Courtesy of Pyramid, LLC

Whether you’re new to Chicago or visiting for a few days, you’re probably asking yourself: where are the Black folks at? Trust. You’re not alone. It’s a common question, even among natives and longtime residents sometimes, considering the expansiveness of Chicago and its segregation. But thanks to our handy beginner’s guide, you’ll have a head start on making the best out of your time in the Chi.

Food & Dranks

Sip and Savor It’s the place where everybody knows your name – except, there’s way more Black people in this rendition. Owner Trez V. Pugh III created the perfect workplace away from work with his coffee shop chain, located in Hyde Park, South Loop and Beverly. If you need to answer a few work emails, Sip and Savor – with its free wifi, fresh coffee, tasty food and cool vibes – is the right place for you.

Mon-Fri, 6 AM to 8 PM, Sat 7 AM to 8 PM, Sun 7 AM to 6 PM, 5301 S. Hyde Park Blvd


Mild Sauce This crazy mashup of hot sauce, ketchup and barbecue sauce is a Black Chicago staple. With that said, it’s impossible to list all of the best places where one can grab a 6 piece fried hard with lemon pepper and mild sauce. Because each restaurant’s sauce may taste a little different than the next, favorites vary from person to person. If you’re interested in conducting your own taste test, start at these spots: Harold’s Chicken Shack, Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken, Sharks Fish & Chicken, JJ Fish & Chicken

(Search Google to find the one near you – though, chicken always tastes better in the hood)


Ja’Grill Fill your belly with traditional, home-style Jamaican cuisine inspired by Ocho Rios’ own Herbert “Errol” Gallimore, who is executive chef. Using ingredients straight from the island, try the flavorful jerk chicken with a tasty side of cabbage steamed in coconut milk while Caribbean beats play in the background. On Wednesday, enjoy half-priced bottles of wine.

Sun-Wed 11 AM to 10 PM, Thur-Sat 11 AM to 11 PM, Bar open daily until 2 AM, 1510 E Harper Ct.


Batter & Berries An amazing breakfast and brunch spot for any day of the week. Their french toast is the most popular item on the menu, but they offer a wide variety for any palette. Also, Batter & Berries is BYOB – who doesn’t love a BYOB brunch. It’s usually packed, so get there early!

Sun- Sat 8 AM to 3 PM, 2748 N Lincoln Avenue


Vice District Brewing Co The industrial-chic brewery has up to 16 all-natural, craft beers on tap. Wanting the taproom to mirror the experience of sharing their home-crafted beers with friends, there’s an inclusive ambiance in the brewery’s communal tables. Although there’s no food, you can order delivery if you need to.

Tue-Thur 4 PM to 11 PM, Fri 4 PM to 1 AM, Sat 2 PM to 1 AM, Sun 2 PM to 9 PM, 1454 S. Michigan Ave

Entertainment & Sightseeing

Black Cinema House If you’re looking for film screenings and discussions for and by Black people, the Black Cinema House is where you’ll want to be. Housed at the Stony Island Arts Bank, BCH’s curated events and partnerships with Black collectives, such as Saint Heron during Pitchfork Fest 2017, are brimming with enlightening exhibitions to cultivate new ideas about representation in art.

6760 S. Stony Island Ave


Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation Walk the same halls that were graced by Blues icons such as Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry in the historic Chess Records studio building. Located on Chicago’s legendary Record Row, take a tour of the museum, which showcases memorabilia from the iconic era.

Mon-Sat,12 PM to 4 PM, Tours are $10 per person, 2120 Michigan Ave


South Shore Opera Company While making opera and musical theatre accessible to Black communities and creating an opportunity for diverse artists to grow, the South Shore Opera Company produces overlooked works by Black composers. If you’re in town on the right night, you could catch a free show. Past productions include Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom by Nkeiru Okoye.

South Shore Cultural Center 7059 S South Shore Dr


DuSable Museum Did you know the founder of Chicago was a Black man? His name is Jean Baptiste Point DuSable. Learn about the contributions of prominent Black Chicagoans such as DuSable, Harold Washington and military veterans at this enriching museum. Bonus: There’s free admission on Tuesdays.

Tue-Sat, 10 AM to 5 PM, Sun 12 PM to 5 PM, 740 East 56th Place

Courtesy of the DuSable Museum

Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable bust Visit the bronze bust of Chicago’s founder, located near DuSable’s original homesite and trading post, in downtown Chicago’s Pioneer Court. Sculpted by Chicago-native Erik Blome and donated by Haitian-born Lesley Benodin, the DuSable statue was unveiled in 2009.

401 N Michigan Ave


eta Creative Arts Foundation The eta Creative Arts Foundation is about authenticity, professional development, and celebrating the Black community. Providing opportunities for playwrights and up-and-coming actors, the eta Creative Arts Foundation produces musicals, live theatre and visual arts that tell stories of the Black experience.

Mon-Fri 10 AM to 6 PM, 7558 S. Chicago Ave

Happy Hours & Nightlife

Timbuck2uesdays Tuesdays at Beauty Bar is bananas. This weekly party is good for making you break a sweat on the dance floor as resident djs cook up dope mixes of hip-hop, R&B, old-school jam and even a little funk.

Tuesdays 9 pm- 2 am, 21+, Beauty Bar, 1444 W Chicago Ave


Nostalgia Tuesdays Created by three nightlife curators, including WGCI’s DJ Sean Mac, the original concept for Nostalgia Tuesdays was to take the crowd back to the hip-hop and R&B hits of the 90s and early 2000s. And they’ve been doing just that since 2014. If you’re tired of the current club bangers, check out this weekly party.

Tuesdays 10 PM to  2 AM, LITE Chicago, 215 W Ontario Street


DJ Manti Presents: The Stage Wednesdays at downtown Chicago’s Refuge Live! are dedicated to local artists, poets and comedians, where they take the stage in open-mic fashion and share their talents with the audience. Bonus: Women are free before 9 PM.

Wednesdays 7 PM to 12 AM, 416 S Clark St


MidMonth Mixer Meet a new friend, find a business partner or just hang out every third Thursday of the month at the South Loop’s M Lounge. This mixer for young Black professionals, hosted by Civilized Empire, is a good pregame before the weekend. Plus, there’s free food and entry.

Third Thursdays 6 PM to 12 AM, M Lounge 1520 S Wabash Ave


The Other Too Presents: The Artist Lounge Housed in the historic South Side Community Arts Center, and surrounded by Black art installations, this open-mic is a platform for our homegrown spoken word artists and poets to perform and grow. It’s hosted by Dometi & Awthentik Poetry, and has seen special guests such as activist and poet Bella Bahhs.

First and third Fridays 7 PM, $7 admission,  3831 S. Michigan Ave


Ceres Cafe Located in the Chicago Board of Trade building, Ceres is a great place to pregame on Fridays before a night of shenanigans. Why? Because the drinks are cheap and strong. Ask for a rum and Coke, and you’ll get a glass of straight rum and a can of Coke on the side. It’s the go-to spot for Black millennials after work.

Mon-Fri 6 AM to 8 PM, 141 W Jackson Blvd.


Work Hard, Play Hard Pull up to Reverie on Fridays for a fun night of drinks, dancing, and a dope DJ playing the latest hip hop and R&B. Hosted by Pyramid, Movemakers, LB Events & Gafar, the party brings a large crowd. There’s usually a line down the block by 8 PM, so be sure to get there early.

Fridays 4 PM to 2 AM, Reverie, 414 N Orleans St.


Nappi Hour As the name suggests, this monthly event is the place for Black people to be carefree and joyful in our skin and nappy roots while jamming to our favorite hip-hop and R&B tunes.

Time and location vary per event


The Promontory A multi-leveled restaurant and event space which is home to a variety of popular parties, including Party Noire and Afrofusion

Mon-Thurs 11 AM to 11 PM, Fri 11 AM to 1 AM, Sat-Sun 9 AM to 11 PM, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave

Courtesy of Punch House

Punch House  A vintage and cozy basement bar that is perfect for a night out with friends or a date. The wide variety of drinks and music will ensure a great time for anyone!

Sun- Fri 6 pm- 2 am, Sat 6 pm- 3 am, Food available until 1 am, Basement of Thalia Hall

1227 W. 18th Street


Evil Olive If you’re not ready to go home after the club closes at 2 AM, Evil Olive’s got your back. This Wicker Park spot is for the night owls who can dance until 5 AM. It’s one of the most cracking after parties on a Saturday night, Sunday morn.

Mon 10 PM to 5 AM, Thurs-Sun 11 PM to 5 AM, 1551 W. Division St.


East Room Anyone who’s deeply invested in the local music scene regularly parties at Logan Square’s East Room. Chance The Rapper is a favorite past guest, for starters, and East Room is home to the monthly Aux Cord DJs party, where Chicago favorites such as Taylor Bennett, JoeFreshGoods, Jamila Woods & more have played a few records.

Sun-Fri 9 PM to 4 AM, Sat 9 PM to 5 AM, 2354 N. Milwaukee Ave


You could always party in River North, but some venues may not let you in. Read why here