Best Bars, Clubs & Lounges in Chicago’s River North

We interrupt your irregularly scheduled fashion post for an opinion piece on what bars, clubs, and lounges to check out in the River North neighborhood in Chicago… (21 & up only, please!)

I was born, raised, and currently live in the suburbs…but when it comes to a night out, I’m all about Chicago. I just love the energy of the city. My style during the day is casual; at night I love sliding on a dress, and stepping into a pair of 4inch pumps. So typically, I go out in River North. When I’m coming into downtown from 290, I exit onto Congress… and every time I get the exciting rush in anticipation of the night ahead. I love being surrounded by skyscrapers, lots of lights, and the promise of lots of fun to be had.


{Photo credit: Ian Pfeiffer of King Me Photography}

This is a fashion blog, so I have to share a little bit more about what I wear in Chicago. While I love putting on a dress, that’s not a must do in the city. I’ve had my fair share of nights out in the Chi wearing skinny jeans or moto-leggings. Recently, a plan that went from keeping it local, turned into “let’s go to the city…” which left me wearing a crew neck sweater and moto-leggings paired with some heeled black boots.

So where did we end up? The norm, right in the heart of River North, on streets such as Hubbard and Kinzie…


Our first stop was my best friend’s favorite place in the city: Three Dots and a Dash, a classy, tiki-style spot serving up an amazing collection of beach-y inspired cocktails. I’ve tried many of their rum based, boozy beverages, but my favorite is the Painkiller No. 109. It tastes very much like a pina colada, and you don’t even notice the alcohol…well… until you do. Three Dots and a Dash is a popular spot, and they often have a line going. If you want to have a guaranteed spot to sit, you’ll need a reservation. All of their tables are reserved only, and that leaves the dance floor, standing room only, or the potential for a lucky stool snag right up at the bar. When they’re really busy, expect to wait a while for your drink, those fancy garnishes (like a dolphin shaped banana) take a while…but it’s worth the wait.

After “three dots” we hopped in a cab to ride half a mile (hey, it was like 20 degrees out and us girls were in heels!) over to the Godfrey Hotel to hit up IO Godfrey, a rooftop bar. I don’t have a super long and drawn out detailed description about this bar/lounge, but it’s definitely a classy spot, so feel free to don that new dress and your fave pumps, because you don’t want to be underdressed in comparison to the stylish staff. I’ve only been to IO Godfrey a couple of times, but it’s a got a great lounge vibe to sit, sip, and chat. My drink of choice? Their featured cosmo.

Oh wow, I forgot to mention… before hopping into the cab to the Godfrey, the bestie and I found ourselves stopping into the Hubbard Inn. This tavern screamed “bar” and while we were only there briefly, it was packed. With plenty of seating, Hubbard Inn seemed to be a great spot to sit down with a large group of friends sharing rounds of shots and having a cocktail or a beer.

We ended the night at an after hours club called Cuvee. This 5AM club is not a newbie to the River North area, but if you’ve still got some party in you after the 2AM places close, I highly recommend Uber-ing over to Cuvee. This club has tables (reservation only) for bottle service, multiple bars, and plenty of dancing room. The music is loud, so don’t expect to make too much conversation, but the high levels of energy flowed strong into the 4AM hour.

While we ended up at Cuvee, there was initial talk about going to the Underground. Another bottle service club that’s open til 5AM on Saturday nights, their party is often going hard deep into the night. Dress to impress, and pay attention to who’s seated at the tables… you never know who you’ll run into.

To keep this post from getting too long, I’ll switch up my style into an organized list of places to check out in River North by category from bar, to lounge, to club…


Beercade (free! vintage arcade games and bar)

Three Dots & a Dash

Hubbard Inn

Bottled Blonde

Public House

Bull & Bear (sports bar)

El Hefe

Moe’s Cantina


Untitled (classy supper club spot, with a couple great dance floors)

Roof at the Wit Hotel (rooftop lounge)

IO Godfrey

Celeste (bar/lounge)

Mercer 113



Cuvee (popular after hours)

Underground (popular after hours)

Rockit Bar (downstairs is a bar, upstairs is a bottle service club)

Studio Paris

The Mid


Have you ever visited any of these go to places in River North in Chicago? What’s your nightlife style: bar, club, or lounge? Where is your favorite spot in River North?

With Style & Love,



  1. I’m glad you had fun.
    I really don’t like bars and clubs very much….

    never been to Chicago, but I heard there’s a big beach there…that sounds cool.

    that’s a pretty pic of the lights at night.

  2. Thanks for sharing your favorite weekend spots in Chicago! I honestly can’t stay up past 10:30 pm when I’m out and all my friends make fun of me because of it, haha. There have been times when I’ve done a double date and while my hubby and the couples are in an interactive conversation, I’m literally closing my eyes bobbing my head. So our friends know that if we’re gunna grab dinner, we need to be out before 10:30 because they all tap the watch and start laughing. It’s weird because when I’m at home I feel like I can break night. What can I say, I’m like a little old lady, haha! I hope you have an amazing weekend, beautiful, and thanks so much for sharing!



  3. I love the energy of a big city.. I didn’t think I would until I went to train in Toronto. There is so much to do in a big city, bars aren’t my thing anymore because of my age but I’d love all the other options ♡

  4. I have never been to Chicago but it’s on my list, and when I do get there I’ll try some of these places out. They sounds like places I would love! Also I love that you can wear jeans and heels in the city too. I love wearing dresses and skirts but sometimes skinny jeans and high heels is just easier and so much warmer during wintertime!
    Have a lovely Sunday <3

  5. I love this! I have never been to Chicago, but my hubby has been a few times for work. His photos are always stunning and he raves about the city. I can’t wait to visit and hit up some of these spots. I will be referencing this post – and probably hitting you up!!
    xo Annie

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