Sing It! The Best Karaoke Bars In Town

the best karaoke in chicago
Photo via Sakura Karaoke Lounge.
Some people are born with it. They can hit all of Mariah Carey’s high notes, spit rhymes like Jay-Z, and gyrate like Britney. For the rest of us mere mortals with monotone voices and embarrassing go-to dance moves, there's still hope that we can sparkle in the limelight—with karaoke. Whether you need a few specially mixed cocktails to throw back before hitting the stage and transforming into Beyoncé, or prefer a more private affair à la Lost In Translation, we've got everything you need right here in Chicago, auto-tune not included.

Sakura Karaoke Lounge

If you’re going to act like a diva, you need a venue to match. With white leather couches, sweet lychee martinis, dim sum, and private VIP rooms, Sakura Lounge is the anti-dive bar. Take the girls to this Chinatown club and sing the night away under laser lights and disco balls. And please plan your outfit accordingly. Song of choice: Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." Channel your inner Harajuku.
Sakura Karaoke Lounge, 234 West Cermak Road (at Archer Avenue); 312-326-9168.


Rory Lake’s Karaoke Dreams

This Bucktown joint is so small and cozy that you’ll feel like you’re back in your parents' basement. Instead of your mother screaming at you to quit it with the Michael Jackson renditions, you’ll find Rory Lake, the friendly owner and house DJ. The bar supports non-profit organization the American Legion, so even if you tank, you’ll know you did it for a good cause. Song of choice: "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Basements still make you frisky. American Legion FDR Post 923, 1824 West Cortland Street (at Honore Street); 773-278-0093.

Lincoln Karaoke

Sometimes we need a little privacy. Lincoln Karaoke takes reservations and offers the intimacy and comfort of your own karaoke room. Perfect for bachelorette parties, birthday bashes, and extremely awkward corporate bonding events. Song of choice: Def Leppard's "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye. Make use of that expensive private room. Lincoln Karaoke, 6625 North Lincoln Avenue (at Rockwell Street), 773-895-2299.

Mary’s Attic
Belt your heart out at this gay-friendly Andersonville bar on Wednesdays and Sundays. After you kick back some Mary’s Blonde Bombshell organic golden ale, grab the mic and steal the spotlight with a body-shaking power ballad. This bar and restaurant also knows how to celebrate a good holiday. New Years Eve, Halloween, and every holiday in-between have met their match at Mary's. Nervous about singing solo? Come here on Tuesdays for Glee sing-alongs. Song of choice: "Don’t Rain On My Parade," à la Babs in Funny Girl.
Mary's Attic, 5400 North Clark Street (at Balmoral Avenue); 773-784-6969.

Trader Todd’s
Celebrate the start of summer at this tropical-themed karaoke bar. Cocktails named the Naked Jamaican and the Shark Attack will put you in the mood to sing one of the more than 10 thousand songs in Trader Todd’s exhaustive catalog. Little secret: If your friends force you to take the stage, sign up for “Tequila” by the Champs. There are only three spoken words in the entire song: tequila, tequila, tequila. You can hide in the beer garden after you’re finished, we won't give up your location. Song of choice: "Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jimmy Buffett. You’re living the dream. Trader Todd's, 3216 North Sheffield Avenue (North of Belmont Avenue); 773-348-3250.


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