Chicago's Best 4 A.M. Bars

“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” 


It's a phrase we’ve heard all too often at 1:54 a.m. In fact, we laugh in the face of an early bedtime. Some nights are too fun to put a cap on. Enter Chicago’s limited, but still plentiful 4 a.m. liquor licenses. They’re a beautiful thing. These bars all pour until 4 a.m. every night of the week (5 a.m. on Saturdays) and are frequent hangouts for night owls, service industry workers and other characters you’d never meet in the daylight.




Photo  via Facebook/The Original Mothers


The Original Mother's

26 W. Division St. - Gold Coast


A late night at The Original Mother’s is a right of passage for any Chicago twenty-something-year-old. This Gold Coast classic has been a staple since opening in 1968. It’s also a source for live music and relatively cheap drinks for the neighborhood. 




Photo via Facebook/the underground chicago


The Underground

56 W. Illinois - River North


Because 2 a.m. clubs just aren’t a thing here, The Underground doesn’t even open its doors until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. (It’s closed every other day of the week.) Say bye-bye to brunch tomorrow morning.




photo via facebook/late bar


Late Bar

3534 W. Belmont Ave. - Avondale


Goth discos, grunge nights and new wave music video parties are all regular happenings at Late Bar and we love it. It’s a left-of-the-dial late night spot for Chicagoans from all walks of life. 




photo via facebook/bourbon on division


Bourbon on Division

2050 W. Division St. - Wicker Park


Both the name of the bar and what you’ll be drinking until the wee hours of the morning, Bourbon On Division is a great source of live music for the first half of the night and an oasis for late nighters as the night drags on. 




photo via facebook/sound-bar


Sound-Bar

226 W. Ontario St. - River North


Catch internationally touring dance music acts like Nero and Boys Noize at this River North club and venue. If you think the artist you’re hyped to see is going to start spinning before midnight, you’re fresh out of luck. This is the kind of music that gets better the later it gets. 




photo via facebook/east room


East Room

2354 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Logan Square


East Room has been one of the hottest spots on the block since it opened, and its acquisition of a 4 a.m. license only helped seal its title as a no brainer for Logan Square party animals. Nightly local and touring DJs, as well as occasional live performances, help keep the wheels chugging along here. 




The Continental

2801 W. Chicago Ave. - Humboldt Park


Sorry if we missed something, but when did a 4 a.m. night become a bad thing? Ditch that misconception at this Humboldt Park dive and prepare to be welcomed by a packed house of like-minded drinkers. Expect to engage in regrettable wagers over games of pool, encounter questionable bathroom conditions and make all kind of friends whose names you won’t remember in the morning. We’ll always love this place. 




photo via Facebook/Berlin Nightclub


Berlin

954 W. Belmont Ave. - Lakeview


Is it really even a true night at Berlin if you leave before 2 a.m.? We’ve been dancing through the decades at this LGBTQ+-friendly club since it opened in the early '80s. Our favorite thing about Berlin is its everlasting lack of pretention. Everyone is welcome here. Come as you are. Just be cool and respectful. That’s all.





PRYSM

1534 N. Kingsbury Ave. - Lincoln Park


Do those bottle service sparklers mesmerize you? Do you love EDM? Looking to sleep through Sunday morning? Here’s your spot. PRYSM delivers the classic nightclub experience along with some of the top names in electronic and hip-hop music. Dillon Francis, Tiësto and Migos are just a few of the past guests. 




photo via Facebook/kingston mines


Kingston Mines

2548 N. Halsted St. - Lincoln Park


People generally associate bass-heavy beats with late-night bar soundtracks, but not in Chicago. Our blues music heritage shines through at Kingston Mines where the performances keep coming all night and so do the drinks. 




The Green Mill

4802 N. Broadway St. - Uptown


The Green Mill is another excellent live music alternative when the clock strikes 2 a.m. Jazz performers play late into the night at this legendary bar and venue. If Al Capone, a former frequent customer at the Mill, could make it until 5 a.m., so can you! 




photo via facebook/pippin's tavern


Pippin's Tavern

806 N. Rush St. - Gold Coast


There aren’t a ton of 4 a.m. options near Michigan Avenue, but Pippin’s is definitely one of them. This friendly little tavern is a stalwart of the constantly changing shopping district and it certainly keeps different hours than the Nike store.




photo via faceook/she-nannigans


She-nannigan’s House Of Beer

16 W. Division St. - Gold Coast


You know what to expect here after 2 a.m. just from looking at the name of the bar! Between beer pong, karaoke and pool tables, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself late into the night. 




photo via Facebook/spybar


Spybar

646 N. Franklin St. - River North


Techno and house music bump until 4 (or 5) in the morning here on weekends. DJs from all over the world have played this high energy club. 




photo via facebook/streeter's tavern


Streeter's Tavern

50 E. Chicago Ave. - Gold Coast


Start playing one of the many bar games that inhabit this bar (pool, Jenga, etc.) and before you know it, you’ll only have a few hours left before the sun comes up. 




photo via facebook/the hangge-uppe


The Hangge-Uppe

14 W. Elm St. - Gold Coast


It’s all about the music at this lovable divey dance club. The first floor is always a source of Top 40 hits, but the basement gets extra groovy with '70s and '80s throwback tunes playing all night.




photo via facebook/the owl


The Owl

2521 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Logan Square


The Owl is a longtime source for late-night fun in Logan Square. There’s generally a DJ spinning or local bands playing on the small stage in back, but it’s the post-2 a.m. crowd that provides the real “entertainment” here.




Butch Mcguire's

20 W. Division St. - Gold coast


The corner of Division and State streets is a good place to find yourself if you’re in need of late-night bar options. Butch Mcguire’s has been pleasing its night owl patrons since the 1960s. 




Christina's Place

3759 N. Kedzie ave. - Irving Park


This corner bar has all the makings of a classic 4 a.m. dive: pool, a lack of natural lighting and friendly, welcoming bartenders to keep you company. 





Smartbar

3730 N. Clark St. - Lakeview


Wrigleyville has changed a lot over the years, but Smartbar always stays the same. Visit this subterranean dance floor and find the world’s top electronic and house DJs behind the decks. Reoccuring parties like house music and drag night Queen! are known to attract lines down the block well past 2 a.m.




Uptown Lounge

1136 W. Lawrence Ave. - Uptown


The next time you find yourself getting out of a show at The Riviera Theater or Aragon Ballroom and think the night is over, think again! Keep the good times rolling at this classic craft beer and cocktail bar. You might even find yourself inspired enough to take the stage yourself for a round of karaoke. 




Exit

1315 W. North Ave. - Bucktown


Open until 4 a.m. or later seven days a week, 365 days a year, Exit is as dependable as the hangover you’ll have in the morning. Hear punk, industrial, electronic and more at this split-level late-night classic. 




image via Facebook/celeste


Celeste

111 W. Hubbard St. - River North


We admit it’s tough to stay classy past 2 a.m., but Celeste offers that opportunity in central River North. 





Estelle's 

2013 W. North Ave. - Wicker Park


Between the cozy candle-lit high top tables, an excellent jukebox and diner-style eats, it’s hard not to lose a few hours (in the a.m. or p.m.) at Estelle’s. 




photo via facebook/mother hubbard's sports pub


Mother Hubbard's

5 W. Hubbard St. - River North


Watch the sportsball game at Mother Hubbard’s on one of the bar’s 45 televisions, then stay late to celebrate or commiserate over the outcome. 





photo via facebook/alice's lounge


Alice's Lounge

3556 W. Belmont Ave. - Avondale


You know you’re in a serious late-night karaoke spot when the performances don’t even start until 11 p.m. Alice’s is a stomping ground for Chicago’s most serious of karaoke singers four nights a week (Wednesday through Saturday). We promise there’s not much more entertaining than watching a vodka-soaked rendition of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” at 4:15 a.m. 




Beaumont Bar & Grill

2020 N. Halsted St. - Lincoln Park


The ol’ Beaumont is something of a right of passage for DePaul students and other 20-something-year-olds new to the Lincoln Park area. It’s a completely different neighborhood after 2 a.m. 




Big City Tap

1010 W. Belmont Ave. - Lakeview


Affectionately nicknamed “Big Sh*tty,” this Lakeview dive bar offers everything you’ll need to make tomorrow fuzzy including Jell-O shots, a dancefloor and an adjacent liquor store also selling until at least 4 a.m. 




photo via facebook/bluelight


BlueLight

3251 N. Western Ave. - Roscoe Village


One thing you’ll notice about 4 a.m. bars: There are more old ones than there are new. We know it has more to do with city permits, but we’d like to think it’s really because you can’t improve upon places like BlueLight, open since the early 1970s. 




Charlie's

3726 N. Broadway - Lakeview


Charlie’s is a well-known, Western-themed offshoot of Boystown for cowboys looking to pack a couple more hours of fun into their nights.




The Closet

3325 N. Broadway - Lakeview


Entertaining Boystown’s late-night crowd since the ‘70s, The Closet can cater to rowdy drinkers wanting one more go at the dancefloor or casual friends who need one more round before the night’s over. 



3458 N. Halsted St. - Lakeview


There’s nothing low energy about this Boystown nightclub. Nothing. 




photo via facebook/fireside chicago


Fireside Restaurant & Lounge

5739 N. Ravenswood Ave. - Ravenswood


Fireside is so cozy, so homey, so easy to lose track of time in, that its 4 a.m. liquor license tends to sneak up on you.




photo via  facebook/the jackhammer complex


The Jackhammer Complex

6406 N. Clark St. - Rogers Park


This multi-layered funhouse is one of the northernmost LGBTQ+ late-night hangouts in the city. You never know what you’ll walk into here. Karaoke, drag shows, live music, fetish events and more are on the menu. 




photo via facebook/jefferson tap & grille


Jefferson Tap & Grille

325 N. Jefferson St. - West Loop


Options for 4 a.m. bars are a bit slim just west of the river, but you’ll find a solid standby in this no-nonsense neighborhood bar.




photo via facebook/miller's pub


Miller's Pub

134 S. Wabash St. - The Loop


Miller’s, open since 1935, has been serving the Loop’s late-night drinkers for more than 80s years. The kitchen is open until 2 a.m. most nights, too. 




South Loop Club

701 S. State St. - South Loop


This diner-style bar and restaurant is a South Loop staple—if the name didn’t tip you off!




photo via facebook/ spectrum bar & grill


Spectrum Bar & Grill

233 S. Halsted St. - Greektown


Find a window seat and enjoy some entertaining people watching while staring out at the streets of Greektown. The kitchen is open until at least 3 a.m. every night!




photo via facebook/o'callaghans


O’Callaghan’s

29 W. Hubbard St. - River North


This Irish pub provides a slightly tamer (emphasis on “slightly”) atmosphere than Hubbard Street’s surrounding bars. Come on in and have a breather (and a Guinness). 




photo via facebook/redhead piano bar


Redhead Piano Bar

16 W. Ontario St. - River North


Step down into this basement-level piano bar for a taste of classic Chicago. This spot even has a cigar club!




photo via facebook/social twenty five


Social Twenty Five

25 W. Hubbard St. - River North


This swanky two-floor clubsteraunt offers bottle service, nightly DJs and everything else you’d expect for an after-hours bar in this neighborhood.




Timothy O’Toole’s

622 N. Fairbanks Ct. - River North


Most people arrive at O’Toole’s in search of excellent food and a place to watch sports, but its 4 a.m. license attracts quite a few night owls, too. 




photo via facebook/nick's beer garden


Nick's Beer Garden

1516 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Wicker Park


Late nights on the beer garden at Nick’s are habit forming. Not that we’d know. 




Old Town Ale House

219 W. North Ave. - Old Town


Often considered to be the greatest dive bar in Chicago, Old Town Ale House is a frequent hangout for comedy performers after a show at Second City across the street. Legends like John Belushi and Dan Akroyd have taken advantage of the bar’s 4 a.m. license. 




The Store

2002 N. Halsted St. - Lincoln Park


The Store is a great place to visit if booze is the only thing on your shopping list. In addition to a 4 a.m. license this bar also offers live music, open mics, comedy shows and more entertainment throughout the week.




photo via facebook/remedy


Remedy

1910 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Bucktown


Remedy skips the usual “hole in the wall” 4 a.m. bar schtick and provides a classier hang for industry folks just getting off work and other lingering drinkers. Its fireplace, massive fish tank and other quirky elements give Remedy extra cozy points!




Jeffery Pub

7041 S. Jeffery Ave. - Jackson Park


The Jeffery provides LGBTQ+ folks with a late-night hang that’s not on the North Side. Catch drag performances and more at this pub.




Hidden Cove

5336 N. Lincoln Ave. - Lincoln Square


What’s not to love about this late-night karaoke spot? The crumbling floor tiles, cracked under the feet of past performers? The Red Bull-like energy drink that’s served straight out of a soda gun, keeping us singing into the a.m. hours? The general wild card feel of the crowds the Cove attracts? Everything here is great. 




photo via facebook/the elixir lounge


Elixir Lounge

3452 N. Halsted St. - Lakeview


This cocktail-forward lounge and bar in the heart of Boystown makes for a pretty good date spot—not something we often say about places you can drink until the sun comes up.




photo via facebook/the barrelhouse flat


The Barrelhouse Flat

2624 N. Lincoln Ave. - Lincoln Park


The Barrelhouse Flat attracts such a strong crowd during “normal bar hours” that we sometimes forget it doubles as a 4 a.m. hang. Its classic cocktails and elegant interior give this Lincoln Park standby its appeal.




Oasis

6809 N. Sheridan Rd. - Rogers Park


Rogers Park’s go-to dive bar also just happens to have a 4 a.m. license. The neighborhood isn’t necessarily known for its nightlife but you wouldn’t know based on the crowds at this place at 3 a.m. on a Saturday. 




photo via facebook/the flat iron


The Flat Iron

1565 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Wicker Park


The Flat Iron is a classic destination for neighborhood industry professionals, late-night games of pool and decisions that will likely result in a hangover. 




Tai's Til' 4

3611 N. Ashland Ave. - Lakeview


Pop-a-shot (literally) at this spot. Tai’s has a playful vibe and is always full of long term patrons, not afraid to admit how many nights they’ve forgotten here.