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Where to Go Salsa Dancing (Almost) Every Night in Chicago

Anya Brodech is a professional salsa, Latin, swing, and ballroom dance teacher in Oakland, CA.


Here is a brief list of all of the current salsa dance nights that are going on in Chicago. They change from week to week, so double check that the event is going to be held before you go, just in case. I recommend calling the venue directly or contacting the promoter/event host to confirm, because sometimes even regular events get canceled due to special programming, etc.

Below, I've provided basic information about location, admission, age requirements, event host, and times, but feel free to check on Facebook for more event details and the most up-to-date information. This is not an exhaustive list; salsa events are always popping up, but they don't always last. Sometimes events are canceled for a certain period, but then they start up again, so always check before you go!

Note: This list was last updated on August 9th, 2017, but the programs change often. Before leaving home, always make sure the event has not been canceled or moved to another venue. You should also be aware that not all events are hosted every week or every month. This author is not responsible for any inaccuracies or event changes/cancellations.

There are currently no salsa events on Mondays.

There are currently no salsa events on Mondays.


Alhambra Palace (West Loop)

Glendora House (Southwest Suburbs/Willow Springs)

Patron's Hacienda (River North)

Lalo's Mexican Restaurant (University Village)

Bar 145 (Mount Prospect)

Palm Court at the Drake Hotel (Gold Coast, Downtown)

Tropical Ritmo at Rio Chicago (Downtown)

Salsa at the Promontory (Hyde Park)

Esteban's Dining and Dancing (Naperville)

La Taberna Tapas Restaurant (University Village)

PL Lounge (South Old Irving Park)

Nacional 27 (River North)


The Foundry (Aurora)

Dylan's Tavern and Grill (Downtown)

The Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville)

Congas (Northwest Chicago)

Entre Bar and Grill (Schamburg)

Nacional 27 (River North)

Congas (by O'Hare Airport)

Lalo's (University Village)

Esteban's Dining & Dancing (Naperville)

Esteban's Dining and Dancing (Naperville)

Nacional 27 (River North)

Dylan's Tavern and Grill (Downtown)



Alhambra Palace

  • Hosted by Angelo Prieto (promoter and DJ)
  • 7:30 pm to 8:15 pm: Kizomba class by Ken Amorio from Latin Rhythms
  • 8:15 pm to 9:00 pm: salsa, bachata, or cha-cha class by Amy Tsai from Latin Rhythms
  • Live band nights will have a higher cover charge for both types of admission. Check ahead.
  • Free street parking up and down Randolph and nearby side streets. Just look at the signs first because some of them restrict parking. Valet parking is also available.
  • 21+ to enter
  • Admission: Reduced price of $7 if you RSVP online, $12 regular admission at the door
  • Address: 1240 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Note: Esteban's Dining and Dancing in Naperville is no longer hosting Salsa on Tuesday nights. They are now hosting dancing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights instead. This information is current as of June 13, 2017. However, this may change, so stay in touch with them in case they decide to bring it back.

Review of Salsa Tuesdays at Alhambra Palace

Alhambra Palace Restaurant is one of my favorite salsa venues simply because of the atmosphere. Located on Randolph Street in the West Loop, Alhambra boasts a luxurious and spacious interior that is styled after the original Moorish Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Recently renovated, the dance floor is ample compared to most other downtown venues, making for a smooth and pleasurable dancing experience. Alhambra is one of the most upscale salsa places in Chicago and is definitely one of the biggest in terms of the crowd it draws.

Overall, there is a consistently high proportion of skilled dancers that attend Alhambra Tuesdays, but don’t let that discourage you from going if you are still a beginner! The ambiance is sensual and exotic, reminding me of Arabian Nights. Usually, there is a DJ, but sometimes there is a live band that plays. Although though the music is excellent, it can get very loud sometimes. The drinks are all quite good and there are a lot of seating areas surrounding the dance floor.

Most people tend to arrive around 10:00 pm in order to make the cut-off, but I recommend arriving earlier so that you can find a nearby parking spot on the street as well as a desirable seat close to the dance floor. Even if you are not dancing, you will be sure to have a spectacular time enjoying a delicious drink, soaking in the atmosphere, listening to exciting music, and admiring all of the beautiful dancing. Add Alhambra to your weekly schedule and you will forget that it is only Tuesday night and not the weekend already!

Outside view of Alhambra Palace Restaurant

Outside view of Alhambra Palace Restaurant

Inside Alhambra Palace, with a view of the dance floor as seen from the stage. Gorgeous, isn't it?!

Inside Alhambra Palace, with a view of the dance floor as seen from the stage. Gorgeous, isn't it?!


Latin Wednesdays at the Glendora

  • Hosted by the studio "May I Have This Dance"
  • Doors open at 7:00 pm
  • 7:30 pm: dance lessons by Chicago's best, May I Have This Dance (Amanda, Nino, Brenda, Denita, and more!)
  • 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm: open dancing to the hottest salsa, mambo, bachata, cha-cha, merengue, cumbia, rumba, and more with Edgar, Mambo King, and Marroquin.
  • Huge 5,000 sq ft gleaming wood dance floor!
  • Free parking in a huge lot!
  • Full bar, cash only.
  • All ages welcome but must be 21+ to drink
  • Admission: $12 all night, cash only
  • Address: 10225 Harlem Ave, Chicago Ridge, IL 60415, just 7 minutes away from the old Willowbrook Ballroom

Note: This event used to be held at the Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs, IL until October 2016, when it tragically burned down in a fire. Fortunately, the ballroom is going to be rebuilt as a new, larger dance complex. I recommend keeping an eye on the news for updates about what will happen to Willowbrook Ballroom.

Lalo's Mexican Restaurant

  • Lesson from 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm, then open dancing until 2:00 am.
  • Free parking outside
  • 21+ to enter
  • Admission: free
  • Address: 733 W Maxwell St, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Soiree de Salsa Wednesdays at Palm Court Drake Hotel

  • First and third Wednesday of every month
  • Hosted by DJ Prieto
  • From 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm
  • Free salsa lesson from 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm by Mixed Motion Arts Teachers
  • Admission: $20 (includes 2 drink tickets)
  • Address: 140 East Walton Pl, Chicago, Illinois 60610

Hot On 1 Salsa Wednesdays at La Taberna Tapas

  • Hosted by Rico No Suave Mangram and Carlos Guate DJ
  • Salsa class by Rico from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm for $7
  • Telephone: (312) 243-9980
  • Address: 1301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL, 60607

Note: Some readers have pointed out to me that this event is on-again, off-again depending on Rick's schedule. I recommend calling the restaurant and/or checking Rick's Facebook page ahead of time to find out if the event is going to be held before you make plans or go there.

South Side Salsa at The Promontory

  • Located on the South Side of Chicago in Hyde Park
  • Held on the third Wednesday of every month
  • Hosted by U of C Ballroom and Latin Dance Association and El Caobo
  • Lesson from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, then open dancing until midnight
  • 18+ to enter
  • Admission: free
  • Website
  • Address: 5311 S. Lake Park Ave, Chicago, IL, 60615


Terrific Tropical Thursdays at the Harvest Moon

  • Presented by Angelo Prieto of 4 Fantastic Events
  • Held first Thursday of every month with a live salsa band
  • 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm: happy hour drink specials
  • 7:30 pm to 1:00 am: salsa/bachata/cha-cha/merengue music
  • 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: live Latin mixing by DJ FREDDY FRESH
  • 8:15 pm to 9:00 pm: free salsa lesson by Angelo Prieto
  • 10:00 pm to 1:00 am: live Latin mixing by DJ FRANKIE J.
  • Admission: free
  • Address: 1805 West Division Street, Chicago, Illinois, IL, 60622

Bachata Thursdays at Esteban's

  • 1,200+ sq ft dance floor
  • Doors open at 7:00 pm
  • 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm: lesson with Lynda White
  • 9:00 pm: open dancing with DJ Jr. Lopez from Radio 93.5
  • Address: 1550 N Rt. 59, Naperville, IL

Note: Salsa/Latin dancing used to be run on Tuesdays by Cinnamon Trammell, but he has been replaced by Lynda White.

Live Salsa Music at PL Lounge

  • Every Thursday
  • Live salsa band, Papi Santiago, starts playing around 10:30 pm and does two sets
  • 21+ to enter
  • Admission: free
  • Address: 3456 N Pulaski, Chicago, IL, 60641


Tropical Fridays at Congas

  • Music by DJ Carlos Guate
  • Event from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am
  • Admission: $5 cover all night
  • Address: 7021 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60656

Note: There used to be a salsa class taught by Rick Mangram, and a bachata class taught by Jorge Melo, but both have been canceled. Now there are no more lessons, just a DJ and open dancing.

Note: Sometimes there is live music, and admission is $10 instead, so check ahead of time to see if that is the case.

Salsa Friday's at Dylan's Tavern & Grill

  • Hosted by Angelo Prieto
  • Music by DJ Angelo Prieto & DJ Frankie J
  • 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm: salsa class with Amy Tsai
  • Live band occasionally (check Facebook event page for details)
  • Website
  • 21+ to enter
  • Admission: free for everyone before 9:30 pm, then $5 for the rest of the night
  • Metered street parking outside (free after 9:00 pm)
  • Address: 118 S Clinton St, Chicago, Illinois 60661 (down the street from Union Station)

Sultry Salsa Nights at the Foundry

  • Hosted by Jed Walker
  • Event from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am
  • Check the Facebook page for updated event information
  • Telephone: (630) 251-3906
  • Address: 85 Executive Dr, Aurora, Illinois, IL 60504

Nacional 27

  • Open dancing only, no lesson, from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am
  • More of club style night, not sure how many serious dancers, but good if you want to party and drink to different kinds of Latin music
  • Admission: free for women all night long
  • Website
  • Address: 325 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654

Lalo's Mexican Restaurant

  • Live Mariachi band from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, then DJ Alex Perez & open dancing from 10:00 pm until 2:00 am.
  • Free parking outside
  • Once again, not sure exactly how many serious dancers there will be Friday nights
  • 21+ to enter
  • Admission: free
  • Website (click "musica en vivo")
  • Address: 733 W Maxwell St, Chicago, Illinois 60607



  • Live Band or music by DJ Carlos Guate
  • Open dancing starts at 10:00 pm, no lesson
  • Admission: $10 if there is a live band
  • Address: 7021 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60656

Salsa Party Saturdays at Dylan's Tavern & Grill

  • Hosted by Angelo Prieto
  • Music by DJ Angelo Prieto & DJ Frankie J
  • 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm: salsa class with Amy Tsai
  • 21+ to enter
  • Admission: free for everyone before 9:30 pm, then $5 for the rest of the night
  • Metered street parking outside (free after 9:00 pm)
  • Live band occasionally (check Facebook event page for details)
  • Address: 118 S Clinton St, Chicago, Illinois 60661 (down the street from Union Station)

Salsa Saturdays at Esteban's Dining and Dancing

  • Doors open 6:00 pm
  • 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm: lesson with Cinnamon
  • 10:00 pm: open dancing with DJ Vampiro/DJ Saffiro/Live band
  • Free entry with purchase of dinner entrée (available from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm)
  • Admission: $10 cover charge with no dinner reservation
  • Address: 1550 N Rt. 59, Naperville, IL


The Cubby Bear

  • Hosted by Latin Street Dance Studio
  • Lesson from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, then open dancing until 2am
  • Live band at 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm every week (unless there is a special event)
  • 21+ to enter
  • Free lot available next to it with an entrance in the back, and street parking nearby
  • Admission: $10 (unless you RSVP and enter online for free admission before 9:00 pm)
  • Address: 1059 West Addison, Chicago, Illinois 60613 (in Wrigleyville)

Salsa Night at Congas (new event)

  • No lesson, only dancing. Music by DJ Jesus Castro
  • This is a new event that just started summer 2017. Check their Facebook page or website, or contact the venue directly to confirm that this event hasn't been canceled.
  • Admission: free
  • Address: 7021 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, IL, 60656

Sunday Night Salsa Hotspot: The Cubby Bear

I don't know what it is about this place, but the Chicago salsa community has claimed the Cubby Bear for dancing on Sunday nights. The floors are obnoxiously sticky, and there is always a battle for a place to sit down, but the place is always packed! All of the best salsa dancers make Cubby Bear their Sunday night go-to and there is never a shortage of people to dance with. I should also add that the live band always plays great music that lets you take your dancing to the next level. The evening is hosted by Latin Street, one of the major salsa dance studios of Chicago and rival to Latin Rhythms.

If you are planning to add the Cubby Bear to your dancing destination list, here are some helpful tips and information:

  • Get on the guest list for free/reduced admission before 9:30 pm.
  • There is a free parking lot located right next to Cubby Bear, but it fills up quick, usually before 9:30 pm, so make sure you get there early. It's a little tricky to get into (you have to circle around the back and enter in from W. Eddy Street). If the parking lot is full by the time you get there, there is some hope of finding street parking, but read the signs so you don't get towed.
  • For those of you who dance, you know that it is always summer when you salsa, regardless of the weather outside. It gets ridiculously hot inside, so make sure you wear something light-weight and seriously consider bringing a change of clothes so you don't subject your partners to your sweatiness. And yes, I am 100% serious about the heat.
  • Get there early to claim a table for yourself because there are very few places to sit down. Keep in mind that people will try to steal your chair over the course of the evening, so make sure you put your stuff on the table to mark your territory.
  • There is a lesson from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm that usually doesn't start or finish when it's supposed to. I'm an advanced dancer so I don't go to the lesson, but it's something that I would recommend.

Like any dance event that is held in a bar or restaurant, there will always be non-dancers and random people drinking heavily, so keep an eye out for them. Also, check the calendar to make sure that there is going to be salsa that night and not something else.

Regarding the crowd, there is a lot of overlap between The Cubby Bear and other downtown salsa places like Alhambra and Dylan's (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, respectively). I definitely recommend The Cubby Bear for all salsa dancers, especially intermediate/advanced ones. The floor is really sticky though, so it does pose some mobility issues when you are dancing and you will have to scrape off the bottom of your shoes at the end of the night. There are attendants in the restrooms, which is a nice touch. About the quality and prices of the drinks, I'm not too sure because I don't drink when I'm dancing, but it's nothing high-end considering how it is a casual sports bar. I should add that the music is extremely loud, so it's borderline impossible to have a conversation with the person next to you.

Overall, I have to say that Cubby Bear is one of the last places I expected to be a salsa hotspot, but it is clear that the people who go there truly love to dance and know how to have a great time.

Author's Note: Thank You to Contributors!

I would like to thank Angelo, Dora, Rick, Nancy, Jay, Mark, Tanya, Ed and all of my other wonderful friends from dance who told me about all of these places and/or went with me and helped me learn more about these venues. Thank you for your help!!!!

© 2013 Anya Brodech


Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on September 01, 2019:

Thank you for the update

Michelle on August 30, 2019:

Esteban's has been closed for quite some time, like almost 2 years.

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on April 19, 2019:

Ok that’s something new. When I moved from Chicago in 2014, on-2 was not a thing. Thanks for the suggestion

joan h on April 18, 2019:

Many of us in Chicago dance on "2" Mambo revival is every other Sunday and it is mostly on 2 dancers. Latin Rhythms studio has a social every other Saturday and some dance on 2 there as well.

K on March 23, 2019:

ahh i love dylan’s! thank you so much for putting this together, anya!

Jada on March 01, 2019:

Can you do one of these for bachata in Chicago this is amazing.

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on November 28, 2017:

Thanks for the update.

Vitaliy on November 03, 2017:

Please add Dylan's to Friday section. They play mostly salsa with some bachata, cha cha cha, and cumbia sprinkled in. With an occasional merengue.

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on September 16, 2017:

Ok, thank you for letting me know

Tesseract on September 15, 2017:

Dylan's has salsa on BOTH Friday and Saturday nights! $5 cover

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on January 17, 2017:

Thank you for the update!

PhilC on January 16, 2017:

Hi Anya:

No more Salsa on Wed at the Drake until at least March, 17. Also, the Hard Rock Hotel/Café has discontinued their monthly Salsa events.

Fazi on December 21, 2016:

HI, Tried finding some information on Clubs outside of Chicago in suburbs as its a gruling ride alone from Gurnee to Downtown or even to the city.

This site is the first that really had very good information, timing, style, diretion, views and info that was so complete.

I am very happy i found it and i have now book marked it, i am louwsy dancer but have been to several latin contries and my last lession was from salbor cubano over in Tegucigalpa-Honduras who tried frutlessly but i did saw some jaw droping dancers at his place and he sings with the band too.

I enjoy just looking at people and listening to music and there use to be place called As es Columbia on Foster or Perterson that seems to be have gone that i hanged out many many years ago, now its hard to find good latin Music places in chicago, so atleast this guide helps you out a bit.

Thanks very much

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on May 15, 2015:

Alright, well at the time of writing they did. It's good that you called because some salsa events do get cancelled or discontinued. Thank you for letting me know!


boricuasoprano on May 15, 2015:

To the author: I just called Park Tavern Chicago, and they do not have salsa dancing.

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on December 06, 2014:

Hi Ollie, I'm sorry that you didn't have a good time dancing at Dylan's. I moved to California in April, so I haven't been there since last winter. I still have plenty of friends that go there every week who seem to enjoy it. I'm also friends with the DJs and they always tell me that it's good there. i guess that the place has changed and I will admit that salsa people in Chicago can be cliquey. The most cliquiest place I've been to so far was Latin Rhythms, but that's a dance studio so that's a little different. It takes some time to get to know people and have them get used to you, so just try to be as friendly as possible. I'm a girl, so my situation is a little different.

I know the DJs have a habit of mixing three songs of the same dance together and people tend to stay together until it ends.

If you want good dancing, I recommend Alhambra Palace and Cubby Bear. There's a lot of good dancers there consistently and I don't think that those places have changed.

Salsa in the winter in Chicago is rough because a lot of people are sick, out of town, or hiding at home from the terrible weather.

I'm surprised that you bring up Cuban salsa because Chicago is strictly On-1 and I don't think anybody knows Cuban salsa. People in Chicago love to dance salsa, but they're not as regular or consistent about it as they are in other cities because the weather is a significantly limiting factor.

There's also the Hard Rock Cafe which has salsa on Saturday nights hosted by Latin Street, which I personally haven't gone to, but would definitely like to try.

Ollie on December 05, 2014:

I have been dancing Salsa for ten years and danced in around ten different countries. Had my worst ever salsa night in Chicago, Dylan's.

People were very coupley. The best women won't dance with you unless they know you are good. I was one of the best dances in the club but didn't really get a dance,.

Most couples dance three dances together so takes them ages to change round. They play a Mexican dance tracks and not just one but three of them consecutively.

If this is salsa in Chicago avoid it.

I hope I calm down in the morning but right now if I were to meet a salsa dancer from Chicago on the floor somewhere I would turn my back and run the other way.

I hope you find Chicago salsa more welcoming than I did. I would have more fun dancing with polar bears. Oh to top,it all they can't mix Cuban with cross body so go pure on them. Never had that anywhere else. Not one Cuban move on them!!

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on September 20, 2014:

Kim, I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my hub and find it useful! I'm flattered to know that it'll be used as a guide in real life! Thanks!


Anya Brodech

Anya Brodech (author) from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on July 23, 2014:

Salsa is on 1 in Chicago, New York style is on 2

Tobi on July 23, 2014:

Hey this is tobi from Germany,

i will be in Chicago in November/December. i have to do some business in town. anyway, i want to go out and dance salsa. i am dancing now for 10 years salsa cubana. what is the style in chicago? l.a. or cuban? especially in Dylan's Tavern and Grill, because i will arrive on friday.

thank you


ocfireflies from North Carolina on June 21, 2014:


This is an awesome hub. I have never been to Chicago, but if I did, I would want to take a copy of this hub with me.

V+ Thank You!

ocfireflies aka Kim