What up, Chicago! If you’re tired of heading to North Side and don’t want to make the trek south, there’s only way to go. Go west! West Town has many great neighborhoods, although the music venues are concentrated in just a few. Read on for our list of our favorite venues in the area.
Top 5 Music Venues in West Town, Chicago
Since 1996, Subterranean has been one of the best bar and venues on Chicago’s west side. Sharing the space in Wicker Park with Double Door makes for some stiff competition, though. The three story space occupies a 110 year old building and the first floor has a lounge and DJ, while the upstairs venue takes up two stories with a regular stream of concerts.
2. Double Door
Not too big, not too small—Double Door is the perfect size venue for a fun, yet intimate show. It’s sized between Metro and Empty Bottle. Try to grab a seat up on the balcony for a great view. It also gets some credit for having part of “High Fidelity” shot there. If you’re just looking for DJ performances, head downstairs to Door No. 3.
3. The Hideout
A unique space—The Hideout might be the best small venue in Chicago. Set in the middle of the industrial Noble Square, this venue occupies a converted slanted-roof house. It’s perfectly out of place and sets the bar for dive-y fun. Plan ahead to attend their annual block party, which has been running for more than 15 years.
4. Empty Bottle
Empty Bottle in Ukrainian Village is one of the best known venues in Chicago. The humble brick facade doesn’t advertise the fact that it’s one of Chicago’s most important indie music institutions. It’s dive-y, has a small 400 person capacity, and it’s cash only. Empty Bottle‘s long-term mascot and resident feline, Radley, passed away in 2009. R.I.P.
5. Bottom Lounge
While the original location in Lakeview was seized and demolished by the CTA as part of the Brown Line expansion, Bottom Lounge is back and better than ever. The two floors have a bar, venue, and restaurant. The spacious venue has a great sound system and a 120 person outdoor deck for the warmer months. In the meantime, stay out of the cold, Chicago!