Karaoke Bars in Chicago

Karaoke. Great for a fun night out, overcoming your stage fright, even (hopefully) embarrassing yourself just a little bit! Bars are the obvious choice when you hit the town at night but if you're looking for some activity to go with those drinks, karaoke is plentiful in a city like Chicago. The problem is finding the right spot.

[more]

If you're feeling brave...

Trader Todd's in Lakeview is arguably the most consistently packed karaoke spot in the city. Sporting a fun "beach bum" vibe (complete with a tiki-themed drink menu), Todd's hosts karaoke every night of the week and there's always a crowd. In the warm days of summer, they even open up the outdoor beer garden in back and add a second karaoke stage. So, once you've had a pina colada (or three), get over that stage fright, hop up on that stage and bust out your version "Like A Virgin."

If you've got stage fright...

Karaoke can be fun, but for some people (myself included) the added element of strangers and judgmental bartenders can eliminate the enjoyment. Lincoln Karaoke is always a popular choice for one particular reason: private rooms. You can rent a rooms that fit anywhere from 6 to 30 people for a reasonable hourly price. It's time for you and your former college roommate to resurrect that rendition of "Lady Marmalade" with the same sense of comfort as your old dorm room.   

If you're serious about your karaoke skills...

I've met people before that include "...and I'm a world-class karaoke-er" in their introductions. Blue Frog in River North is for these people.  First of all, the place is tiny -- meaning everyone's focus is on the stage. Secondly, like any good karaoke spot, the bar has cheap drinks sure to loosen anybody up before they step into the spotlight. Karaoke runs Tuesday through Sunday, starting each night at 10 p.m. 

If you need a classy karaoke setting...

The name Brando's Speakeasy itself should suggest a more dapper locale than your average karaoke dive. Tucked away amidst the high rises of the South Loop neighborhood, Brando's has a cool, lounge-like interior, over 250,000 song choices and just as many martini options. Okay, so there are not really a quarter of a million martinis on its menu, but there are a lot! Find your way in Wednesday through Saturday for karaoke starting at 7 p.m. 

If you're looking for something LGBT friendly...

It might surprise you that our LGBT karaoke suggestion isn't located in Boystown, but if you really want the cream of the crop, get to Downtown Bar and Lounge in the Loop. Head to the downstairs level for karaoke every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday night. 

If you're looking for a live music accompaniment...

Live Band Karaoke does a rotation at several Chicago bars, including Stanley's Kitchen, Roscoe's and Piece. If you want to do a David Lee Roth high kick with a faux Van Halen behind you (and who doesn't?), then check out this calendar for event times and locations. 

Bonus: Though it's only a monthly shindig and the location is a bit different from the average suggestion (American Legion Post, 1824 W. Cortland), if you're looking for the Andrew W.K. or karaoke look no further than Rory Lake's Karaoke Dreams. Well known for getting the party started and distracting you from any embarrassment you might feel up on stage, he's the underground god of karaoke in Chicago and worth trying to catch while you're in town. 

Help us keep the lights on by subscribing to Chicago Like a Local. For your efforts, we'll deliver awesome stories (like this one) to your inbox. Do we have a deal?