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Old Town Ale House has one of the best jukeboxes in Chicago.
Old Town Ale House has one of the best jukeboxes in Chicago.

13 Chicago bars with a great jukebox

A great jukebox can make or break a night out, so try these bars that offer the best tunes in town

Written by
Raf Miastkowski
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While a photo booth or even liquor stores can add a lot of charm to a bar, a great jukebox has the ability to transform another predictable night out into a small-scale neighborhood bash. So get ready to party it up with local barflies at these (mostly dive) bars with the city's best jukeboxes.

RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Chicago

Chicago bars with a jukebox

aliveOne
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 1 of 4

Patrons love aliveOne largely because it hosts so much live music, so it should be no surprise that its great jukebox is stocked with only live-music albums. 

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Humboldt Park
  • price 1 of 4

Archie’s old-school jukebox is stocked with bands that provide a great soundtrack to eating free cheeseballs and hanging out with dogs: Tom Waits, Styx and the Village People. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Humboldt Park
  • price 1 of 4

California Clipper’s jukebox is an old-school treasure that’s in the running for coolest in town. It glows with red light like a demonic menace, and features classics from bands such as the Animals, Alice Cooper and Warren Zevon. 

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

Tucked away on the west side of Logan Square, the Double is a great spot for jukebox aficionados. Flip through albums by Dire Straits, the White Stripes and Rolling Stones, and sidle up to the bar for a cold brew. 

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Estelle’s
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

Whether you’re looking to throw on a song that will help wash your craft beer down or get the party started, Estelle’s jukebox has you covered with songs from bands such as Band of Gypsys (featuring a guy named  Jimi Hendrix) and LCD Soundsystem. 

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

While the new sign outside now reads “GMan Tavern,” this Wrigley bar remains the Gingerman Tavern in our hearts. It attracts many more Metro-loving rockers than cargo shorts–wearing bros, and the jukebox reflects the clientele with selections from bands such as Broken Social Scene and the Strokes.

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Gold Star Bar
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

This beer-and-shot hangout remains one of the diviest dives in Chicago, and visitors love coming here to hang out on lawn furniture while munching on free popcorn and listening to T. Rex and Black Flag on the jukebox. 

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

Even if you’re creeped out by L&L’s nose-singeing smells and its claimed ties to serial killers, you’ll still stay for the cheap beers and free jukebox, which features a good mix of hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. 

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  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Old Town
  • price 1 of 4
This legendary dive has a storied history that’s highlighted with references to Roger Ebert, Saturday Night Live cast members and nudie paintings. It should be no surprise, then, that its jukebox selections lean a bit on the vintage side with jazz and oldies picks.
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • River West/West Town
  • price 1 of 4
A classic dive that’s seemingly frozen in time, Richard’s Bar attracts a diverse crowd that comes for the hard-boiled eggs, to-go beers and old-school vibes. As for the jukebox, expect to hear Sinatra, Sinatra and then some more Sinatra.
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Simon’s Tavern
  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Andersonville
  • price 2 of 4
This Andersonville stalwart continually restocks its fantastic CD jukebox with fresh indie picks. Lately, it's records like Mac Demarco, TV on the Radio, D'Angelo and Real Estate. The player is so popular, it has its own Twitter handle. Pop in enough at this cozy Scandivanian dive, and you'll hardly need blogs and Spotify.
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