1. Boom Boom Room at Green Dolphin Street
Green Dolphin Street's venerable, diverse, housecentric Boom Boom Room party is about as close to a Chicago dance-music institution as you can get these days. Longtime tastemaker Just Joey manages to bring in the world's best house DJs on a weekly basis; he has for more than ten years, and he's showing no signs of slowing. Over the years, BBRs featured everyone from Kenny Dope and Louie Vega of Masters at Work to Chicago institutions like Derrick Carter and Mark Grant (who still stop in regularly). Joey's not alone in the festivities though, resident DJs Uncle Milty, Michael Serafini and Diz have been in the mix for years—longtime resident Lego still pops in, all to the delight of the party's legions of loyal followers.
Boom Boom Room. Every Monday at Green Dolphin Street. 10pm; $10, R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. I Love House Music at Ohm
Another long-standing bastion of quality house music in the city, this hump-day party has been going strong for years, even as it has bounced around to a few venues. Gaining steam at the Note—now the Flat Iron—it moved down the street to Evil Olive before settling into its current home at Ohm. Gene Hunt, Lady D and Jamie 3:26 keep the beats rolling weekly, but special guests stop by often, and often they are key figures in the music’s history. Past guests include E-Smoove, Farley Jackmaster Funk and Paul Johnson.
I Love House Music. Every Wednesday at Ohm Nightclub. 10pm; $5, free before 11pm.
3. Get Get Down at Berlin
As this shindig at the always-adventurous Berlin is a newcomer, it's got a newer generation of house heads behind the decks. DJs Zebo and Popstatic’s goal is to showcase all that's great about house music, new and old. On a given night, you can hear cutting-edge dance-floor nuggets just released on Get Physical side-by-side with tried-and-true classics. Couple that with Berlin's colorful crowd and you've got a lively night on your hands.
Get Get Down. Every Wednesday at Berlin. 10pm, free.
4. DJ FLX & Friends at Cuatro
While it may not be the best-known venue in town, Cuatro has a weekly Saturday night party hosted by DJ FLX of the cross-continental DJ crew 3Degrees. A perfect host, FLX has a lively personality that’s a perfect complement to the music, which is 100 percent proper house. It bumps but doesn't get crazy jackin', it's soulful but not too sappy, it’s deep but won't put you to sleep. FLX is a vet, and he's always got cool guests—local and international—joining him.
DJ FLX & Friends. Every Saturday at Cuatro. 10pm, $10.
5. Only4DJs at Smart Bar
It goes down only once a month, but it's worth the wait because there's a fat chance you're gonna find all these dudes in the same room any other night at any other place in town. Only4DJs consists of Chicago mainstays Gene Farris, Diz, Lego and Frique spinning all-vinyl sets the first Wednesday of every month. Without fail, one of these jocks will drop a tune that will rock your world. The light-on-the-pocket cover charge means you really can't lose.
Only4DJs. First Wednesday of every month at Smart Bar. $5.