Saddle up and experience the heartwarming twang of Chicago’s country music scene as we unveil the ultimate guide to the Best Country Bars in the Windy City. Amidst the skyscrapers and urban bustle, Chicago boasts a diverse array of honky-tonks and western-inspired venues that transport patrons to the heart of Nashville. From boot-stomping live performances to whiskey-soaked dance floors, this article navigates the city’s top spots where country music enthusiasts can find an authentic and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re a seasoned cowboy or a city slicker looking for a taste of the South, our curated selection promises an unforgettable journey through Chicago’s vibrant country music culture. Saddle up and let the good times roll.
Bub City, located in River North, is one of the most fun places to go out in the area. I like coming here for their live music nights when the atmosphere is especially buzzing or karaoke nights on Tuesdays where I can show off my skills (if I’ve had a glass of whiskey first)!
Firewater Saloon is a lively bar with an unmistakable country-western theme and delicious Southern grub. If you’re wondering where to get a drink and comfort foods like chicken wings, ribs, and jambalaya, head to the Firewater Saloon near Monument Park. Make sure not to overeat so you can participate in the line dancing at a moment’s notice!
Carol’s Pub, near Chase Park, is one of the best country bars in Chicago because it sticks to its country roots, offering not only live country-western bands but also line dancing and karaoke nights. I’m a fan of its energetic Honky Tonks just as much as its delicious tater tots and bologna sandwich. Experiencing a night out here makes it no surprise this pub has been successfully running since 1973.
The Hideout is an intimate, speakeasy-style establishment in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Don’t let the words “intimate” and “speakeasy” fool you, as the environment is still bouncing on live music nights, and I love going there to dance after sipping on a Negroni.
Joe’s on Weed St., neat The iO Theater, is the perfect place to relax and catch a game after a long day. They have a range of events such as comedy shows, trivia, and college football days, but I like to come for the live music shows, which are usually country themed.
Sundance Saloon is another friendly and energetic live music venue, and it’s located near the Countryside Golf Club. After a Saturday of golfing, you can head up there and line dance the night away to live country bands. One thing I appreciate is that when I’m looking for more casual vibes, I can head to the pool table area for some friendly competition.
Charlie’s Chicago, near Wrigley Field, is a fun place to get drinks for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. I love this western-themed bar because of its various themed nights and events, including but not limited to drag shows, DJ nights, bingo nights, and karaoke nights. The drinks are reasonably priced as well!
Montrose Saloon is a chilled-out live music watering hole in Ravenswood Manor near Horner Park. They have delicious local brews, which I usually go for, as well as well-made standard cocktails. I suggest relaxing on their spacious outdoor patio, perfect for sipping an ice-cold beer in the summertime.
Lastly, I need to mention The Corner Bar, near Holstein Park. It’s not as well-known as some of these other country bars, and that’s perhaps part of its appeal. It’s a cash-only bar where locals meet up to listen to country music and hang out in an easygoing atmosphere. They have an extensive beer list, but I actually highly recommend ordering their delicious Bloody Mary.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 6 reputable blogs and websites, including urbanmatter.com, timeout.com, thechicagotraveler.com, thenashnews.com, countrydancingtonight.com and tripadvisor.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.