: $35–$90/hour Mon–Sun 6pm–2am.
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: 1–4 people $35/hour, 5–10 people $45/hour.
Located above Hamburger Mary's, this LGBTQ-friendly hangout packs in crowds for both editions of its kitschy weekly MaryOke. Hosted by local drag performers, you can expect to hear everything from Broadway show tunes to renditions of Michael Jackson songs.
Karaoke: Sun, Thu at 9pm.
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: $35/hour Sun–Thu; $45/hour Fri, Sat.
If you've lived in Chicago long enough, you've probably seen a few concerts at this South Loop pub, which is a venue of choice for punk rockers, metal bands and tribute acts. Every Wednesday, you can join the long list of people who have performed on the Reggie's Music Joint stage by taking part in live band karaoke. Bring your best frontman moves and the band will supply the music you need to rock the house.
Karaoke: Wed at 8pm.
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 at 8pm
This hole-in-the-wall joint is a neighborhood spot that you'd easily walk by if you didn't know what you were looking for. Spyners Pub boasts cheap drink specials, friendly crowds and weekend karaoke jams that will have you coming back to this Lincoln Square dive on a more regular basis.
Karaoke: Fri, Sat at 9pm.