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Sakura Karaoke
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15 Top Karaoke Bars in Chicago to Belt Out A Tune, 2017 Edition

Whether in an Asian-style private room or a tavern with open mics, they're all here

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Whether you're a nervous karaoke newbie or you sing in public regularly, Chicago is home to many great bars to exercise your singing voice either by yourself or with a group of friends. Most of these spots fall into two categories: Private-room karaoke-focused establishments you book by the hour (or longer) with a group, or neighborhood bars that offer karaoke where you put your name on a list and sing in front of everyone there.

Most of the latter — the neighborhood taverns with open mics — lie on the north and northwest sides. Private room karaoke lounges are numerous in Chinatown and the surrounding areas, as well as the far northwest side neighborhoods of Rogers Park, Uptown, and nearby. So whether you're confident (or drunk) enough to flex your vocal chords in a packed bar or prefer to sing in privacy with your close friends, check out 15 of Chicago's best karaoke bars below.

Did we miss your favorite karaoke bar? Let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Lincoln Karaoke

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Head to an unassuming neon-lit storefront in a strip mall on the outskirts of Lincoln Square for the best private-room karaoke on the north side. The interior is no-frills, the drinks are cheap, sometimes warm and include mini bottles of Korean wine, the food is fried. Hourly rates for groups of all sizes run from $30-50.

Sakura Karaoke

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Chinatown is Chicago's mecca for private-room karaoke, but Sakura actually has a scene at the main bar that feels like an actual bar scene. The longtime subterranean spot on Cermak is dim and almost divey, includes a stage in the gently neon-lit main room, a full beverage menu with bottle service that's cheaper than others, and unveiled an expansion that doubled its size. Private rooms cost between $30 and $50 per hour.

Louie's Pub

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Like many north side bars that specialize in karaoke, Louie's Pub on North and Paulina is a neighborhood bar that changes from snoozefest to mob scene when karaoke kicks off at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays. There's a long main front bar and a back room, with a karaoke booth in the middle where "karaoke jockeys" play songs that tipsy revelers sing using wireless mics. Look for crowds of people spilling onto the sidewalk.

Hidden Cove

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This time-warp just north of the Lincoln Square strip turns into a divey hall of karaoke seven nights a week. One large main room features a large dancefloor, wood-paneled walls, old-school tube TVs, and maybe cardboard cutouts of Corona models and Dos Equis ads. And it's a 4 a.m. bar.

Shoes Pub

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This divey Lincoln Park bar has unique character that belies its upscale location. Raucous and loud, it's one main room where locals, DePaul students and travelers loudly sing karaoke standards deep into the night on Fridays and Saturdays and munch on free popcorn. Also of note: Cocoa crispy bombs, (sometimes) angry bartenders, and comedy open mic nights.

Trader Todd's

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How many karaoke bars are affiliated with Ogre from "Revenge of the Nerds" AND have a free trolley to and from Wrigley Field? This Florida-imported island-themed karaoke bar has a neon sign inside proclaiming it "Chicago's best karaoke bar," and it gets raucous many nights due to the sugary drink-fueled masses and karaoke that brings out the best of the amateur voices in Lakeview.

Brando's Speakeasy

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Brando's may be the best-kept secret in the South Loop, and this 1920s-themed spot with red velvet curtains has on-demand and planned karaoke in addition to DJs spinning classic soul, comfortable couches, and cheap drink specials.

Alice's Lounge

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This large neighborhood tavern near the Belmont Blue Line stop in Avondale transforms from a dive where you may have to be buzzed in during the day into a packed karaoke mecca at night for a mix of young and old singers.

No. 18 Karaoke

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One of Chinatown's newest private-room karaoke clubs, accessed through a staircase inside Little Lamb Hot Pot on Cermak and Wentworth, draws a young crowd to a neon-lit clubby space to sing American and Asian pop. Of particular note is the large food menu including Mongolian barbecue, snacks, noodle soups and other Chinese dishes, a big beverage selection featuring Chinese liquor and bottle service, and free drinking games. Also of note: Private rooms are only available in four-hour increments, running from $120-300.

Spyners Pub

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This classic, divey tavern in the heart of Lincoln Square draws an eclectic crowd of neighborhoodites, lesbians, and amateur singers for karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights, cheap drink specials, free pool and free popcorn.

Daniel Gerzina

Sidekicks

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Another Chicago neighborhood gem, Sidekicks is a cavernous, longtime working-class 4 a.m. bar in Irving Park specializing in karaoke. Look for a food window selling pizza and more, a mullet-adorned woman with a tray of test-tube shots, wood-paneled interior, many dartboards, and a stage and karaoke DJ booth with lots of classic rock, country and pop music.

15/20 Lounge

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Want to sing karaoke in a nightclub on the outskirts of Chinatown? This loud, loungey neon-lit nightclub has private rooms, an eclectic crowd of young and old, decently-priced drinks, and a food menu offering Asian-themed bar snacks such as "Everything on a Stick," "Ham and Egg Instant Noodles," and a "Fatty Beef Bao Sandwich."

Wonfun & 2fun

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The hot new bi-level Sichuan Chinese restaurant and bar from Hogsalt protege Austin Baker is more than another Randolph Restaurant Row destination for food and drink — it also houses one of the top up-and-coming karaoke options in town at the large red-lit bar space upstairs. It's only on Tuesday nights (for now), but dim sum carts, great cocktails, and an industry crowd make it destination-worthy for any food and drink enthusiast that also enjoys belting out a tune.

Marc Much

Lan's Old Town

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Right off the Sedgwick CTA Brown Line stop, Lan’s is known more for its party atmosphere than its Chinese-American food. It’s a rare BYO karaoke spot, so grab a mic and prepare to perform while other guests dig into their egg rolls. They know how to throw a party here in Old Town, and they go hard.

Courtesy of Lan's Old Town

Another clubby and popular karaoke lounge lies beneath a neon-filled second floor on the southeast corner of Chinatown square. Test your voice in either the open lounge or a private room (prices start at $48), snack on Chinese chicken wings and sip a cocktail beginning at 2 p.m. every day of the week.

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Lincoln Karaoke

Head to an unassuming neon-lit storefront in a strip mall on the outskirts of Lincoln Square for the best private-room karaoke on the north side. The interior is no-frills, the drinks are cheap, sometimes warm and include mini bottles of Korean wine, the food is fried. Hourly rates for groups of all sizes run from $30-50.

Sakura Karaoke

Chinatown is Chicago's mecca for private-room karaoke, but Sakura actually has a scene at the main bar that feels like an actual bar scene. The longtime subterranean spot on Cermak is dim and almost divey, includes a stage in the gently neon-lit main room, a full beverage menu with bottle service that's cheaper than others, and unveiled an expansion that doubled its size. Private rooms cost between $30 and $50 per hour.

Louie's Pub

Like many north side bars that specialize in karaoke, Louie's Pub on North and Paulina is a neighborhood bar that changes from snoozefest to mob scene when karaoke kicks off at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays. There's a long main front bar and a back room, with a karaoke booth in the middle where "karaoke jockeys" play songs that tipsy revelers sing using wireless mics. Look for crowds of people spilling onto the sidewalk.

Hidden Cove

This time-warp just north of the Lincoln Square strip turns into a divey hall of karaoke seven nights a week. One large main room features a large dancefloor, wood-paneled walls, old-school tube TVs, and maybe cardboard cutouts of Corona models and Dos Equis ads. And it's a 4 a.m. bar.

Shoes Pub

This divey Lincoln Park bar has unique character that belies its upscale location. Raucous and loud, it's one main room where locals, DePaul students and travelers loudly sing karaoke standards deep into the night on Fridays and Saturdays and munch on free popcorn. Also of note: Cocoa crispy bombs, (sometimes) angry bartenders, and comedy open mic nights.

Trader Todd's

How many karaoke bars are affiliated with Ogre from "Revenge of the Nerds" AND have a free trolley to and from Wrigley Field? This Florida-imported island-themed karaoke bar has a neon sign inside proclaiming it "Chicago's best karaoke bar," and it gets raucous many nights due to the sugary drink-fueled masses and karaoke that brings out the best of the amateur voices in Lakeview.

Brando's Speakeasy

Brando's may be the best-kept secret in the South Loop, and this 1920s-themed spot with red velvet curtains has on-demand and planned karaoke in addition to DJs spinning classic soul, comfortable couches, and cheap drink specials.

Alice's Lounge

This large neighborhood tavern near the Belmont Blue Line stop in Avondale transforms from a dive where you may have to be buzzed in during the day into a packed karaoke mecca at night for a mix of young and old singers.

No. 18 Karaoke

One of Chinatown's newest private-room karaoke clubs, accessed through a staircase inside Little Lamb Hot Pot on Cermak and Wentworth, draws a young crowd to a neon-lit clubby space to sing American and Asian pop. Of particular note is the large food menu including Mongolian barbecue, snacks, noodle soups and other Chinese dishes, a big beverage selection featuring Chinese liquor and bottle service, and free drinking games. Also of note: Private rooms are only available in four-hour increments, running from $120-300.

Spyners Pub

Daniel Gerzina

This classic, divey tavern in the heart of Lincoln Square draws an eclectic crowd of neighborhoodites, lesbians, and amateur singers for karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights, cheap drink specials, free pool and free popcorn.

Daniel Gerzina

Sidekicks

Another Chicago neighborhood gem, Sidekicks is a cavernous, longtime working-class 4 a.m. bar in Irving Park specializing in karaoke. Look for a food window selling pizza and more, a mullet-adorned woman with a tray of test-tube shots, wood-paneled interior, many dartboards, and a stage and karaoke DJ booth with lots of classic rock, country and pop music.

15/20 Lounge

Want to sing karaoke in a nightclub on the outskirts of Chinatown? This loud, loungey neon-lit nightclub has private rooms, an eclectic crowd of young and old, decently-priced drinks, and a food menu offering Asian-themed bar snacks such as "Everything on a Stick," "Ham and Egg Instant Noodles," and a "Fatty Beef Bao Sandwich."

Wonfun & 2fun

Marc Much

The hot new bi-level Sichuan Chinese restaurant and bar from Hogsalt protege Austin Baker is more than another Randolph Restaurant Row destination for food and drink — it also houses one of the top up-and-coming karaoke options in town at the large red-lit bar space upstairs. It's only on Tuesday nights (for now), but dim sum carts, great cocktails, and an industry crowd make it destination-worthy for any food and drink enthusiast that also enjoys belting out a tune.