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Where to Go Out Salsa Dancing in Chicago Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Nights

Updated on June 28, 2017
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Anya Brodech is from Chicago and has been ballroom dancing for 10 years. Check out her website anyabrodechdance.com for more information!

Where to Go Dancing Everyday of the Week in Chicago

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 make sure you 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 that the event is still being held before you go, because sometimes even regular events get canceled due to special events, etc. 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 cancelled for a certain period of time but then they start up again, so always check!

THIS LIST IS CURRENT, UPDATED AS OF Tuesday, June 13, 2017. ALWAYS CHECK WITH EVENT HOST BEFORE GOING TO MAKE SURE EVENT HAS NOT BEEN CANCELLED OR MOVED TO ANOTHER VENUE. NOT ALL EVENTS ARE HOSTED EVERY WEEK OR EVERY MONTH. The author is not responsible for any inaccuracies or event changes/cancellations.

  • Mondays: Patron's Hacienda (River North)
  • Tuesdays: Alhambra Palace (West Loop)
  • Wednesdays: Glendora House (Southwest Suburbs/Willow Springs), Lalo's Mexican Restaurant in University Village, Palm Court at the Drake Hotel (Gold Coast- Downtown Chicago), Salsa at the Promontory (Hyde Park), La Taberna Tapas Restaurant (University Village), Nacional 27 (River North)
  • Thursdays: Patron's Hacienda (River North), Bar 145 (Mount Prospect), Tropical Ritmo Thursdays at Rio Chicago (Downtown), Esteban's Dining and Dancing (Naperville), Harvest Moon (Wicker Park)
  • Fridays: The Foundry (Aurora), Congas (Northwest Chicago), Nacional 27 (River North), Lalo's (University Village), Esteban's Dining and Dancing (Naperville),
  • Saturdays: Dylan's Tavern and Grill, Entre Bar and Grill (Schamburg), Congas (by O'Hare Airport), Esteban's Dining & Dancing (Naperville), Nacional 27 (River North)
  • Sundays: The Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville)

Where to Go Out Dancing Mondays in Chicago

Patron's Hacienda (River North)

  • Salsa Lessons Provided by Chicago Dance
  • Free Salsa Lessons from 8 pm to 9 pm
  • Salsa Monday with music by DJ Double O from 9 pm to 2 am
  • No Cover Charge all night
  • Address: 316 W. Erie Street, Chicago, IL, 60654

There used to be salsa night with a lesson and dancing at Vintage Lounge on Mondays with Rick Mangram but it has been cancelled. I recommend staying in touch with his Rick because he is always doing something new. Here is a link to his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/riconosuave007/

Salsa Monday's at Patron's Hacienda
Salsa Monday's at Patron's Hacienda

Where to Go Out Dancing Tuesdays in Chicago

Tuesdays: Alhambra Palace (West Loop)

  • Hosted by Angelo Prieto; a promoter and DJ,
  • 7:30pm-8:15pm Kizomba Class by Ken Amorio from Latin Rhythms.
  • 8:15-9pm Salsa, Bachata or Cha-cha Class by Amy Tsai from Latin Rhythms.
  • Must be 21+ to enter
  • Reduced admission of $7 if you RSVP online, $12 regular admission at the door
  • Live band nights will have a higher cover charge for both types of admission, check ahead
  • Address: 1240 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607.
  • 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.
  • Review with more detailed information is below!

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.

Outside view of Alhambra Palace Restaurant
Outside view of Alhambra Palace Restaurant

Alhambra Palace Dance Floor

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?!
Salsa Tuesdays at Alhambra Palace
Salsa Tuesdays at Alhambra Palace

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 way 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 ambience 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 very good, it can get very loud sometimes. The drinks are all very good and there is a lot of places to sit around the dance floor.

Most people tend to arrive around 10pm 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, 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!

Where to Go Out Dancing Wednesdays in Chicago

Wednesdays: Latin Wednesdays at the Glendora (Southwest Suburbs/Willow Springs)

  • Hosted by the studio "May I Have This Dance"
  • The Willowbrook Salsa Wednesdays has moved to Glendora Banquets as of Wednesday, November 16.
  • 7pm: Doors Open
  • 7:30: Dance Lessons by Chicago's Best, May I Have This Dance (Amanda, Nino, Brenda, Denita, and more!)
  • 8:30-11pm: Open Dancing to the hottest Salsa, Mambo, Bachata, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Cumbia, Rumba, and more with Edgar, Mambo King, Marroquin.
  • Huge 5,000 sq ft gleaming wood dance floor!
  • Free Parking in a huge lot!
  • Full Bar, cash only.
  • All ages welcome, 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.

This event at the Glendora used to be held at WIllowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs, IL until October 2016 when it was 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.

Wednesdays at Lalo's Mexican Restaurant in University Village

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

Soiree de Salsa Wednesdays at Palm Court Drake Hotel Chicago

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

Hot On 1 Salsa Wednesdays at La Taberna Tapas


  • Hosted by Rico No Suave Mangram and Carlos Guate DJ
  • Salsa Class by Rico from 8:30-9:30pm for $7
  • Located at 1301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL, 60607
  • Restaurant Phone Number: (312) 243-9980
  • Restaurant Website: http://www.latabernatapas.com/
  • Rick's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rico.mangram

Note: This event is on-again, off-again depending on Rick's schedule, which some readers have pointed out to me. I'm going to 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
  • Free Admission
  • 18 and older event
  • Lesson from 8-9pm, then open dancing until midnight
  • Address: 5311 S. Lake Park Ave, Chicago, IL, 60615
  • Website: http://promontorychicago.com/

Latin Wednesdays at the Glendora, hosted by May I Have this Dance.
Latin Wednesdays at the Glendora, hosted by May I Have this Dance.
Soiree de Salsa at the Drake Hotel
Soiree de Salsa at the Drake Hotel
Salsa Wednesdays at the Promontory
Salsa Wednesdays at the Promontory
Hoton1 Salsa Wednesdays at La Taberna Tapas with Rico No Suave Mangram and Carlos Guate DJ
Hoton1 Salsa Wednesdays at La Taberna Tapas with Rico No Suave Mangram and Carlos Guate DJ
Salsa Wednesdays at Lalo's on Maxwell
Salsa Wednesdays at Lalo's on Maxwell

Where to Go Out Salsa Dancing Thursday Nights in Chicago

Bachata Thursdays at Patron's Hacienda in River North

  • Free Bachata Lesson by Andrew Pfiffner from 8-9pm
  • Music by DJ Eclipz, DJ Double O & DJ Helio
  • Open dancing from 9 pm to 2 am
  • 316 W Erie St, Chicago, IL, 60654

Terrific Tropical Thursdays at the Harvest Moon

  • Presented by Angelo Prieto of 4 Fantastic Events
  • Address: 1805 West Division Street, Chicago, Illinois, IL, 60622
  • No cover charge all night, free admission
  • Held first Thursday of every month with a live salsa band
  • 5pm to 7pm: Happy Hour Drink Specials
  • 7:30 to 1am Salsa/Bachata/ChaCha/Merengue Music
  • 7:30pm to 10:00pm: Live Latin Mixing by DJ FREDDY FRESH
  • 8:15 to 9:00pm: Free Salsa Lesson by Angelo Prieto
  • 10:00 to 1:00am: Live Latin Mixing by DJ FRANKIE J.
  • Website & Menu: http://www.harvestmoonchicago.com/

Bachata Thursdays at Esteban's

  • Address: 1550 N Rt. 59, Naperville, IL
  • 1,200+ sq. ft. dance floor
  • Doors open at 7:00 pm.
  • 8:00 pm: One-hour lesson with Lynda White
  • 9:00 pm: Open dancing with DJ Jr. Lopez from Radio 93.5
  • Wesbite: http://www.estebansdiningdancing.com/dancing.html

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

Bachata Thursdays at Patron's Hacienda
Bachata Thursdays at Patron's Hacienda
Terrific Tropical Thursdays at the Harvest Moon
Terrific Tropical Thursdays at the Harvest Moon

Where to Go Out Dancing Friday Nights in Chicago

Tropical Fridays at Congas

  • $5 Cover all night.
  • Music by DJ Carlos Guate
  • 7021 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60656
  • Event from 9pm-2am

Note: There used to be a salsa class taught by Rick Mangram in the past, but he is no longer doing that. There was also a bachata class by Jorge Melo, which is also no longer. So now there is no more lessons, just DJ and open dancing. Sometimes there will be live music, and admission will be $10 instead, so check ahead of time to see if that is the case.

Sultry Salsa Nights at the Foundry

Nacional 27

  • Website: http://nacional27chicago.com/dance/
  • Free admission for women all night long
  • Open dancing only, no lesson, from 11pm-2am
  • 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

Lalo's Mexican Restaurant in University Village

  • Live Mariachi band from 7-10pm, then DJ Alex Perez & open dancing from 10pm until 2am.
  • 21+ to enter, free admission all night long
  • Address: 733 W Maxwell St, Chicago, Illinois 60607
  • Free parking outside
  • Wesbite: http://www.lalos.com/locations/maxwell.html (click "musica en vivo")
  • Once again, not sure exactly how many serious dancers there will be Friday nights

Tropical Fridays at Congas
Tropical Fridays at Congas

Where to Go Salsa Dancing in Chicago on Saturdays

Saturdays at Congas

  • Live Band or music by DJ Carlos Guate
  • $10 cover if there is live band
  • Open dancing starts at 10pm, no lesson
  • 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
  • 9:00pm to 10:00pm Salsa Class with Amy Tsai
  • 21+ to enter
  • Free admission for everyone before 9:30pm, then $5 admission rest of night
  • Metered street parking outside (free after 9pm)
  • Located down the street from Union Station
  • Address: 118 S Clinton St, Chicago, Illinois 60661
  • Live band occasionally, check Facebook event page for details
  • Website: https://www.4fantasticevents.com/events

Note: This event used to be hosted both Fridays and Saturdays but now it is only on Saturdays.

Salsa Saturdays at Esteban's Dining and Dancing (Naperville)

  • Address: 1550 N Rt. 59, Naperville, IL
  • Doors open 6 pm.
  • Free Entry with Purchase of Dinner Entrée: Dinner available from 6-9 pm.
  • $10 cover charge with no dinner reservation
  • 9 pm: one-hour lesson with Cinnamon
  • 10 pm: Open dancing with DJ Vampiro/DJ Saffiro/Live band

Salsa Party Saturdays at Dylan's Tavern & Grill
Salsa Party Saturdays at Dylan's Tavern & Grill

Where to Go Out Dancing Sunday Nights in Chicago

Sundays at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville

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

Salsa Night at Congas (new event)

  • Free admission
  • Address: 7021 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, IL, 60656
  • No lesson, only dancing. Music by DJ Jesus Castro
  • This is a new event that just started summer 2017, check their facebook, website or contact venue directly to confirm that this event hasn't ended up getting cancelled

Salsa Sundays at Congas
Salsa Sundays at Congas

Salsa at the Cubby Bear

Sunday night salsa dancing at the Cubby Bear
Sunday night salsa dancing at the Cubby Bear

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 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 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 St. 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 7:30-9pm which 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 Cubby Bear and other downtown salsa places like Alhambra and Dylan's (Tuesday and Friday/Saturday nights, respectively). I definitely recommend 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.

Address: 1059 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613

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!!!!

Getting hot on the dance floor...

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    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      abrodech,

      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

    • profile image

      Tobi 3 years ago

      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

      tobi

    • abrodech profile image
      Author

      Anya Brodech 3 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

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

    • abrodech profile image
      Author

      Anya Brodech 2 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      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!

      Sincerely,

      Anya Brodech

    • profile image

      Ollie 2 years ago

      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!!

    • abrodech profile image
      Author

      Anya Brodech 2 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      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.

    • profile image

      boricuasoprano 2 years ago

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

    • abrodech profile image
      Author

      Anya Brodech 2 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      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!

      Anya

    • profile image

      Fazi 7 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      PhilC 6 months ago

      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.

    • abrodech profile image
      Author

      Anya Brodech 6 months ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      Thank you for the update!

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