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Carnaval in Chicago

We've found the best places to party like a Brazilian for four days straight.
Wednesday Feb 10, 2010.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts


Mardi Gras is a great day for partying, but that's just the problem: It's only one day. Get the party started early with Carnaval (or Carnival, or Carnivale), the four-day period (February 13-16) that, like Fat Tuesday, is a way to say goodbye to all those naughty habits before Lent begins.

Friday, February 12, 10 p.m.; $5
Part of the club's regular Fusion mash-up series, this Carnival/Bacchanal celebration features live performances by Nguzo, music by guest DJs, masks and more. Rio D caipirinhas are just $5.

Chicago Samba
Saturday, February 13 at Logan Square Auditorium, 10 p.m.; $15
If you're looking to party with Brazilians and true appreciators of Carnaval, head to the official Chicago Samba event, which will make up for what it lacks in fancy decor with sheer authenticity. This fete features the popular Chicago Samba dance troupe, capoeiristas and so much more. A DJ provides the tunes, while Chicago Samba instructor/MC for the evening Edilson Lima will teach samba dance steps. Expect dancers in full, extravagant costumes, $5 caipirinhas and more. The party is 18-plus.

Club Mambo
Saturday, February 13, 9 p.m.-3 a.m.; $20 in advance, $25 at the door
Swing Brasileiro, a collection of local Brazilian musicians, provides the tunes and the Tropicalia Dance Group and Gingarte Capoeira offer visual stimuli at this festive celebration at this Northwest Side cafe/club.

Monday, February 15 - Tuesday, February 16
Jerry Kleiner's West Loop spot is a no-brainer for celebrating this festival, and this year the restaurant hosts two days of celebrations. It starts with the regular winter offering of $5 mojitos on Monday night (with choices including classic and raspberry). Then, on Tuesday, enjoy live music from Carpacio y su Combo Sexy, Samba dancing from Shirley Vieira of Brasil via Chicago, Bacardi Girls, complimentary masks and beads and a menu including bacalao (salt cod fritters with habanero aioli, $9), feijoada (roasted pork shoulder, chorizo, black beans, collard greens, yuca, orange, $25), fried banana with cinnamon ice cream and coconut macaroon ($8) and more.


Explore More

Bars & Clubs

Brand-New Bars

Brand-New Bars

Get divey on Grace; go downstairs at River North's Curio.

Food & Dining

New Restaurants

New Restaurants

Go Dutch at Vincent and satisfy a familiar sweet tooth at BomBon.

What's Happening Today
  • Blind Robin
    $2 drafts of PBR, $3.50 well drinks and shots
  • Nite Cap Lounge
    $2.00 bottles of domestics, $3.00 call shots, mix drinks and import bottles, $5.00 Jager and O Bombs