This subterranean club adjacent to Metro is a testament to Chicago's storied dance music history, hosting a weekly Sunday night party (Queen!) that carries the torch for the city's house music scene. The Wrigleyville venue is the local home base of internationally renowned DJs like the Blessed Madonna, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina—plus a stacked lineup of resident selectors. Whether you're listening to cutting-edge DJs or dusty old records, Smart Bar's cozy confines and European sound system make it an ideal place to lose yourself to dance.
There's no arguing that Chicago is a city that helped shape dance music, thanks to DJs like Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles, who began spinning a new strain of disco music (later dubbed house music) in the 1980s. Sadly, you can't bust a move inside the most legendary Chicago nightclubs of that era (RIP The Warehouse), but a new crop of late-night destinations has stepped in to make sure the beat goes on. Much of Chicago's club scene is concentrated in River North, where you'll find dark subterranean lounges as well as dance clubs atop restaurants and bars. But there are nightclubs throughout the city as well, many of which host aftershows during summer music festival season and host talented DJs and electronic acts year-round. Searching for an energetic dance floor and killer soundsystems? Hop in the queue at some of the best nightclubs and dance clubs in Chicago.