Karaoke is always either really good or really bad. We’ve picked out the best.
Picture this. You’re on a night out with some friends, you’ve all probably had a little more to drink than you should have, and your mischievous best friend has just suggested that you should all show off your *amazing* vocals in karaoke. Now, you’re not opposed to the idea, but you don’t want to wind up at some place that’s going to kill the buzz with moody patrons and moodier staff. No, you want a place that’s fun. Well...we’ve got you covered.
Going out to have a good time can be tough when you’re on a budget, and GiftYa understands that. That’s why they’ve established themselves as a premiere company that helps you to buy gift cards that’ll help you pay your way into some of the more obscure places around Chicago. Your next karaoke night just got a whole lot cheaper.
Here are 7 karaoke places for a night out in Chicago:
613 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 | River North | blinddragonchicago.com
The best thing about Blind Dragon is that if you’re on the shier side or you’re worried about having to deal with the negativity of the grouches around you, they actually have private rooms for you to belt out your favorite tunes in.
Their karaoke rooms come in different sizes and you can order different packages with them, but they can usually host up to twenty people. So, whether it’s just a few of you or you’ve gotten the whole crew together, you can have a brilliant time together.
Depending on which package you order, your room may come with one or two punch bowls, as well as a food platter to keep you all energetic for your entire stay in the room.
“Loved the ambiance. We went with a big group for karaoke, and i haven't had that much fun ever at a karaoke place...Definitely would recommend it.” - Yelp Review
643 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60604 | The Loop | brandoschicago.com
Would you love signing up for karaoke to be as simple as walking in, adding your name to a queue, and waiting for your name to be called? Well Brando’s Speakeasy really makes it that easy.
Karaoke open hours usually begin around 6 every night, and all you have to do is walk in, add your name or your group’s name to the kiosk near the door, and wait for your name to be called to go up and rock that stage.
Brando’s is also available for private parties, so you could book the whole place out for a wedding reception if you wanted to!
If anyone in your group likes karaoke, but only in small doses, they have the Cocktail Lounge separated from the main room where you can go to get away from the noise.
“This place has a great relaxing vibe with a ton of great karaoke and friendly patrons who cheer you on. As a visitor and not a regular, I felt so at home here.” - Yelp Review
Address: 3134 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 | Lincoln Park | shoespubchicago.com
If you like regular karaoke that will tell you if it’ll be going on exactly when you get the urge to go out and showcase the strongest vocal chords that Chicago has ever seen, Shoe’s Pub is the place for you.
Every week, they host karaoke on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and it is one of the most fun and supportive experiences you’ll ever have. Grab yourself a brew while you wait for your turn.
And if you see Marty walking around with his camera, give him a big old smile to be featured on Shoe’s website. Once you’ve experienced it once, you’ll be itching to come back to Shoe’s the first chance you get.
“My wife and I came to Shoe's on our wedding night for karaoke, brought half the reception with us. Need i say more? Their karaoke is the best.” - Yelp Review
2201 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616 | Chinatown | no18karaoke.com
We can think of no better combination than Chinatown and karaoke. As a party hotspot in an unexpected place you will have a blast at Chinatown’s first and only karaoke bar. Come join this rave in a 1929 setting.
If you’re looking for a place to let out all of that pent up energy from being at work all week, but where you can also just walk next door to grab a bite to eat when your stomach starts eating itself, No. 18 Karaoke is the place.
Book a private room or join the masses for a huge party out in the main hall. They serve some great snacks, as well as some of the most delicious cocktails in Chinatown.
“Love this place!!! Hands down my favorite karaoke place in the city! We get the medium size room (fits 12 people) with the 3 hours package deal. It was so worth it!! There was plenty of drinks to go around.” - Yelp Review
5400 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 | Andersonville | hamburgermarys.com
While Mary’s doesn’t have karaoke every day of the week, you can find some of the best entertainment in the city on any of the off-days, and if you do come in on a Maryoke day, you will never view karaoke in the same way again.
As one of the best gay bars in all of Chicago, Mary’s attic is host to a true party every day of the week. You might spot a drag show on the main stage, or even some ladies dolled up in drag in the crowds on a karaoke night. And they know how to have a good time.
You can partake in Maryoke on Thursdays, but it only starts at 9. So, if you’re a little early, grab a burger downstairs at Hamburger Mary’s first, and make your way up to the attic when you’re ready.
“It is like someone's attic. . . . if your attic has a full bar and a karaoke stage. And drag queens sometimes randomly roaming thru. Who doesn't' want an attic like that!” - Yelp Review
1659 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 6062 | Wicker Park | louiespub.com
If you want to feel like a star, step on into Louie’s Pub for your karaoke pleasure. Louie’s is host to a digital karaoke system that lets you download whatever song you’d like to force the world to hear tonight.
You can find classics, like Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” or something more obscure like Catfish and the Bottlemen’s “2all” if that’s the song speaking to your soul. All of their microphones are wireless as well, so you can dance as well if you feel the boogie woogie in your bones.
If anyone in your crew is nervous about having to sing in front of everyone all by themself, there’s no need to worry! Louie’s professional jockeys are happy to act as anyone’s backup singers to provide that moral support.
“Best karaoke bar in town! I've sung at every bar in Chicago and finally stumbled upon this gem of a bar 6 years ago. Louie's pub changed my life and has brought me so much fun and joy.” - Yelp Review
4659 N Clark Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 | Uptown | carolschicago.com
Drop by Monday through Saturday to see what new acts are being featured at this dive, and then come in on Sunday to try your own hand at taking the stage. Image courtesy of Carol’s Pub Instagram.
While Carol’s pub is most well-known for their live music from local artists trying to break out into the music industry, they also have a pretty rocking karaoke night every Wednesday starting at 9.
With a western themed decor, you’ll feel a bit like you’ve walked into an old country tavern when you walk through the front doors of this dive, but the music may surprise you - especially on popup karaoke night.
You can enjoy a number of beers and whiskeys while you enjoy the live entertainment that Carol’s offers all week long, and their food isn’t half-bad either. You might’ve just found your new favorite dive.
“So wowed by the new Carol's ! Great and reasonably priced drinks, service and you really feel like a star when you sing karaoke on a real stage. It looks so nice inside!” - Yelp Review
There you have it, the 7 best karaoke joints in Chicago! Grab some friends and get on stage… and let us know how your musical debut went in the comments.