*All outfit details can be found here!
Happy Friday! Tonight we are celebrating the fact that one of my best friends got engaged last week (!!), so I thought it was the perfect time to finally tackle a topic that’s been suggested a lot. The best places for a girl’s night out in Chicago!
As I was putting together a list of your faves (thanks for those, by the way!), I realized I needed to split this post into two lists. Let’s dive in…
Chill Girls Night in Chicago
This first list is full of suggestions for my favorite type of night out! All of these are great for the gals who want to put on something cute and go out, but who also want to actually catch up instead of just shout over loud music. What I like about this section is that you could call it a night after dinner, or you could order a few extra rounds and stay out with your besties.
I’m putting these two together because while Aba is one of the hottest spots in town, Ema is a very similar concept and just as good. If you like mediterranean food, you can’t go wrong with either. Also, you might think the Frozen Greek Yogurt with olive oil and sea salt on their dessert menus is weird, but it’s amazing. Just trust me.
This sketch comedy show is entirely created, designed, and performed by the amazing women at The Second City! If you and your girlfriends want to do something different, and have a few laughs about the lovely things (?) us women have to deal with… add this one to your list!
I know most people tend to think of Park & Field as a summer spot, but it’s great any time of year! Right now, they have a pumpkin patch and carving stations. In addition, they also have a new Outdoor Camper Bar with fire pits, steamy cocktails, warm cookies, and DIY S’mores Kits!
This new Wicker Park hotspot is getting a ton of buzz, and for good reason! Make sure you get an order the bubbling shrimp… or multiple orders ?
This pick is up in my new neighborhood and it’s the perfect alternative to going downtown. The decor is modern and pretty, they have interesting cocktails (one of them has beet juice in it!), and the crispy cauliflower is to die for. I should really add it to my date night roundup, too… seriously, such a great spot!
This is also a great date night spot, but I’d also highly recommend Maude’s for a girl’s night if you and your friends like fancy cocktails because their smashes are SO. GOOD.
Sharable tapas and pitchers of sangria? Can’t really go wrong with this classic Lincoln Park pick.
Bar Takito and Federales
If you and your girlfriends like margaritas, look no further. These two restaurants are right across the street from each other in the West Loop, so you can do drinks at one and dinner at the other… and then maybe go back to the other one again? Who knows where the night will take you!
If you want to feel super classy and sophisticated, Nelcotte is the spot. There are tons of chandeliers, a long chic bar, and elegant details everywhere. I like to share plates here instead of getting my own dish – which is perfect for a girls night!
It’s not a secret that ladies love the “Yes Way Rose” sign here. Plus, the decor makes it feel like summer in the Hamptons all year round, which is a nice escape when it’s freezing in Chicago.
I usually suggest this one for brunch, but who wouldn’t want to have a glass of wine on a couch in the most beautiful room in all of Chicago?
Obviously this is a little bit more fun if you have a friend who is a member – but The Allis, Chicken Shop, and Fox Bar are all great options!
If you like martinis, get the Gold Coast Martini. Just be careful – I’m definitely a lightweight, but 2 of those had me ready for bed at a sensible 8:00pm ?
There are a lot of sushi places in the city, but no one does presentations like Yuzu. They literally paint artwork out of the sauces that come with each roll – it’s stunning! Plus, most girlfriends won’t judge you for snapping a quick pic before you dive in, right?
Wild Girls Night in Chicago
This second list is a little different. These suggestions are for the nights when you’re celebrating a birthday, or a bachelorette party, or a great new promotion! Or you don’t even need a reason and you just want to dance the night away ? We’ve all had those nights, haven’t we? Don’t deny it!
They have a Y2K night that plays the best jams of the early to mid 2000s. Need I say more?!
I’ll admit, I haven’t been here in a long time, but this is where we danced all night for my sister’s bachelorette party! I’d recommend looking up their schedule beforehand to make sure there will be a live band playing when you go – it makes all the difference!
The Violet Hour is a really unique bar in Chicago. For starters, there isn’t a clear entrance – instead there’s a mural that changes every so often with a single light bulb by the entrance. If you go on the early side, you could put this in the “chill night” category, but if you go late, it’s likely that you’ll have to wait in line to get in. Once you’re in, you are brought to a table or a spot at the bar – and as one reader said, there are total Gossip Girl vibes ? It’s dimly lit, a little sexy and mysterious, and the cocktails are award winning. (Literally, they have a James Beard Award!)
I’ve been to Joe’s a few times, and I’ve seen a boy band cover band, Sixteen Candles (aka the best for 80s music!), and my favorite cover band ever, Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press. Keep an eye out for any of those on their calendar – all of them are such a blast! In fact, last time I was there seeing Rod Tuffcurls, I met a handful of followers! And then we all belted to Bohemian Rhapsody ?
If you like country music, Bub City is the perfect spot to do some crooning.
This place cracks me up because you can have a drink upstairs by the pool tables, or you can go downstairs to dance in a space that feels like you’re back at a college party. Either way, they have great drinks and great music!
If you love getting in the holiday spirit, add Lottie’s to your list. They deck the entire bar out with Christmas lights and festive decorations!
Tiki drinks anyone?! Everything from the cocktails to the tiki glasses to the garnishes are all on brand here – and so different from every other bar in the city! (Although I hear Lost Lake is awesome, too!)
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve only been here late at night and that was more than a few years ago (?)… but if you like jazz and blues music, they get some really amazing performers here! A fun and different spot to check out after you’re done with your dinner plans.
I’ve never actually been here, but readers say it’s a great spot for when you want a club-y experience, but you don’t want to be downtown. Get ready for one big dance party!
Again, I’ve never been here but it was recommended by a few of you guys because they play a lot of throwback jams. I mean, who doesn’t like songs from the 90s/early 2000s?!
Did I miss any of your favorite places?
If so, comment below and let me know which ones I missed! Also, a big thank you to everyone who submitted suggestions on Instagram. You’re the best!