What is nightlife like in Chicago?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Lauren Viera

Chicago's nightlife buzzes loudest in the River North neighborhood, where trendy restaurants and late-night clubs mingle just west of Michigan Avenue. Several restaurants, such as Mercadito, sit atop intimate lounges (Mercadito's is Double A), perfect for slipping underground after a meal for a late-night cocktail, while other venues, like Untitled, are massive party-vibe drinking and nibbling headquarters all their own, accessible just below street level.

The long-running king of Chicago's nightlife is Billy Dec, whose Rockit Ranch Productions owns multiple properties in the River North area. The company's namesake, Rockit Bar & Grill, is a burger joint gone wild, while Dec's sleek Sunda offers new Asian cuisine by day, and shifts to a club atmosphere after nightfall.

One of the biggest club openings of the past few years is Studio Paris atop Paris Club, managed by Chicago's Lettuce Entertain You, a powerhouse of dining and drinking properties. The rooftop boasts top DJs and drinks, the restaurant below offers a full dinner menu of French-tinged dishes, and the dual nightlife property is still hot two years in.

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