The 8 Best Karaoke Bars In Chicago

Chinatown, courtesy of Wikipedia
Chinatown, courtesy of Wikipedia
Photo of Elizabeth Newhart
10 October 2016

Chicago is a city of performers, and it doesn’t discriminate based on talent. If you’re looking for a place to sing along to your favorites all night long, check out our list of the best karaoke spots around town. Whether you want a private room for just you and your crew, or the audience of a packed bar, we’ve highlighted the perfect spots in Chicago for a festive night of fun.

Private Rooms, $$

Lincoln Karaoke – Lincoln Square

This unassuming hotspot has a long-standing reputation as being one of the best karaoke bars in Chicago, but you wouldn’t guess it from its curb appeal. It sits on the far north end of Lincoln Square alongside busy Lincoln Avenue as a part of a tiny, rundown strip mall. At your first visit, you’ll be convinced you’re at the wrong place. But once inside, the place is a maze of long hallways and private rooms to rent for any bachelorette party, birthday or event you can think of. The communal bar counters keep drinks flowing and it’s almost always busy, so make sure to call ahead for weekend reservations.

Lincoln Karaoke, 5526 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL, USA +1 773 895 2299

Chinatown, courtesy of Wikipedia

Chinatown, courtesy of Wikipedia

Sakura Karaoke – Chinatown

Sakura is one of many popular karaoke joints in Chinatown, but it’s arguably the most well-known and well-equipped. It blends a combination of private rooms (ranging from small 8-person to VIP 25-person sizes) and typical bar-and-stage styles of karaoke, so it suits whatever mood you’re in. Bring your next event here and rock out in your own room, or come solo and sing along with strangers on the dance floor. Private rooms come fully decked out with wireless mics and flat screens and are charged hourly ($35-$70). Bar access typically requires a $15 cover, which includes drink tickets.

Sakura, 234 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 326 9168

No. 18 Karaoke – Chinatown

Just across the street from Sakura is No. 18 Karaoke, a more laid-back Chinatown option. It has less of the flash but all of the fun, also offering both private and public rooms for belting your best. No. 18 is also the most economical venue with rented rooms, as you can snag a private one for just $10-$15 an hour before 7pm. Food and drink have moderate pricing, but the place is also above a restaurant and close by to all the neighborhood’s best eats.

No. 18 Karaoke, 2201 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 225 0600

PopKTV Karaoke Lounge – Chinatown

On the north end of Chinatown’s main drag you’ll find PopKTV. It’s on the newer side but has one of the most authentic set-ups in Chicago’s karaoke scene, and their song lists are full of K Pop and Chinese hits as well as American favorites. You can rent private rooms by the hour here but also relax, dance and drink in the main lounge area. It gets packed on the weekends but is open until 2am every night. Bring your friends on a weeknight to truly rule the venue and sing your hearts out.

PopKTV, 2002 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 225 6208

Chinatown, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chinatown, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bar Style, Free

The Original Mother’s – Old Town

It may be a popular spot on Division Street for out-of-towners and overwhelming bachelorette parties, but Mother’s manages to do a lot of things very well. It’s basically split into two spaces —the back bar with an expansive dance floor, VIP couches and club remixes bumping all night long – and the front bar with never-ending karaoke, giant jenga and beer pong tables. Pick your path for the night, or trade-off between the two. The karaoke is free, you can pick almost any song you can think of, and they welcome single stars, group acts and repeat performers. But it’s often packed, so be prepared to wait awhile for your turn.

The Original Mother’s, 26 W Division St, Chicago, IL, USA +1 312 642 7251

Clark/Division station in Old Town, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Clark/Division station in Old Town, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Trader Todd’s – Lakeview

Bar, Seafood, $$$
Trader Todd’s in Lakeview is definitely not an outpost of your local hipster grocery store, but after a couple beers and a rendition of Don’t Stop Believing, it’s easy to get confused. This cozy tropical-themed bar off Belmont Avenue has the comfort of a local dive but enough pizzazz to keep it buzzing. Come here to watch a Cubs game, knock back a few colorful cocktails and top off the evening with a song or two. Their karaoke stage is small, but powerful – and the singing doesn’t start until 7:30pm daily, so you can squeeze in a tasty dinner before all the wailing starts.

Sidekicks – Irving Park

Bar, Pub Grub
Sidekicks has the sort of laidback, old-school feel that perfectly suits its clientele and atmosphere— it’s still a cash-only bar. Expect a slightly older crowd out west in Irving Park, but one that definitively knows how to party. The karaoke happens nightly starting at 8pm, but you can pass the time until then working on your dart skills in their state-of-the-art darts room. It’s used for everyday patrons as well as more serious league play. They also have a long menu of classic pub grub, making it the perfect new place for you to lose track of time this weekend.

Alice’s Lounge – Avondale

Alice’s is the epitome of a late-night karaoke joint in Chicago. The singing doesn’t get started until 11pm Wednesday-Saturday, once everyone has pumped themselves full of liquid courage to hit those high notes. It also stays open until 5am on Saturday nights and 4am for the rest of the week, so you can croon here later than anywhere else in the city. They have an easy-going vibe, and the place is still run by original owners Alice and Frank.

Alice’s Lounge, 3556 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL, USA +1 773 279 9382

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