Best Local: Where To Find Authentic Chicago Blues

What better place to sing away your blues than Sweet Home, Chicago?

You really think we’re going to let you skip out on this one? Home to an endless list of musical legends, Chicago is the blues capital of the world; you’ve got to get yourself to a blues club. Ever heard of a guy named Howlin’ Wolf? Perhaps Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon or Buddy Guy? Of course you have. You’re in their sweet home, Chicago.

If You’re Staying At Kingsbury Plaza:
Two of the most well known blues joints in the city are B.L.U.E.S. (2519 N. Halsted St.) and, right across the street, Kingston Mines (2548 N. Halsted St.). The former is a small, always crowded shack filled to the brim with locals and tourists alike. Open since 1979, you’ll find real authentic blues here nightly. The latter option, open until 3a.m. nightly and until 4a.m. on Saturdays, lets you pick between two bands on two stages.

Get There: Get on the 11 Bus headed toward Howard/McCormick at Orleans and Grand. Get off at Fullerton and Halsted/Lincoln and walk north up Halsted. Commute Time: 20 minutes

If You’re Staying At Presidential Towers:
Named after the legend himself, Buddy Guy’s Legends (700 S. Wabash Ave.) is serious about Chicago blues. The joint, serving up southern Cajun soul food and offering any blues-related souvenir under the sun, often sees the great Mr. Guy grace the South Loop stage.

Get There: Hop on the 14 Bus headed toward Stony Island/103rd at Washington and Jefferson. Get off at Balbo and Michigan and head west on E. Balbo to S. Wabash. Commute Time: 25 minutes

If You’re Staying At 180 N. Jefferson:
Though the little, house-like club seems unassuming from the street view, Fitzgerald’s (6615 Roosevelt Rd.) in Berwyn consistently ranks among the top five favorite Chicago venues. Built in the 1920s, Fitzgerald’s hosts a huge range of great live music, great enough to claim praise from Chicago Magazine among others.

Get There: Drive or take a cab down I-90 E/I-94 E, merge into I-290 W. Take the Central Ave. exit, and merge onto W. Flournoy St. Turn left onto S. Central Ave. and right onto W. Roosevelt Rd. Commute Time: 15 minutes

If You’re Staying At Iroquois Club:
You’ll find real blues music authenticity downtown, but suburban Naperville is doing pretty well too. Rosas Lounge (3420 W Armitage Ave.) has plenty of dance floor room for grooving to a variety of live music. Take a break from the blues and try out Frankies’ swing and salsa dancing. For yet another change of pace, get some grubs at Features Bar & Grill and jam to ‘70s and ‘80s tunes at Club Mamalu, both share a roof with Frankie’s.

Get There: Drive east on Iroquois Ave. and take a right into Ogden Ave. Take a left on N. Washington St. and a right onto Chicago Ave. Commute Time: 7 minutes

Chase away your workweek blues and post up at these spots for some foot-tap friendly, juke joint-worthy jam sessions. We want you to catch the blues without feeling blue. Trust us, it won’t be as tricky as it sounds.