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3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I actually don't think the party scene makes a positive impact on the student experience because many people get really out of control and it's a big distraction to those who aren't partiers.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: A lot of partying that happens at school is at the fraternities, which host parties pretty regularly. There are 3 main bars that NU students go to that aren't that convenient to get to but have free cover charge specific nights and many fraternities will host pre-games before them.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: I'm not super involved in it so keep that in mind. I think there are a lot of parties on campus most nights, there aren't as many nightly as at a state school though there are always kids drinking either in their rooms or at appartments or whatnot on any given night. There are also bars though most people go to ones in Chicago, they are close but will cost you money to get there.

College Student

Nightlife: The only "party-like" event that I've went to is Wildcat Days, which I wouldn't consider a party, so I can't reply.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Most events are walking distance, or Chicago via transportation. Depends on the organization.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 161st
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1150th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1212nd
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Shayna Starr
Houston, Texas
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

The bar scene at Evanston is pretty limited, with students frequenting two main establishments: The Keg of Evanston and The Deuce. But don’t expect to be bar hopping on all nights of the week. NU students, many of whom are under 21, take over the Keg on Monday and Saturday nights. The creepers tend to come out in full force on the other nights. You can spend your "Thirsty Thursdays" at The Deuce, but it is a cab ride away. But many students will agree, a good pre-game is necessary.

If the bars aren't for you, there are plenty of parties, both on campus at frat houses and off campus at people's apartments. These parties are usually very easy to get into, especially if you’re a girl. However, if they get too crowded too quickly, they will start to run out of alcohol. These problems are especially prevalent during fall quarter, when the freshmen are starting to scout out NU’s party scene. Off-campus parties dominate the first two weeks of school, when the frats are put on "Freshman Freeze" (a period when no freshmen are allowed in Greek houses). After these two weeks, the frats become the place for freshmen to party. Off-campus parties dominate once again after the freshman frat phase wears off. Whatever your scene, though, you'll find it at NU.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Chicago
  • Downtown Evanston
  • Frat quad
Other Places to Check Out
  • Bat 17
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
  • McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon
  • Samah Hookah Lounge
  • Wrigleyville
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (Kings)
  • Century club
  • Power hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
The Keg or frat parties
Organization Parties
Most clubs, sports, or activities you join will sponsor their own parties. Some are private, and some are open to everyone at the University, but they may charge a cover. School-sponsored parties, such as those thrown by academic departments, are usually more conservative affairs, though they often have luscious food.
Did You Know?
Underage students at Northwestern usually head to frat parties. Other options include going to the movies or a hookah bar.

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Pete Miller's Seafood & Prime Steak

This is a cool spot with great steaks. It's a little more suitable for a drink and a date than some of the other bars around town, and there's free jazz-a terrific combination.

1557 Sherman Ave.


(847) 328-0399

Prairie Moon

With good food and excellent drinks, this new establishment has been raking in customers. It's a lot more low-key than other bars, so expect the more crunchy, artistic types to patronize this place.

1502 Sherman Ave.


(847) 864-8328

Tommy Nevin's Irish Pub

There are English and Irish taps, so beer drinkers' interests are always piqued here. This hip night spot was recently renovated and serves up delicious meals, as well as hot music acts.

1450 Sherman Ave.


(847) 869-0450

Mark II Lounge (The Deuce)

An institution, if only because it stays open until 4 a.m. and offers sports on TVs and pool tables aplenty. It's not high class, but if it's a drink you're looking for, a drink you will find here.

7436 N. Western Ave.


(773) 274-8623

Bar Louie

It's a fairly typical restaurant and bar chain, but it's less populated by fraternity and sorority members than other local bars.

1520 Sherman Ave.


(847) 733-8300

The Keg

The food is sketchy, but nonetheless, students flock here, mostly on Monday and Thursday nights. Fridays can be a little quiet, so prowl around for action elsewhere.

810 Grove St.


(847) 869-9987

Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant & Bar

On Friday and Saturday nights, this place is filled with students drinking overpriced margaritas and enjoying themselves.

817 University Place


(847) 328-2555

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Century 12 Evanston/CinéArts 6 and XD

Whether you are 21 or not, movies are always a fun way to hang out with friends.

1715 Maple Ave.


(847) 491-9751

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 62 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 61 responses

  • 49% Walk.
  • 7% Taxis.
  • 13% Public transportation.
  • 23% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 5% Use a designated driver.
  • 3% There are no good options.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 61 responses

  • 5% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 39% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 39% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 15% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 2% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 9 responses

  • 89% Dillo Day
  • 11% Dance Marathon

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 5 responses

  • 50% Off-campus
  • 50% Fraternities


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