The best place to see the entire city of Chicago is from the top of the John Hancock building. The 95th floor of this building contains a bar/lounge where jazz is played. It is a pretty sedate scene, but a great choice for drinking martinis and watching the sun set over the city below.
Good old Martyrs on Lincoln (not too far south of Irving Park) seems to have a knack of getting album chart topping bands from the UK and putting them on a small stage in front of a crowd of 250 assorted forward listening yanks and British Ex-Pats. I went to see Turin Brakes here and not only was it the BEST set i have ever heard them play live (seen them twice before in Dublin), but I also got to meet the band! Just missed seeing Jamie Cullum play, but most recently Keane played a killer set - they just seem to try harder over here!!!
By the way check out the mexican place across the street (on the corner of Byron & Lincoln its very nice & very new & very cheap!!)
Dress Code: Very casual
This place showcases a variety of music genres, but specializes in alternative. One of the best small venues in the city. Local, national, and international acts. Two levels....sometimes the upstairs is for VIP's only.
Dress Code: None
Often imitated, never duplicated. There's a great upstairs music hall. It's not only blues. All kinds of acts play here.